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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Talking about just the engine block and head...
These motors rev extremely well and last forever even if driven hard. But I have a feeling that if it performs this well over many hundreds of thousands of miles, then it must go out with a large BANG. So when a 16v fails, what's usually the first thing to go?
This is taking into consideration regular oil/fluid changes and regular timing belt changes so the valves won't be ruined to a belt break.
I was thinking along the lines of engine gasket leak or maybe rods snapping or ring failure but I don't seem to hear much about the rods, rings or bearings failing. I am asking because my 2.0 16v is nearing it's 200,000 mile mark and it just seems too good to be true that it's run this well and this strong for so long now. I am afraid that it'll blow any day now with no prior notice.
 

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Re: If a 16v is to fail, what is the first thing to go??? (Ted)

I've heard of someone throwing a rod on a 16v once. Just once. Never heard of any other spectacular failures. Rings will wear out eventually, but that manifests itself in gradual loss of compression & increase in oil consumption, hardly a spectacular mode of failure. And I guess if you burn a hole in the piston from running too lean, that's pretty spectacular too. Apart from that, the biggest BANG you can reasonably expect is a massive backfire when your hall sender fails...
 

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Re: If a 16v is to fail, what is the first thing to go??? (Oms)

Timing belt, head gasket and valve springs are the only things I've ever worried about on the 16v's I own. I had a 150k mile 91 GLI that I had a valve float problem at high RPM with and bounced a valve off a piston. If the 16v engine is under 150k, the only thing to worry about is the timing belt, because everything else is dead realible when maintianed properly.
 

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Re: If a 16v is to fail, what is the first thing to go??? (Ted)

T-belt or head gasket
 

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Re: If a 16v is to fail, what is the first thing to go??? (16v)

Damned head gaskets, never heard of the valve float problem, my 1.8L lasted to 220,000 miles till the headgasket got bad then I swaped(actually swapping) in a 9A
 

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Re: If a 16v is to fail, what is the first thing to go??? (Ted)

Three things:
1)Timing belt
2)Timing belt
3)Timing belt
As the 1.8L and 2.0L VW 16v valvetrain is by definition an "interference" design, timing belt failure at anything over idle results in immediate valve to piston contact. At the very least, all you may end up with are some bent valves and some hammered valve seats which are an easy fix. A major failure (usually at high RPMs) involves the lower end when the valves break off and foul the pistons/cylinders. Time for a long block.
As I mostly autocross my 1.8L 16V (where I'm bouncing off the rev limiter in 1st gear a lot), I have religiously replaced my timing belt every two years, regardless of mileage.
My experience has been that the 2.0L 16V (9A) is more likely to have a head gasket failure than the 1.8L (PL).
J.
 
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