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19 Common Problems With The Volkswagen Tiguan

If you’re considering purchasing or own a Volkswagen Tiguan, it’s important to know about the potential problems that come with the car. In this article, we discuss the most common issues that arise in Volkswagen Tiguans manufactured between 2009 and today.

Engine Issues

VW Tiguan Engine

The Volkswagen Tiguan is known to have a number of issues with its engine and powertrain. Some of the most common problems include issues with the throttle body, turbocharger, carbon deposits and timing chain tensioner. One of the most telling signs of engine problems is the check engine light, which could be triggered by a number of things, such as engine misfiring, faulty oxygen sensors, issues with the catalytic converter and defective airflow sensors.

Throttle Body Issues

Throttle body issues are prevalent in both early and newer Volkswagen Tiguans. The signs of such issues include rough idling, RPM fluctuations and the check engine light. A malfunctioning throttle body can cause your car to perform poorly, especially during low-speed cruising.

Turbocharger Issues

VW Tiguan Turbocharger

The turbocharger is known to malfunction or fail in many Volkswagen Tiguans. Some owners have reported that their cars experience a severe lack of power or struggle to maintain motorway speeds. If you hear the engine overworking, it could be a sign of a malfunctioning turbocharger. These issues are so common that Volkswagen owners have even petitioned for the company to initiate a recall.

Carbon Deposits

Volkswagen Tiguans have a known engine design fault, which results in carbon buildup. This can cause black smoke from the exhaust, failing sensors and poor performance. The TSI direct engine injection engine used in the Tiguan is especially prone to carbon buildup, leading to issues such as power loss, rough idling, hard starts, decreased acceleration and misfires. To address carbon buildup, the intake manifold, intake ports on the cylinder head and intake valves should be cleaned thoroughly.

Timing Chain Issues

VW Tiguan Timing Chain

One of the most frustrating and expensive issues that a Volkswagen Tiguan can experience is related to its timing system. The timing chain tensioner, which is made of plastic, tends to fail in many Volkswagen Tiguans. If you hear rattling or misfiring while idling, your timing system may be failing. If you notice a check engine light accompanied by contaminated engine oil, it may be a sign of a timing chain issue.

Hesitation When Accelerating

One of the most concerning issues with the Tiguan is hesitation when accelerating. According to owners, this issue is severe and erratic, making it dangerous to drive on the motorway. The problem is that this issue does not show any diagnostic trouble codes. However, it is often caused by a fuel/air mixture that is too lean, which can be caused by a failed mass airflow sensor, faulty fuel pump, failed throttle position sensor or dirty/failing fuel injectors.

Electrical Issues

Another common problem with the VW Tiguan is related to various electrical systems. Many owners have reported problems with the exterior lights, infotainment screen and rearview camera.

Exterior Lights Issues

VW Tiguan Headlights

These issues include low and high beams failing, issues with the sunroof ambient lighting bar and issues with the taillights. Some of these issues were common enough to prompt VW to issue recalls to fix them.

Infotainment System Issues

Infotainment screen issues are a particular problem with newer Volkswagen Tiguan models, where the system freezes or goes blank completely. These issues can often be resolved by resetting or updating the system to the newest version. However, VW did recall the Tiguan back in 2018 because the cluster can fail and not remind you that your key is still in the ignition when you leave the vehicle.

Burning Oil

VW Tiguan Change Oil

Burning oil is another problem Tiguan owners have experienced. A common problem with Tiguan models, mainly from 2018, is that the engine continually needs oil adding, leaving owners confused and worried as they burn through oil at an alarming rate. Although VW dealers have reportedly been telling customers they consider it acceptable for their cars to burn through a quart of oil every 1,000 miles, this simply isn’t good enough. This problem has been linked to bad cylinder seals.

Rearview Camera

Rearview camera issues are a reasonably regular sight with many modern-day VW models and it seems like the Tiguan is no different. Because of that, Volkswagen even issued two recalls to combat this issue.


VW Tiguan Airbag

Airbag-related issues are also reasonably frequent on many modern-day Volkswagen vehicles. These might be the most consistent complaints with the new era of the VW Tiguan. The most common airbag-related issues are those associated with the airbag control module, frontal airbag deployment, side/window airbags and the dreaded coil spring.

Automatic Emergency Braking Problems

One of the most common problems reported by Tiguan owners is that the emergency brakes are applied without any input from the driver. In other cases, the emergency brakes fail to activate when they should. This problem has been reported on Tiguan models from 2018 and newer and it is believed to be caused by overly sensitive sensors. If you are experiencing this issue, it is recommended that you speak with your local Volkswagen specialist.

Steering Issues

VW Tiguan Interior

Two common steering issues have plagued the Tiguan since its release. The first is associated with the clock spring, which can break and cause the multifunction steering wheel to fail, as well as other wheel-related systems such as the airbag. The other common steering issue is one where the power steering disengages, causing the steering wheel to become extremely heavy. If you experience either of these issues, it is recommended that you take your Tiguan to a Volkswagen specialist for repairs.

Fuel System Issues

Both diesel and unleaded-powered Tiguan models can experience fuel system-related issues, including fuel leaks, a faulty fuel pump and issues with the N80 purge valve. Fuel leaks can occur due to faulty fuel lines, while a faulty fuel pump can cause poor performance, higher fuel costs, leaks and stalling.

A Faulty Fuel Pump

A faulty fuel pump is a relatively common issue in both older and newer Tiguan models. When the fuel pump fails, it may not pump fuel at a consistent pressure, resulting in a host of problems like poor performance, higher fuel costs and even stalling. In fact, Volkswagen issued a recall in July of 2014 due to fuel pumps failing to pump at the correct pressure.

N80 Purge Valve Issue

VW Tiguan N80 Purge Valve Issue

The N80 purge valve is another fuel system-related issue that Tiguan owners have experienced. The symptoms of this problem include performance issues, lousy fuel mileage and a check engine light. The N80 purge valve failure causes the valve to either pump too much fuel into the engine or not enough, leading to engine performance issues.

Engine Stalling

Many Tiguan owners have reported engine stalling, followed by the Electronic Power Control (EPC) warning light coming on. This issue has been attributed to a faulty fuel injector wiring harness or a faulty engine. If you experience engine stalling, it is recommended that you take your Tiguan to a Volkswagen specialist for repairs.

Seats and Seatbelts Issues

VW Tiguan Seatbelt

Finally, some Tiguan owners have reported issues with the seats and seatbelts. Some seats have torn prematurely, while others have reported seatbelt issues. While these issues are not as severe as other problems that have prompted recalls, they can still be frustrating for Tiguan owners.

In conclusion, the Volkswagen Tiguan is a great SUV, but it is not without its problems. If you experience any of the issues mentioned above, it is important to take your vehicle to a Volkswagen specialist for repairs. With proper care and maintenance, however, you can continue to enjoy your Tiguan for years to come.

If you believe your Tiguan may need a repair, you suspect a fault or you are considering a service or MOT, you can book your vehicle in to one of our 4 branches by using the simple form below or give us a call at Oldham 0161 624 5060, Heywood on 01706 622633, Bury 0161 761 3030 and our Oldham Van Centre 0161 628 5270.

We also offer a highly convenient Collect & Return service or a Courtesy Car to ensure your routine is disrupted as little as possible while your vehicle is serviced, repaired or undergoes an MOT.

Arranging Your Service

Drop your car off
Simply drop your car off with us between 8am and 10am and in most cases your vehicle will be ready for collection the same day between 3.30 and 5.30. Outside these hours you are welcome to park.

Wait with your car
Most servicing and repair work can be done while you wait. If this is your preference we have a superb waiting area equipped with free hot and cold drinks and a interesting viewing area where you can watch our trained technicians working on your vehicle.

Courtesy car
If your vehicle needs to stay with us for 1 day or longer then you are able to pre-book one of our courtesy vehicles to keep you mobile.

Pick up / drop off
The ultimate hassle free solution; one of our drivers will arrange to collect your vehicle from your home or place of work at a pre-arranged time and then return your vehicle when the work is complete. Our service advisors will contact you when the vehicle arrives on site during the day to discuss the progress of the work and then advise you of the time you can expect your vehicle back. Contact our service advisors for more details.

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19 Common Problems With The Volkswagen Tiguan

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