VW Audi 2.0T FSI Cam Follower and Camshaft Replacement

So what is this follower and why is it so important to maintain, check and replace it? Scroll to read more of the cam follower's importance.

The Primary Cause

Failure to replace the fuel pump cam follower, a very inexpensive part which can lead to costly repairs if neglected. From left to right. Completely worn through follower, middle follower is halfway worn (DLC coating worn through) and the right is a new unit.

Far too many VW/Audi 2.0T FSI owners know about the need for a replacement intake camshaft. The primary cause: failure to replace the fuel pump cam follower, a very inexpensive part which can lead to costly repairs if neglected. The belt driven FSI 2.0T engine found in many 2005-2008 VW and Audi vehicles, known internally as the EA113 engine, has a camshaft driven high pressure fuel pump (HPFP). The intake camshaft has a tri-lobe on the transmission end of the engine which drives the cam follower, which in turns cycles the HPFP plunger inward and outward three times per camshaft rotation.

Now that cam follower, or “bucket” as some call it, since it does resemble a tiny bucket… made of hardened tool steel and is coated in a Diamond Like Coating (DLC). Despite the coating and hardened material that is used the follower does still wear with time, it is after all getting extreme pressure applied to it 1.5 times per engine rotation. Let’s think about that for a minute, if you take a leisurely 30 minute drive and keep the rev’s at 2,500 RPM, that little cam follower is cycled 112,500 times! So a fairly regular daily commute can easily cycle the pump a quarter of a million times a day. The problem starts to snowball when the coating starts to wear. As the coating wears the more friction is created. In the event where the DLC coating is completely worn off, the follower starts to roll metal on metal directly with the camshaft lobe. The wear is accelerated and eventually wears right through the follower and starts to wear the fuel pump rod itself and the camshaft.

 

Now the camshaft is wearing unevenly because the rod in the fuel pump has a smaller foot-print than the cam follower. Eventually the lobe will be destroyed and the pump rod can wear to the point that the spring retainer can fall off and lodge itself inside the fuel pump and cam-to-cam timing chain housing. Ultimately the camshaft, fuel pump, follower, timing chain, housing, exhaust cam variator and chain tensioner needs to be replaced because of damage from debris. If the failure gets to this point it can also cause other issues like low oil pressure if enough ground up pump pieces make their way into the sump and clog the oil pump pickup.  This job isn’t for the faint of heart. We have all the knowledge and tools to complete this repair properly, as well as with the updated parts. However, if you want to avoid this expensive specialized repair, replace your cam follower regularly. We recommend every 10k miles if you have an aftermarket HPFP and every 20k miles if you have an OE HPFP.

WHERE DO I GO FROM HERE?

In unfortunate news, your camshaft needs to be replaced. Where does this leave you for the future?

Your vehicle is dependent on it’s engine and your engine is dependent on you keeping it healthy and maintained properly. Unfortunately we understand that time passes and maintenance can get away from you time to time. We are using this article to raise awareness that certain engines require a bit more attention than the average. In this case cam replacement is not an easy task and a costly repair. This repair averages well into the thousands and all thanks to a $150 maintenance item. Seems silly right?. If you are unlucky enough to find yourself in this predicament, we are well versed and experienced in performing this repair. Usually when performing this service the necessary replacement items are  a new camshaft, high pressure fuel pump, cam follower, cam chain tensioner, timing belt, water pump, and tensioners associated with this job to make sure the vehicle is in proper running condition. Not something the dealer or average repair shop usually replaces when this type of failure occurs.  We highly encourage those reading this and have questions, to e-mail us or by giving our service team a call with any questions or for a personalized quote.

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