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VW B5 Passat TDIs This is a general discussion about B5 Passat(>98 (2004-2005 in North America)). Non TDI related postings will be moved or removed.

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Old November 16th, 2014, 08:36   #1
sunvalleylaw
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Default Pros/Cons - Passat Wagons, B5 TDI vs. 1.8t

Seeing as I am shopping for a Passat TDI wagon, and seeing as in this thread noted the relative pricing of gas vs. diesel right now, http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.p...5&postcount=63
I was wondering what the members here thought of the 2004/2005 Passat Wagon TDI vs. 1.8t version.

Here is what I come up with so far in my mind:

B5 TDI

Pros:
Better mileage (offset somewhat by higher fuel cost)
Torque at lower rpms.
engine longevity if well cared for

Cons:
higher initial price point
only comes with automatic that will need to be replaced
Camshaft issue
Balance shaft issue


1.8T
Pros:
Fun high reving driving
A lot more out there for purchase
Lower initial price point, by what looks to be about a couple grand at least.
Easier to find, And with a manual installed at the factory.

Cons:
mileage not nearly as good (currently offset by relative cost of gas vs. diesel)
Turbo small output motor will have to be rebuilt or replaced at some point.
Longevity of motor dependent on maintenance and if good, proper spec synthetic used at good intervals. (hard to determine unless you find a car with one owner).

I presume the running gear, fender and body, interior, and etc. issues to be equivalent between the two cars.

What do you guys think?

Last edited by sunvalleylaw; November 16th, 2014 at 09:38.
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Old November 16th, 2014, 09:23   #2
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The 1.8t engines can last a very long time. Probably as long as the car. My father had a 1.8t Jetta with an original engine that we sold last year at 450K kms.
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Old November 16th, 2014, 09:38   #3
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Agree with the above, also the 1.8t runs on premium fuel, so the spread between gas and D2 is not as wide. To me it would depend on the qualities vs price on the car in question, and the annual number of miles to be driven.
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Old November 16th, 2014, 09:44   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex View Post
Agree with the above, also the 1.8t runs on premium fuel, so the spread between gas and D2 is not as wide. To me it would depend on the qualities vs price on the car in question, and the annual number of miles to be driven.
Good point on the premium. The spread here is about 60-65 cents between RUG and Diesel, and nearly equal price between premium and diesel. We also have non-ethanol gas available at reasonable cost. Non-ethanol. Mileage would probably be between 10 and 20k per year I would guess. mostly likely somewhere in the middle of those two numbers.

And though the other poster above mentioned a well cared for 1.8T can last a long time, I have not seen in other makes small turbo motors last as long as diesels are reputed to last, without some sort of major rebuilding. Maybe I am just not as familiar with the VW motors, but you just don't hear of many gas powered turbos lasting well into the 200k-300k range that I am aware of.
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Old November 16th, 2014, 10:55   #5
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1.8t engines can suffer from sludging if given infrequent or inadequate oil changes. I used to work on Saabs for years, same thing - most were turbo, and they would regularly hit very high mileages with customers who maintained them properly. And they could also die early deaths when neglected.

At 15k per year, a gas car would make more sense financially.

No different from VW . The key is to find a good example and keep up on the maintenance.
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Old November 16th, 2014, 11:17   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex View Post
Agree with the above, also the 1.8t runs on premium fuel, so the spread between gas and D2 is not as wide. To me it would depend on the qualities vs price on the car in question, and the annual number of miles to be driven.
Given this above statement, and that premium and diesel are nearly the same price here,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Windex View Post
At 15k per year, a gas car would make more sense financially.
not sure how this part works out.
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Old November 16th, 2014, 11:22   #7
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Acquisition cost. The TDI will cost more to buy, and will require the mods you mentioned - cam, bsm, and transmission. A nice example of a manual 1.8t will be cheaper to buy up front, and won't require any of those three repairs or their costs.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 18:50   #8
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I wouldn't trade my manual B5.5 TDI for anything BUT I'm jealous if you do go with a 1.8T they can be found with a manual AND 4motion. Rare but they are out there.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 19:21   #9
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We have a 2004 Passat 1.8t 4motion 5 speed manual. She loves it in the snow - it's a tank and unstoppable with winter tires. It stops very well, and handles with confidence. It has a real 4wd system which is very similar to an Audi Quattro system - not some haldex transfer-power-when-you-need-it stuff

BUT.. and it's a big BUT.. the fuel economy is terrible. We can see 26 mpg in the summer, but closer to 21 in the winter. She is predominantly on country roads - only 20% city i'd guess. The car also FEELS heavy and sluggish. If you kick it, it gets moving well enough, but given the terrible fuel economy, it's rare that it gets kicked. Yes, I know we can chip it and so forth, but we likely won't bother as it'll probably be replaced next summer by either a b5.5 tdi with a stick or an 09/10 Jetta tdi stick.

We do run it on super as it's designed. The extra cost isn't ideal, but we don't want to have cat issues (like last years winter car, a 2002 Jetta 1.8t...)

As for sludging, Windex is right on. The oil that came out during the 1st oil change was worryingly dark. I've been changing the oil every 5-8k (kms) religiously using T6 and the oil is now coming out fairly clean each time

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Old November 17th, 2014, 19:37   #10
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1.8t is a great motor. They will last as long as you maintain them. Kinda lacking in power with 4 motion and quattro. Fwd applications feel better and will no doubt return better fuel mileage.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 19:46   #11
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Letting your turbo cool down after driving and using proper synthetic oil is the biggest issue with these motors
Wrong oil and improper habits makes coke from burnt oil in the turbo collect in the oil pump pick up screen plugging it.
These engines will run fine on regular fuel for city or slower driving but computer will cut horsepower back to prevent detonation on high power loads like passing on highway
If you are buying a used one do your self a favor and drop the oil pan and clean the oil pickup screen!
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Old November 17th, 2014, 19:55   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peiphil View Post
Letting your turbo cool down after driving and using proper synthetic oil is the biggest issue with these motors
Wrong oil and improper habits makes coke from burnt oil in the turbo collect in the oil pump pick up screen plugging it.
These engines will run fine on regular fuel for city or slower driving but computer will cut horsepower back to prevent detonation on high power loads like passing on highway
If you are buying a used one do your self a favor and drop the oil pan and clean the oil pickup screen!
I'm sorry, but i don't really agree with much of your post.

- Turbos blowing on these engines is generally not an issue on a non-modified car. If you drive it normally, your turbo will last as long as the engine

- I will agree with your statement regarding wrong oil - VW initially didn't spec synthetic oil which is what caused the major of the build up issues. Any car that has had regular oil changes with synthetic oil is unlikely to EVER run into issues

- Yes, the knock sensor will retard the timing a bit, but you're much more likely to end up with cat efficiency faults if you run regular. If anything, I'd run super in the city and regular on the open highway, but we choose to avoid any issues by always running super

- Dropping the oil pan on a 1.8t isn't an easy job like on a Jetta or Golf. You need to lower the subframe (ideally, remove it) to get access to get the pan off.

The 1.8t in general is an extremely strong engine - tougher than many TDI engines. I have friends who are over 300k with well maintained cars and have only had to replace coils and vacuum lines.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 19:58   #13
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The mileage on the 1.8T really is bad compared to the TDI. My wife gets about 450km to a tank on her tiptronic Jetta wagon. My TDI stick shift gets nearly double that.

It does depend on what type of driving you tend to do - the 1.8T has a huge split between city and highway mileage. It's highway mileage isn't too bad but city driving sucks back the fuel pretty quickly.
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Old November 17th, 2014, 20:16   #14
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Re: driving, very little in first and second gear. Probably a couple blocks on either end of a 12 mile drive each way on surface streets. Probably 5 or 6 cycles up through 3rd gear one way on the drive one way, including stops on either end and presuming one stop in the middle that happens less than half the time. The remainder primarily at highway speed, with a couple miles in 3rd (or 4th if I am speeding very much). At least for the commute. The rest of the driving will be across the state of Idaho either on two lane mountain and plains highways, or on a very fast interstate if I am over near Boise. Probably several times a month with 100 to 180 mile drives (including both directions) and at least once a month with a 300+ round way trip. I probably will be over 15000 miles total in a year I would guess. Nice fun twisty roads, and roads that want a highway rig. My Alfa Berlina is really fun, but not quite long legged enough. (and not modern enough to be driving other than in summer). A GTV6 would be better or even an Alfetta GT if you could find one that was not rusted apart if you wanted an Alfa to drive in Idaho. They are longer legged in the gearing.

I think it will be nearly a push for me as far as left brain analysis. The TDI sounds fun for the torque-y performance. The gas mileage thing and sluggishness mentioned by @yatzee is interesting. And his statement,
Quote:
Originally Posted by yatzee View Post
Yes, I know we can chip it and so forth, but we likely won't bother as it'll probably be replaced next summer by either a b5.5 tdi with a stick or an 09/10 Jetta tdi stick.
is telling.

I am still leaning toward the TDIs. Plus, my overall mileage may be more than I think, as I am adding it up.

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Old November 17th, 2014, 21:21   #15
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Saw something on another thread about octane at elevation and wondered about it and how it fits with this gas turbo vs diesel question. Found this on wiki:

United States: in the US octane rating is displayed in AKI. In most areas, the standard grades are 87, 89-90 and 91-94 AKI.[37] In the Rocky Mountain (high elevation) states, 85 AKI (90 RON) is the minimum octane, and 91 AKI (95 RON) is the maximum octane available in fuel.[38] The reason for this is that in higher-elevation areas, a typical naturally aspirated engine draws in less air mass per cycle because of the reduced density of the atmosphere. This directly translates to less fuel and reduced absolute compression in the cylinder, therefore deterring knock. It is safe to fill a carbureted car that normally takes 87 AKI fuel at sea level with 85 AKI fuel in the mountains, but at sea level the fuel may cause damage to the engine. A disadvantage to this strategy is that most turbocharged vehicles are unable to produce full power, even when using the "premium" 91 AKI fuel. In some east coast states, up to 94 AKI (98 RON) is available.[39] As of January, 2011, over 40 states and a total of over 2500 stations offer ethanol-based E-85 fuel with 105 AKI.[40] Often, filling stations near US racing tracks will offer higher octane levels such as 100 AKI .

Now granted I have seen plenty of turbo gas motors driving up here just fine. But it certainly means one should be using premium up here, and you still might not be getting the best out of your motor.
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