The 2.8 FSI engine from Audi is not as common as the 3.0 TDI, especially in the C7 A6 model. But we actually think it’s quite underappreciated for what it is. Sure it may not be as economical, but as you’ll see soon it’s plagued by far fewer issues.
Doing your own homework is really important when it comes to purchasing a car with a certain engine. Some engines have more problems than others, and it’s a good idea to be aware of them in order to make the right decision. And this is why we are here to help you out.
First, we are going to learn more about the basic specs of the 2.8 FSI engine and learn what this engine delivers in terms of power. Then, we are going to cover the common Audi 2.8 FSI engine problems and learn what troubles this engine. Lastly, we are going to learn what models include this 2.8 FSI engine. So, let’s get started.
Basic Audi 2.8 FSI Engine Specs
Now before we dive into the problems of the 2.8 FSI engine, let’s first learn more about the specs that this engine includes.
For those who don’t know, the 2.8 FSI is a naturally aspirated V6 engine that was included in some Audi models like the A6.
This engine is FSI, which means that it is naturally aspirated. In other words, the engine does not have a turbo. So, fewer problems compared to the TFSI engines that often have turbocharger issues.
When it comes to the design, this engine is quite similar to other V6 designs used in Audi models. It implements a dual overhead camshaft layout and is chain driven. This makes the maintenance more expensive but that’s how Audi does its thing, they simply are not for everyone.
This is why if you look for an engine with cheaper maintenance, you might want to check the inline-4 engines, they are much more straightforward and easy to work on.
Nevertheless, here are the full specs of the 2.8 FSI engine by Audi.
- Engine Configuration: V6
- Displacement: 2.8L
- Cylinder Bore: 84.5 mm
- Piston Stroke: 82.4 mm
- Cylinder Head Material: Aluminum
- Head Design: DOHC, 4 valves per cylinder
- Compression Ratio: 12:1
- Aspiration: Naturally Aspirated
- Fuel Injection: Direct Injection
- Horsepower: 204 – 210 hp (150 kW)
- Torque: 207 lb-ft (280 N-m)
Common Audi 2.8 FSI Engine Problems
Common Audi 2.8 FSI engine problems include:
- Spark Plug & Coil Failure
- MAF Sensor Failures
- ECU Failures
- Camshaft Position Sensor Failures
- Carbon Buildup
- Timing Chain Rattle
- Oil Consumption
Now let’s move on and further elaborate on these problems with the 2.8 FSI in detail. Why do we need to do this?
Well, you need to make sure when and how these problems appear in this engine. And knowing the common issues and how they happen is crucial when it comes to diagnosing and uncovering them on time.
This is why in the following chapters, we are going to elaborate on each of these problems in depth and see how serious they are. So, let’s get started.
Spark Plug & Coil Failure
The first and most common problem with this engine is definitely the spark plug and ignition coil failures.
As you probably know, spark plugs are the components that deliver a spark and ignite the fuel. While coils on the other hand are the components that create this spark.
The coils are electrical transformers that transform the 12v power from the battery in a high current. This process allows the development of enough cranking amps to start the engine.
What is unfortunate is that these coils often fail on these engines and cause issues. These cars are 20 years old now and starting issues are the most common.
This is why if you are experiencing the check engine light, engine misfires, or rough engine idle, you might definitely want to check the life of these components with a multimeter. Or just replace them with new components.
This way, you will be sure that you will not face a similar issue. Although other components can also cause similar problems.
MAF Sensor Failures
The MAF sensor is another common failure point on these engines. The MAF sensor is the mass airflow sensor.
This sensor controls the airflow into the intake. It measures how much air has passed through and by doing this it helps adjust the air-to-fuel ratio.
The MAF sensor can get clogged up and can also fail completely. Causing the check engine light and problems running the engine.
The methods that help in this case include doing a cleaning of the MAF or replacing it with a new unit.
Another common problem with this engine is the ECU, the ECU for those who don’t know is the Engine Control Unit.
This module is mounted close to the firewall on the driver’s side. What can happen is that in many cases these control modules can get flooded in rainwater.
Whenever they are flooded with rainwater, they will start to malfunction and fail. The only way around this problem will be to replace them, which can be somewhat expensive to do. But used units can be found for relatively cheap.
This problem is often caused more in the older 2.8 FSI engines.
Camshaft Position Sensor Failures
This engine is using something known as a camshaft position sensor. In fact, there are four of these sensors on every 2.8 FSI engine.
This is the case because the engine uses a DOHC layout, two cams per bank that make a total of four of these sensors.
And these sensors have a purpose to monitor the position of the camshafts. And help adjust the ignition timing.
In many of these old Audi engines, they can just fail and cause no-start issues. The engine will continuously crank without being able to start.
This problem is more often present in older 2.8 FSI engines.
And whenever you have this situation, it is highly likely that one of these sensors has failed.
Another problem that this engine has is carbon buildup. The newer FSI engines use something called direct fuel injection, which is great, but it does cause these carbon deposits.
This new method of injecting fuel uses separate injectors and fuel is not injected through the intake ports like in older engines.
So, the intake valves are getting clogged with carbon deposits. This carbon buildup can eventually prevent the valves from opening and closing, resulting in engine misfires.
The solution to this problem is to do a method known as walnut blast every 60,000 miles (ca. 96,561 km) in order to be safe from these issues. There are also some chemical ways of cleaning these deposits.
Now let’s continue with the next Audi 2.8 FSI engine problems.
Timing Chain Rattle
Another common problem with this Audi engine is the situation with the timing chain, the timing chain is a big headache for a lot of Audi models including the 2.8 FSI.
This timing chain will eventually require a replacement. Whenever there is a problem with the timing chain, the chain will start to create rattling noises, especially on a cold start and only for 3-5 seconds.
These noises are a tell-tale sign that your chain is in need of replacement. If you ignore the symptoms, the chain can eventually skip or tear and this will result in engine failure.
In this case, the pistons and valves will collide, resulting in engine damage. In many cases, this damage is irreparable, and you will have to replace the whole engine, that’s why watch out for this engine rattle.
Oil consumption is also common on these Audi engines, the older the vehicle is, the more oil will start to consume.
These cars are more than 10 years old and considering the amount of miles they have, it is understandable that there will be some oil consumption.
This oil consumption can really depend on maintenance as well. If the engine was poorly maintained it is understandable that the engine will consume more oil than an engine that was well maintained by its previous owner/s.
And last but not least are the oil leaks, these leaks can develop from various places around the engine.
Especially at the valve covers, oil pan, and in the valley of the engine. This is why we recommend inspecting the engine thoroughly for leaks before you buy it.
This is mandatory because many of these leaks are extremely expensive to fix.
Which Models Have The 2.8 FSI Engine?
Now let’s see what models have the 2.8 FSI engine.
- Audi A6 C6
- Audi A6 C7
- Audi A7 4G8
What are the Common Audi 2.8 FSI Engine Problems?
Common problems with this engine are often ignition related, there can be problems with spark plugs and ignition coils. Other problems with this engine are related to different leaks around the engine and timing chain problems. Overall, the engine is pretty good and doesn’t have a lot of issues.
Is The Audi 2.8 FSI Engine Reliable?
This engine is pretty reliable, it doesn’t have any serious issues besides ignition problems and carbon buildup on the intake ports. The chain can also develop a rattle when the chain wears out, and probably this is the most expensive maintenance of this 2.8 FSI engine. Overall, this is a fairly good engine when maintained properly.