Volkswagen TDI talk

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
So every now & again I get asked about TDI engines... I love my car (2000 Jetta TDI)... it's fun to drive, reliable and get's great mileage. I've put over 120k miles on the car so far, after buying it with 140k miles. Currently it has over 260k miles and is still as reliable as the day I bought it. I'm not claiming to have all the answers or know everything about these cars, but I thought I'd share some of the information in public in case others have questions. The following is my reply to others about these cars....



A VW TDI will make a great daily-driver, I love my Jetta and my wife now has a TDI Beetle which she loves. A couple things to mention... a Passat is bigger & heavier and doesn't get as much mileage as a Jetta, Golf, etc. Also look for a manual transmission... the auto's get 4-5 MPG less than a manual. An Automatic Passat will probably average 35-36 MPG compared to a Jetta/Golf/Beetle with a manual, averaging 45-46 MPG.

You can add engine tunes, bigger injectors and larger turbos for performance, but from what I've seen stock is the best for getting good mileage for the most part... just make sure everything is in good shape, buy some tires rated to be fuel efficient and run them at a somewhat higher pressure and you should be averaging 45+ MPG all day long.

Also, there are many dealers around the country that specialize in TDI VW's. A good, clean one may be hard to find... don't be scared of flying & driving to buy a nice one, but do your homework and make sure it's as nice as they say. If you can find an older one with 150k miles and it's been taken care of, you will probably be paying more than book value.

The engines are pretty robust, it's not uncommon for a TDI engine to last 350-400k miles with the usual maintenance. I'm at 265K and it still runs like a champ. The timing belt changes are very important, the recommended interval is every 60k miles (80k if you use the upgraded idler pulley) and they are an interference engine so if a timing belt breaks, you've wasted your engine. To pay a shop to do a timing belt (make friends with a German car mechanic!) will cost around $1200+.

Some TDI's have mass air flow sensor problems, but I haven't seen that with either of our TDI's. Occasionally you may need to change glow plugs... they're easy and not too expensive. These cars are known to have massive amounts of carbon build up in the intake, due to the EGR valve. A TDI with miles probably has a nasty intake... some shops specialize in cleaning this out and you can then get an EGR Delete kit to prevent it from happening again. It's wise to do a full-throttle run up to 50 MPH at least once a week to blow out the carbon!! I keep telling my wife that, but she's not a throttle-junkie like I am.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
I know there are a handful of other TDI owners/drivers on here... feel free to speak up!
 

sixstringsteve

Well-Known Member
Location
UT
excellent info. I've been interested in this topic as well, but I don't know much about it. i DO know that TDI owners love their MPG.

Are some years more desirable than others?
 
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Spork

Tin Foil Hat Equipped
Got to ask have you ever done a clutch on one? I hit 200k on mine and the clutch quit working. I'm thinking it's the throwout bearing or clutch lever, the clutch petal goes to the floor but if I strap it to a 2x4 and press the petal it won't move. With 200k if I got to open it up I might as well replace the clutch.

I spend way too much time on the internet and looking at things, am I better off sticking to a Dual-Mass flywheel or convert over to a single?
Found a smf conversion http://idparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=76_102&products_id=2831
or this one:
http://www.idparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=24_44&products_id=764

one is a 275lbs vs a 300lbs and from what I've read both are higher than stock.
One more link in case anyone is looking in the future
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=340137

If things go right I'm going to attempt pulling it apart this weekend, just not excited to do it.
 
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TRD270

Web Wheeler
Location
SaSa Sandy
The engines are pretty robust, it's not uncommon for a TDI engine to last 350-400k miles with the usual maintenance. I'm at 265K and it still runs like a champ. The timing belt changes are very important, the recommended interval is every 60k miles and they are an interference engine so if a timing belt breaks, you've wasted your engine. To pay a shop to do a timing belt (make friends with a German car mechanic!) will cost around $1200+.
This

I sold my 02 TDI Jetta to my father about 10k before it was due. I told him make sure you get it done..... 45k after the recommended mileage snap boom bye bye nice car motor
 
I have a 2002 Jetta TDI that I bought new. It now has 230k miles with no mechanical problems. A handful of electrical probs is all. Currently needs a new glow plug harness.

On this year, the recommended timing belt change is 80k, but there are updated OE parts that move that out to 100k. The change runs $800-900 on mine.

I drive conservatively, and I still regularly get 48 to the gallon. It is incredibly convenient to fill up every 750 miles. I have even had a couple of tanks go over 800 miles!
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
Got to ask have you ever done a clutch on one? I hit 200k on mine and the clutch quit working. I'm thinking it's the throwout bearing or clutch lever, the clutch petal goes to the floor but if I strap it to a 2x4 and press the petal it won't move. With 200k if I got to open it up I might as well replace the clutch.

I spend way too much time on the internet and looking at things, am I better off sticking to a Dual-Mass flywheel or convert over to a single?
Found a smf conversion http://idparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=76_102&products_id=2831
or this one:
http://www.idparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=24_44&products_id=764

one is a 275lbs vs a 300lbs and from what I've read both are higher than stock.
One more link in case anyone is looking in the future
http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=340137

If things go right I'm going to attempt pulling it apart this weekend, just not excited to do it.
I've not had to do a clutch yet... and I will pay someone so I don't have to do it myself! Keep me posted on how difficult it was, good luck!

I've heard good things about clutch upgrades, they're a must when turning up the power.



This

I sold my 02 TDI Jetta to my father about 10k before it was due. I told him make sure you get it done..... 45k after the recommended mileage snap boom bye bye nice car motor
Wow, that sucks. I pushed my car over the recommended miles, but not half that far! $1200 is a lot of money, but I can't imagine what a replacement engine would be!

Speaking of timing belts, there are a few needed tools if you're going to DIY. If you have the tools, the needed parts are around $300. Typically also would you replace the water pump, idler pulley and serpentine belt while you're in there. I haven't done one myself, because it's so tight. The timing cover is a few inches away from the passenger-side fenderwell.


There is a company that makes a kit to put the 1.9 VW TDI into a Jeep. Talk about best of both worlds. Apparently in the Jeep they get in the mid 30's MPG. Obviously not as good as in the car, but get to drive a Jeep everyday instead of a car .... Wish it was a little cheaper .... :-(

http://www.hpamotorsports.com/tdiconversions.htm
That is pretty cool! One of those in a TJ would be sweet! They are using the PD engine, which has the reputation for injection pump issues. Those PD engines are VERY electronically controlled, but like the older TDI engines they can be tweaked for much more power.

**EDIT** - Wow, looked at the prices and they're way expensive for everything you're need!! IMO, a 3.3 Cummins would be much easier, cheaper with more torque and similar mileage.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
I have a 2002 Jetta TDI that I bought new. It now has 230k miles with no mechanical problems. A handful of electrical probs is all. Currently needs a new glow plug harness.

On this year, the recommended timing belt change is 80k, but there are updated OE parts that move that out to 100k. The change runs $800-900 on mine.

I drive conservatively, and I still regularly get 48 to the gallon. It is incredibly convenient to fill up every 750 miles. I have even had a couple of tanks go over 800 miles!
I've heard about the different timing belts with higher mileage service intervals.

The most I've gotten out of mine was 740 miles, I usually average 550-600 miles out of a tank.
 

Chocflip201

Well-Known Member
Location
Springville
I don't know a lot about TDI's but I do know a bit about diesels, and in my opinion the #1 thing to keep on top of is your fuel filter. Diesel fuel is dirty no matter what, and a dirty filter on a diesel kills your performance and mpg FAST.

learn how to change it yourself and buy the best quality filter you can, and do it every other oil change.
 

Spork

Tin Foil Hat Equipped
I've heard about the different timing belts with higher mileage service intervals... of course, the shop I used recommended the 60k belt! -_-

I think the most I've gotten out of mine was 740 miles, I usually average 550-600 miles out of a tank.
I'm usually around 650 with the breather trick. I probably need to change my filter, I know I need to swap out my timing belt. The timing belt was on my list when the clutch went out.
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
I'm usually around 650 with the breather trick. I probably need to change my filter, I know I need to swap out my timing belt. The timing belt was on my list when the clutch went out.
The Ventectomy? I need to do that to Catherine's Beetle, I did it to my Jetta the first week. My mileage has been going down lately, I need to change the fuel filter.
 

zukgod1

Senior crawler
Location
Utah County
I didn't read all the posts.

I'm a TDI freak well.
As a result of owning several over several generations I have accumulated a great deal of TDI specialized tools and knowledge. VCDS equipped as well.

I have a tire store/ repair shop in Saratoga as most of you know but I doubt you knew about my love for the VW TDI engine.

I just bought a 98 Jetta TDI that's wrecked and swapping the engine/trans over to a older 88 mk2 Jetta, just because.

If anyone ever needs any advice feel free to hit me up.



Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk 2
 

Spork

Tin Foil Hat Equipped
The Ventectomy? I need to do that to Catherine's Beetle, I did it to my Jetta the first week. My mileage has been going down lately, I need to change the fuel filter at the least.
I haven't actually done it, I just press the nozzle against the breather that you remove and get an extra gallon or so in.
 

MikeGyver

UtahWeld.com
Location
Arem
lol you can't mention diesel cars w/o the inevitable engine swap posts.
 

jackjoh

Jack - KC6NAR
Premium Member
Location
Riverton, UT
I love my Dodge Ram but have never owned any other diesel. It seems to me that $1200 every 50k miles is a lot of upkeep for one item when you consider regular upkeep like tires, oil changes etc. and other things that just happen. I spend less then that on my Jeep ZJ but of course I only get a third of the gas mileage but it is a Jeep that loves the back country.
 

sixb

Will work for beer!
Location
West Jordan, UT
I bought a 91 Jetta last October with 150k 5 spd. It's kinda special being a eco-diesel, It came with a different ip pump, gears and a cat that others of that year didn't have. Anyway it was in near perfect condition from some old guy in Ogden but came from Nevada so it's also rust free. Mine was getting 36-38 in town city driving with short trips in stop and go traffic and 40-42 on the hwy as in 2 1700 mile trips.
I up graded to a turbo diesel style ip and modified the exhaust a tad and now get 40 city and a best of 49 hwy. Need to put more miles with the new mods to get a better avg though.
I would recommend Flinn's automotive in SLC for VW diesels. He even drove the early vw diesels back in the day and is very familiar with them. He also recommends every 30k For my timing belt if I remember correctly and said it's around 300.00. Mine is a 1.6 TD
 

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OCNORB

Registered User
Location
Mallcrick
My wife drives a Jetta TDI we bought new in Feb 2003. Car has 165K and has paid for itself in saved fuel over and over again. Still runs like the day we bought it.

I have all the tools to do the timing belts, so I have been tackling them and they are not too bad of a job. Brakes/rotors at 120K and a wheel bearing at 130K round out the major stuff. Always clean the intake when I do the fuel filter (every 50K).

The one complaint is the door switches seem to be problematic. Makes the remote useless until you fix them. Occasionally hitting a bump will light up the "door open" light and ding annoyingly.

My wife loves the car and plans to keep it another 10 years if it holds up and/or isn't made illegal by the sky-dirt cops. :)
 

Greg

Wanderlusting
Admin
I love my Dodge Ram but have never owned any other diesel. It seems to me that $1200 every 50k miles is a lot of upkeep for one item when you consider regular upkeep like tires, oil changes etc. and other things that just happen. I spend less then that on my Jeep ZJ but of course I only get a third of the gas mileage but it is a Jeep that loves the back country.
Well, 60k is the minimum... 80k is normal if you use the upgraded idler pulley. As mentioned previously, there are timing belts you can get that have a service life of 100k miles if you prefer. As for the cost, if you're averaging 20k miles a year that's 4 years of driving a car that gets 45+ MPG, so you've saved that much money over that much time. Mine is paid off, so $1200 every 4 years is more than reasonable IMO.

As far as 'other things', my TDI Jetta has been very low maintenance. I've put a battery in it, 2 sets of glow plugs and 2 sets of tires over several years and 100k+ miles. Other than an oil change, air filters and fuel filters, it's been quite affordable to own. I'm very happy with the return on investment. ;)


I bought a 91 Jetta last October with 150k 5 spd. It's kinda special being a eco-diesel, It came with a different ip pump, gears and a cat that others of that year didn't have. Anyway it was in near perfect condition from some old guy in Ogden but came from Nevada so it's also rust free. Mine was getting 36-38 in town city driving with short trips in stop and go traffic and 40-42 on the hwy as in 2 1700 mile trips.
I up graded to a turbo diesel style ip and modified the exhaust a tad and now get 40 city and a best of 49 hwy. Need to put more miles with the new mods to get a better avg though.
I would recommend Flinn's automotive in SLC for VW diesels. He even drove the early vw diesels back in the day and is very familiar with them. He also recommends every 30k For my timing belt if I remember correctly and said it's around 300.00. Mine is a 1.6 TD
That's awesome! Glad that one worked out for you, looks very clean. Those older 1.6 turbo diesels are neat, I'd love to have a TD Caddy!
 
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