09 Mar 2015

A question about : Mk6 Golf and EGR valve issues

Hi all

Looking to see if anyone here has experienced a particular fault (which appears to be common after reading many car forums) with Mk6 (2009-2012) VW Golfs. The part in question is the 'EGR Valve' and literally, when it fails, the car will not move.
The engine turns over, no unexpected lights/warnings, gears are fine and basically, when you release the clutch while pressing down on the accelerator, the engine revs but the car does not physically move.

As you've guessed, I have the exact problem now and going back-and-forth between the local VW dealership and VW Customer Care to reach an acceptable decision on repair costs. The part itself is mechanical so not what I feel is usual 'wear and tear'. Being a Golf which is meant to be renowned for good engineering and having older Golfs where this has never occurred, I feel something like this should not fail 10 months out of warranty. Also, the part when now replaced is with a modified version which to me highlights there were issues with the original part.

Many may feel and say the EGR valve is not needed and can be bypassed; however that is not something I would like to do at present. I would simply like to see if others here have experienced the same problem and the outcome you have had; partial/full/no costs paid by VW?

Thanks all

Best answers:

  • Is it a diesel or a petrol model?
  • @motorguy - I have been told (and read in forums) that on the Mk6 then moved the EGR valve to the back of the engine and the way it is now located/setup, it means a) it's a job that will take 7.5 hours and b) they can't be 'cleaned' like older models to avoid having to replace.
    VW initially stated Ј1220 inc vat (Ј360 part, Ј860 labour) hence my concern and am now trying to agree a (much) lower price
    @retrogamer - It's a 1.6 diesel, 2009 model with 64k miles.
    The car forums I have looked at have had some go at much lower miles and in warranty (therefore fully paid by VW), others at the 60k-70k mileage range and 3-6 months out of warranty with mixed outcomes.
  • Not good at all motorguy
    All I can say at the moment is, by having dealer service history they are considering 'goodwill', however, nothing has been fully confirmed yet.
    I will be sure to post back the outcome once reached to help you and others out, however hoping others on MSE have gone through this process for some pointers/help.
    I'm thinking it must be a matter of time before VW have to openly admit to this, however as (on average) 2009 cars should have done 5-10k less miles there may be limited people who have experienced this.
  • Although not strictly a wear and tear item (although it does have moving parts inside) they usually become defective when they're all clogged up with soot.
    When it is replaced, running it on a premium diesel will reduce the amount of soot that gets into it.
    Likewise, if you put the foot down from low revs a lot (before the turbo has spooled up) then it floors the engine with fuel and chucks out more soot as well
  • It's not so much the mileage and the speed,
    My EGR only works below 2000rpm, so if i put the foot down around those revs, no soot should get chucked into it.
    A lot of people floor it at low revs on modern tdis due to the torque they have.
    The ECU floods the engine with diesel for a moment to reduce the turbo lag and that's why you get the occasional puff of black smoke out of diesels.
    Clean air filter and premium diesel reduce the black smoke / soot
    Typical EGR valve on a diesel that's showing problems will look like this
  • Sadly you are a victim of good PR.
    VW and Audis are not as reliable as they are made out to be and do contain engineering issues such as this on occasion.
    An EGR is a something that will need cleaned or replaced in its lifetime. This is usually outside the rsther pathetic warranty period which i think is the same as Audi at 3yrs and 60k.
    A bit like the under engineered oil pump issue.
    And clutch failure on older Veedubs due to the "kidney bean" shearing.
    But such failures out of warranty rarely trouble the middle class motoring journalists that rave about VW and Audi.
    Skoda have stuck with the older tech an awful lot till recently and they seem more reliable.
    Hope you get it fixed.
    VW should contribute but i doubt they will.
    If this was British car the motoring press would be all over it.
  • Thanks for all the feedback and advice.
    The car, for its majority has been filled up with regular diesel from supermarkets and over the last 8 months, has had Ј20 of premium diesel from BP thrown in once a month after advise from a friend. Based on Retrogamer's advice, I will be sure to do this as often as I can.
    I know there have been various discussions about supermarket v other petrol stations so do not want to get hung up on that, however I will, for peace of mind, fill up at BP's, Shell etc going forwards to see if that has any bearing on the EGR valve over the next 60k miles work of driving.
    @motorguy, I also expect the Golf (which is the wives) to be run through till it's on it's last legs. I'd like to think it can get to 150-200k with no (further) major issues.... time will tell.
    As a side note (and kind of important as you read further down) I ended up buying a VW last year on the back of her having a Golf and having no issues. Mine's a year old so will now wait and see if it has any surprises for me in year 4! It's not a Golf however which is good!
    So, back on track with the Golf and the EGR which has been on going for a few days, the first offer from VW was:
    100% parts paid for and I foot the bill for the labour; Ј855.
    I declined that offer due to what I have read on various forums.
    They then came back with:
    100% parts paid for and labour reduced so I pay; Ј570.
    I've declined that also as clearly this isn't a problem with just my Golf; others have had the issue too and I'd expect VW to do more about it.
    Info from other forums said to try and show the dealership your loyalty to them and VW.
    They were aware the Golf has been serviced with them and I went on to mention my VW is also serviced with them; they took the reg and said they will look into it further and come back to me. May help, may not, only time will tell.
    Will keep you updated as it progresses.
    Thanks again
  • My mate had the same issue with a blocked EGR on his Picasso so his local garage sold him some fuel-based cleaner to put in the tank. A few blasts up and down the A12 soon saw a rapid increase in performance and economy.
    As he puts a cheaper version in his tank every other fill up, he has noticed more and more performance as the EGR clears.
    I do the same with my car as a pre-emptive measure.
    I can't work out how a blocked EGR would prevent the car from moving though. It is not linked to the drive system. It simply diverts an amount of exhaust gas back into the engine via the turbo.
  • If the EGR valve is unresponsive or defective, then sometimes the ECU will put the car into "limp mode" and you have no power
    Varies on car to car. Going to bypass mines shortly though so it's removed.
  • The worrying thing was there were no warning lights/messages prior to or during when it happened.
    30 minutes into a journey, on a dual carriageway doing 40 the car 'spluttered' a little and then started to lose power. Dropped down a gear, still no acceleration. The car simply came to a complete stop and the engine was actually still running as it would normally.
    Turned it off, gave it a minute, turned it on, coil came on and went off as normal, turned it over and the car started as it always has done. Engaged gear and tried to pull off and it literally did not move. Half tank of fuel, no lights (other than handbrake light when applied) and just no movement. Had to be towed to VW and there it stayed until the EGR fault was diagnosed.
    If any lights had appeared in the build up it would have at least helped in looking at cleaners and items such as that to try and clear any problems but it was, as mentioned, worrying there was no warning lights.
    It had brake pads and discs all around and four new tyres two months ago and it was confirmed there were no 'error codes' as well during its service back in August/September.
    A case has been raised with VW Customer Care and they are currently in talks with the local dealer to try and agree a further reduced rate.
  • Nothing you've said makes it sounds like it's an EGR valve that's needing replaced, even for dealer rates Ј900 seems a huge amount of money for labour on replacing an EGR valve and the symptoms don't sound like a failing EGR valve either as normally the car will run poorly and light the EML when the EGR valve isn't working properly. Even in limp home mode the car will still go but with limitations, any time my car has been in limp home mode (Octavia with the VW 2.0 TDI PD170 engine) there's been a light on the dashboard (flashing coil light or EML).
  • @Johnmcl7. VW themselves have diagnosed it as EGR vale so once it's agreed to be changed; I guess there will be a few heads scratching if it still doesn't work.
    As for your Octavia, what year is it? If pre 09, then my earlier comment could explain the labour difference. Apparently from 2009 onwards, the EGR was changed and now located at the back of the engine which needs various bits taken off to even get to it before the EGR itself can be removed.
    For the record, I am not an expert in this at all. I am going off what VW have told me and what I have read on other forums.
    All I know is that muggins here is now having to take the train to work as the wife has a longer, less public transport friendly journey!
  • Hi all
    Latest update is it has now been agreed for:
    100% parts, 50% labour. So charge to me is now Ј427.50.
    Still not entirely happy due to all the points I have raised however have accepted this so the repair can commence and I can get the car back.
    I will be sure to keep a close eye with future news of other Golfs potentially having this issue and see if VW ever do anything different.
    Now waiting for the car to be fixed and fingers crossed, it will work once the EGR is changed and they don't diagnose/encounter any other unexpected issues.
    I will be sure to post back once I get the car.
  • Hi all
    Just a quick note to advise the car was collected on Saturday and running as expected.
    The receipt confirms it was the EGR valve that was replaced so time will tell now if others start having a similar issue over the coming months.
    After speaking to VW UK, they confirmed that if the vehicles are recalled in the future then they would contact all of those with the affected cars for free repairs, and for those who had paid already, they would get a full refund.
    Finally, as comical as this sounds, I have this morning had a further call from the dealership to advise a new 'software update' has been released and to bring the car back in for 30 minutes. Sods law that they have had the car for a week and the update comes out the day after I get it back.
    Not sure of the technical details within the update however I will head there tomorrow morning.
    For those with a Golf, if you don't get a call, you may want to make a call to see if your included. The exact car I have is a 2009 Golf 1.6 SE TDI if that helps.
    Thanks for all the input and feedback. Hope the history of what happened and what was achieved helps anyone who may end up with problems in the future.
  • I think my dec 2009 golf s 1.6 tdi (70k miles) has the same problem as OP. Got it booked in for diagnostics on tues 18/2/14. Any tips for reducing the bill?!