VW Vortex - Volkswagen Forum banner
  • Mwerks and Fourtitude have rejoined VWVortex. For more info, see this thread.

1 - 20 of 223 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
TSB updated January 8, 2013: TSB # 21 12 01 / 2025464 Frozen Air Charge Cooler

For those who are unaware of the TDI Intercooler Issue, here is a synopsis.

There is a serious safety and engineering defect with all North American MK VI generation TDI Jetta, TDI Jetta Station Wagon, and TDI Golf cars. TDI Passats are not affected by this. Other parts of the world are not experiencing this issue due to differences in emissions controls. VW has issued TSB # 21 11 06 / 2025464 Frozen Air Charge Cooler for it.


All CR 2.0L TDI engines for the above mentioned cars are prone to engine failure, destruction and engine compartment fire due to water condensing in the intercooler during cold winter weather. Water vapour is entering the intercooler airstream and condensing into significant volumes of liquid water. The accumulated water then enters the engine cylinder causing a catastrophic hydrolocking condition resulting in engine failure. Some owners, not aware of why the engine won't start, continue to run the starter motor in attempt to start the car which results in overheating of the starter cable. The overheated starter cable causes the cable insulation to melt, smoke and catch fire.

A large number of owners in Canada and the US have experienced not being able to start, difficulty starting, and engine failure to due water being drawn into the engine from water condensing in the intercooler. This has caused cars to suddenly die while driving on public roads and highways with the potential of suddenly being hit by fast approaching traffic. As a testament to the widespread occurance of this condition the main forum thread for this discussion is currently over 158 pages long.

Volkswagen has known about this issue since last winter and has not been able to provide a permanent solution. They have put together a Cold Weather Intercooler Kit, but cars that have had this kit installed have shown that it does not work. VW has refused to recall the cars, but have instead chosen to install the fix kit on a single car request basis. The number of affected cars exceeds the number of kits available. Many owners whose cars are waiting at dealers have been told that the backorder waiting period is 3 to 6 months. At this point every TDI that is on the road is essentially a mass produced prototype that can potentially fail in the winter. Owners of brand new 2012 cars have experienced inability to start their car and engine failure. There is no permanent fix at this point. Cars that are currently coming off the assembly line are still being built with this inherent flaw.

VW has performed exceedingly poorly in remedying this serious problem. People have suggested that they are providing token fixes because the problem goes away as the weather warms, and they are hoping that they can keep doing token fixes until warranties expire and they are no longer liable.

VW is advising TDI owners to tow their car to the dealer if the car won't start on first attempt. It is not normal for a new car to not start right away. Hard starts or multiple start attempts will force water into the engine cylinders and hydrolock and destroy the engine. Hard starting is the indicator of water in the intercooler.

I suspect that this is much more widespread than is currently known. Only a small number of owners who follow the TDIclub and turbodiesel forums are aware of this. The vast majority of TDI owners do not participate in enthusiast forums. If you have found water or sludge in your Intercooler line or have experienced the Intercooler Issue (no start, hard start, rough engine, engine stopping), there is a survey and map in progress to track occurances throughout Canada and the US.

Please view the map to observe where owners have reported this. The creator of the survey (VeeDubTDI) is a TDIclub member who asks for your TDIclub username. If you do not have a TDIclub username, just use your vwvortex username on the form.

SURVEY: http://tinyurl.com/icyicform
MAP: http://tinyurl.com/icyic
New Map Link: http://batchgeo.com/map/12184accc1216109c6f66a07d456f2aa

Below are several very detailed forum discussion threads and photos of the condition.

Another ICED UP INTERCOOLER - TDIClub Forums:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=302863

IC Sludge photos
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.php?p=3221958&postcount=50
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.php?p=3278239&postcount=386

Cold Weather IC Kit 1K0-198-803-B May 26th, 2011
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.php?p=3417199&postcount=792

2012 TDI Jetta Engine froze when trying to start - TDIClub Forums:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=341103

TDI would not start - Help! - TDIClub Forums:
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=337438

mysterious trouble starting - VW TDI forum and Audi TDI forum - myturbodiesel.com:
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f19/mysterious-trouble-starting-12186/

CR Cold Weather Inspection. - VW TDI forum and Audi TDI forum - myturbodiesel.com:
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f7/cr-cold-weather-inspection-4197/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrolock
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,051 Posts
Nice thread. Any of you who have experienced these symptoms, please go ahead and fill out the survey. The more data points we get, the better. It's fine to use your VWvortex username if you're not on TDIClub.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
698 Posts
My engine was deamed toast from this! 45,000kms almost 1 year old. dealership took the car back, bought out my lease and gave me a nice discount on my GLI.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
502 Posts
Any ideas yet for those that do not live up north. I want VW to fix my TDI before its out of warranty and before I move to the cold north and have to fix this problem with my own hard earned $$$$$
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
245 Posts
Called my dealer here in BC. The service manager has fielded a number of calls from owners but hasn't heard anything about it from VW. He also said he couldn't inspect my intercooler or hosing unless I had a specific problem. Basically if they do an inspection and dont find any water, they don't get paid. I ordered the cold weather intercooler kit even though its effectiveness is still TBD:banghead::banghead:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
Thanks for posting that. I highly doubt that it will ever get cold enough in Southeastern Pennsylvania for this to actually happen. The coldest I've seen it in recent years is -2F or so. I should probably be careful when I travel to colder climates like the midwest or northeast.

Just out of curiosity, If I bought the 5 year/80,000 mile VW extended warranty, does this cover an engine failure due to the intercooler?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I have had one rough start this winter, but that's about it... I do believe this issue to be rare in general. But all who experience should not continue cranking the engine and be sure to report the no start to VWofA.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
It is really not an issue of being too cold... unless it is below -15F outside and your car has been sitting for greater than 24-48hrs. Most have had this happen during conditions of low temps (about freezing) and high humidity... what probably happened to you is water building in the IC and freezing. Either way the water in the IC devolped during a period where the ambient temp was above freezing and then froze overnight (that is my guess at least).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,642 Posts
I've had no issue yet, but it hasn't been that cold here in pa either? I was made aware of this issue from a friend who's a dub tech after he asked if I was having any start issues. He said the dealership has done a bunch of the repair kits, but that it didn't help much and also that it was a long wait for parts and that no loaner would be given while waiting for parts.

Luckily, I have a semi decent relationship with the dealer after buying many cars from them in recent years (two Mkv gti's, mkvi gti, cc 3.6l, routan and most recently my tdi) whenever I have the wife call and bitch they usually cave with a loaner etc...

I sometimes kick myself for not buying a Mkv tdi, mkvi jsw or even a a3 tdi. With a 100 mile daily commute I'm kinds stuck with a diesel for the highway mpgs & I refuse to buy a wimpy hybrid, so I hope this gets resolved. Worst case I swap out for a nice mkvi tdi.

I gotta say I love the motor! With a tune and the performance work I've done I'm getting a average of 50mpgs with a ish load of tq. I've also been using additive since day one. I'm glad I stumbled on this thread and I'll be keeping a eye on my cold starts from now on.

Subscribed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
606 Posts
Put the radiator in front of the intercooler or use the passat TDI setup lol. Makes sense in colder climates!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Any ideas yet for those that do not live up north. I want VW to fix my TDI before its out of warranty and before I move to the cold north and have to fix this problem with my own hard earned $$$$$
It's not exclusively a northern issue. If you view VeeDubTDI's map, you'll see that it occurs in New Mexico, Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and the Pacific Coast.

Anyone who experiences a hard start, no start, rough engine, engine stopping, hydrolock, or water/sludge in the intercooler hose should report it directly to VW of America or VW Canada. Use their Volkswagen Feedback Forms | Volkswagen Canada | Volkswagen of America to log a case file. The more records they log, the better for everyone. There's strength in numbers.

My concern is that because this is a seasonal issue, VW will try to sweep it under the rug when the weather warms with the approach of spring.

Fill out VeeDubTDI's survey to add your data to his map. Use your vwvortex username on the survey if you're not on TDIclub. The more widespread this is proven to be, the harder it will be for VW to minimalize it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for posting that. I highly doubt that it will ever get cold enough in Southeastern Pennsylvania for this to actually happen. The coldest I've seen it in recent years is -2F or so. I should probably be careful when I travel to colder climates like the midwest or northeast.

Just out of curiosity, If I bought the 5 year/80,000 mile VW extended warranty, does this cover an engine failure due to the intercooler?
As it has already been stated, this is not exclusively a northern issue. There are in fact more recorded cases on the map in your region than all of Canada at this point.

The issues appears to be the Low Pressure EGR passing combustion water vapour into the intercooler (IC), which condenses and collects in the IC. If the water freezes and causes a blockage, you get a no start condition. If it thaws, the water is sucked into the combustion chamber and hydrolocks the engine if there is enough water to do so. Otherwise, you get a rough running engine for some distance until the water is burned off. On the continuum from a hydrolock to rough running engine, there could be bent connecting rods, damaged pistons, ring damage, etc. It can happen to anyone under the right conditions for enough water vapour to condense in the IC, as is apparent from the map.

As for your extended warranty, I don't mean to scare you, but they often provide little protection, if anything at all. The fine print and legalese will tell you, if you can tolerate reading through it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
78 Posts
True. There are a lot of cases in my area. After clicking on a bunch of them I noticed a pattern, a lot of 2009 models there. a few 2010s and a sprinkle of 2011 Golfs. Only a solitary 2012 Jetta sportwagen. Did this problem extend back to 09'? Most of the posts I read deal primarily with 2011's and 12's.

I'll be moving into a new home mid-march. It has an unheated garage. Will keeping my car there reduce the risk of an intercooler malfunction?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,390 Posts
The 2009 onward Golf/Jetta models all have identical emissions systems. The 2012 Passat uses a different intercooler design which completely fixes this issue, and indications are that the upcoming MQB cars will also fix this (by using an air-to-water intercooler regulated to not go below freezing).

Unheated garage won't help. The ice builds up in the system while you are driving. When the temperature increases while the car is sitting, for whatever reason, the ice melts, and then there's trouble.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I pumped the gas like it had a carb

On the first cold day she wouldn't start right up, I held the button down and pumped the gas like it had a carb. One she fired up I revved till she held a idle. I thought i had some water in the diesel. I had one other time I had to start her like that, and every now and then i get a ruff idle.

Would you have the same problem with a aftermarket Intercooler?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Did this problem extend back to 09'? Most of the posts I read deal primarily with 2011's and 12's.

I'll be moving into a new home mid-march. It has an unheated garage. Will keeping my car there reduce the risk of an intercooler malfunction?
TSB # 21 11 06 / 2025464 Frozen Air Charge Cooler states that 2009 2.0L TDI (CBEA) Jetta, Jetta Wagon, and 2010-2011 2.0L TDI (CJAA) Golf, Jetta, Jetta SportWagen, Golf Wagen vehicles are affected by this condition.

The problem is essentially one that is twofold. The first is a frozen ice plug blocking intercooler airflow to the turbo charger. The TSB addresses this in its Technical Background statement: "Moisture from the intake air condenses and collects in the charge air cooler. At cold temperatures this moisture can freeze causing blockage of the intake air system".

The second and more serious part of the issue is when the ice melts and water is drawn into the engine cylinders. This causes the already mentioned hydrolock, which causes internal engine damage.

The frozen IC state causes a no start condition. This doesn't cause any damage because the car simply fails to start. The car gets towed to the dealer, who waits for the ice to thaw, then drains the IC system and orders the TSB for the car.

When the ice thaws, it causes a hard start, rough engine, engine stopping, or hydrolock. This is a much worse scenario because most people aren't aware of the issue and they keep trying to force a start. If the car does start, it will run very rough and shake violently and will blow a huge plume of steam as the water burns through the engine. At this point a compression test would be needed to try to determine engine damage.

So to answer your question, parking in an unheated garage will probably help. Most people who have reported this parked overnight in a heated garage. I personally park in an unheated space and have experienced sludge in my IC. I drained half a cup, but it appears that I caught it in time as it wasn't enough to form a complete blockage and I never had problems starting the car. I do feel that my chances are somewhat improved because I won't get a large volume of meltwater suddenly get drawn into the engine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
On the first cold day she wouldn't start right up, I held the button down and pumped the gas like it had a carb. One she fired up I revved till she held a idle. I thought i had some water in the diesel. I had one other time I had to start her like that, and every now and then i get a ruff idle.

Would you have the same problem with a aftermarket Intercooler?
A bit of a rough idle is normal in very cold climates when the engine is not plugged in. Unfortunately, that doesn't apply to your region. You should report it to VW and your dealer. A well informed dealer will apply the TSB to your car. Again, unfortunately, the TSB doesn't work. My dealer wanted to have it done to my car, but I declined until a permanent and proven fix is available.

As for the aftermarket IC, the issue is not the IC itself, but with the Low Pressure EGR streaming water vapour into the IC. This is the core problem that VW needs to resolve. However, the design of the IC should be improved. The IC outlet is right at the very bottom of the unit where water and other deposits accumulate. It needs to be raised and a drain valve included. The drain valve wouldn't be meant to be user serviced, but can be if so inclined, much like the one on the rad.

I believe that you have experienced the problem and encourage you to add your data to VeeDubTDI's survey so that it can be reflected on the map.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
72 Posts
But should vw canada should aware us about the probleme because on my car it happen about 2-3 time recently . i push the start button wait for the sing to go away and tried to stard the engine and after leaving my finger for about 3 minute then the car did start and was shaking from everywhere . there were one time it was starting and then he shok after and triend again and i was pressing the gas pedal i with time the car finally start.

The answer from the dealer put the car in a garage or bring it to us we will put it in the garage a few hours and its gonna be perfect
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
342 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
I do believe this issue to be rare in general.
I respectfully beg to differ. The fact that VW issued two TSBs indicates that a large number of vehicles is involved. The current TSB indicates that ALL VINs with CBEA and CJAA engine codes are included from 2009 to 2011 (2012 are CJAA). That's every TDI built since 2009. 740GLE from TDIclub indicated that on the original TSB VW thought it would only be applied to 600 or so cars. They are now on their second TSB for this issue.

One TDIclub member reported "I know for a fact there are another 9 people who have had this issue diagnosed at the dealer and are waiting on kits in my area that are NOT on the map. If that statistic was applied to even just the small number of cases we have identified on the map then the number would increase to 1,000. Spooky..." Someone in Nova Scotia posted "I know there's at least a half dozen more based on the single day I went to the dealer for the first time on this one". Another owner in Pittsburgh reported "they had two cars with the issue in the shop at the time waiting for parts". Many more have identified the same situation in their areas.

The TSB units themselves are on 3-6 month backorder. A VW tech reported that there have been so many diagnosed that VW/Audi only has a small number of these kits in the States. Later that same day on January 27th, 2012 another TDIclub member reported "according to VWoA, there were no kits in the US currently". This has become so widespread that VW is overwhelmed by it and can't keep up with demand.

It has been reported that there is a second version of the kit, but nobody knows for certain if this is true. Photos and a parts list of the first kit have been posted, but not for the supposed second. There is even now a report of a third remedy from VW involving an electric heater element of some sort, but proof of this has not been shown.

You indicated that you've had one rough start. If you are able, you should open the cold side (passenger) of your IC to check for water/sludge. Have a catch container ready for fluid release. If you believe that you have indeed experienced this condition, I encourage you to add your data to VeeDubTDI's survey so that it can be reflected on the map. Use your vwvortex username on the survey if you're not on TDIclub.
 
1 - 20 of 223 Posts
Top