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P2187 Volkswagen Engine Code – Diagnosis & Repair

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.

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P2187 VW Fault Code: System Too Lean

For Volkswagen’s a P2187 is a very common fault code and can sometimes be hard to diagnose. When you attach your OBD-2 scanner and P2187 pops up, you will more than likely see “P2187 – System Too Lean at Idle Bank 1”. Receiving a P2187 VW code can be extremely difficult to figure out what exactly is wrong, but that’s what this post is here for to assist you into the rabbit hole this can lead you down. Since we believe the most searched Volkswagen engine is the 2.0t TSI or FSI, we will be listing parts and guides for this engine.

So what does “System too lean” actually mean? System too lean is referring to the air-fuel mixture ratio within the engine being too much air and too little fuel. When an engine runs lean, combustion temperatures are higher, which can lead to a lack of power or engine stalling if driven too long without getting it checked out. Since the engine is not running at optimal levels, you will want to get this fault code checked out by a shop ASAP or try to diagnose the issue yourself via the content below.

P2187 VW Symptoms

Causes of P2187 Engine Code for Volkswagen

  • Vacuum leaks (PCV Valve or hoses, leaking vacuum hoses)
  • Clogged fuel filter
  • Faulty O2 Sensor
  • Purge valve/solenoid stuck open
  • Faulty Mass Air Flow (MAF) Sensor
  • Clogged or failing fuel injectors
  • Faulty fuel pump

With all of the causes listed above, it can lead you to, “Well where do I start?”, which we don’t blame you frankly. We will say, the most common causes of this fault code occurring are going to be: PCV valve leak, faulty O2 or MAF sensors, and faulty fuel pump. So check those first and if all checkout, then begin going down the list above.

How to Repair a Volkswagen with a P2187 Engine Code

We advise starting by looking at the three most common causes above, but to mention that if you do take it to a shop the diagnosis process will more than likely be one hour of labor ($75-$150), depending on where you go. On top of that, more hours of labor for repairing and parts costs. All in you can be anywhere from ~$300 – $700. If you choose to DIY, we highly encourage you to clear the fault code after going through all of the possible causes and fixing them, this is a common mistake made with the P2187 VW code.

Replacing the PCV Valve on Your Volkswagen 2.0t

This would be an easy diagnosis because there are a few symptoms that stand out for a faulty PCV Valve specifically: whistling noise coming from the engine, poor engine acceleration/performance, or increases oil consumption.

Buy Here: VW 2.0T PCV Valve Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate
Video DIY Guide

Replacing the O2 or MAF Sensors on Your Volkswagen 2.0t

This may not be an easy diagnosis to base on symptoms, but these are easy to access and check quickly to see if they are the cause of the P2187 code.

Buy Here: VW 2.0T O2 Sensor Replacement
DIY Difficulty:
O2 Sensor Replacement Written DIY Guide

Buy Here: VW 2.0T MAF Sensor Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Easy
MAF Sensor Replacement Video Guide

Replacing a Fuel Pump on Your Volkswagen 2.0t

Lastly, another common cause of the P2187 VW code is a faulty fuel pump. The fuel pump provides the optimum mixture of air-fuel into the combustion chamber.

Buy Here: VW 2.0T Fuel Pump Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Intermediate
Fuel Pump Replacement Video Guide

Replacing Your Fuel Injectors on Your Volkswagen 2.0t

If you find out that the fuel injectors are leaking, clogged, or faulty, we highly advise changing all 4, so you won’t have to worry about changing anymore in the near-term future.

Buy Here: VW 2.0T Fuel Injector Replacement Kit
DIY Difficulty: Easy

Replacing Your Fuel Filter on Your Volkswagen 2.0t

This is not a very common cause of the P2187 code, however, it still can cause it. Since it is relatively inexpensive and easy to do, it is worth changing to keep the fuel pump running smoothly.

Buy Here: VW 2.0T Fuel Filter Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Easy
Fuel Filter Replacement Video Guide

Diagnosing & Replacing your Purge (N80) Valve on Your Volkswagen 2.0t

Lastly, this is not a very common cause of a P2187 code, but if nothing else has worked, it is worth a shot troubleshooting and replacing if you need to.

Buy Here: VW 2.0T Purge (N80) Valve Replacement
DIY Difficulty: Easy
Purge Valve Replacement Video Guide


To conclude, the P2187 VW fault code is something that can be driven on if your vehicle starts, but it is not advised to be driven on for an extended amount of time. We did this write-up for 2.0t’s, however, if you are having problems finding information on other engines, please leave a comment in the comments section below and we will assist you in your research.

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