Volkswagen TSI vs TFSI Engine
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Volkswagen TSI vs TFSI: What’s the Difference?

Chandler Stark

Meet Trey

Trey is an automotive enthusiast and has a huge passion for Volkswagen and Audi vehicles of all kinds. His enthusiasm started with the MK5 GTI, and he has massively expanded his knowledge over the years. When Trey is not delivering high-quality and in-depth content, we can usually find him working in his garage on his modified Genesis coupe. Trey created VW Tuning several years ago, and he is the primary visionary behind the content.

So what really is the difference between the TSI vs TFSI? The short answer is, not a lot, but there are some minor differences. For starters, TSI stands for “Turbo Stratified Injection” and “FSI” stands for “Fuel Stratified Injection”. These apply to both Volkswagen and Audi direct fuel injection engines. Believe it or not, TFSI stands for “Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection.”

This technology is not only featured in the 2.0’s, but you can also find TSI and TFSI in 3.0, 4.0, 4.2. In this guide, we’ll be focusing on the 2.0 engines. The main engine bases these engines are built off of are the EA113’s and EA888’s. In this guide, we’ll be going over the mechanical and technological differences between the 2.0l TSI vs 2.0l TFSI.

FSI Engines

The FSI engine was first introduced in Volkswagen’s 2006 and older. The vehicles you could find the FSI engines in are MKV Jetta’s (A5), GLIs, GTIs, Tiguans, Passats, and CCs. The engine base for these engines is mainly EA113 and it puts down 200hp and 206 lb-ft. In the weaker EA113 engines it features a BorgWarner K03 turbocharger, and in the more powerful engines, it featured a KKK K04 turbo.

EA113 common engine problems are:

  • High motor oil consumption
  • Engine knocking
  • Difficulty accelerating at higher RPMs
  • Loss of engine performance (Mainly due to the N249 Valve or the PCV valve)
  • Carbon buildup in intake valves

TSI Engines

The TSI engine superseded the turbo FSI with important technological and mechanical updates to address the downfalls of the FSI. It was first introduced in Volkswagen’s and Audi’s in 2008.5 and is still found in vehicles today. The engine base for these engines is mainly EA888 and it puts down anywhere from 170-310hp and 207-280lb-ft. The EA888 has three different versions, which means many engine modifications because it wasn’t as reliable as Volkswagen intended.

EA888 common engine problems are:

  • High motor oil consumption
  • Stretched timing chain
  • Carbon buildup in intake valves
  • Thermostat housing leak
  • Water pump failure

TSI vs TFSI

Okay, let’s get to the point. So what is the actual difference between the two? The modifications that were found in the superseded TSI, included 9 different modifications to improve the TFSI’s engine reliability.

TSI Engine Modifications

  1. Timing chain, instead of a timing belt
  2. An upgraded high-pressure fuel pump (hpfp) now located on the camshaft
  3. An updated cam follower with a roller, instead of the flat tappet
  4. Compression ratio lowered to 9.6:1
  5. Different downpipe
  6. An added oxygen sensor, now 3
  7. Updated PCV system
  8. Relocated the oil filter and dipstick
  9. Redesigned engine cover and airbox

CCTA vs CBFA

Another common question is what is the difference between the CCTA vs CBFA engine code. These engine codes were found in 2008.5 – 2013.5 2.0 TSI’s. The CCTA adheres to 49-state emissions vehicles, while the CBFA adheres to California’s emission standards. The main difference between the two is that the CBFA includes:

  • An addition of a secondary air injection pump
  • Relocation of the third oxygen sensor to the turbo turbine outlet
  • Slightly bigger intercooler core and radiator to burn cleaner emissions
  • An additional hose on the airbox

As stated above, the CBFA was pretty much made to adhere to California’s rigorous emissions policies.

Conclusion & Engine Reliability

In conclusion, the two engines are very similar, but the TSI superseded the Turbo FSI and may have had more common problems. These engines are not the most reliable, however, we have seen both of these last longer than 200,000 miles if they are maintained properly.

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