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The Volkswagen Eos was first introduced in 2006 and halted production in 2015 due to steadily declining sales. It was Volkswagen’s sport compact cabriolet coupe and was their first production coupe since the Corrado. The Eos stands out because of the roof. It was a five-piece folding hardtop roof that could be folded into the trunk in as little as 25 seconds. There was a facelifted version that came out in 2012 and it included updated headlights, taillights, front and rear bumper, side mirrors, and wheels. Sales were declining because hardtop convertibles were losing interest to the buyer base.
The Volkswagen Eos featured many different engines such as: 1.4 TSI, 1.6 FSI, 2.0T FSI, 2.0T TSI, 3.2 VR6, 3.6 VR6, and a 2.0 TDI. Probably the most common engines were the 2.0T engine that put down anywhere from 148hp to 207hp and 148lb-ft to 207 lb-ft of torque and the 1.4 TSI engine that put down anywhere from 120hp to 158hp and 148hp to 177lb-ft of torque. There were a couple of transmissions to choose from including a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed DSG automatic.
Before getting into the common problems of this Jetta, make sure the replacement parts linked below fit. We will be focusing on the 2.0T engine since it is the most common base engine in the Eos. So if you need help looking for parts or guides with other engines, reach out in the comments and we will assist in any way we can.
The 7 Most Common Volkswagen Eos Engine Problems
- Ignition coil failure
- Carbon buildup
- High-Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) failure
- Diverter valve failure
- N80 valve failure
- Defective timing chain
- Clock spring failure
1. Ignition Coil Failure
Ignition coil failure is common in many modern engines today, so this isn’t specific to just Volkswagen Eos engines. They transform the battery’s voltage into high voltage needed by the spark plugs to create a spark for engine combustion to begin. Each cylinder has its own ignition coil and spark plug, therefore there are four ignition coils and 4 spark plugs for the 2.0T engine. One failing or worn-out ignition coil will cause engine misfires in that specific cylinder. If there are multiple failing or worn-out coils, the engine may not even start.
There are a couple of reasons that ignition coils fail: normal wear and tear, faulty from the factory, or vehicles that have been tuned or modified. We know it may be rare that an Eos has been modified, but there is always a possibility. If the engine has been tuned or modified, sometimes the OE ignition coils may not be able to sustain the upgraded power. A good rule of thumb is to change the spark plugs every 40,000 miles and ignition coils every 60,000 miles.
Symptoms of Ignition Coil Failure:
- Check Engine Light (CEL) illuminating
- Engine misfires with P0300 – P0306 fault codes
- Rough idle
- Engine performance loss
- Difficulty starting the engine
- Engine stalls or surges
Ignition Coil Replacement Options:
When it comes to replacing a faulty or failing ignition coil, we highly advise replacing all of them at once because once one goes out, the others are right behind it. We also suggest replacing the spark plugs at the same time as well because the ignition coils and spark plugs have similar maintenance intervals. Replacing both the ignition coils and spark plugs is pretty straightforward with the proper tools. A mechanic or local dealer will likely charge around $400 to replace both ignition components.
Buy Here: 2.0T Ignition Kit Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Easy
2. Carbon Buildup – VW Eos
Unfortunately, carbon buildup is pretty common in 2.0T Volkswagen engines, and really any modern direct injection vehicles nowadays. Direct injection is when fuel is pumped directly into the cylinders. With fuel being pumped directly into the cylinders, over time the intake valves and ports will become clogged with soot and carbon. We will go over ways to prevent it and what symptoms will be experienced below. A general rule of thumb is to check every 30,000 miles to gauge if the ports or valves need to be cleaned.
Carbon buildup can dampen an engine’s performance, believe it or not. Dirty or built-up vs clear intake valves are night and day when it comes to engine performance. Carbon buildup is normal, we want to preface that. It is most common on vehicles that make short commutes regularly vs longer commutes regularly. On longer commutes, the engine gets hot and burns off more soot. If you happen to take short commutes regularly, wait until the engine is warm and run the engine hard every once in a while.
Symptoms of Carbon Buildup:
- Cold start misfires
- Rough engine performance
- Decreased fuel economy
- Engine knocking
Ways to Prevent Carbon Buildup:
- Replace ignition coils and spark plugs regularly
- Use the highest quality fuel as possible (91+ Octane if possible)
- Get or DIY oil changes regularly
- Manually clean the intake valves every 30,000 miles
- Get the intake valves walnut blasted every 60,000 miles (if not manually cleaning them)
- Run the engine hard every so often
3. High-Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) Failure – VW Eos
Another pretty common engine component to fail in the VW 2.0T is the high-pressure fuel pump, often referred to as HPFP. An HPFP, as it sounds, pumps highly pressurized fuel into the direct injection system. It is located on the driver side of the cylinder head and is driven by the cam. There will be fuel pressure issues if the HPFP happens to go out.
The main reason this fails is not because of the HPFP itself, it’s mainly because of a faulty cam follower, but it can also fail due to normal wear and tear. Fault codes P2293 or P0087 will pop up if it goes out and AFR conditions will be thrown off. A typical fuel pump will have to be replaced every 100,000 miles.
Symptoms of HPFP Failure:
- CEL or Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) illuminating
- P2293 or P0087 fault code present
- Limp mode engaged
- Low fuel pressure
- Engine stutters
- High engine temps
HPFP Replacement Options:
When the HPFP happens to fail, we would advise getting the HPFP kit, which includes the HPFP and new cam follower. There are a lot of videos online to assist in DIYing this replacement, so if you know your way around an engine, it will save you on some labor costs. If not, you’ll likely end up spending around $500 just to replace the HPFP.
4. Diverter Valve Failure – VW Eos
Commonly referred to as simply “DV”, a diverter valve isn’t too common to fail out of the factory, but it is common on the 2.0T engine. A DV is a boost pressure release valve that “diverts” unused boost back into the engine to avoid compressor surge. Basically, it is a valve that closes and opens to sustain or release boost pressure.
There are a couple of reasons that the DV can fail: the diaphragm inside can rip causing boost leaks, or the DV can be stuck in the open or closed position. Again, we know there are few modified or tuned Eos’, but if you are tuned, it may be best to purchase an aftermarket DV to sustain more boost. It isn’t likely for a diverter valve to fail on a stock engine, but can prematurely fail on the 2.0T engines.
Symptoms of Diverter Valve Failure:
- Boost loss or leaks
- CEL or MIL illuminating
- P0299 fault code present
- Rough engine performance
- Poor idle
- Poor fuel economy
Diverter Valve Replacement Options:
When a DV fails, whether the diaphragm is torn or is stuck open or closed, it will have to be replaced. Since it is found on the side of the turbo, it isn’t a terribly difficult DIY. But it is also a rather cheap product that won’t take a mechanic very long to replace. So you’re probably looking at a bill of $250 to have someone else do it.
Buy Here: Diverter Valve Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Easy
5. N80 Valve Failure – VW Eos
An N80 valve, or the EVAP purge valve, is common to prematurely fail or wear on many Volkswagen vehicles and the Eos is no exception. The N80 valve is a component in the EVAP system of an engine that regulates the fuel vapors recycled back into the intake manifold to get burned off. Without a functioning EVAP purge valve, too little or too much fuel vapors can be stored in the engine causing a CEL to be thrown.
There are a couple of reasons these valves can fail: normal wear and tear or defective from the factory. Most of the time it is due to premature wear and tear. A common symptom is hearing a loud popping noise come from the trunk after refueling and it can be quite alarming. But what is happening is the valve is stuck in the open position which causes the fuel tank to be pressurized and pop. A good thing is if you happen to hear this, you know what the problem is. An N80 valve should last through a lifecycle of a vehicle, except for on Volkswagen’s.
Symptoms of N80 Valve Failure:
- CEL or MIL illuminating
- P0441, P0442, P0171, or P0172 fault codes present
- Popping noise from the trunk after refueling
- Poor engine performance
- Decreased fuel efficiency
N80 Valve Replacement Options:
When an N80 valve fails or gets stuck, the only option is to replace it. Luckily, it is a cheap part and easy to replace if you happen to know where it is located. If you happen to have any of the fault codes listed above, it would be a good idea to replace this first because the engine will run rough until it is fixed. If you aren’t comfortable replacing it on your own, a mechanic or dealer would likely charge around $150-$200, depending on labor rates.
6. Defective Timing Chain
Unfortunately, this is common on 2.0T TSI engines. This is one of the main reasons the 2.0T engines got such a bad rep. Typically, it isn’t the timing chain itself, but the components that make the timing chain function properly, such as the tensioners and guides. The timing chain connects the crankshaft to the camshaft so the transmission turns in unison with the engine. Therefore, if the timing chain fails, the engine will die.
The main reason the timing chain is “defective” is because of the associated tensioners and guides that assist with the timing chain. When a tensioner fails, it causes the timing chain to jump a tooth, which leads to engine timing being off and will eventually trickle down into major engine damage. There have been multiple lawsuits because some customers have claimed that their engine’s died in less than 20,000 miles. The timing chain, associated tensioners, and guides should be lifecycle vehicle components in any other vehicle.
Symptoms of A Defective Timing Chain:
- “VW Death Rattle” – Engine rattle on start-up
- Engine dying
- Engine timing off
- Rough engine performance
- Stretched timing chain
Timing Chain Replacement Options:
If a timing chain tensioner happens to fail and you hear the “VW Death Rattle”, take action ASAP. The longer this goes unattended, the more likely catastrophic engine failure will occur. If a tensioner does happen to go out, we highly suggest replacing everything associated with the timing chain to give it a complete refresh. This is not an easy DIY because the engine will more than likely have to be removed. If you happen to have the capability to remove the engine and have the proper tools, it will save you a bunch in labor costs. A timing chain service at a mechanic will not be cheap because of parts and labor.
Buy Here: Timing Chain Kit Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Hard
7. Clock Spring Failure
This was a common recall on 2010-2013 VW Eos’. Unfortunately, some claim that it failed even after the recall issued by Volkswagen. A clock spring is mounted between a steering wheel and the column. It allows the vehicle to turn and controls the electrical buttons on the steering wheel.
The main reason clock springs fail is because they are defective out of the factory. Clock springs should not prematurely fail in a vehicle or if at all. When it does happen to fail, hopefully not, the driver’s airbag is disab;ed and communication from the buttons on the steering wheel will be blocked.
Symptoms of Clock Spring Failure:
- Airbag warning light illuminating
- Car horn not functioning
- Steering wheel electrical buttons not working
Clock Spring Replacement Options:
If the clock spring happens to go out, it is important to get it fixed as soon as possible because it is dangerous to drive without a functioning driver airbag. The only option is to replace it if it goes out. If you have a 2010-2013 Eos, you can check and see if it has been replaced under warranty, if not, VW should replace it since it was a recall. Make sure to get maintenance records if you plan on purchasing a used Eos to see if this has been done.
VW Eos Reliability
Overall, the Volkswagen Eos reliability is average. According to multiple sources, the Eos ranks 16th in reliability out of 28 Volkswagen vehicles. Annual maintenance costs are around $824 which is above the $651 average on other vehicles. It may seem like a laundry list of problems listed above, but if the Eos is well taken care of, we have seen many last over 150,000 miles. Unfortunately, it seems that all VW Eos model years had issues. So there isn’t a specific year of the Eos that would be better than others.
If you would like to read up on more VW content, here is an article on “What is the DRL Light on Volkswagen’s?”