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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just curious how the new 1.8T engine for cars like the Jetta or Golf is holding up. This would be a first release edition of the third generation in a 2014 Jetta SE w/auto. Some questions below...

Automatic transmission still the 6-speed Aisin unit?

Any serious issues with the early EA888 engines?

Worth buying over the old 2.5L if the goal is years of reliable motoring?

 

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the EA888 has been around forever (at least 10 years), pretty sure the failure points are known, and the kinks have been fairly well worked out.
It's been revised several times. The Gen 3 is thought to be pretty good. There was a bad batch of turbos in very early Gen 3 builds. Older generations had some kinks (cam followers were a common one). Carbon build-up is still an issue.
 

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Cam followers were an FSI issue (EA113).

The common issues for the Gen 1+2 TSI (EA888) are the cam timing chain tensioner up through early 2012 build dates, water pumps for most (all?) of the build dates, and a dodgy PCV that likes to take out the dodgy rear main seal. Carbon buildup is endemic to direct inject engines, and this one is no exception. ROW gen 3 engines have additional port injection which helps with carbon buildup, but you're on your own if you're in the US.

Not a bad engine, but the early tensioner makes for a ticking time bomb.

It's been revised several times. The Gen 3 is thought to be pretty good. There was a bad batch of turbos in very early Gen 3 builds. Older generations had some kinks (cam followers were a common one). Carbon build-up is still an issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Cam followers were an FSI issue (EA113).

The common issues for the Gen 1+2 TSI (EA888) are the cam timing chain tensioner up through early 2012 build dates, water pumps for most (all?) of the build dates, and a dodgy PCV that likes to take out the dodgy rear main seal. Carbon buildup is endemic to direct inject engines, and this one is no exception. ROW gen 3 engines have additional port injection which helps with carbon buildup, but you're on your own if you're in the US.

Not a bad engine, but the early tensioner makes for a ticking time bomb.
The chain tensioners went on my MK6 GTI. Has that issue been resolved for the third generation 1.8L engine?
 

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Just like every VW turbo engine it's plagued with issues. Better gas mileage, more mods and better power delivery than the 2.5. Be prepared to set aside $200-$400 for a carbon cleaning every few years, also set aside even more for repairs if you dare mod it.
 

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Yes, it was actually fixed halfway through the Gen 1 run, somewhere in 2012 was when the old tensioner was superseded. The Gen 3 has no such issue.
Is this as common as the internet makes it seem? I'm at 70k and I don't have any symptoms. I asked my friend who is a service advisor at a dealer here about it and he said he has seen a few of them, mainly in Tiguans for some reason, but not that many.
 

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Wife and I have a 2014 Jetta SE with this engine, it's been a cherry, zero issues whatsoever... admittedly we only have 32,000 miles on ours though.

We have the manual 5-speed with the super tall 5th gear. Makes for leisurely highway cruising. If you're kind with the throttle it's not crazy to get 40ish mpg on the highway.
 

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Gen III 1.8T leaks oil from the rear main seal until the faulty PCV system is replaced. I went through 3 RMS in 34k miles before VW would authorize a PCV replacement and--granted, it's the internet, but they don't sell a 500k North American spec Gen III 1.8T's per year--I wasn't the only one.

Dumped the car before powertrain warranty was up as VW had zero interest in doing much to preemptively fix the problem, and you'll just get the same exact replacement part numbers that were faulty in the first place. PCV system clogs, crankcase pressure builds, blow-by occurs or the rear main seal leaks into the clutch housing and onto your garage floor.

I really liked the engine otherwise (power and torque were awesome in my MK7 even with the wide ratio 5 speed), but putting 20k+ miles a year on a motor that I was thoroughly convinced would cost me $$$ out of warranty made me ditch the car. That and the fact that my 7000 mile car was pissing oil on my new driveway.
 

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I've got that motor in both of my cars and I absolutely love it. Decent power, good MPGzzz, and they are fairly reliable.

That being said, being in parts at VW, I see what goes wrong with them. Due to the high internal pressures, the rear mains are known to blow, as well as the terrible pink sealant they use for the cam cage. Both of which are covered under warranty, of course, but it's still an issue to bring up. The replacement sealant for the cam cage is updated and much better than the original stuff, we have yet to see a come-back on one we have done.

As far as carbon buildup, as long as you change the oil every 5-7.5k instead of 10k as they suggest, you should cut down on that. And we haven't seen carbon issues on the 1.8Ts at all, just the 2.0Ts.

Performance-wise, in the Jetta it's just enough power to keep it fun for most people. In our Passat, however, it's too big of a car/too small of a motor to be as entertaining. But highway mileage really shines through on that one due to the aerodynamics of the NAR Passat and the 6spd trans, it just settles down and chugs along. Not a huge market for tuning yet, but enough out there to keep it interesting.
 

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I've got that motor in both of my cars and I absolutely love it. Decent power, good MPGzzz, and they are fairly reliable.

That being said, being in parts at VW, I see what goes wrong with them. Due to the high internal pressures, the rear mains are known to blow, as well as the terrible pink sealant they use for the cam cage. Both of which are covered under warranty, of course, but it's still an issue to bring up. The replacement sealant for the cam cage is updated and much better than the original stuff, we have yet to see a come-back on one we have done.

As far as carbon buildup, as long as you change the oil every 5-7.5k instead of 10k as they suggest, you should cut down on that. And we haven't seen carbon issues on the 1.8Ts at all, just the 2.0Ts.

Performance-wise, in the Jetta it's just enough power to keep it fun for most people. In our Passat, however, it's too big of a car/too small of a motor to be as entertaining. But highway mileage really shines through on that one due to the aerodynamics of the NAR Passat and the 6spd trans, it just settles down and chugs along. Not a huge market for tuning yet, but enough out there to keep it interesting.
:thumbup: Great info here.

Stupid question but what is a cam cage?
We are thinking about picking up a 1.8T TSI Golf in the next year or so. So all of this is very good information.

I didn't have the best luck with my 2012 GTI and sold it while it was still worth decent money.
 

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Just like every VW turbo engine it's plagued with issues. Better gas mileage, more mods and better power delivery than the 2.5. Be prepared to set aside $200-$400 for a carbon cleaning every few years, also set aside even more for repairs if you dare mod it.
You expect us to have $200-$400 just lying around every few years? This is America! j/k if someone can't swing that they shouldn't have a car with a payment.
 

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I love my 2015 1.8T. About to turn over 52,000 miles. I bought it Feb 28, 2015. It's been APR Stage 2 since 2,500 miles. The only mechanical issues I've had so far is my 5th gear synchro killed itself(warrantied, determined to be a random defect) and my clutch is on it's way out(slips under "low boost" conditions in cold weather. I'm worried about carbon buildup due to the lack multiport injection in the United States. Other than that it's my first turbo car and I absolutely love it! APR has IS20(GTI Turbo) and IS38(Golf R Turbo) in the works, I can't wait for that! It's going to be sweet!

 
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