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IS20 Turbo Longevity

How are the stock IS20 turbos holding up to long term use?

  • > 80,000 miles - tuned - no issues

    Votes: 32 65.3%
  • < 80,000 miles - tuned - turbo replaced

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • > 80,000 miles - no tune - no issues

    Votes: 12 24.5%
  • < 80,000 miles no tune - turbo replaced

    Votes: 5 10.2%

  • Total voters
    49

StealthGTI

Autocross Champion
Location
Newport News, VA
Car(s)
2017 GTI Sport
I have 128,000 miles on my IS20. I went APR Stage 1 at 17k, then Stage 2 around 34k. My driving style is mostly easy-going with occasional romps. Most of my oil changes were at 10k intervals, with some shorter due to oil pan leak repairs or prior to extended road trips.

I will inspect the turbo shaft and overall condition of the turbo soon.
 

jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
I have 128,000 miles on my IS20. I went APR Stage 1 at 17k, then Stage 2 around 34k. My driving style is mostly easy-going with occasional romps. Most of my oil changes were at 10k intervals, with some shorter due to oil pan leak repairs or prior to extended road trips.

I will inspect the turbo shaft and overall condition of the turbo soon.
And pulling a trailer across America.
 

Daks

Autocross Champion
Location
Toronto
Car(s)
GTI PP
Mine was replaced right before I bought the car CPO at 87,000KM. Below is an excerpt from the service:
,,,,87380 TURBO CHARGER DEFECTIVE
,,,,CONFIRM CUSTOMERS COMPLAINT EPC LIGHT ON PERFORM GFF CHECK FAULT
,,,,TURBO CHARGER BOOST POSITION FAULT PERFORM TECHNICAL CHECK CHECK AIR
,,,,CONFIRM CUSTOMERS COMPLAINT EPC LIGHT ON PERFORM GFF CHECK FAULT
,,,,TURBO CHARGER BOOST POSITION FAULT PERFORM TECHNICAL CHECK CHECK AIR
,,,,INTAKE SYSTEM FOR LEAKS SMOKE SYSTEM NO LEAK CHECK CONNECTOR AND PINS
,,,,AT TURBO WASTE GATE ACTUATOR OK PERFORM ADJUSTMENT TO TURBO ACTUATOR
,,,,TEST DRIVE FAULT RETURNS RE AND RE INTAKE DUCT RE AND RE AIR BOX RE AND
,,,,RE ENGINE COVER RE AND RE COOLANT HOSES AND LINES RE AND RE OIL FEED
,,,,AND RETURN LINES RE AND RE DOWN PIPE RE AND RE DRIVESHAFT RE AND RE
,,,,SUPPORT RE AND RE EXHAUST ADJUSTER SOLENOIDS RE AND RE TURBO CHARGER
,,,,TRANSFER LINE FILL COOLANT SYSTEM TOP OIL TEST CLEAR CODES TEST DRIVE
,,,,OK VENDOR:IHI
,,,,87372 87380KM
 

VQVW

Ready to race!
Location
Oregon
Car(s)
2018 Alltrack SE 6MT
Mine was replaced right before I bought the car CPO at 87,000KM. Below is an excerpt from the service:
,,,,87380 TURBO CHARGER DEFECTIVE
,,,,CONFIRM CUSTOMERS COMPLAINT EPC LIGHT ON PERFORM GFF CHECK FAULT
,,,,TURBO CHARGER BOOST POSITION FAULT PERFORM TECHNICAL CHECK CHECK AIR
,,,,CONFIRM CUSTOMERS COMPLAINT EPC LIGHT ON PERFORM GFF CHECK FAULT
,,,,TURBO CHARGER BOOST POSITION FAULT PERFORM TECHNICAL CHECK CHECK AIR
,,,,INTAKE SYSTEM FOR LEAKS SMOKE SYSTEM NO LEAK CHECK CONNECTOR AND PINS
,,,,AT TURBO WASTE GATE ACTUATOR OK PERFORM ADJUSTMENT TO TURBO ACTUATOR
,,,,TEST DRIVE FAULT RETURNS RE AND RE INTAKE DUCT RE AND RE AIR BOX RE AND
,,,,RE ENGINE COVER RE AND RE COOLANT HOSES AND LINES RE AND RE OIL FEED
,,,,AND RETURN LINES RE AND RE DOWN PIPE RE AND RE DRIVESHAFT RE AND RE
,,,,SUPPORT RE AND RE EXHAUST ADJUSTER SOLENOIDS RE AND RE TURBO CHARGER
,,,,TRANSFER LINE FILL COOLANT SYSTEM TOP OIL TEST CLEAR CODES TEST DRIVE
,,,,OK VENDOR:IHI
,,,,87372 87380KM
Sad that they apparently can only use capital letters and no punctuation, haha. I've seen the same on my dealership invoices. How old is their software?
 

Keehs360

Autocross Champion
Location
Denver
Car(s)
Mk7.5
4300 miles. Stage 1 low tq at about 1k miles. Then stage 1 high tq at 4100 miles.

is20 seems fine.
 

Ridebjj

Autocross Champion
Location
lasVegas
Mine had about 40,000 miles stock and another 10,000 stage 1 and 10k more stage2. Then it got retired and replaced with IS38.
Inspection showed it looking fairly perfect. No shaft play at all. Never had any problems.
 

rjtrout

Go Kart Newbie
Location
Denver, CO
Yes but FBO and big(er) turbo is plenty for an even gooder time.
While I totally agree here, I am just hesitant on getting rid of my relatively reliable setup for something that I continue to see people having issues with. I am sure that there are selling points that you could share with me that would change my mind and have me go IS38. But, my IS20 is still going strong and I would need to see a lot fewer turbo failures to justify the upgrade prior to my turbo needing to be replaced. Given, I am only one person and my driving habits are probably a big decision factor here too (live in the city, lots of stop and go traffic, not a goo deal of open road, etc...)
 

PowerDemon

Autocross Champion
Location
Richmond, VA
Car(s)
Golf GTI, Camaro ZL1
While I totally agree here, I am just hesitant on getting rid of my relatively reliable setup for something that I continue to see people having issues with. I am sure that there are selling points that you could share with me that would change my mind and have me go IS38. But, my IS20 is still going strong and I would need to see a lot fewer turbo failures to justify the upgrade prior to my turbo needing to be replaced. Given, I am only one person and my driving habits are probably a big decision factor here too (live in the city, lots of stop and go traffic, not a goo deal of open road, etc...)

I actually just took a trip through Boston this past weekend and if you stay in the city stick with the IS20. It’s response time is much better suited to city driving. The only opportunity I had the ability to stretch the legs of my hybrid is when I shouldn’t have...
 

Clem604

Autocross Champion
Location
Vancouver BC, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI
I am sure that there are selling points that you could share with me that would change my mind and have me go IS38.
Selling points: much broader power band + more power= more sickkkkkkk 🤘🤘

If you are worried about the reliability of OEM IS38's you could consider the more reliable(theoretically) IS38 equivalents such as the HPA IS38+, Littco L380X, or the Shuenk IS38+. There might be another one I can't name at the moment.
 
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jimlloyd40

Autocross Champion
Location
Phoenix
Car(s)
2018 SE DSG
Selling points: much broader power band + more power= more sickkkkkkk 🤘🤘

If you are worried about the reliability of OEM IS38's you could consider the more "durable"(theoretically) IS38 equivalents such as the HPA IS38+ or Littco L380X and Shuenk IS38+ and there might be another one .
If you're going to get an IS38 get it from FCP Euro for their lifetime warranty. And price it's under a $1000 last time I checked.
 

Clem604

Autocross Champion
Location
Vancouver BC, Canada
Car(s)
2018 VW GTI
If you're going to get an IS38 get it from FCP Euro for their lifetime warranty. And price it's under a $1000 last time I checked.
That is also a good option.
 

MusicMan

New member
Location
Charlotte NC
I have 86k with a jb4 tune for the last 30k - recently I have been getting EPC codes regularly ( resets immediately after restart) for turbo boost - can't find a leak - but am still investigating the cause.. hope it is not starting to go.
Check your connections -- if it's using the a/f tap & plugging into the obd2 port, make sure everything is secured. I have run a JB4 since I got the car and the only times I have seen EPC is when I forgot to plug it back into the obd2 port. Never hurts to reseat and make sure everything is connected well <3
 

SnailpowerMk7

Go Kart Champion
Location
NJ
Car(s)
MK7 GTI SE 6SPD MT
Yeah, I think it is hit and miss based on production quality in the factory. Can't say anything yet about this Is28 but I was early 27k miles before tuning to Stg1 APR a couple weeks ago. So we'll see what happens now.

On the mk6 I heard same exact stories as here. People saying, they went to like 100k miles with still no issues on tune since being at like 20k miles. Meanwhile others had various issues, meanwhile, mine blew at 33k miles on Stg2 APR. There just doesn't seem to be a common pattern anywhere. Everyone has different stories and components involved.

Just know your options should it blow. You can get possibly a used one for around 500 bucks to replace it. Yeah, used, so you don't know exactly what you're getting into. You could pay top dollar and get it brand new OEM replacement. Not sure what this car it goes for but the mk6 K03 was 2500 bucks.

OR, and probably the most exciting option provided you have the money to go deeper, upgrade to IS38 (what I did for the mk6, went K04). If you're already at stage 2, you have like 90% of the work done for an Is38. You just need the turbo obviously, the new tune, new clutch perhaps if manual (not sure if this car just needs drop-in disc like mk6) and perhaps you didn't upgrade your intercooler, so you'll need that too (intercooler upgrade wasn't as important on mk6 until K04).
 
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