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4 Common VW 1.5 TSI Engine Problems (What to Expect)

1.5 TSI Engine in Skoda Karoq

4 Common VW 1.5 TSI Engine Problems (What to Expect)

Volkswagen is an extremely popular manufacturer for those in need of low-priced, practical vehicles, having sold hundreds of thousands of cars over the past few years. New parts are designed every year. So, in 2017, the VW 1.5 TSI engine made its appearance in the new Golf models.

That being said, no car part is ever perfect – and while reliable, this new engine also has a few issues.

Most car owners have complained of VW 1.5 TSI engine problems upon starting the vehicle, where it either jerks or fails to properly start. Juddering is also very common, and many users also complained of excessive oil consumption. Timing chain failure has been reported, as well as AVT failure.

Many of these issues can be resolved by a visit to the maintenance shop. However, in some cases, they cannot be avoided.

The Volkswagen 1.4 TSI is clad with problems, which the brand hopes to resolve or cover through the warranty.  

It Has a Timing Chain Tensioner Problem

petrol engine
Photo by Wikimedia

This problem is recurring in Volkswagen engines, including the 1.4 TSI engine: the timing chain tensioner weakens fast, putting your engine in danger. If the tensioner fails, the timing chain will not be able to hold properly, leading to a rattle or premature wear.

If you do not solve the matter, the timing chain can get loose completely, and this can damage the engine.

What to do:

Listen for any rattles under the hood, especially when the car is in idle mode. If you hear strange clicking noises or notice metal shavings in the area, you might want to get your car checked. The only thing you will be able to do in this case is to replace the tensioner or get a new kit for the timing chain.

Unless you have lots of experience in fixing a car engine, you should take the car into the shop. Improper handling can damage your warranty if you are still under coverage.

If you do have experience, get a new kit for the timing chain on Amazon.

It Judders When You Are Trying to Accelerate

car acceleration panel
Photo by Unsplash

Some people have complained that the car frequently judders when accelerating suddenly, particularly after starting the car or being at low speed. This often happens at stop lights, but also when going into acceleration after taking out the vehicle from parking.

For the most part, the car simply jerks or shakes, causing you to lose balance with the car. Other times, the judder causes your car to stop in mid-traffic, losing power completely.

The slow response leaves way for an accident to happen, especially while you are pulling out from a traffic light.

What to do:

Volkswagen previously admitted that this is most likely a manufacturing problem, but has yet to find a solution for this. The only way to avoid this is to not accelerate suddenly, going through gears at a steady pace.

While this can happen to vehicles on automatic gearboxes, it is most common in manual vehicles.

It Consumes Too Much Oil

Volkswagen engine part
Photo by Unsplash

Many users have noticed that the engine consumes much more oil than a normal car would – which is around 1 quarter every two miles. This kind of oil consumption brings around many problems, such as performance loss or the engine’s inability to warm up efficiently in cold weather.

Consequently, this can add to the juddering problem.

What to do:

This mainly happens because you are using the wrong oil with the car. Oil leaks may also be a concern, but they are not very common with this engine. To be certain of the issue, you might want to take the car into the shop and check it for leaks.

If nothing changes even after replacing all valves and seals, then you should consider changing the oil you use.

According to mymoto, you can reduce oil consumption by using a heavier viscosity motor oil. Thus feel free to check this Motor Oil on Amazon to help you reduce oil consumption.

The Engine Takes Long to Warm Up

VW Golf G7 engine
Photo by Wikimedia

Another problem that the VW 1.5 TSI took from its predecessors is its slow warming up ability. Users have complained that it takes around 10-15 minutes for the engine to warm up – and even more in colder climes.

The cause is most likely the general design of the engine.

Engines such as the VW 1.4 TSI and its 1.5 successor can fit in much smaller cars. As the displacement is much smaller, it also means the heat generation is lower.

Sadly, this is one of the common VW 1.5 TSI engine problems that cannot be avoided, as it is directly caused by the engine size.

What to do:

The only thing that you can do in this case is to start your engine around 10 to 15 minutes before leaving. For example, you can leave it to warm up before you take your last sips of coffee.

If it doesn’t reach the correct temperature, you should not force the engine. Not only will it not go into acceleration, but it can damage the engine as well.


There are several VW 1.5 TSI engine problems you will need to look out for. Juddering is the most common one and drivers find it to be the most bothersome. The timing chains can also fail because of the tensioners, and the oil consumption seems to be above average – despite not being any apparent leaks. As a result, you may want to take your car into the shop once you notice potential issues.


Is juddering more common in cold climates?

Yes, juddering is more common in a cold climate, mainly because the engine needs to be relatively warm to work smoothly. Since it will take more time to warm up, drivers will grow impatient and attempt driving on a relatively cold engine.

This becomes more challenging as the cold weather will automatically cool the engines, causing the judders to intensify.

How fast is the VW 1.5 TSI engine?

This VW 1.5 TSI engine is capable of handling around 6,500 rpm without tuning or modifications. By using the fourth gear, drivers can easily reach up to 200 km/h.

Test drives managed to bring the speed as high as 230 km/h once the car was brought into fifth gear.

How long does a VW 1.5 TSI last?

How long a VW 1.5 TSI engine lasts depends on the maintenance level that you provide for the car.

If you offer it regular maintenance, this engine can last up to 200,000 miles before it needs to be fixed or replaced. This is more than most of the other VW engines, which last a bit over 100,000 miles.