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Thread: 132 TSI / 1.8L - Loss of torque at low revs after stage 1 tune

  1. #1
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    132 TSI / 1.8L - Loss of torque at low revs after stage 1 tune

    I got a stage 1 tune on my 2015 Skoda Scout 132TSI about 18 months ago, am very disappointed, and am trying to work out what to do next.


    I justified getting the tune to myself and partner because we were building a 500kg camper and would do some towing. The guy I talked to at a tuning shop said their tune would be good for this as it would increase torque from 280 to 400 Nm and generally make the car more "driveable". I got it done but it was horrible to drive, with MUCH less low torque, and I took it back immediately. The guy took me for a test run that highlighted the high end power. He said that low bottom end torque was simply a feature of those 1.8L engines and I was expecting too much moving as i was from a 110TSI Octavia. Does this sound right? I recently came across the specs and that engine is supposed to achieve maximum torque at 1,350 RPM. And though it's a bit heavier it's supposed to be a second faster in the 0-100 thant our previous Octavia. With the tune accelerating up an incline is sluggish until it hits about 2,750 RPM when there is a distinct surge much like the power band of a two stroke.


    The guy suggested getting a throttle controller, which I did. This generally make it more driveable but even so trying to get away from lighs quickly I generally find myself playing catch-up, then the motor screaming obtrusively as the power kicks in. And my partner accusing me of a mid-life crisis. It's just so incredibly different to the quiet, effortless way my 110TSI Octavia could surge in front of most other cars at the lights.


    I finally finished the caper and towing has of course highlighted the problem. It's terrible for low speed manoevering and I don't imagine it would be much good offroad.


    So how do I fix this. I'm on a pension so money is, unfortuneately, an issue. The cheapest thing I can probably do is get it restored to stock, for which they quoted around $165. Should I get it dyno tested first? That might confirm that the tune was a dud and I'm not imagining it, but perhaps will just be more expense. And supposing I had the money, can I get a better tune? Can these engines be tuned to give low-end torque? In the previous post in this subforum* someone seemed very happy with the IE tune on his 1.8L Tiguan. Also in that post Sharkie talks about the difficulties of tuning these engines which reminds me: I think originally it was booked in for an APR tune but they had problems, had to keep it overnight, and put a RacingLine tune on it instead. Or vice-versa, got it in a notebook somewhere if it's important.


    Cheers
    Last edited by MurrayKhodd; 17-04-2024 at 11:31 PM.

  2. #2
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    Which tune did you put on Murray?

    The 1.8TSI has a substantially more chubby torque curve than the 1.4TSI and with a good tune should be even better.
    Current: 2023 MY23 T-Roc R Lapiz Blue + Beats Audio + Black pack 2018 MY19 Golf R manual Lapiz Blue + DAP) 2018 MY18 Golf 110TSI (150TSI) Trendline manual White2014 Amarok TSI Red (tuned over 200kw + lots of extras) 2013 Up! manual Red 2017 Polo GTI manual Black Previous VWs and some others ...

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkie View Post
    Which tune did you put on Murray?

    The 1.8TSI has a substantially more chubby torque curve than the 1.4TSI and with a good tune should be even better.
    Just dug up the receipt . . . the item is listed as "APR upgrade - Stage 1 V1.1 [Single Program] - [1] Stage 1 98 Octane V1.1"

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Something does not sound right here at all. A tune gives you considerably more power and torque from 1500rpm all the way to maximum rpm. Obviously you will spend most of the time between 1,500rpm-4,000rpm and this is where it will be most noticeable, with the car pulling effortlessly and less need to change down gears to go up hills/overtake etc.

    I dont know if this is acually possible, but I wonder if they have loaded the wrong tune onto your car??

    You should have zero compromises in power and torque delivery. So what you are describing is not right at all. Perhaps go and see a different APR dealer if you are not happy with the one you went to previously. Seeing you are in Brisbane, there would be several APR dealers there. Even if it costs you a few hundred dollars to have the tune logged and dyno tested to prove something is wrong, if you can get the tune fixed then it will be worth it.

    The other alternative is that there might be an update to the APR tune file (seeing the one you have is version 1.1, there may now be a version 1.2 for example with improvements). But APR are one of the biggest VW/Audi/Skoda tuning companies in the world, and know what they are doing.

    Prestige & Performance in Cooparoo is an APR dealer and often gets recommended.

    999 Automotive in Coopers Plains is another APR dealer.
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 18-04-2024 at 10:32 AM.
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  5. #5
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    It may unfortunately be that the tune and the way it has moved the torque curve may not be ideal for your specific needs.

    APR ECU-18T-EA888-1-T APR ECU Upgrade - 1.8T EA888 Gen 1 (Transverse)

    Whilst there is substantially more torque with the tune, it now delivers that at higher revs (and it's a generous 376NM at 2750rmin (look at the graph in the attachment)) and it may actually have less than the stock 280NM at 1350 rmin.
    Last edited by Sharkie; 18-04-2024 at 10:48 AM.
    Current: 2023 MY23 T-Roc R Lapiz Blue + Beats Audio + Black pack 2018 MY19 Golf R manual Lapiz Blue + DAP) 2018 MY18 Golf 110TSI (150TSI) Trendline manual White2014 Amarok TSI Red (tuned over 200kw + lots of extras) 2013 Up! manual Red 2017 Polo GTI manual Black Previous VWs and some others ...

  6. #6
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    @Sharkie hold up, I thought the Scout 132TSI used the IS12 turbo. Does it use the larger IS20 turbo?

    I think you might have linked the wrong APR page. That one says its a Gen 1 EA888. This car should be a Gen 3 EA888 engine unless im mistaken.

    I was looking at this page: APR ECU-18T-EA888-3-T-IS12 APR ECU Upgrade - 1.8T EA888 Gen 3 IS12 (Transverse)
    Last edited by Lucas_R; 18-04-2024 at 10:59 AM.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas_R View Post
    @Sharkie hold up, I thought the Scout 132TSI used the IS12 turbo. Does it use the larger IS20 turbo?

    I think you might have linked the wrong APR page. That one says its a Gen 1 EA888. This car should be a Gen 3 EA888 engine unless im mistaken.

    I was looking at this page: APR ECU-18T-EA888-3-T-IS12 APR ECU Upgrade - 1.8T EA888 Gen 3 IS12 (Transverse)
    Without knowing the build date, it could either be the Gen 1 or the Gen 3. If late 2015 its likely a Gen 3, it has the IS12.

    The Polo GTI (MY17 EA888-3) I have has the IS12 (for the time being) in it. It is running Stg2 but the tune is not materially different from stock at low revs. It makes 320NM stock but at 1800rmin.

    In the Scout the OEM tune is different to the other VAG 1.8TSIs to improve low rev torque, so a standard off the shelf tune (Stg 1) may actually make less power at 1350 rmin than OEM.
    Current: 2023 MY23 T-Roc R Lapiz Blue + Beats Audio + Black pack 2018 MY19 Golf R manual Lapiz Blue + DAP) 2018 MY18 Golf 110TSI (150TSI) Trendline manual White2014 Amarok TSI Red (tuned over 200kw + lots of extras) 2013 Up! manual Red 2017 Polo GTI manual Black Previous VWs and some others ...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucas_R View Post
    Even if it costs you a few hundred dollars to have the tune logged and dyno tested to prove something is wrong, if you can get the tune fixed then it will be worth it.
    When I first took it back I asked about putting the car on a dyno but they didn't have one, at least not at that location. They said there wasn't much point with the dyno anyway or various reasons. Anyway, just looked for someone with a dyno in my part of the world and talked to a guy in Brendale who said he was way too busy and not really focussed on this end of the market. I asked if he could recommend anyone else and he said they'd be likely to tell me the same thing. Rang someone else in Brendale and they have a hub dyno that would cost $450 just to get logs and a readout. Yikes. He did say someone with a roller dyno could probably do it cheaper. Does anyone have any recommendations?

    I had a look at the APR page you linked and there's no way the current power curve is anything like what it's supposed to be. Is there any easy way to see if the correct tune was applied? I don't suppose an OBD reader is going to be any use.

  9. #9
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    A hub dyno will cost more than a roller dyno because the process takes longer (they need to remove all 4x wheels and connect to the hub dyno). A roller dyno (or rolling road) is a much quicker process and in my experience cost between $150-200 and the process will take about 30-40 minutes max.

    Tarmac Engineering in Cleveland (not exactly close to Brendale, I know) not only have a roller dyno, but also do custom tuning for VW/Audi/Skoda. So they could certainly run the car on the dyno, and then he could retune the car to make it more like how you want it to be.

    But I would certainly try speaking to APR first to see if they have a variation of the tune for your car that will give you the characteristics that you are looking for. Even if this costs you a small amount of money, its not going to be a total waste of money.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sharkie View Post
    Without knowing the build date, it could either be the Gen 1 or the Gen 3. If late 2015 its likely a Gen 3, it has the IS12.

    The Polo GTI (MY17 EA888-3) I have has the IS12 (for the time being) in it. It is running Stg2 but the tune is not materially different from stock at low revs. It makes 320NM stock but at 1800rmin.

    In the Scout the OEM tune is different to the other VAG 1.8TSIs to improve low rev torque, so a standard off the shelf tune (Stg 1) may actually make less power at 1350 rmin than OEM.
    Interesting. But I don't think low end torque is anywhere near what I had in the 110TSI either. The same hills the 110TSI (7 speed) went up in 5th or 6th gear this thing goes up in 3rd. The 110 was a joy to drive, felt effortless and relaxed up hills. This thing is either struggling or revving its guts out.

    Re build date how do I figure that out? My Scout has a timing chain and I think theye changed over to a belt soon after that.

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