Most Volkswagen Eos or MK6-platform TSI vehicles that were manufactured before 2014 are likely equipped with an older revision of the ignition coil packs. These coil packs don’t usually withstand engine heat very well and usually cause rough idle upon start up or slow acceleration when driven.
They are recommended to be replaced every 40k to 60k miles to maintain optimal performance for your car. The new revision coil packs have many changes in the design and work a lot more efficient than its older siblings.
Replacing coil packs is the easiest job that every grandma and her cat could do in a free afternoon, while baking. It takes less than 5 minutes and the result is a more responsive throttle, better gas mileage and quicker acceleration. If you have a chance to replace them, you should do it right around 50k or 90k as a preventative maintenance. Don’t wait like I did!
Here’s the story!
Like most other Eos owner, I was cruising the high way with a smile on my face. It’s been a two-hour drive and it didn’t even feel that long. And soon I was just about five minutes from home.
As I gave it a good and confident push on the pedal to get to my exit, the car screamed like it was in labor; or maybe more like something inside the engine just got loosened and it was on a killing spree under the hood. One moment the engine light started blinked like a disco light, the next the EPC came on and stayed on; which made my dashboard lit beautifully like a winter Christmas tree on Dec 24th.
Once I saw the EPC light I know this was going to be a crappy drive home –because the car has gotten itself into Limp Mode. Limp Mode means the the turbo stopped spooling, the ECU limits max speed around 30-45mph and you stuck with one gear for a long time before it shifts. Car also jerks like someone kicks it in the nuts every five seconds. Ounch!
So I pulled over and quickly put my OBD Eleven to work (review here). After a quick scan, this was the result.
So what this myriad of faulty codes trying to tell me is my engine now has transformed itself into a ticking bomb. Get out and run as fast as you could. Just kidding!
The three main codes:
- P0300 Random/Multiple Cylinder misfired detected
- P0301 Cylinder 1 misfired detected
- P130A Hide cylinder
…all actually mean that one or more of the four cylinders don’t work the way they should, hence the engine decides to hide/disable them for the time being. When a cylinder is disabled, the car go into Limp Mode with EPC light on (for Windows user, it’s Safe Mode) to avoid further damage to the engine due to things misbehaving.
Now if you see problem like this, the one thing you could do is rotating the coil packs to see if the error code follows the cylinder. For example, in the code above you see P0301 for Cylinder 1 misfired. If you swap the coil pack from Cylinder 1 with Cylinder 2’s and the error code now is P0302, you know that the coil pack is causing the problem.
Bad ignition coil pack definitely gave me nightmare. The last 5 minutes driving home felt like an hour.
Replacing the Coilpacks
This guide will end before you know it. First get your hands on a new set of coil packs. This is the old revision (with black plastic tubing) vs. the new revision.
Side by side comparison. The old one is on the left.
Now what I like to actually put in my car at this point is the 06E 905 115 E. You need to purchase four of these.
If you do a quick search for this set of coil packs, you’ll learn that a majority of VW enthusiasts prefer them over any other coil packs. The well know red top coil packs are used in both Volkswagen Golf R, Audi Q5 and many other high-end performance sport cars such as Audi R8 V8 and V10 models. Since I have to replace my coil packs, might as well put in the best ones available. Let’s get started.
1. Remove the engine cover. Locate the coil pack wiring behind the oil cap. Push the latch, pull the connectors out.
2. Use the Force to wiggle then pull each coil pack straight up out of its housing.
3. Slide new coil packs in. Reconnect the wiring and make sure the contact is tight and secured. And done!
Well it’s a good learning experience and a great maintenance DIY you could do before moving further into the game.
Next, let’s clean the Mass Air Flow sensor to restore lost power for your engine if it has been running around for more than 40k!