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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
90,350 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (6 reports)
  2. replace timing chain tensioner (3 reports)
2009 Volkswagen Tiguan engine problems

engine problem

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2009 Volkswagen Tiguan Owner Comments

problem #9

May 102018

Tiguan 2l Turbo 2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles



- mltotton, Kalamazoo, US

problem #8

Jun 122017

Tiguan 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

I cannot believe VW has not recalled ALL the problems with this car! I have owned my 09' Tiguan 2.0L for two years now. I am on my third water pump & now my timing chain tensioner broke and my engine has been destroyed. I owe too much not replace it, just bought an engine with 65,000 miles on it for $2800.00 without labor costs all which I cannot afford! As soon as this is fixed I am placing it up for sale or trading it in, I don't care if I have to roll my loan over to another car, I want out from under it!

Completely disgusted, obviously VW doesn't stand behind their work as this many complaints on the same issues and no recalls?!

- mollyann, Sparta, US

problem #7

Jun 152017

Tiguan 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,400 miles

bought used what I thought was a reliable SUV for my daughter . had eight months and engine failed due to defective timing chain tensioner .causing engine to be junk. still have loan on car and cannot afford to fix.

- Bryan B., Kansasville, US

problem #6

Feb 242017

Tiguan 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 96,243 miles


click to see larger images

timing chain tensioner

Purchased my 2009 VW Tiguan used about 8 months ago and replaced the water pump mid Feb and 2 weeks later the timing chain broke causing significant engine damage. Dealership quoted $6k-$8k to repair depending if I had them rebuild the engine or replace it. This was after driving 3 hours to visit family and so it sits dead in my parents driveway until I can come up with a way to pay for repairs or VW steps up and takes responsibility for poor manufacturing of the timing belt assembly. We live in Northern Michigan and need that car to get through the winter!

- Tiffany B., Petoskey, MI, US

problem #5

Nov 012016

Tiguan SE 4motion 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Inconveniently found by VW while other work was being done.

- jacobhonor, Mishawaka, US

problem #4

Jun 182016

Tiguan 2.0L I4 16v Gdi Dohc Tur

  • Manual transmission
  • 63,000 miles

My mom bought a VW Tiguan 2009 from Koons Tyson Chrysler Dodge with 58K miles. The problems never stopped ever since the purchase. First, the engine hood release broke, then the truck lock broke, then brake, then AC, then car check engine light start to come on, and the car is shaking at idle and low speed. After changed all spark plugs and coils, problem remained. She went through 3 shops to find out that the engine timing chain tensioner has to be replaced. It will cost her close to $4K to do it. The mechanic told her it’s a common problem for that model year because VW changed turbo but I don’t understand why they didn’t do a recall. What kind of a car has common major engine issues at barely 60K and company continues to ignore it. She bought the VW thinking good German engineering, well it turns out to be the exact opposite. VERY DISAPPOINTED!!!! Never VW again…..

- Morrison P., Bal, MD, USA

problem #3

Sep 292016

Tiguan SEL 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles


Unfortunately, in only about a month after a complete failure and replacement of the Turbocharger unit, an even more dramatic failure occurred. After an erratic idle, the vehicle EPC light came on, followed by a loud metalic noise coming from the engine. We immediately stopped the vehicle and arranged towing According to the authorized Volkswagen service technician, the timing chain tensioner has completely failed and has caused a damage to the cylinder head. Total cost to replace cylinder head, timing chain, tensioner, parts, labor = more than $5,500.00

It is worth noting that we have been more than diligent in making sure that the vehicle has always been serviced according to the maintenance schedule. When we bought the vehicle new, we had purchased the extended 7 year premium warranty extension from Fidelity (which just expired earlier this year). After spending close to $2,000 out-of-pocket to repair the turbo unit, we are now faced with another $5,500+ bill. A quick search on the internet reveals that there are numerous early failures of the timing chain tensioner on the 2.0T engine, including lawsuits and a pending class-action investigation.

It is almost not an overstatement to say that we have experienced nothing but grief with this vehicle. Everything from complete engine failure, turbocharger failure, all wheel drive differential failure, fuel pump failure, air intake failure, throttle body failure, sunshade failure to a "check engine light" coming on every 6 months like clockwork, requiring "random" wild goose chase fixes such as "clean up the air intake gumk"....

VW has definitely a huge amount of responsibility here. It is obvious that all these failures are way above the average normal expectations that a car owner should have from a 2009 vehicle that has been serviced according to the schedule. Faulty parts, skipped due-diligence in design and test or whatever other reason, it is clear that VW has ONCE AGAIN proven to U.S. consumers that their products are of inferior quality and therefore their advertising is deceiving and misleading and their products overpriced.

The case of the timing chain tensioner is a great example of how severe a failure can be. This goes beyond the scope of unnecessary burden or inconvenience. This a dangerous failure as when it happens it can result in complete immobilization of the vehicle causing a great threat to the safety of the driver, passengers and other vehicles on the road.

- etl17, Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #2

Sep 072016

Tiguan SE 2.0t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Chain skipped a tooth and destroyed the head and valves. It will cost as much as its worth to fix it if not more. This is related to TSB (343938) and NHTSA bulletin (10045560). No recall was issued and have not heard back via email. I had bought this car for my wife when our daughter was born. My wife is a school teacher and we can't afford to invest in another vehicle again at the present. We're totally screwed. It was also just paid off :'( With all the things happening with VW I probably won't think of buying from them for at least 20yrs if not ever.

- John R., Santa Ana, CA, USA

problem #1

Apr 012016

Tiguan SEL 2.0L Turbo 4motion

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,500 miles

I just want to say that I have experienced MOST of the problems outlined with this 2009 Tiguan, with the newest problem being a "failed" Timing Chain Tensioner. I was stopped at a stop light and the engine just died. I had the car towed to my REGULARLY visited VW dealership here in the New Haven, CT area only to find out that the engine is seized. The repair would cost $7000, which is approximately what the trade in value is on a 2009 Tiguan (if you're lucky). Thankfully, I was not driving at 65MPH on the highway as I was when the EPC light came on 6 months ago and I lost power.

I cannot begin to express what a nightmare this car has been! It is by far the biggest mistake I've made concerning automobiles.....and costly!!!!! I still owe a lot more than it is worth, but, could have had this thing paid off by now if it weren't for all of these repairs( which I am not disclosing here as I am telling the recent story of the Timing Chain). I feel that VW is FULLY aware of their poorly designed/ manufactured parts and have not informed their investors! And yes, we are their BIGGEST investors!!!!

I would like to note that 2 weeks prior to the engine seizing, I was at the same dealership getting the 2nd water pump replaced in 6 months, and was chatting with the Service Writer about how much I wanted to get rid of this car when he had mentioned that the rear main seals and timing chain tensioner are the biggest problems that they see with the Tiguans.

What really troubles me is that I have spent thousands on scheduled maintenance that have no bearing on the longevity of the vehicle? VW needs to step up to the plate with legitimate answers and /or solutions! My intuition tells me that this is an issue that is happening more frequently than they may lead us to believe..........

- Jason D., New haven, CT, USA

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