This topic will be more and more prevalent as the MKV’s move up in mileage. I’m starting to see forum posts pop up about how the 2.0 FSI engine’s follower went, or how the cam is chewed up and how expensive the replacement is. Out of warranty, getting the cam fixed at the dealer is anywhere from 1500 to 2000 dollars. Yes, that expensive. Parts alone is around a grand.
Certain engines are susceptible to a fatal flaw in the fuel pump/cam design that results in accelerated wear to the fuel pumps cam follower. This is not a problem for the newer TSI/EA888 engine design, but it is a concern for every BPY owner. You own a BPY code motor if your engine says FSI on the cover. If you are affected, the cam follower will wear through and in the end, destroy the cam lobe that the fuel pump uses to drive the direct injection system. No one is quite sure of what the exact problem is. It most likely stems from a combination of incorrect hardening used on a batch of camshafts and inadequate oil protection. The high pressure fueling system in this engine relies on a flat tappet design which is sensitive to oil protection qualities. Combine that with the oil destroying nature of direct injection engines and you have depleted oil trying to protect a system that is prone to wear.
It needs a good supply of oil and a robust oil at that. The oil should have a large amount of anti-wear additives to prevent damage in direct contact situations. Oil used in this engine has to withstand extreme pressure and temperature without shearing as well as hold up under heavy fuel dilution. This engine pretty much destroys all the oil it contacts. High shear rates, high temps, and high fuel dilution. Changing the oil often is the only way to prevent damage due to oil breakdown. Volkswagen’s recommended 10,000 mile interval is not appropriate. The oil will not last. I won’t go into what makes an excellent oil, I just don’t have all the info there. Go to www.bobistheoilguy.com to learn more about construction of oil. You’ll learn a ton from the forums and also see that there are a few discussions regarding the wear of this particular engine part. Pay particular attention to posts about direct injection engines.
Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
Regular checks on the health of the system are recommended as well as making sure maintenance is done on time and with quality materials. Popular recommendation is to pull off the high pressure fuel pump and check the follower every other oil change, which would be a 10,000 mile interval. As you establish the trend of wear, you can reduce it to maybe every 20,000 miles. You can only reduce the interval if the cam follower does not look damaged. An engine with this problem will show aggravated wear in 10,000 miles. My initial follower looks excellent for the mileage. The picture below is my first follower at around 57,000 miles. It could probably have gone another 10,000 or more. You can check it yourself with just a few basic tools. An excellent writeup is located here > Golfmkv.net – Fuel pump removal and follower check
-Check your follower at 10,000 mile intervals. You can stretch it a 20,000 miles if the follower wear is established as low.
-Change your oil at 5000 miles. Do not push this. Use a good quality oil, not the dealership 5w40 Syntec. Mobil 1 0w40 is decent, Castrol Syntec 0w30 Euro Formula is a common recommendation. My personal recommendation is Lubromoly 0w-40 or 5w-40. You can find a decent oil from many online vendors such as DBCperformance, ECS Tuning etc.
What do you do if you have damage already and are out of warranty?
-Well, it’s going to cost money period. You can find an independent garage and purchase the parts yourself. Or you can bite it and go to the dealer. You can also try contacting Volkswagen of America and see if they can help you. Be polite and see how far you can get. They might goodwill it if you’re lucky or at least split the cost.