Bulletin – Volkswagen 1.4 Piston Failure

November 20, 2017

Models Affected: Volkswagen Golf, Jetta, Polo 2008 – 2012 (1.4 TSI Twin Charged Engine)

The widely acclaimed 118 TSI 1.4-litre twincharged engine in the Golf and Jetta uses both turbocharging and supercharging to deliver the torque of a 2.0-litre with the economy of a smaller-capacity engine, and has been voted international engine of the year twice.  Unfortunatley despite the accolades, the TSI engine has a critical weakness which is causing a lot of grief and drained bank accounts for many owners.

The problem lies in the internals of the engine, with noticeable symptoms such as rough idle, engine misfire fault codes, and lack of power when accelerating.  A compression check will aid diagnosis of the problem, and you will likely find a piston has cracked or broken a ring lan.  Unsuspecting mechanics have been caught out by simply removing the cylinder head for inspection, and visually inspecting the piston crowns.  Seeing nothing obvious on the piston crowns, the cylinder head is refitted but the issue is still there.  The pistons must be removed and the skirts and ring lans inspected for damage, as this is likely where the problem lies.

Volkswagen Australia have recognised the problem & issued a “service campaign” for all owners of affected vehicles.  It’s essentially just a software upgrade and adjustment to the parameters of the engine knock sensors.  If you own a vehicle that you think might be affected by this issue, we would advise you contact Volkswagen and check if the software upgrade is applicable toy our model and inquire if it has been done.

To repair a damaged piston is a costly proposition,  the engine needs to be removed from the vehicle, stripped down and repaired.  New gaskets, piston and ring set, big end bearings and many other parts are required to carry out the repair, with costs running well into the thousands.  If you suspect your Volkswagen may be suffering an engine problem like this, give Engine Reconditioning Australia a call on 07 3343 5899 for an obligation free quote.

Further Information can be found at https://www.carsguide.com.au/car-news/volkswagen-golf-118tsi-warning-17417