What is the TFSI engine – its advantages and disadvantages

Features, advantages and disadvantages of the TFSI motor

The popularity and relevance of certain cars is largely due to what engines are used in their under-hood. In the history of almost every automaker has its failures and extremely successful developments. The world leaders have the second option in the lead.

TFSI engine on the car

Among the objectively successful internal combustion engines, it would be fair to include the engine, which is labeled as TFSI. In fact, it is called a turbocharged version of the FSI, since the latter has no turbocharger, and it was purely an atmospheric unit.

But the TFSI has another counterpart, which is much more often compared to. This is the TSI. All presented developments belong to VAG, that is Volkswagen concern, which includes such brands as Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda. Seat, etc.

Getting to know the engine for the first time

For starters, some motorists do not understand what this engine TFSI is and how this acronym stands for.

It stands for Turbo fuel stratified injection. In translation here we are talking about a turbo engine with fuel stratified injection. Yes, it really is largely an analogue of the FSI, only additionally equipped with a turbocharger.

The system was revolutionary for its time, because the Germans were the first to use direct injection into the chamber for each piston separately, managing to combine it with the turbine.

But the very deciphering of the TFSI marking does not yet give to fully recognize this engine. And be sure to compare it with the TSI.

Many theories, conjectures and myths were built around the motor with the designation TFSI. Some are sure that the letter F has no meaning and it was made only for the sound of the name, or to distinguish the model range of cars. Allegedly, TSI goes to Volkswagen and Skoda models, and TFSI only for Audi.

You’re already familiar with how TFSI is deciphered. But it is no less important to understand what this TFSI means in fact, how it differs from its alleged analogue and how the situation looks like in reality.

The technology of the engines in question is based on an older TFSI, which has already been sounded here. This is the FSI. One of these engines with a capacity of 2.0 liters was actively used on various models under the Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen brands. This is an atmospheric type of internal combustion engine, equipped with a direct injection system. The engine has a reliable base, quality construction and long service life.

TFSI engine with a turbocharger

But now in the cars of more recent generations are put motors TFSI. Their deciphering has already made it clear that here we are talking about a turbocharged engine with direct injection. But it has its own important features. In many respects, it will allow to understand the operating principle of the TFSI series units.

  • Different pistons. To improve the performance of the turbocharged engine, the upper part of the pistons has undergone certain changes. Here, new notches of a larger size are provided, which allows effective operation in conditions of reduced compression.
  • Increased efficiency of the internal combustion engine with a parallel reduction of harmful emissions. This distinguishes the turbocharged version from the atmospheric version. This was done in order to meet the new stringent environmental standards.
  • Crankshafts and crankshafts. The operating principle has changed largely due to the modified shape. In addition, the designers use for their manufacture materials of increased strength, which allows them to withstand the loads from the turbine.
  • The intake and exhaust system. Here, too, changes have taken place. They were aimed at improving accuracy and efficiency, since this is one of the main requirements for the engine when using a turbocharger.
  • The fuel pump. It has become more powerful and reliable. Due to this it was possible to improve the elasticity of work at high revolutions.
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The introduced changes and the voiced features of the considered engine in many respects give an understanding of what kind of engine it is, how it works and what are its strengths.

But there is no getting away from a comparison with FSI anyway, although more often it is compared to TSI, as both engines are turbocharged.

I’d like to remind you that in the middle class of cars, it is the atmospheric FSI that is considered one of the best engines in the world. Many such engines easily work off the mileage of 400-500 thousand kilometers, without requiring expensive repairs and serious intervention. The only condition for long-term operation is high-quality servicing and use of proper engine oils.

Now, having understood what TFSI means, we should compare TSI and TFSI, take a look at their capabilities and see if the new generation is really noticeably superior to its conventional predecessor.

TSI engine construction

Comparing TSI and TFSI

Motorists are quite naturally interested in what is the difference between the TSI and TFSI series motors, since both are available on the market and you need to choose the best one among them.

Speaking about what is the difference between them, it is worth saying at once that the TSI and TFSI are built using completely different technologies.

In the case of the TSI, Volkswagen, or more specifically its engineers, did not use some old atmospheric engine as the basis. In this case, the internal combustion engine was developed from scratch. Here there is an intake manifold, a pair of turbines. And one turbine is electric and works, we can say, on a permanent basis. The mechanical turbine is made according to the classical scheme. If not to go into details, the TSI can even be called a bit turbocharged motor.

There is another important difference, which allows to say that the TSI is inferior to the TFSI. In favor of the latter here is borrowing the basis in the form of an atmospheric combustion engine, as well as its modernization. This allowed for a more reliable design of the cylinder block. Alas, the TSI has no such advantage. Because of this, the last one far from always can overcome the mark in 200 thousand kilometers traveled. Plus, the turbines themselves are problematic. They break down and start to create difficulties in the operation of the internal combustion engine. Especially quickly it becomes noticeable when the rules of TSI maintenance are violated.

I would like to add one more point, what is the difference between a TSI motor and a TFSI. Their development and upgrading are engaged in different VAG departments. In the case of TSI all the work is done by specialists from Volkswagen, Skoda, Seat. These internal combustion engines are installed on their engines. And TFSI has become the domain of Audi brand, as well as FSI.

It is important to understand that all presented brands work together, sharing their technologies and developments. Therefore, it is more than realistic to see TFSI engines somewhere other than Audi models nowadays.

Understanding the existing differences between the TSI series engines and the newer TFSI engines, it seems obvious which one to choose. After all, the difference of the considered internal combustion engine in terms of reliability, structural strength, efficiency and performance do not leave a chance to the conditional competitor. But before you decide to buy such a power unit, it is worth taking an objective look at its strengths and weaknesses.

TFSI engine maintenance

Advantages and disadvantages

The superiority of TFSI over TSI is obvious. These are motors of larger volume, equipped with a turbine, characterized by an impressive service life. If the turbines are serviced in time and properly, they can last for about 300,000 kilometers.

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The advantages include an adequate fuel consumption indicator, which is a pleasant surprise with such high power parameters.

But so far the list of advantages ends here. Now it is worth looking at the disadvantages that can characterize a car with a TFSI motor under the hood.

The technology is really far from perfect. Work is already underway to eliminate them, and many sorenesses have been eliminated literally after the first update. But when buying used cars with TFSI under the hood, remember that these cars with this motor had the following problems:

  • Installing a turbo on the originally atmospheric engine has made the motors more demanding on fuel quality. You have to choose your gas station carefully, or problems will soon arise.
  • Because of the turbine and other innovations, maintenance costs have increased markedly.
  • Increased maintenance requirements have led to the fact that these engines require the use of expensive oil and filters.
  • The cost of repair work is extremely impressive for many customers. This is largely due to the fact that you have to use only original parts. And they cost a lot.
  • Due to design changes, oil consumption has increased. Therefore, it is important not to forget to refill it periodically. If you forget, the process of oil starvation will begin.
  • In the construction of the timing chain is used, which over time stretches. Its replacement is expensive.

Then Audi worked on the bugs and fixed many of them. So the current generation TFSI is much less complaining.

What to consider before buying

If you are planning to take a new car, any TFSI engine will be a worthy choice. Its 250-300 thousand km. it will definitely work without serious problems and interventions. Just follow the service schedule.

With the used ones everything is a bit different. It is often not recommended to buy the 2012-2014 versions. When choosing a more recent car, look at the real mileage, study the history of maintenance, conduct a complete diagnosis.

Features, advantages and disadvantages of the TFSI motor

If you have wondered about buying a car or replacing it, and at the same time want it to have a TFSI engine, then gather in advance, as much information about this motor as possible. After all, what is a TFSI engine and options for cars with such an engine is quite a large number, and the choice is quite a difficult procedure and it is necessary to consider many different factors. For example, financial.

If your finances allow you to buy a good and high-quality car, then you already know that this purchase will serve you faithfully for many years. But we should not forget that the engine of any vehicle is its most important component.

It is this unit that is responsible for power, speed of movement and the ability to carry a certain mass. Many modern engines have various prefixes and, names and markings in their name.

Therefore, you, as a car enthusiast, before buying such a vehicle should carefully study and decipher these data. They can tell you a lot about many things. Knowing this information, you will know what your car is ready for, what limitations it has and how it will behave on the road.

What is TFSI – deciphering and technology features

The original technology these motors borrowed from the older FSI engines. Very popular was the VAG 2.0 FSI engine, which was put on Skoda, Seat and Volkswagen. It is an atmospheric engine with direct fuel injection into the cylinders. The unit received a fairly reliable basis, a well-designed and long enough service life.

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TFSI engine stands for Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection. The name shows that it is a turbocharged motor with direct fuel injection into the combustion chambers. Here are some of the features of the turbo engine:

  1. Modified pistons. Especially for the turbocharged version, the top of the pistons have been redesigned, with larger notches for lower compression operation.
  2. Improved efficiency and lower emissions compared to the old FSI version to accommodate the new engine’s complex environmental requirements.
  3. The designers changed the shape and features of the crankshaft and connecting rods. Material quality has also changed, and the manufacturer has upgraded it for turbocharged engines.
  4. The intake and exhaust systems also received changes, they became more accurate and efficient, which was vital for the version with a compressor.
  5. Of course, the designers had to install a more powerful and reliable fuel pump. This ensured elasticity of the engine at high rpm.

Basic concepts explain what a TFSI engine is, how it works, and what its main advantages are. If you’ve ever encountered VAG’s FSI engines, you know that they were the most reliable and successful mid-range engines in the atmospheric version. Many of them go up to 500,000 km without repair or intervention. It is enough to service the unit well and pour expensive oil at the right time.

Design features

The turbocharger is mounted in the exhaust manifold housing. It is a single module. The exhaust for afterburning is re-fed to the manifold. Engineers had to change the power system a little bit. Thus, a pump designed for higher pressure is installed in the second boost circuit.

The fuel pump is fully controlled by the electronic unit. Therefore, the volume of the prepared fuel mixture, which will then be injected into the engine cylinders, will depend on the load on the engine. If it is needed, the pressure will increase – the unit will give this command if the car is driving in a low gear uphill. Thus, serious power is removed from the engine and the fuel consumption is reduced.

What are the differences between TSI and TFSI engines?

What is the difference between a TSI and TFSI engine?

The TSI engines are built on a different technology. To produce this engine, Volkswagen didn’t take the old atmospheric engines, but built a new unit. It has an intake manifold, two turbines, one of which is electric and runs almost continuously. The second mechanical turbine has a classic design. That is, it is essentially a bi-turbo motor.

The main difference from the TFSI is also that Volkswagen has not provided a decent design of the cylinder block itself, so the life of TSI engines does not always get up to 200,000 km. And the turbines themselves bring the owners a lot of trouble, especially if the service schedule is violated. Engines 1.4 TSI until 2012 are particularly capricious.

Today, the development and continuation of the series of these two units are engaged in different design bureaus. The TFSI technology is taken over by Audi, and TSI is installed on VW, Skoda and Seat. However, there are already rumors about the creation of a new single platform for the production of smaller turbocharged engines.


If you look for the difference between the TFSI and TSI technologies, the difference lies in the bottom of the pistons. The cylinders in the TFSI are smaller, but the area they occupy is larger. Due to this shape, the engine works effectively at low compression.

The engineers have finalized the cylinder head – it is equipped with two camshafts made of a more durable alloy. The valves are also made of the same alloy. The intake and exhaust was significantly redesigned, and the fuel supply channels were corrected. The fuel supply is also improved.

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tfsi and tsi engines are different

In general, the engines with TFSI technology are based on the same principles as the other units of the concern. There are two circuits in the fuel system – high pressure and low pressure. The low-pressure circuit is the tank, the low-pressure pump. There are also filters, sensors. The high-pressure circuit is the injection system and the fuel injection pump.

tfsi deciphering

Operation modes of all devices and systems in the circuit are fully controlled by electronics, acting according to rather complicated algorithms. Various parameters are analyzed in the course of operation, and then the corresponding commands are sent to the actuators.

The main disadvantages and advantages of the TFSI technology

Main disadvantages and advantages of TFSI technology

As mentioned above, the difference between TSI and TFSI is evident, and it is not in favor of the first technology. Motors with the letter F in the designation are more voluminous, demonstrating a much longer life. The turbines themselves, with good maintenance, do not break down until 300,000 km and 10 years of operation. The list of advantages can be written down very moderate fuel consumption, given the great power that the company squeezes out of these developments.

Now let’s talk a little bit about the disadvantages of the technology:

  • engines with the receipt of the turbine have lost their unpretentiousness and omnivorousness, good refueling is needed;
  • the cost of maintenance has increased noticeably, you have to splurge on expensive oils and filters;
  • Repair cost will be colossally high, all spare parts should be original and expensive;
  • High oil consumption is a constructive feature of the engines, it will be necessary to top up the lubricant from time to time;
  • The chain is installed in the timing system, and this causes certain disadvantages in the form of stretching of the chain drive.

All disadvantages are due to the fact that the motor was produced in a hurry, in order to install it on the machines for the introduction of new environmental standards. Many disadvantages no longer apply to the TFSI engines of the current generation, and are found only on the engines of the 2012-2014 production year. Otherwise, there are no significant disadvantages with the units, any childish problems and common failures to the mileage limits of 200-250 thousand km do not happen.

The TFSI engine is an improved and equipped, first of all, turbocharged FSI engine, which is more than famous in the automotive world. This engine has improved almost all the basic parameters, and therefore, it has also become very popular and in demand in compact, subcompact models of cars and even in cars of average size and class. In favor of this engine, it should also be said that even today, when it is full speed reigning its successor – TSI engine, on the roads rotates a lot of cars, heart of which is TFSI engine.

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Bottom line – what to consider when buying a car with TFSI?

If you buy a new car with this unit, you can safely take the car with any engine displacement. Specialists from Audi have done everything possible to ensure that motors last a long time and do not require any repairs. But used variants need more careful selection and inspection. It is important to carry out diagnostics, find out the real mileage, clarify the quality of service. From these factors you can already make a certain opinion about the car and its potential service life.

In general, TFSI units are considered to be reliable and qualitative. In their nature they repeat almost all the advantages of the once popular FSI series, today motors continue the glorious series of reliable VAG engines, to which there are almost no complaints. And that’s how they differ from the newly developed TSI.

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Allaying misconceptions

So how is the TFSI different from the TSI? Both engines are turbocharged and seem to be equal in this respect. However, the TSI has two differences:

  • The fuel is not fed directly into the cylinders, but into a special intake manifold;
  • The design includes a so-called redundant turbocharger. The engine is equipped with both a mechanical turbine – it is forced to work by exhaust gases – and an electric compressor that forcibly increases air pressure under any circumstances. They work alternately, switching on and off depending on the mode of the engine.

In this regard, the TSI is more economical and more on-boosting than the TFSI. This is not surprising: after all, it is a more modern development of the same Volkswagen concern. Thus, the deciphering of the TFSI engine along with a similar interpretation of abbreviations TSI and FSI will easily help orient, how modern your considered car.

Characteristics of EA113 engine

Production Plant Audi Hungaria Motor Kft. in Gyor
Engine brand EA113
Years of production 2004-2014
Material of cylinder block cast iron
Power System direct injection
Type in-line
Number of cylinders 4
Valves per cylinder 4
Stroke, mm 92.8
Cylinder diameter, mm 82.5
Compression ratio 10.5
Engine displacement, cc 1984
Engine power, hp/rpm 170-271/4300-6000
Torque, Nm/rpm 280-350/1800-5000
Fuel 98 95 (lower capacity)
Ecological standards Euro 4 Euro 5
Engine weight, kg ~152
Fuel consumption, l/100 km – city – highway – mixed. 12.6 6.6 8.8
Oil consumption, g./1000 km up to 500
Engine oil 5W-30 5W-40
How much oil in the engine 4.6
When changing, pour, l ~4.0
Oil change, km 15000 (better 7500)
Engine working temperature, deg. ~90
Engine resource, thousand km – according to factory data – in practice — ~300
Tuning, HP – potential – without loss of resources 400+ ~250
The engine was installed Audi A3 Audi A4 Audi A6 Audi TT / TTS Seat Altea Seat Exeo Seat Leon Seat Toledo Skoda Octavia vRSVolkswagen Jetta Volkswagen Golf V GTI / VI GTI 35 Ed./ R Volkswagen Passat Volkswagen Polo R

Crankshaft bearing shells and con rods selection

The crankshaft bearing shells are matched at the factory to the correct thickness and are color coded. The method for determining the color of the bearing shells is described below.

Selecting Audi tfsi vw tsi liners

The upper crankshaft bearing shells (located in the crankshaft bed) are stamped on the cylinder block near the oil pan, or on the plane at the transmission end.

Lower crankshaft bearing shells (located in the crankshaft main caps) are marked on the crankshaft side of the pulley. The following designations apply to the markings:

  • S – black;
  • R – red
  • G – yellow;
  • B – blue;
  • D – white.

Volkswagen-Audi 2.0 TFSI engine tuning

Chip tuning

TFSI engine tuning is quite simple (if you have the money) to increase engine power to 250-260 hp, enough to go to the tuning office and flash in Stage 1. If this kind of power is not enough, then you should install an intercooler, 3″ exhaust, cold intake, more productive fuel injection and firmware, this will allow you to raise the output to 280-290 hp. Further power boost can be continued with a new K04 turbo and injectors from Audi S3, such configurations give ~350 hp. Further squeeze the juices out of the 2-liter motor is not so profitable, the price / hp ratio is markedly reduced.

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