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Mk5 and 6 Golf

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What can Beemers tell me about the VW TSI and TFSI engines. Having shelved the N46 engine E90/87 option wife is looking at Golfs. I have heard some of the VW engines are no so good and that some of the DSG boxes can be problematic. Please enlighten me.

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Having had 3 VW GTIs (2x Mk5 and 1x Mk6) over the past few years- I can shed some light on these cars. Both engines are great, very tunable and pretty reliable for the most part (though there are some things to watch out for). With that being said, I’ve never had an issue with either the FSI or TSI engines.  

The most common things to watch out for include:

FSI

-potentially high oil consumption (the culprit is usually the PCV system). Easy fix

-Dodgy diverter valve. Many upgrade to the revised revision D diverter valve or aftermarket. Easy fix

-Carbon build up. Consider walnut blasting the valves around 120,000km

-Coil packs and spark plugs fail (tuned cars only). Upgrade to Audi R8 CoP and NGK plugs

-Cam follower wear. Check cam follower every 2-3 years and replace when required. Easy fix

-Still uses a cambelt. Replace as required (including ancillaries)

-Stage 3 (i.e. turbo upgrade – k04 etc) needs an upgraded fuel pump

TSI

-Dodgy cam chain tensioner (early models up to 09/2012 build dates). Catastrophic engine failure if this goes bad. Not a cheap fix due to labour.  

-Coil packs and spark plugs fail (tuned cars only). Upgrade to Audi R8 CoP and NGK plugs

-Carbon build up. Consider walnut blasting the valves around 120,000km

There are other issues that I failed to list such as intake manifolds going bad, cracked intake pipes etc but these aren’t too common…

The DSGs are another matter altogether. The Mk6 DSG is better programmed than the Mk5 (blip downshifts, a bit smoother etc) but both can be very temperamental if not serviced correctly. VW requires servicing every 60,000km. If there’s no record of this being done I’d walk away. Make sure you drive a few vehicles to get a feel for the transmission as some might have clutch wear (particularly the imports sitting in Tokyo traffic). If you get a good one- you’ll be sorted as long as you take care of it. They’re great gearboxes overall just a bit hit or miss; shopping around and test drives are key…

Finally, 04-08 Mk5 GTIs have hydraulic steering which I prefer over the slightly numb electric racks of the later models.

With all that being said, they’re pretty solid cars and I enjoyed my ownership with them.

If you have any other questions just ask- happy to help

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Thanks Kyle very comprehensive just what I was looking for. 

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If you are looking at the 1.4TSI... it's NOT as reliable as the GTI, depending on the model.

Certain twincharged 1.4s are notorious for destrying pistons.

Make sure she knows that and "makes" you get the GTI.

As a former E39 owner, moved to 2x VW Tourans... VW parts are generally MORE expensive too. Weirdly.

 

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1 hour ago, Allanw said:

 

As a former E39 owner, moved to 2x VW Tourans... VW parts are generally MORE expensive too. Weirdly.

 

VAG parts are massively expensive. There's a few BMW/VW/Audi parts that are all the same and BMW are always the cheapest 

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I had a MK6 GTI before my E46 and loved it.

Granted I had it between 40k and 60k over 2.5 years so was low miles but aside from coilpacks, it was flawless.

The 2.0 TSI is a robust engine capable of making good power with a remap and even stock performs really well with torque from almost idle.

Loved the DSG, and as I understand the wet clutch 6speed  DSG on the GTI's is pretty tough too, just service it every 60k. Pretty smooth (not as smooth as a slush box at low speed) but with lightning shifts, rev matching and blips / farts - good times.

1.4TSI and 7 speed dry clutch DSG's are nowhere near as good.

We might buy another for the wife's next car TBH, the GTI's are a fantastic all-rounder.

Tartan seats FTW 🤘

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The missus Audi FSI going very nicely, agree on the cam follower, and cam chain being the only real worrying engine bits to keep an eye on. Nothing to worry about if your spanner handy.

The issues with the gearboxes whether it be automatic or dsg from my reading all come down to not frequent enough fluid servicing more times than not.

So I guess if you have access to service history, or it has low kms. Less to worry about.

I did manually clean my valves, they were gunked up with a few mm of Solid carbon. Only 120,000 on the clock when I did that.

So obviously no one used GDI cleaner regularly as specified with direct Injection engines. They were all seating fine, just cosmetically horrible.

After my experience with the FSI engine, I'm definitely a concert. Great motor. And plenty of places to get vag parts from overseas where I get my BMW parts from too anyway.

Edited by 325_driver

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