Reliability and durability are linked, but not in the same way as maintenance. Because if you constantly have to replace parts of your engine to keep it running, it’s not a reliable engine. But sometimes robust power plants just need a few tweaks or upgrades to make their lives easier. Like Volkswagen’s VR6 engine.
VR6 – Special engine for Volkswagenfans.
Although it was replaced by lighter, smaller and more efficient turbocharged engines, Volkswagen’s VR6 was a pretty revolutionary engine, reports Road & Track. Like the V6, it has two rows of three cylinders, DriveTribe explains. But unlike a conventional V6, Volkswagen’s VR6 has only one cylinder head.
This allowed Volkswagen to integrate the V6 into cars that could only be equipped with four-cylinder engines, R&T explains. Not only did it fit in the small engine compartment, it also didn’t affect the weight distribution as much as a normal V6. This gives you more power without sacrificing controllability.
The 2004 Volkswagen Golf R32 3.2-liter VR6 engine | Volkswagen
The first 2.8-liter VR6 engine appeared in the modern 1992 Volkswagen Corrado and Passat, according to Drifted reports. It was then introduced in vehicles such as the Jetta, Mk4 Golf GTI, Phaeton and even the Touareg and Atlas. But perhaps the most iconic version is the 2004 and 2008 Golf R32. These AWD hot hatches are powered by 3.2-liter VR6 engines, with 240 hp on the 2004 car and 250 hp on the 2008 car. And a note from the engine, which Car describes as a soft, bubbling army.
But Volkswagen didn’t just use the VR6 in Volkswagen-inspired cars. The engine eventually found its way into the Porsche Cayenne, as well as the Audi TT, A3 and Q7, according to reports from EnginesWork. And the VR6 forms the basis of the W12 engine in the Bentley Continental GT, according to R&T. Even the engine in the Bugatti W16 uses RV technology, reports DriveTribe.
Even though the Volkswagen VR6 is no longer state-of-the-art, it can be a reliable engine, VW Tuning reports. However, it is not without its drawbacks.
The usual complaint is about the ignition system. Early VR6 models have ignition coils, while newer models use ignition coils, according to VW Tuning reports. And judging by the numerous forum threads in places like VW Vortex and r/Volkswagen, the VR6 seems prone to coil and coil block failures. Engines Work and VW, support for these claims.
The NHTSA also received a complaint from an owner of a 2004 R32 who claims that the ignition coil in his vehicle caught fire while driving in the fast lane. Although it is interesting to note that the R32 has coils, and not a coil block.
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The Volkswagen VR6 also has some heat-related problems. The engine’s water pump has several plastic parts that degrade and break over time, VW Tuning reports. The plastic cooling pipe is also notorious for being popularly known as a crack pipe, reports EuroWise. This may be partly due to the narrow engine compartment, Griffins Autoherstel suspects. In addition, if the engine overheats, the cylinder head gasket can fail, another age-old problem with the VR6, reports DustRunners Auto. There may also be a hot stand.
The Volkswagen VR6 also has some issues with the belt tensioner and serpentine timing chain, Drifted ratio and VW Tuning. But it’s not so much an inconvenience and more a matter of age. Although timing chains generally last longer than belts, they may need to be replaced. The situation is similar with the serpentine belt and tensioner.
Fortunately, most of these problems can be solved today.
The good news is that none of these problems have to be a disruptive factor. In the case of the chain and belt of the Volkswagen VR6, these are wear parts in many engines. Just follow the maintenance schedule and keep an eye on the engine.
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As for the crack pipe and water pump, websites like Gruven Parts offer replacement metal versions of these parts. And it should be noted that the radiators and various hoses will eventually need to be replaced.
As for the ignition coils and ignition cables, Volkswagen has issued a recall for the 2.8-liter VR6, according to the Department of Consumer Affairs. As with the other engines, NHTSA has investigated the problem but has not yet issued a recall, VW Problems reports. Since then, however, Volkswagen has repeatedly examined the ignition coils, the NHTSA tuning ratio, and the ECS. Several users on the VW Vortex forum say that these new parts are not as good as the previous ones.
Finally, the hot stop problem was solved with the help of Volkswagen’s TSB. All it takes is an ECU reflux to update the software, an NHTSA report and a VW tuning report.
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If you are considering purchasing a used Volkswagen with VR6, we obviously recommend that you have an inspection done before purchase. But with a few modifications, it can be a durable and reliable engine.
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frequently asked questions
Is the VR6 engine reliable?
Why was the RV6 abandoned?
YouTubers Engineering Explained and Humble Mechanic explain why in this new video. In fact, the integrated turbo-4 makes the VR6 obsolete, with similar performance and fuel economy in a smaller, lighter package. … It’s not even possible to get a new VW with a VR6 engine in Europe.
Are VW engines reliable?
What is the most reliable VW engine? Volkswagen engines generally last about 100 kilometers if they are maintained and cared for properly. The VW cars you buy today usually last longer than VW cars that are only ten years old.
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