Despite the wide range of Volkswagen makes and models, there are fewer VR6 engine vehicles on the road today, and this trend is likely to continue. Though devoted fans of the Volkswagen VR6 engine love its smooth sounding engine and quiet yet powerful torque, manufacturing of the VR6s has slowed significantly. With turbocharged 4-cyclinder engines producing more power than ever before — and running more efficiently — there’s less of a demand and need for the 2.8 liter DOHC VR6 engines.
Volkswagen’s VR6s Become More Rare
Introduced more than a dozen years ago in the Passat, Jetta and Golf models, the newly designed VR6s engines offered more power and punch in a small, compact package. With deep narrow lines, the VR6 engine fits in a small space under the hood and gives seemingly ordinary compact vehicles more oomph than most cars in its class.
Yet today, with fewer VR6 engines in circulation (they’re still in Passat and new Atlas models), high quality car engine repair for the VR6s can be difficult to come by. With its V-shaped frame and unique design, auto engine repair for the Volkswagen VR6 isn’t for inexperienced mechanics as components aren’t where you think they’d be. As such, it is advisable to use VW repair shops in San Diego that are familiar with the VR6 engine.
Common VR6 Problems
Typical problems related to older model vehicles tend to be related to sparkplugs, which need to be replaced regularly at 30,000-mile intervals. A delay in this auto repair will result in more serious problems occurring soon after, such as the engine not turning over. Performing engine repair even sparkplug replacement is more difficult on these VR6 engines because spacing under the hood is so tight.
Regular Cooling System Service Is a Must
As a result of the VR6’s engine’s dense size, proper engine cooling can be a problem. With less surface area, overheating can be more common particularly if the cooling system isn’t running at optimal levels.
As such, regular cooling system service for these VW vehicles cannot be postponed. Seasoned VW mechanics will tell you that as a general rule, VR6 engines tend to run hot, which means the slightest inefficiency with the cooling system can really have a big impact on engine functionality.
Another problem area related to the VR6 engines has to do with sealing and leaking of hoses and gaskets, including the head gasket. Because the cooling system and engine unit are so densely packed together, a leak’s source can be hard to find.
Warm Stall Issues May Not Require Auto Engine Repair
Long idle times and stalling problems, such as warm stalls, have also been commonly reported on VW VR6 engines. Warm stalls occur when the vehicle won’t start again after you’ve turned the car off and it’s been sitting for several minutes. So for instance, you drive to the store and park your car without any problems. You come back from shopping and the car won’t start as a result of the engine still being warm.
Proper auto repair and diagnoses for warm stalls can be tricky. Warm stalls could signal the need for a cooling system service, a water pump replacement or a problem with the alternator. A quick fix could be an ECU flashing, or a resetting of the original equipment manufacturer parameters. VW repair shops familiar with VR6 engine problem should be able to help you out with less trial and error.
Dashboard Sensors and Lights in VWs Are Less Reliable
For better or worse, other common problems for VR6s have less to do with true engine repair and more to do with perceived engine repair. That is, the On Board Diagnostics (OBD) of VWs is known for being problematic. In these situations, lights go off on the dashboard indicating that something is wrong with the vehicle when it really isn’t.
VW repair shops can get out the diagnostics to reveal that you don’t have those problems with your car after all. The real problem is with the sensors and electronic system. This is good news because it means you likely won’t need any major VW repair, yet it is bad news because you might have freaked out about nothing.
Looking for VW Auto Repair in San Diego?
So if you have an aging Volkswagen with a VR6, you can take comfort in knowing that if it is well maintained by a VW mechanic familiar with VR6 engine repair, your vehicle can last for several hundred thousand miles. Our San Diego auto repair shop is here to help!
And if you are a true VR6 enthusiast, be aware that these engines are being manufactured at a much lower output rate. While Volkswagen hasn’t announced they’re stopping production, all evidence seems to point to a slower and slower production cycle for years to come.