AWE Tuning Diverter Valve Kit
Mechanical diverter valve replacements are nothing new. If you own a 2.0T FSI you are in one of two groups: those who have had diverter valve problems or the lucky few who haven't. For those who haven't yet experienced diverter valve failure, keep reading, because it could still happen to you. The reasons for failure are speculative at best, and even VW and Audi have made several revisions to combat the problem with some success, but the issue hasn't been completely solved.
AWE Tuning isn't the first company to tackle the DV issue but it is the first to offer a less complicated installation solution that offers the needed reliability. Some have come up with elaborate valves, while other companies offer complicated solutions that require a complete redesign of the entire intake system. What makes the AWE kit unique is that the main components are factory-spec on vehicles that produce three times the power. In addition to these factory parts, AWE developed a plug-and-play electronic DV simulator so you don't have to keep the stock valve hanging around to prevent a check engine light.
The AWE kit includes the diverter valve assembly (three-bolt flange adapter with vacuum connection, heavy duty spring, and metal piston with integrated diaphragm), electronic diverter valve simulator with OEM plug, T-fitting, hoses, zip ties and clamps.
I've been lucky so far with my project A3 (knock on wood) and have had zero DV issues-which is incredible considering the amount of power and torque running through the engine on a daily basis. But about four weeks ago I received a box from AWE containing its new diverter valve kit for the 2.0T FSI. Over the past month scheduling conflicts and a recurring coolant leak have prevented me from installing the kit. The next month was hectic and I wasn't in the same place long enough to do the job... excuses, excuses. So when I got the kit I wasn't in my usual rush to install it in the parking lot with my Swiss army knife.
Fast forward. My coolant issues were finally fixed and with a free weekend ahead I decided to install the DV kit. Since the vehicle is equipped with AWE's K04 turbo kit the install was a little more complicated than if it was equipped with a standard K03. When I installed the AWE K04 kit I was a bit concerned about the way the kit relocated the factory DV, since it was a bit close to the A/C line, but with the new DV's smaller external profile the problem was solved.
The only flaw I found was the large T-tap supplied in the kit. It proved fragile, resulting in the part's destruction as soon as the vacuum line was installed. While the T-tap's failure caused some frustration, it wasn't enough to take away from the kit's simple-to-install description. During installation I had a chance to compare the factory DV to the AWE kit, and was amazed to find that the spring found inside the factory DV looked more like something you'd find in a ballpoint pen, not a high-performance turbocharged engine.
The best thing about installing an upgrade without preconceived notions of its performance is when it performs as advertised-or better. The AWE DV kit was one of the upgrades where the results surprised me; the vehicle felt more alive and power delivery was more insistent and precise. So if you're having problems with your diverter valve, or you just want the added reliability, the AWE Tuning DV kit is worth every penny. Pricing is $129.95 for the newer 2.0 TFSI (add $39.95 for the five-ply silicone boost tap hose). -Anthony Gelinas
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