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2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Post Purchase Prep - Boost is Back


SiC
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Went for a drive in this earlier. Tappy/rattly again when first started up but silent and smooth when the journey was finished. Now I'm not sure if that's normal or not as VAG 4pot engines can be a bit shit refinement wise. Even my mates nearly new Golf R sounds like a rattly bag of bolts outside when it's cold.

It could also be of course that it just needed to be warmed up for the fresh oil to replace the old in the hydraulic tappets and such. The noise isn't super loud either, so could just be a normal of these engines and I'm not familiar with how these lump sound. Basically I going to just monitor for now and see if it gets worse. If it doesn't then it's just a thing it does.

Driving wise it goes pretty well. They were known to be a smooth accelerating engine of the day with no noticeable lag. However in 2022 that lag is definitely noticeable. Modern cars have flat torque curves from just above idle right to the red line. Where as this you hear it kick in around 2k but it's really only properly boosting at 3k. Now it could be mine isn't quite right (there is that code for the Diverter Valve) but others say these are like that.

Fuel economy is less than I hoped given it's running super juice, but fixing the thermostat may help it. Saying that it's similar to the TT mk2 2.0TFSi I had. Just the Boxster isn't far behind and it defeats man maths a bit if it's too close.

This is the first car I've owned with Quattro (Haldex admittedly) and it's quite a weird feel. I haven't pushed it hard (it's wearing ditchfinders and it's greasy out) but you kind of just "go around the corner". It definitely feels like you could boot it in a corner and everything would be okay. Probably helped by being a 180 rather than 225bhp model. I think that may partially also have to do with the lack of feel the Power Steering has and these are known for.

The wheel off centre is annoying. I think that's going to be a spring and alignment job. Still want to put some miles on it before committing more money into this. I think I'll just replace the one spring that is correct for the car year but incorrect for the other springs. Mostly because I don't want it lower.

Other stuff like the dash display can wait and I might not sort. Perfectly usable as it is and the information it gives isn't that important. Disappointed it doesn't have a digital Speedo on it like later Audi's do.
I took this photo partially to prove there is (currently!) no warning lights on.
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My phone mount did manage to pull off the bottom air vent guide. Quite annoying especially as I don't know where I am going to put my phone for satnav reasons and the like. As this car (should) be a keeper, I might see about getting an aftermarket Android auto compatible headunit. Would be good to have one with handsfree on too.
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I still have the thermostat to do. Debating whether to do that tonight or not. The Boxster is off next week to have a ruddy good service and sort a few niggling issues that put me off using it. That does mean this needs to be on the road as I don't have a proper backup car otherwise. The thermostat change is mostly so I hopefully get a better fuel economy as the heater is still effective.

Finally spend wise I've just added up as £144. That includes a set of cheap car mats but not tools that I've bought. So all in it owes me basically £1200. Given it was £1250 and I paid £1050, I think I'm still doing okay. Really the only major thing left to pay for is the spring and wheel alignment.

All in all, I don't think I've done too bad and hopefully it'll provide decent service. I am still on the lookout for a V6 and may change if I find a good value one!

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I've had two 1.8t seat ibizas , one from twelve months old and the second was around ten years old when I had it and both sounded tappy.

Thermostat is easy to swap takes about 5minutes and cost less than £10. Iirc they are under the inlet manifold to the left if looking from the front of the car.

 

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56 minutes ago, bigfella2 said:

Please tell me your going to replace it with a genuine vag thermostat 

No a Febi ... off Amazon 😁👍

Just finished it. Wasn't too bad a job in the end. Was one of those days where I had butter fingers though and spent a lot of the time magnetic fishing for sockets under the bonnet.

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3 hours ago, Jds1 said:

I've had two 1.8t seat ibizas , one from twelve months old and the second was around ten years old when I had it and both sounded tappy.

That's exactly what I wanted to hear! I did think it might be normal. It really quite rough too when on high idle and the Secondary Air Pump is running. The battery is probably a bit weak too and I suspect a voltage drop messing things up until the alternator has replenished some energy is not helping things either. 

3 hours ago, Jds1 said:

Thermostat is easy to swap takes about 5minutes and cost less than £10. Iirc they are under the inlet manifold to the left if looking from the front of the car.

Yeah that's where it was. Wasn't a 5 minute job. At least for me. I tried to avoid taking the alternator out but ended up doing so and it made the job quite straightforward with that out. I've certainly done far worse thermostats and the alternator was straightforward to remove once I figured how to release the tensioner!

Even managed to keep coolant loss to an absolute bare minimum too. 

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Sooooooooo changing that thermostat. I didn't intend to do it yesterday however Mrs SiC was babysitting her friends children and I was sat at home keeping the cat company. It was 8pm and I thought, I wonder if I could get it done before 10pm. (Spoiler - I didn't)

The Thermostat lives behind the usual VAG plastic housing which is behind the alternator. Disconnecting the metal plate below the inlet manifold and dipstick gives better visibility and some access.

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You can just about see it here if you follow the coolant hose in the middle of this photo. 

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Most guides say remove the alternator but I reckoned I could cheat by disconnecting the terminals on the back of the alternator. That terminal is battery live, so the negative terminal on the battery needs disconnecting. Definitely access is available but it's tight.

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Which did give enough access after removing the dipstick tube too. However I didn't clip on my 10mm socket properly and it came off deep in that area. I couldn't even see where it fell, let alone fish with the magnetic stick.

So the alternator had to come out. 

I read this requires a 16mm spanner to remove the tension from the tensioner. However it wasn't immediately obvious how to do that. I was hunting everywhere for a bolt I could put the spanner on to. Then I suddenly realised how to do it was staring me right in the face.

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Spanner goes on that sticking bit of metal. Actually quite a nice design that I wish others did. The belt tensioner actually is nearly at its marked limits so I suspect this could do with a new aux belt at some point soon.

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Then stuck a Allen key in to lock into place. I tried pulling the alternator out but it wasn't having any of it. So I removed the intake throttle body to give a bit more visibility. That was pretty filthy but cleaning it requires resetting the adaptations for it in the ECU and I don't like to change more than one thing at a time.

Quite obvious then why it wasn't coming out... (Allen key too far in and fouling on the alternator body)

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Pry barred it and pulled it out of the car. Thermostat housing now is much clearer to see with far better access. Definitely worth removing it and wasn't too much hassle to. That 10mins longer means less hand scratches trying to get your widgets in there.

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I recovered my 10mm socket. In doing so, I knocked my ratchet off and lost that in the undertray. 

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After 10 minutes fannying around trying to recover my ratchet too, I got all the bits ready to replace. I'm using a Febi Thermostat mostly because it was £8.43 rather than £20 that GSF wanted for their equivalent (that I think was the wrong temperature). Genuine was £30 off eBay and that's getting a bit much really for just a thermostat. 

I didn't need to buy a new housing but with VAG, I remember hearing that once you accept you're going to break anything plastic you touch then jobs aren't so bad. So if I didn't buy a replacement, sod law I'd break it. At £6.80 from GSF, it isn't that badly priced.

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I didn't want to go through a full coolant change. Not least it ends up everywhere and I don't like to risk getting it on the floor as I have cats. You can get plastic hose clamp pliers to stop the flow but I didn't order them in time. So gettoed it with mole grips with tape on them. Worked okay but probably needed to clamp tighter really. I also put a glove and reusable zip tie on the end, while putting it as high as I could. On these, the pipe goes to the bottom of the radiator. So can end up loosing all its contents if left to droop.

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With the hose out of the way, the housing just unbolted and pulled away. Like a (dodgy 😆) plumber, I snatched the old thermostat out quickly and replacing with a new. Lost some coolant but only a few 100ml max.

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The replacement o-ring seemed a tad the wrong size but I got it all together eventually.

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Then a case of putting it all back together. The alternator I found would go back easier by pulling the threaded inserts in a bit. I did this with a socket and one of the bolts on the other side. This pulled out the insert a tad and gave more clearance. These get pulled back in when you tighten it all back up again.

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Put a bit more coolant back in just to allow it to replace the lost. Started up and let coolant flow round a bit. At this point it was 10:20pm. Nearly did it by 10pm and would have done if I didn't butter finger everything. 

With the car running on the drive, I gave the drive a quick wash down with a hose to wash away any coolant. As it was late, I didn't want to irritate the neighbours with a boomy exhausted car running on the drive. 

So went for a drive instead.

I think these run a little colder than most cars, so it didn't get to 100c that I usually do. However it's much higher than before. Previously it was running at around 75 to 77c. 

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The climate control panel has a handy diagnostic mode and one of the readings is the raw coolant temperature. I verified it got above the thermostat opening temperature and it didn't rise too high into a boiling temperature.

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So wasn't too bad in the end. I've certainly done far worse thermostat changes.

I did a code scan at the end and the Diverter Valve code is back. No EML but I guess I'll need to be changing that next. Would explain why the boost comes on quite suddenly and not so smoothly.

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  • SiC changed the title to 2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Post Purchase Prep - Thermostat Change

Today we did the first proper drive in this. Went to the city of Wells and back the long way. Worked out at about 50 miles or so. 

Drove well as expected. Smooth and quiet - something VAG is good at (when it's working properly!). There is a really annoying rattle in the dash area that comes and goes. Fuel economy is disappointing at 28-30mpg. It did drop as low as 24mpg at one point. 

Later on this afternoon I set out to fix the driver's door lock. It doesn't register that the door is open which causes two sets of problems. First is that you risk locking the keys in if you leave them there and close the door. It'll auto lock as it thinks the door hasn't been open. Secondly it doesn't drop the window glass. Being frame-less window design, it needs to raise the window when closed to make a decent seal and not bugger the seals up. 

Getting access to the lock is a piece of cake on the TT. Nowhere near the fuss that other VAG have. Like the Fabia that I sold to @Stanky which has pop riveted panels that need drilling out and replacing for access. 

Door card removal is a single bolt in the handle (cover removed by twisting it) and then a sharp pull up. 

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Lock has a plastic shield over it. Single plastic pin to remove and then wiggle it out, being mindful of the plastic clips.

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Lock is the usual spline bits, a couple of wire cables to remove and an electrical connector. 

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The problematic microswitch is at the bottom and easy to remove.

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What happens is two fold. First the rubber dome wears off the microswitch and reduces the travel. Secondly the cam it rubs against wears the plastic coating off, further reducing the travel of the switch to activate it. Enough together that it won't push it after so long.

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You can get replacement switches and that'll work for when the cam isn't worn through. I did read about someone sticking on a piece of thin plastic to take up the gap. So I tried that instead. If it works, it's a free fix!

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Except it didn't. Despite trying different glues, I couldn't get one to stick.

Second plan was to use some stiffer and a longer piece of plastic to simply jam in place. This worked but I'm not convinced how long it'll last. 

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At least I have a functioning lock now. As access to the lock is easy enough, I don't mind a bodge even if I have to replace it again in the future.

 

Also took the time to glue the loose piece of vinyl trim on the top of the door. This was unsightly and would only end up pulling off more with time. I didn't get it as flat as I wanted but it's far better now. Replacement door cards are plentiful and cheap too.

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Some good old fashioned UHU contact adhesive did the trick here.

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Second job of the day was replacing the Diverter Valve. This unit is part of the system that regulates air flow around the turbo. Think of it as a dump valve but instead of chucking it into the environment, it pipes it back into the pre-turbo intake. These are known to fail and I have a code that suspects it is the problem. You have to be careful with that code though as it could also be a faulty solenoid valve or leak in a vacuum pipe.

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The DV is easily got to on the 1.8t. Certainly not like the 2.0TFSi which you get to through a wheel arch.

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The unit on mine looks original, going by the factory clamps and markings. It's one of the later designs that should be longer lasting than the older.

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I did a quick check with the vacuum pump and it seemed to behave just fine. Held vacuum, snapped shut when released and no tears. 

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At this point the Amazon delivery driver arrived with a replacement. Hmm. Do I replace it?

As I had it in my hand, it was hard to not to. Except I knew it probably wouldn't fix the problem as the old seems a perfectly functional unit still. The scrubbed off section I think is where the Audi/SEAT/etc logo would be. This is a Febi branded part, so possibly is the same as OE.

I did look for a genuine Bosch but it appears they stopped making these about 8 to 10 years ago. Surprised me that as I thought it would be a hot sellers. VAG use a number of different suppliers for their OE part on this now. 

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I replaced the clamps with standard genuine jubilee clips. This box wasn't cheap but mega handy. Allows you to size up the correct clamp needed without burying through a random assortment box.

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New unit fitted.

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I went for a test drive. Error code comes back very quickly. I mean I shouldn't be surprised given the old one seemed fine.

So what is causing the issue? I can't see any obvious leaks in pipes. I checked the resistance of the N75 wastegate valve (a common cause of this code) and that seems fine. The N249 solenoid valve that controls that Diverter Valve rarely fails. I didn't test it as a bit fiddler to get to. 

I remember reading somewhere online that someone replaced their MAF and fixed this code. As I knew this had a non Bosch unit on it, I always have been suspicious of it's performance. My experience of MAFs is that non original are shit basically.

On the test drive, I disconnected the MAF. Definitely felt livelier on the butt Dyno. But was it really?

I fiddled around with my diagnostic tool and found the option to read boost pressure. With the MAF connected I was getting 4.3psi peak. With the MAF disconnected that jumped to 10.2psi peak! Over twice the pressure, no wonder this car was feeling a bit slower than I thought it would be!

Also a shitty MAF could be explaining the poor fuel economy as the ECU will be getting duff data from it. 

So looks like I'll need to be buying a new MAF. Shame I fitted that DV as that would have been useful chunk of money to use towards one. They're not cheap - about £110 or so.  I've also got to find the right model code. Not actually that easy often with Bosch either. 

In the test drive I had the ESP traction control warning light up. I expected this as it gets upset when the MAF is disconnected. It needs that info for figuring the engine torque/load output. Plugging the MAF in should have cleared it. Except it didn't. 

A code scan bought up a new code. One for the MAF (which cleared) and this one.

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Google says that sensor is attached to the Master Cylinder. On a LHD car it's easy to get to behind the air filter. On a RHD it's in a nightmare of a place behind the engine. Sometimes is the loom damaged as well. Sensor is about £100 each and there is two recommended to be replaced together.

Damn. 

One I think I'll have to farm out. Iirc the ESP light on is now a MOT failure item too. That is up in February. 

Apparently it's affected by heat. So maybe I can get away with it if the car is cold for the MOT...

Something I want to fix though as the ESP/Quattro for bad weather was a major reason I bought this car.

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  • SiC changed the title to 2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Post Purchase Prep - Reclaiming Lost Turbo Boost Pressure

I was tempted by an early TT for the same reasons as you. Didn't look at any because:

  • Mrs D doesn't like them
  • It's a bit flash for an old and dull man, and I'd feel slightly silly
  • I really don't like fixing almost all of the stuff you've been through, and would already be crying bitter tears of regret

You're a much more appropriate owner, with much more impressive patience!

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1 hour ago, N Dentressangle said:

I was tempted by an early TT for the same reasons as you. Didn't look at any because:

  • Mrs D doesn't like them
  • It's a bit flash for an old and dull man, and I'd feel slightly silly
  • I really don't like fixing almost all of the stuff you've been through, and would already be crying bitter tears of regret

You're a much more appropriate owner, with much more impressive patience!

The TT is one of the few cheap cars with reasonably lively performance that is Clean Air Zone exempt. Both the MK1 and MK2 are much cheaper than the equivalent hatch. E.g. the Mk1 225 is a good half the price of a ropey S3, despite having the same engine. Likewise the MK2 2.0tfsi Vs Golf V GTI.

Thankfully Mrs SiC really likes VAG vehicles, especially VW and Audi. She much preferred the TT mk2 I had over my Boxster that I replaced it with (I found the TT too boring). There is something about the thin veneer of robustness/quality/solidness that seems to really chime with her and most other women in my experience!

I seem to be the main demographic for these now. 20/30-something year old who wants a reasonably quick car that can be fiddled with but doesn't want to spend a lot. The only thing I'm missing is a body full of tattoos. 😆

I'd much rather have bought and be riding around with the Spitfire you bought though! Just I need a modern (with cruise control) that I can comfortably do long distances in all weathers and hopefully this will tick that box. Then I can focus on getting my own Spitfire next - once I clear the broken car backlog.

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Woke up far too early this morning, so spent the early hours searching for MAFs. I have to say that the Bosch part search is awful. The official online catalogue doesn't even list one for my engine code.

I currently have this cheap, shit Euro Car Part unit that is generic to many models and is causing the grief. If I had the original Bosch MAF I could read off the part code.

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Looking on parts sites, they all list a good 4 to 6 different Bosch part numbers, all varying quite a bit in price. All have the same VAG number of 06A906461L. On eBay used items you get a Bosch part number of 0280218065. You can find some new ones with that number or the cheaper one of 0280218340. 

I think the one ending in 340 is a revised part over the 065. OR the 065 is for 225BHP and the 340 is for the 180BHP. That last one is certainly the case with this eBay listing:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/234673235726

My engine code is the ARY (1.8T Quattro 180BHP). That listing matches up with it, says it's a proper Bosch unit and carpartsinmotion are quite a big outfit so hopefully not a fake. Similar price to Autodoc, but without the massively long wait.

Maybe the 065 has a higher top end on how much air it can read flowing through - hence for the 225BHP with the bigger turbo? 

While disconnecting the MAF brings back all the performance, that could be because it doesn't trigger the error code about the DV being faulty. That code is effectively a limp mode and limits the extra power gain from the turbo. But I'd thought it would still trigger if the MAF was disconnected though. I also question why the MAF was replaced in the first place - was it to try fixing an issue that is still there but masked by a slightly better MAF? Hard to know as I have so little paperwork to say what and why it was done.

So basically I still might not have fixed this. A bit of a parts darts that I don't like to do, but I know the current MAF is aftermarket and any problem will always put a question mark over it. 

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12 hours ago, SiC said:

Getting access to the lock is a piece of cake on the TT. Nowhere near the fuss that other VAG have. Like the Fabia that I sold to @Stanky which has pop riveted panels that need drilling out and replacing for access. 

 

grumble grumble grumble DAMN YOU AND YOUR ACCESSIBLE INNER DOOR WORKINGS grumble grumble grumble

Top work on the fault-finding though, looks like it should be back to full power quite soon!

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Loving this thread, I have had a 225 for 2 and a half years now. Although troublesome, they are fun cars and I don't think you can get better value for money. Your MPG for a 180 seems a little low. I get about 31MPG on mainly A roads to work, around 35MPG on a run on the motorway.

I would do a thorough check of your pipework by the manifold, the PCV system is notorious for being over-engineered and I bet there's a split or two knocking about causing you issues.

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Firstly I forgot to mention that I cleaned the Throttle Body yesterday. Not particularly exciting but a satisfying job.

Helps the idle a fair bit. It's still a bit lumpy when cold. I'm beginning to suspect the cam chain tensioner may be on its way out. Common fault on these 1.8t lumps. Not actually that massive a job apparently. I may get it done early next year with the cambelt. Only noisy for a few minutes after both a cold and hot start. I need to do some more diagnosing before condemning it though as may be something more simple.

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This generic diag tool is proving incredibly handy. While it can't do the coding like my VCDS does nor is the live data is as extensive, it's so much easier to plug this in than cracking out a laptop and fannying with that. 

It has throttle body relearn and I put it to use on this. VCDS runs it for a few seconds but this just runs continuously. So I left it running for 30s as it flipped open and closed, then quit out of it. 

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The new MAF arrived today. £65 with express next day FedEx shipping. Pretty cheap to be honest.

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This code is apparently the right one for my engine. It's not for the 225bhp lump, so I suspect they may have a unit that can take a higher airflow. 

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The verification code on the box says it's genuine Bosch.

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Super easy to install. I removed the top lid completely as it saves loosing the screws into the engine bay.

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Stupid car has come up with a new fault.

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Which is a lie as it's got enough coolant in. In fact it's over filled. Not that the sensor knows this.

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I clean the electrical connector in the hope it may fix this. New tanks aren't that expensive though.

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Went for a drive. 

Boost is back! Far smoother in accelerating now too. Very little noticeable lag.

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Diverter Valve code is gone now too. (Thank god)

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Best of all, the fuel economy is waaaaay better. At the weekend I was getting 28mpg or so babying it. This is cruising along with a few periods of hooning it.

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I do keep getting this code in the ABS module and the traction control light staying on. Seems to be either the sensors or wiring loom. On this generation car the sensor is on the master cylinder. That should be much better than the later cars where they're integrated into the ABS module, necessitating new/repairing module. Except the master cylinder is a nightmare to get access to.

This only seems to happen when the engine bay is heat soaked. Driving around is fine. Turning off and coming back shortly after, it'll be back. It's an MOT failure item (as ESP light is on), so I'll need to sort it really. Plus it's annoying.

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Finally I refitted all the prettying plastics. I can see why VAG did this as these 1.8t engines are a right dogs dinner of vacuum hoses, solenoids and wires.

What do we reckon the chances I'll be pulling this all back off in a few days when it's broken itself again?

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  • SiC changed the title to 2003 Audi TT Mk1 1.8T Quattro - Post Purchase Prep - Boost is Back

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