TDI engines: operating characteristics

TDI engines: operating characteristics

TDI is a range of diesel turbocharged engines with direct fuel injection produced by the Volkswagen Group. They debuted on the Audi 100 C3 in 1989. Nowadays, almost all models of Volkswagen, Seat, Audi, and Škoda are equipped with these engines. They are also installed on some models of Ford, Volvo, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, and other makes.


TDI engines have aluminium or cast iron cylinder blocks. The cylinder heads are made of aluminium. A belt is usually used in the valve timing mechanism, but there are also versions that use a chain or gears. Depending on the engine version, the fuel system features a high-pressure pump, unit injectors, or a fuel rail. A variable-geometry turbocharger is installed on many cars instead of a regular one. There are also twin-turbo versions, some of which are called BiTDI.

Popular TDI engines

Engine series Engine capacity, L Engine code Number of cylinders Number of valves Max output, hp Max torque, N·m Fuel injection type Production start Model applications
EA381 2.5 1T in-line 5 10 120 265 Direct injection 1989 Audi 100 C3
EA153 2.5 BAC in-line 5 10 174 400 Unit injectors 2003 Volkswagen Touareg 1
5.0 AJS V10 20 313 750 Unit injectors 2002 Volkswagen Phaeton 1
EA180 1.9 AFN in-line 4 8 110 235 Direct injection 1996 Volkswagen Golf 3; SEAT Cordoba 1; Volkswagen Vento 1; Audi A6 C5; Volkswagen Passat B4; Volkswagen Passat B5; SEAT Ibiza 2; Volkswagen Polo 3; SEAT Toledo 1; Volkswagen Sharan 1; Audi A4 B5
EA188 1.9 AWX in-line 4 8 130 285 Unit injectors 2000 Audi A4 B6; Audi A6 C6; Škoda Superb 1; Volkswagen Passat B5
2.0 BMM in-line 4 8 140 320 Unit injectors 2004 Audi A3 8P; Škoda Octavia 2; Volkswagen Caddy 3; SEAT Altea 1; Volkswagen Golf 5; Volkswagen Jetta 5; SEAT Leon 2; Volkswagen Touran 1
EA189 1.6 CAYC in-line 4 16 105 250 Common rail 2009 Škoda Rapid 1; Audi A3 8P; SEAT Ibiza 4; Volkswagen Passat B7; Škoda Octavia 2; SEAT Leon 2; Škoda Yeti; Volkswagen Golf 6; Škoda Superb 2; Volkswagen Jetta 5
1.9 CAAC in-line 4 16 140 340 Common rail 2009 Volkswagen Multivan T5; Volkswagen Caravelle T5; Volkswagen Transporter T5
EA288 1.6 DCXA in-line 4 16 120 250 Common rail 2014 Škoda Superb 3; Volkswagen Passat B8
2.0 DBGC in-line 4 16 150 340 Common rail 2016 Škoda Kodiaq 1; Volkswagen Tiguan 2
EA330 2.5 BDH V6 24 180 370 Direct injection 2004 Audi A6 C5; Volkswagen Passat B5; Audi A4 B6 Cabrio
EA381 2.5 BJK in-line 5 10 109 285 Common rail 2006 Volkswagen Crafter 1
EA896 3.0 CASA V6 24 240 550 Common rail 2007 Volkswagen Touareg 1; Audi Q7 4L
EA897 3.0 CRCA V6 24 245 550 Common rail 2010 Volkswagen Touareg 2; Audi Q7 4L
EA898 4.2 CKDA V8 32 340 800 Common rail 2010 Volkswagen Touareg 2

Common malfunctions of TDI engines

Adjustment of the electronically controlled high-pressure pump is often required.1T; BDH
The cylinder head can get deformed due to overheating of the engine caused by malfunctioning of the cooling system.1T
The intake manifold is prone to cracking.BAC
The seals of the unit injectors and the tandem pump lose tightness over time.AJS; AWX; BAC
The valve timing mechanism gears break down quickly.AJS
The valve seats burn out after a high mileage, leading to engine compression loss.AFN
The turbine blades or EGR valve sometimes get jammed.AFN; AWX; CAAC; BDH; BMM
Use of poor-quality oil causes the camshaft cams or hydraulic lifters to wear out quickly.AWX;BJK
The piezo injectors break down frequently.BMM; CAYC; BJK; CKDA; CRCA; CASA; CAAC
The fasteners of the unit injectors become loose, resulting in leaksBMM
Leaks from under the valve cover often appear.BDH; CAYC
The diesel particulate filter gets clogged relatively fast.CAAC; DBGC; CKDA; CRCA; CASA; CAYC
The heat exchanger gasket dries out frequently, leading to coolant leaks.DCXA
The intake manifold swirl flaps can get jammed over time.CASA


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