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2.0 TFSI - Ultimate tuning guide

Updated: Apr 9, 2020

To get strong remap figures, it's important to understand the map is only as good as the hardware setup. A good free-flowing setup will increase horsepower, torque, produce lower intake temperatures and run more efficiently. My guide will take you step by step to having one of the best supporting hardware on the market. Finally, remember peak remap figures are irrelevant on the road. You should be far more focused on the power delivery and consistency.

Preparation & Maintenance

1 - Inspect the diverter valve (DV).

On K03 cars, the DV is located on the turbo and is a bit difficult to reach. On K04 cars, the DV is located in front of the engine and can be easily inspected. Check the rubber diaphragm as its usually prone to splitting and can cause boost leaks, I highly recommend the revision G variant should you need to replace it.

2- Inspect the pressure control valve (PCV).

The PCV is known to have a poor design from the factory however, later revised versions seem to fix that issue. Latest revision R is the one to buy, while all engines respond differently, some work well with the OEM system, some don't. The PCV delete is optional, ask you're tuner if unsure. My recommendation is to keep the OEM system until it causes you issues.

3- High-pressure fuel pump (HPFP).

It's very important to regularly check the wear on the cam-follower within the HPFP unit. The wear rate is different in every car, so be sure to check often based on your style of driving. Someone with a heavy foot should check the follower every 3,000 miles on a heavily modified car. Stage 1 and stage 2 tuned car owners should check every 5,000 miles.

The cam-follower system is a poor design from the factory, you could fix this issue by getting a TSI roller follower conversion from AKS tuning. It should cost around £500 including fitting on the bases you exchange your cam chain casing.

4- Engine oil (5w/40).

On a modified TFSI engine, the standard 5w/30 becomes too thin and causes the engine to smoke. I recommend OEM Quantum platinum 5w/40 for regular driving or Millers nano drive 5w/40. For track and competition use, I recommend asking you're tuner for advice.

5- Spark plug (NGK).

To ensure the engine runs smoothly I highly recommend NGK BKR7EIX for everyday use. On a modified engine, stock OEM plugs can't keep up with the ignition timing and extra power from the engine.

6- Fuel rating (RON).

I've personally seen far too many people within the TFSI community use 95 RON fuel daily and run 99 RON on the weekend. If you're one of them people, stop immediately. If you read the owner's manual, it specifically says a minimum of 97 RON. Every time you fill up with 95 RON, the ECU detects the engine knock and retards the timing. This will reduce power, can cause rough idle, more carbon deposits, poor mpg, and more issues down the line.

98/99 RON fuel is highly recommended because it takes longer to detonate and more resistant to engine knock. That in return makes more power, more mpg and keeps your intake valves cleaner due to higher compression. Stick with Shell V-power or Tesco Momentum 99. Both fuels run perfectly fine on any performance engine. If anything, I've used Momentum 99 more in my cars then V-power for the past 3 years.

7- Oil pick-up pipe (OPP).

I highly recommend to inspect or replace every 30,000 miles. The OPP is meant to filter any debris recirculating from the oil pump. Over time, this filter can be filled with debris and get clogged. This is when you see oil pressure warning light, engine off. When this happens, 9 out 10 times its the OPP that needs checking/replacing. Sometimes when you're running low on engine oil, the warning light will show up as well.

8- Engine carbon deposits (ECD).

Due to direct injection, the intake valves and induction channels get clogged up with carbon deposits. It's a very common issue in the TFSI community and is known to cause rough idle, poor mpg, poor throttle response, loss of power and torque. I highly recommend having the carbon deposits cleaned by walnut blasting. I recommend having this done prior to a remap session as it can free upto 20 bhp and 20 lbft.

9- Injector ultrasonic service (IUS).

The injectors are notorious for misfires and rough running conditions. I highly recommend having them tested for flow and condition along with new filter basket and teflon seal. Should you need this service done, I highly recommend The Fuel Injector Clinic based in Nuneaton.

While on the subject of injectors, I would also check you're injector type. Plenty of cases where people have been running the wrong injector on their K04 TFSI cars and vice versa. While few reputable companies check this before remapping, many do not. Avoid this by checking you have the correct injectors as K03 and K04 are different.

10- Runner flap delete kit (RFD).

The runner flaps are tiny plates inside the intake manifold which open and close on throttle. Very common issue is when the motor can get stuck closed or have very little movement due to carbon deposits clogging up. This can cause loss of power, poor running conditions and ultimately expensive repairs. To avoid this and increase air flow, I highly recommend the runner flap delete kits from APR, Forge Motorsport, and AKS Tuning.

Ultimate K03 and K04 Hardware list.

1 - Induction kit.

There are many kits on the market, the best one is usually 3" diameter single pipe (increased flow) with smooth mandrel bends and a large cone air filter. I recommend REVO or Creation Motorsport induction kits. They are the same essentially, however at different price points. I would also recommend heat wrapping the induction pipe to further aid in reducing heat.

2 - De-cat downpipe.

A de-catted downpipe helps reduce engine bay temperature and increase exhaust gasses flow. The faster we can rid of the hot exhaust fumes, the better. I highly recommend BCS, Trackslag and Relentless Tuning downpipes. All three brands make 3.5" diameter downpipes mating to 3" diameter finish, making it suitable to all exhaust cat-back systems.

3 - Front mount intercooler.

A 'welly cooler' is a term used to describe universal aftermarket performance intercoolers. The one you need is bar and plate type, so ask before you buy one. It's usually a custom fabrication job to fit but they work better than plug and play aftermarket kits. The idea is to get cold air to hit the intercooler first.

4 - Performance exhaust.

To make an engine go faster, there are 2 things to understand. First, you want to breathe large volumes of cold air (oxygen) into the engine as quickly as possible. Secondly, after detonation, you want to get the gasses out of the engine through the exhaust just as fast. The better this air flows, the better you're engine performs. So on that basis, you want a 3" diameter exhaust with nice smooth bends and a free-flowing silencer. I recommend BCS and Trackslag off the shelf systems, however, you should also consider custom exhausts made by EMP Performance (South), Midnight Performance (Midlands) or Tony Banks exhausts (North).

5 - High pressure fuel pump.

In order to achieve high torque and power, the oem HPFP unit is very restrictive (130 Bar or 1900 PSI) and needs the internal components to be modified to allow for higher volume of fuel. (180+ Bar or 2600+ PSI). You can buy Autotech, Loba, APR or Vis motorsport HPFP upgrade kits, all of which are good for the EA113 TFSI platform.

Under development.

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