You may have heard about the dreaded cam follower issues on MKV VW’s, but what is the problem exactly?
The issue relates to the high pressure fuel pump and how it is run off the cam. The fuel pump is run utilizing a flat tappet design. This design is very dependent on high quality oils with the right combination of protective additives. With the high fuel pressures of direct injection, rumored incorrect hardening of the part from factory, and this lubricating sensitivity you have a part that is prone to failure. The dangers of complete failure include costly repairs including replacement of the camshaft. Thankfully this issue was resolved with the following TSI engine iteration. (Go here to see the differences between FSI and TSI
Failure of the cam follower will present itself in reduction of power, rough running, or a check engine light (generally with low fuel pressure in rail codes).
The best way to prevent this is to ignore VW/Audi 10,000 mile oil change intervals. Remember, any manufacturer saying 10,000-15,000 miles is an appropriate oil change interval is not interested in you having a car that will last 100,000+ miles, but more interested in selling you a new car every 5-7 years. Another preventative option to prevent catastrophic failure is to inspect the cam follower periodically. If you see anything beyond normal wear patterns it is best to replace the cam follower. Inspection is relatively straightforward. It involves removing the high pressure fuel pump, looking at it, and making a determination of its condition.
Really, the fundamental lesson here is pay attention to your car, and change the oil frequently with a high quality oil. I won’t go into oil preferences too much, but I will say that I have found LiquiMoly makes a fantastic product with some great additive packages.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to give us a call at (801) 566-6115.
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