VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - Ian71

Subject to test drives, I am probably about to choose a 1.2 TSI powered Seat Leon as our next car. We do keep our cars for what these days seems to be a considerable length of time, certainly over 5 years. I am concerned that I am purchasing a potential timebomb in terms of future expensive failures, but this engine does seem to suffer less than other VAG petrol turbos from issues.

The other option is a 1.4 petrol Hyundai i30, but this is much less powerful and I don’t think will be as good a drive. Price is on it’s side though, and I do have back to back test drives planned for the weekend.

I would appreciate thoughts on the 1.2 TSI as a long term ownership proposition….

Top Reply

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - thunderbird

VAG have sold millions of cars fitted with the TSI since about 2005. In these there there have been some failures but they have mostly been in 1.4 twin charged examples.

I suspect that most of these issues have been brought on by the owners themselves. Look on any VAG forum, the owners of the cars are always boasting about the latest re-map they have had, some claim 240 bhp and 300 lbs of torque for a 1.4 with no other mods. This is going to cause problems at some time with an engine that started life pretty much as a tubo charged 1.4 122PS motor.

VAG will be able to tell immediately if the ECU's have been tampered with and refuse warranty work, this will upset the oners who are promised VAG will never know.

Buy a TSi and look after it and it will look after you, just like any other engine. Abuse it and you will pay.

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VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - skidpan

You asked virtually the same question the other day, myself and Avant answered. If there was any reason not to buy a 1.2 TSi we would have said. Why not simply ask this on the same thread?

For the record its a brand new engine that is in no way related to the previous TSi. Its alloy not iron and belt cams not chain. The old 1.2 TSi was pretty much trouble free, it was only the stupidly high powered twin charged versions that gave trouble.

I also keep cars 5 years or more so I simply bought the Seat 5 year warranty. If you sign up before you take delivery you get exactly the same warranty as you get for the first 3 years in years 4 and 5. Wait until the end of the 3 year warranty and its more expensive, has loads of exclusions and an excess to pay on all repairs.

As for a 1.4 Hyundai petrol Ihave not driven one but i did try the 1.6 GDi Ceed before I bought the Leon. It was a slug unless you were over 4500 rpm all the time. It had no power to speak of low down, hit the loud pedal in 3rd and higher gears and nothing much happened unless you were in the power band. A 1.4 with less torque and power and a similar power band will not be a load of fun

Here are a couple of examples pulled form What Car tests.

Ignore the 0-60 times, irrelevant unless you are a spotty 17 year old in a Corsa buying a burger, its the in gear times that matter.

Kia Ceed 1.6 GDI 30-50 in 4th 8.9 5th 11.9 50-70 in 4th 9.1 5th 13.0

Seat Leon 1.2 TSi 30-50 in 4th 7.3 5th 9.0 50-70 in 4th 8.2 5th 10.7

Its clear from those that the Seat is quicker than the 1.6 Ceed, just imagine how much quicker than a 1.4 i30 it will be. But its not just the figures, its the way the TSi drives. Its smooth power all the way from 1500 rpm with no lag and no flat spots.

At the end of the day you need to try all the cars you are considering and then make your own mind up, its going to be you driving it after all.

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - Collos25

"The old 1.2 TSi was pretty much trouble free, it was only the stupidly high powered twin charged versions that gave trouble"

Actually the percentages of problems with the engine say otherwise.

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - daveyK_UK

What is the BHP of both engines?

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - Ian71

Thank you Skidpan for your thorough response. I made a second post because I thought I'd ask the question more broadly and not just focussed on Seat. I have since found out that the engine in question (105PS) is a new cambelt engine and not the chain version used across VAG previously. Found plenty of issues in relation to cam chains, so won't have those problems! I also think that it was the 1.4's (especially the turbo and supercharged version) that had all of the problems and not the 1.2.

It would appear that the new engine has a cambelt that 'lasts the life of the engine' - there are no specified replacement frequencies. Have you been able to find out for your car - apparently the 1.2 and 1.4 SEAT use are from the same 'family'.

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - Collos25

Its a Continental life time cam belt whether the water pump or belt tensioner will last the life of the belt is another matter.VW have at last made a positive move having had over 2.5 million recalls on their chain drive 1.3 and 1.4 engines.

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - skidpan

"It would appear that the new engine has a cambelt that 'lasts the life of the engine' - there are no specified replacement frequencies. Have you been able to find out for your car - apparently the 1.2 and 1.4 SEAT use are from the same 'family'."

VW claim its lifetime but Skoda said from the start to inspect at 6 years and after that annually then replace at 12 years. Seat Customer Services now appaear to be using the same schedule. But to confuse matters the only info on the Seat website is the menu prices for maintenance, a cambelt change on a petrol is £270 after 4 years.

When I bought mine I allowed £270 for a cambelt at 4 years, no surprises that way. If it is the same as SCS are now saying I won't have to spend it.

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - gordonbennet

Anyone could say that cambelts, or anything else, could last forever, unless a company are going to put their money where their mouth is and guarantee it and all resulting damage, then its all marketing eyewash.

You'd hope that most buyers would have the sense to research how a company have previously behaved towrds customers with out of normal warranty problems, and then decide if they believe them this time....

...like politicians with their broken promises and vote for me again cos this time i mean it/lessons have been learned.

Edited by gordonbennet on 24/01/2014 at 10:05

VAG 1.2 TSI engine - am I asking for trouble? - thunderbird

VAG have sold millions of cars fitted with the TSI since about 2005. In these there there have been some failures but they have mostly been in 1.4 twin charged examples.

I suspect that most of these issues have been brought on by the owners themselves. Look on any VAG forum, the owners of the cars are always boasting about the latest re-map they have had, some claim 240 bhp and 300 lbs of torque for a 1.4 with no other mods. This is going to cause problems at some time with an engine that started life pretty much as a tubo charged 1.4 122PS motor.

VAG will be able to tell immediately if the ECU's have been tampered with and refuse warranty work, this will upset the oners who are promised VAG will never know.

Buy a TSi and look after it and it will look after you, just like any other engine. Abuse it and you will pay.

 

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