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Volkswagen GTI Engine Problems

if i tap the raises and holds for half a sec instead of the RPM dropping immediatly.. does anyone know why it might be sticking?


  • rmfolkrmfolk Posts: 3
    I just purchased a 2007 4 Dr GTI. Does anyone know if its ok to use 87 AKI fuel (which I think is regular). The owners manual says use nothing less than 87 AKI but the recommendation is premium. The service dept and VW "recommend" premium but what are the consequences of using something other than premium?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    When using fuel other than premium, the engine's electronics will automatically adjust and "de-tune" the engine in order to prevent the occurence of "knocking". The consequence of this is a reduction in gas mileage.

    For that reason, with the exception of my first VW (1975 Scirocco Mk1), every VW I've owned (1987 Golf GT) or currently own (1997 Jetta Trek w/performance chip) and (2003 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T) have run on premium fuel exclusively.
  • rmfolkrmfolk Posts: 3
    Thank you for the clarification! :)
  • dma36777dma36777 Posts: 2
    I am awaiting on an order for a 2008 GTI. The dealer internet rep has e-mailed the invoice for the vehicle and there are 2 charges that I am not familiar with. They are; SVCDA fund and Port prep fee and gas. Can anyone tell me about these two charges particularly the later. I think these are questionable charges.
  • mapssimapssi Posts: 4
    SVCDA Fund as the name implies is a FUND so is voluntary. The other is for the dealer not for you. The port prep fee and gas is part of the destination charge. They shouldn't charge this by itself. My recommendation is do NOT exempt them. If dealer insists get your car from another dealer! :shades:
  • geeteeeyegeeteeeye Posts: 8
    Actually, that's not true. The engine may adjust to a lower octane rating but that doesn't lower the fuel efficiency. If anything it raises it. Anything you add to gasoline (ethanol, MTBE, octane) lowers fuel efficiency because all these additives are less combustible than pure gasoline.

    Your GTI will run fine on 87 octane gas.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    octane is and additive in fuel? sorry what a noob question. I just thought it was a rating of the fuel's purity? regardless of the answer, doesn't performance encompass many factors in how a car performs, not just its speed? i'm assuming those mpg estimates from the epa (old and new) where done using premium gas...

    I read the brochure on the gti last night,...the premium it reccomends is 93, but it says that it can be run on 91 (midrange) with a slight performance decrease. Kinda interesting, seeing as how around where i live, midrange only reaches 89 and premium is usually 91 or 92
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Your GTI will run fine on 87 octane gas

    I beg to differ (based on my 25+ year mechanical background), and the experience of many master VW mechanics, engineers and technicians that I have worked with over the years. The manufacturer specifies (requires) the use of premium fuel on a given engine for a reason.

    The GTI's engine incorporate two knock sensors. A knock sensor monitors noises in each cylinder and "listens" for any signs of knocking. When a knocking condition has been encountered (or is about to occur), the knock sensor sends a signal to the engines computer, or electronic control unit (ECU). The ECU automatically retards the engine timing of that particular cylinder in small increments until the knoocking condition disappears. Retarding the engine's timing will exact a power and fuel economy penalty. This issue is much more critical with forced induction engines (turbocharged or supercharged) engines than with naturally-aspirated engines.

    I have performed this experiment on two of my cars:

    1) 1997 VW Jetta Trek - 2.0 Liter 8-Valve, normally aspirated engine with a 10:1 compression ratio

    2) 2003 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Edition - 1.8 Liter, 20 Valve turbocharged engine with a 9.5:1 compression ratio (pretty high for a turbo).

    I ran each car with regular until empty, took note of the mileage/amount of gas used, and repeated the process with the cars running on premium.

    Each car averaged 3-5mpg higher running with premium than regular. Keep in mind that VW recommends regular for my 1997 Jetta - but with a high 10:1 compression ratio, it runs much better on premium. As for the 2003, you are playing with fire by running a turbocharged engine on anything but premium.

    Direct injected, turbocharged engines like the current GTI don't change that equation - it only allows turbocharged engines to run at a higher compression ratio than normal.

    When in doubt - go with the manufacturer's specfications. The only current engine that VW recommends the use of regular fuel is the 2.5 liter 5-cylinder engine. All others require either diesel or premium.

    You may run regular if you like, but my parents have a saying:

    "Those who won't hear - must feel"...
  • geeteeeyegeeteeeye Posts: 8
    Yes, octane is an additive and not a measure of a gasoline's purity. Actually, modern gasolines are relatively impure compared to before it was reformulated to reduce harmful emissions.

    The manual for my 2007 GTI recommends 91 [(R+M)/2] octane, but requires an octane rating of only 87.

    If you live at higher altitudes, gas stations offer lower octane gasolines because a car is less likely to knock due to lower atmospheric pressure.

    Actually, octane won't be the only additive used to increase the "octane" (or Anti Knock Index) of a gasoline. In almost all cases it is a mixture in which iso-octane is a component. There's really nothing special about octane, it is simply a flammable chemical that burns at a higher temperature than gasoline. This helps reduce gasoline's tendency to ignite before it's supposed to. This is the cause of knocking. The octane measurement is not an indicator of how well your car will perform, just how likely it will detonate (explode) at a certain temperature. High performance engines are more likely to knock and therefore require a higher octane gasoline at full throttle only.
  • geeteeeyegeeteeeye Posts: 8
    Actually, I agree with just about everything you said.

    However...the only instance where an engine will run less efficiently on a lower AKI gasoline is a high compression engine under load where, as you correctly stated, the engine's computer retards timing (and decreases the air/fuel ratio) to a point where the knocking disappears.

    But this instance is relatively rare (depending on your driving habits) and almost non-existent on flat highway driving.

    I would never run anything less than 93 octane in my '71 Datsun 240Z because it knocks with even the slightest load on the engine and because there is no computer to make the knocking disappear.

    But modern engines don't have this problem. This is partly the reason that it is rare that a manufacturer actually requires the use of a high octane gasoline instead of just recommending it.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    The manual for my 2007 GTI recommends 91 [(R+M)/2] octane, but requires an octane rating of only 87.

    you see this is what i don't understand. according to the literature that i have on the gti,(its the booklet that comes with the dvd) mentions that 93 octane is reccomended with the 91 being the other choice with reduced performance. Thats the whole reason why this had me confused to begin with, since very few gasoline statins have anything higher than 92 around here; otherwise i'd be good to go if i had a gti, i'd do regular all the time. But something tells me that if i do put regular in it, i'd be in for it in the long run, like golfgt said.
  • geeteeeyegeeteeeye Posts: 8
    Look on page 34 of booklet 3 of your owner's manual. It states:

    "Do not use any fuel with an octane rating lower than 87 AKI or 91 RON. Using lower octane fuel may cause expensive engine damage may occur."

    Perhaps you are confusing the RON with AKI? RON is a European unit. In the USA we use AKI which is synonymous with [(R+M)/2].

    Yes, a higher octane fuel will result in better performance of your GTI. But don't confuse performance with engine damage.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    ahhh..ok man thanks!
  • enekoeneko Posts: 16
    I am sorry to disagree, but octane it is not an additive in fuel. Octane is a component of the gasoline, actually octanes are hydrocarbons, not something that you add to fuel. The octane rate is an index to indicate the proportion of different octanes in the fuel. Some of the octanes are less "stable" under pressure and they combust prematurely. Higher octane rate means better performance because the fuel will burn at the right moment and completely.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    this is what i thought it was.
  • geeteeeyegeeteeeye Posts: 8
    You're way off. The only thing you got right is that octane is a hydrocarbon. Don't think of gasoline as a pure substance. It is a blend of many hydrocarbons that are produced through many different processes in an oil refinery plus other synthesized flammable chemicals that are partly petroleum based. The straight, pure, hydrocarbon component of gasoline that you're referring to is usually less than 50% (of which iso-octane is only one example of).

    Iso-octane (and other anti-knock chemicals) is considered an additive because it is added such that a specific "octane rating" is acheived, unlike the base blend of gasoline in which the specific blend of hydrocarbons is not as crucial.

    The octane rating of gasoline doesn't mean that the only anti-knock component is iso-octane, just that it has the same anti-knock characteristics of a reference blend of, say, 87% iso-octane and 13% heptane (to refer to an "87 octane" gasoline). This is what you were getting at when you said the octane rate was a reference to the proportion of different octanes in the fuel (but this is incorrect).

    Also, all gasolines in a high performance engine will "burn at the right moment." But a fuel with the proper octane rating for the engine means that it will combust when the cylinder is at its highest pressure. That's where you get your engine performance. Lower octane-rating gasolines will work fine, because the engine's computer will alter the timing so that it prevents any knocking.
  • vvkvvk Posts: 193
    Every car I have owned got 1-2 mpg better mileage on regular vs. premium.

    I still use premium because a) my BMW requires premium and b) my SAAB engine runs a lot smoother and quieter on premium.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Just saw this little blurb on Consumer Guide's evaluation of the Passat:

    "VW requires premium-grade fuel for the 2.0T and recommends it for the V6."

  • geeteeeyegeeteeeye Posts: 8
    Hop on over to the GTI section of Consumer Guide and it says:

    "Test GTIs averaged 16.8-19.1 mpg with manual transmission, 23.6 with SMT, both in slightly more highway travel vs. city driving. VW recommends premium-grade fuel."
  • Test GTIs averaged 16.8-19.1 mpg with manual transmission, 23.6 with SMT, both in slightly more highway travel vs. city driving. VW recommends premium-grade fuel."

    That is a complete aberration. I drive my GTI hard at 4-5000 rpm every day. I get 25-26 mpg with manual transmission mixed city and highway. EPA figures are 32 highway and 24 city. The FSI technology used in the GTI makes for the most fuel efficient engines in present time. It is the most fuel efficient car in its segment
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    it is one of the more fuel efficient cars in its class, but driving that hard sounds a little hopeful for your mpg.

    just because your numbers and their numbers are slightly off doesn't mean its an 'aberration'. :blush: its not a diesel you know.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Hop on over to the GTI section of Consumer Guide and it says:

    "Test GTIs averaged 16.8-19.1 mpg with manual transmission, 23.6 with SMT, both in slightly more highway travel vs. city driving. VW recommends premium-grade fuel."

    Check out this road test of the GTI:
    Fuel Requirement 91 octane unleaded premium gasoline

    And from VW's own technical specifications:

    Check the Fuel Requirement section: It will say 95 RON Premium for Maximum Performance & 91 RON for a slight reduction in performance.

    Most VW mechanics I've talked to said that using anything other than premium (91 RON or above) in a forced-induction engine is asking for trouble ($$$$)...
  • geeteeeyegeeteeeye Posts: 8
    We're talking about requirements vs. recommendations. All the technical data you've pointed to has put the requirement at 87 octane gas (91 RON). Everyone understands that you will get better performance with higher octane gas. But until I hear otherwise from some official document, I won't believe that I'm damaging the engine if I use 87 octane gas.

    Also, VW is technically saying that Mid Grade (91 (R+M)/2, not 91 RON) is the recommendation.

    Lastly, if you crunch the numbers, you're still saving money by using 87 octane even if you get lower gas mileage using 87 octane. You'll have to get better than 2 mpg better using 93 octane gas to break even.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    But until I hear otherwise from some official document, I won't believe that I'm damaging the engine if I use 87 octane gas.

    Ok. It's your money and your car. Ben Franklin has a saying about money, too. All I have to say is I wish you well... :shades:
  • I have a 2007 GTI base 6 speed manual that both I and the wifey adore its really a great car.

    Anyhow at apprx 3000 miles while driving on the interstate the CEL came on and came on and off intermittently until the car began to "Buck and Jerk" and try to die on us while driving.

    I had scheduled several appointments for the car prior to the bucking and jerking and was told that maybe the gas filler cap wasnt tight emough etc..etc.. and I did not get the chane to actually drop the car off until it began to truly fail us.

    So I dropped it off 2 weeks ago and after 5 days in the shop they told me the car had a bad fuel pump or one that did not generate enough pressure? They replaced it and I got the car back. two days later the CEL came back on and I called the dealership service dept and they had me drop thye car back off. That was 10 days ago and so far I have been told that they have been in contact with the VW engineers and trying to pinpoint the problem or find the correct fule delivery part to correct the issue.

    Has anyone else had these types of issues with their new GTI's?

    I love the car and they gave me a rental car (very creepy Dodge Caliber)but I have some concerns about the lenght of time that they have had the car. Its a lease so i'm not so concerned about the long term I just want my car back Fixed properly!
  • Sounds like a problem I just got fixed on my '06 GTI (new model style).

    Way back in February my CEL came on so I brought it to the dealer a week or so later. They ran tests on it for 4 hours at which point I got sick of waiting. They said it was a problem with my 'low side fuel pressure was reading too high'.

    After getting the car back I drove it just fine for the next six months (good performance, good mileage, check engine light still on). During my next scheduled maintenance in August I had them take another look at it. At first they thought it needed a new fuel filter, but then they thought it was the low fuel pressure valve. They apparently replaced both of those parts but it was still giving them problems. They then replaced the high pressure fuel valve and that did the trick.

    The car was in the shop a full week while they did the work and waited for parts. From the way it sounds volkswagen fuel systems are moronically complex. Not mad at the dealership, but I would like to smack whatever german engineer who dreampt that design up! Car seems fine now.

    The repair was totally under warranty with no cost to me. I had a free rental (a pos nissan versa) that I abused the hell out of for a week. That little skateboards tires would scream at the drop of a hat!
  • I just bought a 2007 GTI and I've noticed a bit of turbo lag both off of the line and also when the car is changing from first to second gear (in the automatic setting at high rpm.

    Is there any way to get around this? ...or is it me?
  • All forced induction engines will experience a "turbo lag" to some degree. However, I know their are after-market accessories that will aid in lessening the turbo lag so it seems less apparent when you are driving (Neuspeed makes one for example).

    Keep in mind that installing after-market parts may void the warranty.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    also keep in mind that the gti suffers very little turbo lag when compared with other competitors.
  • Thanks for the reply. That makes sense. I guess the issue is really more about power loss (usually when the car is still "cold") between 1st and 2nd in the automatic mode. It's akin to the feeling of letting of the gas and then getting back on it -- without ever reducing power. I might need a dealer visit.
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