The MK7 Volkswagen GTI has a fairly complex and cleverly engineered intake manifold. Because of the complexity, this means that it is more likely to need to be serviced or replaced. While the job of replacing the intake manifold isn't inherently difficult or expensive, there are numerous steps required when taking it off.
Aaron Davis, our Audi Catalog Manager, walks us through step-by-step on how to remove the intake manifold on his very own 2016 VW GTI.
Volkswagen Models and Years Applicable:
- 2015-2018 MK7 Volkswagen GTI
- 2018 Volkswagen Atlas
While the this exact manifold doesn't fit and requires a different part #, the repair steps below are very similar for all vehicles that use the MQB 2.0T/1.8T platform, including:
- Audi A3
- Audi S3
- Volkswagen Golf R
Why would I need to remove/replace my Intake Manifold on my MK7 VW GTI:
There are many reasons that you might need to remove your intake manifold on the MK7 VW GTI or any other car that uses the MQB 2.0T or 1.8T platform. The most common of which are:
- Intake Manifold Flap Failure
- Fault code P02014
- Fault code P02015
- Intake manifold flap failure most commonly occurs when carbon building accumulates on the flaps inside the intake manifold. When this happens, they are unable to operate efficiently.
- Carbon Buildup
- Since these MQB engines are direct-injected, carbon buildup is an unfortunate fact of life. As carbon buildup occurs, it strangles your engine of the air. With this, you can sometimes see a noticeable loss in power and fuel efficiency.
- High-Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP) Failure
- HPFP failure isn't uncommon on the MQB platform. To replace it, you have to first remove the intake manifold as it is fastened to it.
Tools required to replace the MK7 VW GTI Intake Manifold:
- Ratchet set
- Torque wrench
- Metric socket set
- Torx socket set
- Metric wrench set
- Hook pick set
- Flat band hose clamp pliers
- Plier set
- Torque wrench
Parts required to replace the MK7 VW GTI Intake Manifold:
Steps Required to replace the MK7 VW GTI Intake Manifold:
Step 1: Remove Engine Covers and Air Intake
Start by popping off any plastic engine covers that impede your access to the engine itself. These should simply snap right off without any hassle.
Next, you will want to remove the air intake system. On the car shown, this is an aftermarket intake, but the steps remain the same for the most part.
Using a 7mm socket, first remove the hose clamp off of the intake.
Aaron's intake has an extra bolt as well as a secondary air filter that you will not have if you have the stock air intake system.
Step 2: Remove the Intake Duct
The intake cooling duct sits at the front of the car. This is held in place by 2 T20 fasteners and 2 T25 fasteners. Start by removing the T20s, once you do that, you can remove the cover and gain access to the T25s. After that, there is a coolant line to remove.
Step 3: Loosen and Remove the Fuel Lines from the High-Pressure Fuel Pump
This step, you're going to want to release the pressure from the high pressure fuel pump (HPFP). To do so, slowly loosen the 17mm that connects high-pressure fuel line to it. For this step, make sure to wear safety glasses as you do not want pressurized fuel in your eyes. A rag also helps to stop any fuel from going anywhere.
Using pliers, pull the clamp on the fuel hose back so that the hose can be removed from the HPFP.
Step 4: Remove the Belly Pan
Now it's time to get under the car to remove the plastic belly pan. We have a lift to better demonstrate how to do this, but you can do this on jack stands just as easily.
There are 7 T25 fasteners that hold the belly pan in place. Once you remove those, you can use a flat head screwdriver to pop the two last clips that will be holding it in place.
Step 5: Remove the Coolant Pipe
Back on the topside of the engine, it's time to remove the coolant pipe. This is held in place by 2 T30 fasteners and a hose clamp.
Now, below the throttle body, you will want to use a hose pick to free up the radiator hose. Once you loosen that, you will be able to use the flat band hose clamp pliers to loosen the clamp. Spraying a small amount of lubricant on the hose can help slide the clamp down the hose itself. Coolant will come out of these lines, so you might want to have a catch pan underneath the car and some rags handy.
The plastic lines that these coolant hoses are connected to are plastic and can be broken if you apply too much force. Because of this, use care when remove these hoses.
Step 6: Disconnect the Throttle Body Hoses and Connectors
The hose connected to the throttle body is held on by a hose clamp just underneath the throttle body itself. Remove this using a 7mm socket.
Switching back to underneath the car, you're going to want your hose picks handy. Under hear, start by freeing up the wiring harness. This will un-clip using a pick tool.
Using your hook pick again, you need to free up the large coolant hose. With the pick, the clamp that holds it in place will release easily.
After the coolant hose is release, you need to remove the MAP sensor as well. This is located behind the coolant hose, so again, using the hook pick, is the easiest method in doing so.
Still underneath the car, you need to remove the 2 T30 fasteners that hold the throttle body pipe in place. You will find one of the T30s located behind the MAP sensor. It can be a little tricky to get to because it is hard to see.
The next thing to remove underneath the car is the coolant hose. To do so, you must remove the hose clamp that holds it in place using a 7mm socket. A radiator hose pick will help you remove the hose once again.
The last step in this process is to finally remove the entire hose assembly. Everything should be free at this point, you just have to wiggle and fight it out of place slightly.
Step 7: Remove the Intake Manifold Bracket
The intake manifold bracket is held in place by 2 13mm hex up top, and a single M10 triple-square below. Once you remove these, you will want to use a flat head screwdriver to remove the wiring harness.
Step 8: Remove the Throttle Body
It's finally time to remove the throttle body itself. It is held in place by 4 aluminum T30s. Since these are aluminum, make sure that your socket is seated entirely. You don't want to strip any of these out.
As these are behind/underneath the throttle body, Aaron shows us a helpful tip in the video on how to use a flashlight and a mirror to locate these fasteners.
You will want to hold the throttle body when removing the last T30 as it has a tendency to fall once the last fastener is removed.
Step 9: Remove Wiring Harnesses from Intake Manifold
There are many various clips and connectors that connect to the intake manifold itself. You will need to remove all of these to remove the manifold. It is helpful to use a hook pick to depress the clips when removing these.
Any clips with the grey connectors as displayed below have to be operated a bit differently. These are safety clips and can't be removed without first sliding the grey part back.
Since it is tough to explain exactly where all of these clips and connectors are exactly, it is helpful to reference the video at the top of the page.
Step 10: Remove Bracket from Intake Manifold
Below all of the wiring you just removed, there's a bracket that must be removed from the manifold. This bracket is held in place by 2 T30s.
There is one last connector attached to this bracket that you will want to remove once it is detached from the manifold. It is easiest to remove this with a hook pick.
Step 11: Remove the Oil Filter Housing
Another thing that has to come off to remove the intake manifold is the oil filter housing. You will need a 32mm socket designed specifically for the oil filter cap.
Step 12: Disconnect Sensors from Intake Manifold
There are two more sensors on the manifold that will need to me removed. One of these is another safety clip with the grey part that must be pulled back when disconnecting.
Step 13: Remove the Intake Manifold Fasteners
You have finally removed everything that needs to come off to access the manifold screws. There are 2 10mm screws and 8 T30 screws that need to come out.
When removing these screws, we recommend using a magnetic pickup tool to prevent dropping them into the bowels of the engine.
Step 14: Remove the High-Pressure Fuel Pump (HPFP)
There is a T30 that holds the HPFP to the intake manifold. To access that T30, first you have remove an additional T30 on a bracket directly in front of it.
This T30 on the bracket is captive, so you don't have to worry about it falling from its position.
Step 15: Remove the Intake Manifold
You can finally remove the intake manifold from the cylinder head. At this point, you might need to disconnect the high-pressure fuel line at the fuel rail to be able to completely remove the manifold. You can pull up and away from the car and the manifold should come right off.
Once you have the manifold off, you need to flip it over and disconnect the vacuum line assembly from underneath. I would recommend referencing the video if you have trouble removing these lines.
Step 16: Remove and Clean the Intake Manifold Slides
While you have the intake manifold off, you will want to remove the metal manifold slides and clean them of the carbon buildup that accumulates over time. The best way to do this is to use a razor blade and some throttle body cleaner.
Step 17: Clean the Cylinder Head
The last step before you can begin installing your new intake manifold is to clean the cylinder head. First, stuff clean shop towels inside all of the openings so nothing drops inside the cylinders. Once those are stuffed, you can use your razor and a small amount of throttle body cleaner to scrape it clean.
We don't recommend using anything other than the razor blade. You do not want to use an abrasive or anything that can damage the aluminum cylinder head.
Step 18: Reverse the Steps and Install the New Intake Manifold
Reassembly is the inverse of disassembly. You can either follow the steps in reverse, or you can watch Aaron go through all of the steps of reassembly in the video at the top of this DIY.
Part of the reassembly is moving the sensors and nipples still on old manifold over to your new one, unless of course you purchased new ones of these.
During reassembly, there will be a few key torque specs that you want to adhere to. These are listed below.
Torque Specs for Reassembly of your MK7 VW GTI Intake Manifold:
- Intake manifold T30 and 10mms - 9Nm
- Intake manifold bracket 13mm - 10Nm
- Intake manifold bracket M10 triple square - 20Nm
- Throttle body T30s - 7Nm
- 32mm oil filter cap - 2.5Nm
That's it! You're done and can now enjoy your car once again with peace of mind. This DIY did involve quite a few steps, but as long as you follow along and reference this guide or the video, it should have went together painlessly. If you're interested in more DIYs for your Volkswagen, you can visit vw.fcpeuro.com or subscribe to our YouTube channel.
Writer/Editor at FCP Euro and owner of a daily R53 MINI Cooper, a track-built R53 MINI, and a 1997 Dakar Yellow E36 M3 Sedan. ••• Instagram: @evan.madore