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    Thread: 2010 Tiguan 2.0T 4Motion Low Oil Pressure Light

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      11-19-2019 04:59 PM #1
      Hi I just bought a 2010 VW Tiguan 2.0T 4Motion with known low oil pressure warnings coming on. Got a good enough deal on it so I said why not and bought it.

      Anyways when the car is cold started and than driven the Low Oil Pressure warning won’t come on for about 5-6 miles of driving. Than it seems to come on while decelerating or driving around 1500 RPMs but than the warning comes on and off more frequently the longer is gets driven. So with that being said the car is gonna be parked until I have time to dive deeper into it.

      Previous owner said the shop told him they found metal shavings in the pan when the pulled it. It was driven maybe 5-10 miles since the pan was first pulled and I decided to pull it again and take my own look but there was nothing in the oil or pick up screen.

      So does anyone have a good idea of what could have gone bad? I’m leaning towards maybe a balance shaft issue.? And also do you think it’s worth tearing this motor down and trying to rebuild it or just find a junkyard motor to throw in and hope this doesn’t happen again?

      Thanks in advance!


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    3. Member Black Magic 20's Avatar
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      11-19-2019 05:11 PM #2
      Balance shafts go bad on some, but once oil pressure goes bad long enough main bearings get chewed up. Typically is more cost effective to just swap a used engine(with updated tensioner) rather than tear down

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      Scott

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      11-19-2019 06:07 PM #3
      Ya that’s kind of what I was thinking even though it seems most junkyards get around $2500 for an engine. If I got a junkyard engine to swap in besides updating the tensioner is there any preventative measures you’d also do to the engine before installing it?


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    6. Member Black Magic 20's Avatar
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      11-19-2019 06:13 PM #4
      Quote Originally Posted by Toasterhoff View Post
      Ya that’s kind of what I was thinking even though it seems most junkyards get around $2500 for an engine. If I got a junkyard engine to swap in besides updating the tensioner is there any preventative measures you’d also do to the engine before installing it?


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      Recommend getting an engine with a turbo if possible also based on the oil pressure issue. Aside from that, I'd personally install a new rear main seal, pcv, and water pump. Then just keep up with maintenance afterwards, I do oil changes every 6months/5000 miles compared to the 10k.

      Maybe check/replace the engine oil cooler also based on what the mileage of the motor is. Not crucial but I'veseen a few ccta engines with cooler issues that cause coolant contamination.

      Edit: pull the intake manifold also and check carbon build up on the valves, easier job to do with the engine out of the vehicle.
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      Last edited by Black Magic 20; 11-19-2019 at 06:21 PM.
      Scott

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      11-19-2019 07:02 PM #5
      Thanks so much for your input. The current car only has about 84k miles on it which is a bummer that the motor is having this serious if an issue so soon. Everything else on the car seems to be in very nice shape. (Interior, Exterior, etc.)

      But ya was definitely planning on doing a carbon clean on the new motor. I’ll try to see if I can scoop one up with a turbo as well.


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      11-20-2019 01:29 PM #6
      Make sure you buy an engine that was from the later production of the 2.0T, which has many internal improvements (tensioner, chain, PCV, injectors, HPFP, balance shaft bearings, Cam-bridge oil screens, waterpump, turbocharger, intake manifold....)
      You want an engine manufactured after Jan 2013, but later is always better (it is not known if all the improvements got into production at the same time).
      The manufacturing date of the engine is on the white decal on the upper black plastic timing cover, near the dipstick handle. The date is printed in the upper right corner, in Euro format "DAY : MONTH : YEAR"
      Last edited by CC'ed; 11-20-2019 at 01:40 PM.

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      11-20-2019 05:03 PM #7
      Okay, and it is a direct swap even if the motor is from a 13 or 14? Thanks for the info!


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      11-20-2019 10:24 PM #8
      I had a similar problem to that and all I replaced was a 20 dollar sensor maybe try that first

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      11-21-2019 07:23 PM #9
      Did replace the oil pressure sensor just to cover that since it’s only a $15 part. Did the same exact thing. Drove fine for about 5-10 miles than oil pressure light came on than off and the on and off more frequently the more it was driven.


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      11-21-2019 07:40 PM #10
      But just to clarify and see if anyone knows for sure. A motor out of a 12-18 Tiguan will be a direct fit into a 2010 Tiguan? When you search for used motors it seems to group the 09-11 together and the 12-18 together even though they both say “Vin V, 5th Digit, Turbo” are the ECUs different or something? Just want to clarify because for some reason it seems you can find the newer year motors for slightly cheaper and they have they updated parts as mentioned above.

      Thanks!


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      11-22-2019 02:07 AM #11
      Yes, a later engine will work fine. They are still CCTA code engines. I have an engine from a '13 Tiguan in my '09 SE. For all intents and purposes, they are identical. Even the harnesses plug right in. The newer engines just have the updated cam chain tensioner and guides, and larger piston wrist pins. Those changes really aren't that important, as it does not solve the problem of worn chains jumping, but the updated tensioners don't seem to fail, so that takes care of one common failure point. The newer guides help in that it allows the chain to wear/stretch more before it will jump as it wears, but it does NOT solve the issue.

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      11-22-2019 10:10 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by Toasterhoff View Post
      Did replace the oil pressure sensor just to cover that since it’s only a $15 part. Did the same exact thing. Drove fine for about 5-10 miles than oil pressure light came on than off and the on and off more frequently the more it was driven.


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      Worn out bearings...
      Need new engine

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      11-22-2019 01:11 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by HBWT View Post
      Worn out bearings...
      Need new engine
      Not necessarily... Were this just about any other engine, I would say, yes, it is junk, but I have seen a bunch of these with low oil pressure due to other issues. In fact, I just went through '13 Tiguan that was misdiagnosed. Techs often condemn these engines without properly diagnosing them. If it has an obvious rod knock or otherwise noisy, yes, I would say it is probably done, but if not, then I would dig deeper. One of the worst engines that I saw with knocking rods and destroyed cams and journals still had enough oil pressure that the light would not come on, yet another with a bad balance shaft had 5 PSI of oil pressure at idle, but was actually quiet. The first one of these engines that I took all the way apart was actually the original engine in my '09 SE. I bought it with a seized engine. It had been diagnosed as a destroyed engine as it had been turning on the oil pressure light occasionally, then finally seized. The pan was pulled and it was full metal. I got it that way and found a great deal on a basically new engine from a '13. I assumed the original was destroyed after seeing all the metal, but upon disassembly I found the only damage was a balance shaft (that balance shaft now serves as the front door handle of a local independent repair shop). That engine is going back together now with some upgrades and will eventually go back in. Other than the balance shaft, the engine was in excellent shape for 92k miles. I have helped troubleshoot a bunch of these and have personally be been through 10 of these EA888 engines now, and of all of these "junk" engines, only one was actually worthy of the scrap heap as it was run out of oil and run that way for quite a while. I have three going together now. The one I just mentioned, another from an A3 that had a loose balance shaft and low oil pressure, and one from a '15 Audi Allroad Flex Fuel 2L that must have run very lean in cylinder #4 as the intake valves (only) got hot enough to basically melt with valve heads that look like bowls, but no other apparent damage. That is an interesting one.

      Before condemning the engine, I would put a gauge in where the oil pressure switch is. When at operating temperature, you should see 20+ PSI of oil pressure. Yes, that seems very low to me too, but that is where they seem to run. It will be a lot more when cold, like 50+. I had an Audi 2L that had a worn oil pump that had 11 PSI of oil on an otherwise rebuilt engine (everything new BUT the oil pump) when warm. With a new pump, that went up to 22 PSI. My '13 Tiguan engine with 13k miles has about the same. This is with 0W40 or 5W40 oil. My '14 Jeep Grand Cherokee V8 (yeah, it has a Hemi ) is over 50 PSI at idle when hot with 5W20 oil. I have checked four 2L TSI engines and they were all 20-24 PSI at idle when at operating temperature. My gauge is not super high quality, so I can't say that it is super accurate, but all I really care about is that it is very repeatable.

      For troubleshooting, I would start with easiest to fix first, and move on from there. If the engine has been maintained and doesn't look nasty where you can see into the head (oil filler cap and under the PCV assembly) then I would definitely be a bit optimistic. After the initial inspection and checks I would pull the plugs and check the bores with a boroscope. If you see scoring, there is no sense in going any further. Checking for noises with a stethoscope is also a good idea. You can hear rod knock and often balance shaft issues. I would say that a bad balance shaft is the most likely failure, but it is rather difficult to check without significant disassembly. I would first check the diaphragm in the PCV assembly on the top of the engine. Pull the oil filler cap and see how much vacuum there is holding the cap when you try to remove it with the engine running. There should be some vacuum, but you should be able to remove the cap without too much effort. I haven't figured out how, but I have seen failed PCV assemblies result in low oil pressure issues. The other issue that I have seen is with the O rings on the plastic valve under the oil filter. The piece with the O rings is cheap. Nothing like fixing a "junk" engine in 30 seconds with a $10 part (or 2 $.25 O rings - yes, I have seen that happen). I have also seen a vacuum pump with a missing oil restrictor/screen as a lazy or otherwise inattentive tech must have left it out when the vacuum pump was replaced.

      Assuming you don't have any obvious noises, or other signs of the problem, I would then pull the front cover. Assuming the engine is worth fixing, you are going to want to do this to replace the cam chain, tensioner and guides anyway, so this is not wasted effort. A worn balance shaft will have obvious play or it may also seem very stiff. The gear driven shaft seems to be the most failure prone. Also note that if you replace that balance shaft, you should also replace the gear that drives it as it has a graphite coating that sets the lash on the gears. Next I would pull the lower pan and check for bearing metal (usually just fine metal dust) and balance shaft housing material (aluminum, often fairly large flakes) and perhaps check the oil pump. That said, the oil pump is hard to diagnose and it is usually the last thing to try once everything else is checked, but if you think the bearings are probably OK, it is pretty easy to replace and not terribly expensive.

      If that all seems OK, then I would pull the cam ladder (upper valve cover) and check the cam journals for scoring. If the cams are scored, then the rod and main bearings are likely junk too. The rod and main bearings are the hardest to check, as you have to remove the engine from the car and remove the lower and upper pans. Most often you will hear a knocking rod bearing once it is warm. Honestly, I have not seen bearings that were worn enough to lose oil pressure, but not noisy. So, if the crank turns smoothly and you don't hear any knocking, I will bet the rod and main bearings are OK. Oh, and it seems that #3 rod bearing is the most often to fail. In fact, that is the only one that I have seen fail on these for some reason (3 times). If it has rod knock, the engine is done, as the crank is likely junk and unless everything else somehow looks beautiful, it isn't worth rebuilding.

      While this all sounds like a lot of work, virtually all of it can be done with the engine in the car in just a couple of hours. Even if you do replace the engine, I would put a new (factory ONLY) cam chain and probably tensioner in at the very least if the engine has over 50k miles even on a very late model engine.
      Last edited by Qmulus; 11-22-2019 at 01:15 PM.

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      11-22-2019 04:44 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by Qmulus View Post
      Not necessarily...

      ...While this all sounds like a lot of work, virtually all of it can be done with the engine in the car in just a couple of hours. Even if you do replace the engine, I would put a new (factory ONLY) cam chain and probably tensioner in at the very least if the engine has over 50k miles even on a very late model engine.
      That is quite a lot of work...and quite a lot of quality reading. TY for adding.
      I posted what I did only because the symptoms he described were exactly what I experienced with my BMW I6. It never once knocked and ran smooth as silk with power aplenty right up until it spun a rod bearing and twisted the crank.
      Thankfully, I've been spared similar symptoms with my VW.

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      11-23-2019 02:13 PM #15
      Qmulus I really appreciate the detailed response. I think we are definitely gonna tear into the engine first and see if we can find what has caused the issue. We are leaning towards it being a balance shaft issue but you never know til you dig deeper.

      Thanks again everyone for the replies!


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