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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old October 7th, 2011, 04:24   #1
Roughneck
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Default VW Jetta TDI money pit??

Hi all, I'm brand new to the forum and about to be the first time owner of a 2012 VW Jetta TDI Sedan....(maybe)

Being in the market for a new car, I had spent hours of research finding which vehicle would be the best match for me. All factors considered, I settled on the above mentioned vehicle.

Well....last night, I had a local mechanic (20 years in the bizz) swear up and down that the VW is NOT a wise investment. His reason, simply because after your warranty is up; any further maintaince and repairs, are very expensive and parts are NOT readily available such as they would be with other brands.

Honestly, I fell in love with the VW Jetta TDI even before owning it. However listening to this mechanic preach, I am very hesitant moving forward with the purschase. I know 1 mechanic is 1 source and 1 opinion, but it is a credible one nonetheless.

I am hoping to get some solid input addressing this concern from the VW TDI veterans on this forum. Thankyou for reading.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 05:11   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
Hi all, I'm brand new to the forum and about to be the first time owner of a 2012 VW Jetta TDI Sedan....(maybe)

Being in the market for a new car, I had spent hours of research finding which vehicle would be the best match for me. All factors considered, I settled on the above mentioned vehicle.

Well....last night, I had a local mechanic (20 years in the bizz) swear up and down that the VW is NOT a wise investment. His reason, simply because after your warranty is up; any further maintaince and repairs, are very expensive and parts are NOT readily available such as they would be with other brands.

Honestly, I fell in love with the VW Jetta TDI even before owning it. However listening to this mechanic preach, I am very hesitant moving forward with the purschase. I know 1 mechanic is 1 source and 1 opinion, but it is a credible one nonetheless.

I am hoping to get some solid input addressing this concern from the VW TDI veterans on this forum. Thankyou for reading.
You need to talk to a different wrench, the situation for a TDI service and parts couldn't be different. The key question is are you willing/able to do the 10K and 20K service yourself? I maintain 3 TDIs, a 2003 Jetta, 2006 New Beetle w/DSG, and a 2009 JSW w/DSG and between myself and a local guru the cars never see a dealer. Yes while the JSW was within the 36K dealer supplied service a VW dealer was used and was watched by me like a hawk after all I paid for it in the purchase price. If you are going to always use a dealer for service expect to take it in the shorts, example if I do the 10K service on the Beetle it costs about $40 for oil and filter and about 1.5 hours of my time to do the tire rotation and inspections, dealer cost $125 and who knows if they used the correct oil. THE DEALER IS NOT YOUR FRIEND in the land of VW. Use the search here to read the horror stories of dealer service but don't let that scare you away but be warned. As for parts and prices we have vendors that can supply almost any part at a discount from what a VW dealer would charge. TDIs are great cars but are not for everyone, their is a great deal of information here about our cars and better yet solutions, read,read,read.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 05:14   #3
thebigarniedog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
Hi all, I'm brand new to the forum and about to be the first time owner of a 2012 VW Jetta TDI Sedan....(maybe)

Being in the market for a new car, I had spent hours of research finding which vehicle would be the best match for me. All factors considered, I settled on the above mentioned vehicle.

Well....last night, I had a local mechanic (20 years in the bizz) swear up and down that the VW is NOT a wise investment. His reason, simply because after your warranty is up; any further maintaince and repairs, are very expensive and parts are NOT readily available such as they would be with other brands.

Honestly, I fell in love with the VW Jetta TDI even before owning it. However listening to this mechanic preach, I am very hesitant moving forward with the purschase. I know 1 mechanic is 1 source and 1 opinion, but it is a credible one nonetheless.

I am hoping to get some solid input addressing this concern from the VW TDI veterans on this forum. Thankyou for reading.
The only issue/concern would be the unresolved HPFP issue. FWIW and IMO, VWs are built better and are of higher quality then other vehicles out there. The maintenance cost (when done correctly) are in line with other vehicles.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 06:06   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
.......Well....last night, I had a local mechanic (20 years in the bizz) swear up and down that the VW is NOT a wise investment. His reason, simply because after your warranty is up; any further maintaince and repairs, are very expensive and parts are NOT readily available such as they would be with other brands.
mostly not true, you do want to find a real mechanic (not him). Parts are readily available, cost is closer to japanese cars that Mercedes or BMW. There are some expensive parts in the diesels which don't always hold up well.
This reminds me of all the old hicks who would swear up and down, how great their chevys are, ford and mopar suck (replace any brand with the other). Well, if you've gotten inside these cars for repairs, etc., there obviously very, very similar.
I do believe VW quality is a notch below Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Subaru
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Old October 7th, 2011, 06:13   #5
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You need a new mechanic. But sreiously, they ARE more expensive to purchase and maintain than many other cars. They also are a nicer car, and worth every penny IMHO.

Lots of techs simply are ignorant about these cars. Which is sad, because they are NOT hard to service, nor source parts for.

(oh, and THIS mechanic loves his Volkswagens!).
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Old October 7th, 2011, 06:30   #6
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It might be easier to address your concerns if you list your alternatives to the Jetta.
Also, what are your requirements for the car (commute / travel, miles driven, passengers / cargo transported / price level / how long do you plan to keep it)?

If you are looking for a diesel car, there are no alternatives at this price level.
There are luxury diesel cars and SUVs that cost significantly more money.
If you are looking for an economy car, there are high MPG gas cars, electric cars,
and hybrids, but there are important differences.

This forum serves a very important function in my TDI ownership experience, but you have to be willing to invest your time in reading the posts and joining the discussions. You will find solutions to common problems, as well as valuable advice.

Good luck with your decision.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 07:15   #7
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Speaking form over 30 years of working on and driving VW diesels, get a new mechanic...........One familiar with German cars.

I have observed that VW's are no less reliable than Asian models that have a better than deserved rap today. German cars are much more "fun" to drive than any Asian model I have driven in the last 25 years. German cars in general, VW's & Audi's in particular have features not seen on any other models on the road today. That higher tech does come at a price in parts and sticker, but to me and a lot of others it's worth the cost.

And I speak with current experience with new ( less than 5 years old )Toyota's and Honda's today. I have one of each along with my two VW's today. The Toyota a late model Corolla doesn't drive that bad but I truly hate to drive my 05 Accord. I would rather drive my 26 year old Jetta any day over either one of these.

If you like the a new VW TDI, buy it and you are just as likely to have a long trouble free life as any similar size Asian model sold today. But make sure you are either well informed on repairs before you do them if you can or have a good German car mechanic that specializes in VW diesels.........and dealers are pretty useless when comes to making repairs on these things so don't count on them for your maintenance.

On parts, VW parts are just as widely available as any other model sold today. Another plus is the fact that the current TDI-CR 2.0L 140hp is today installed in 5 models ( Audi A3, Jetta, Jetta Wagon, Golf, & Passat ) with one being added ( the New Beetle II ) by the end of the year in the US. This fact will make engine parts easily available in coming years.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 07:19   #8
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New VWs are not cheap cars, and my experience with VW dealers is horrible. I'm convinced the only way to be happy with a TDI long term is to find a specialized mechanic that can service it reasonably, and not just replace expensive parts. Since TDIs are such a small segment of the US car market, the number of qualified mechanics is pretty tiny. Unfortunately, this usually means even the dealer's mechanics don't know how to solve any problems, and their whole service structure is set up to generate revenue for the dealership, not solve problems in the most economical way.

The combination of performance and fuel economy is pretty hard to beat.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 07:24   #9
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I like VWs (obviously). And I've had great luck with all of mine. But they do take a different approach than competing cars. First, you have to avoid the dealer for almost everything, including warranty repairs. Second, you have to find someone who's truly an expert at maintaining these cars or they will become money pits. Third, you have to be a sensitive operator to make sure you don't overlook a small problem that can become a big one.

I talk to customers all day who've spend thousands of dollars at dealers and independent mechanics only still not have their TDI running properly. And I also frequently talk to customers who've ignored maintenance issues that subsequently become big problems. Examples; failed lift pump that takes out the tandem pump; worn rear shocks that take out axle bushings; low boost that carbons up and destroys the turbo; and, of course, the classic ignored timing belt replacement that takes out the cylinder head.

A friend of mine recently had a Silverado total her '93 BMW 3 series. She's looking for a replacement. I suggested a 4-door Golf 2.5. I don't think she's up for the diesel ownership experience. And there are a lot of people out there like that. You have decide if you're up for owning a diesel VW. If so, the rewards are great. If not, you'll probably be very unhappy.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 07:27   #10
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It is a money pit there fore you must sell your car to me for one dollar and sign the title over to me.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 09:49   #11
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I've only owned one VW (my current Golf), but of the 30 cars I've owned since 1970, it's my favorite, and most reliable, hands down. As IndigoBlueWagon said a couple of posts ago, they do require a certain amount of involvement from the owner. They are not "gas 'n go" cars like Hondas or Toyotas. If it says to change the timing belt at 100K miles, they don't mean 105K miles. If it says to use a certain kind of oil or fluid (and they do), then USE that certain oil or fluid. Don't take it Jiffy Lube and use the cheapest thing they have.

And like has been mentioned before, find a local TDI guru to service your car if you don't do it yourself. You can find a list of them in the sticky in this section. Even if they are an hour or so away, it's worth the time and they are usually cheaper too.

Don't let the horror stories put you off. First, no one (but me) gets on here and posts about how great their cars are. They post when they have problems. Second, the horror stories you hear from others are usually from people who have never owned a VW, or treated their (usually gas powered) VW like a Honda or Toyota then get mad when it breaks.

VWs don't have to be a money pit if you're a smart and informed owner.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:02   #12
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As I am fond of saying, "VWs are a harsh mistress". They do not tolerate half-a$$ maintenance. Do things on time, beware of your car, and she will reward you. Skimp on oil changes, timing belts, etc., then proceed at your own peril.

When my friends ask if they should get a VW, I ask them if they are comfortable either doing their own work or taking their car to an independent mechanic. Most of them say "no", so I tell them to go Hyundai
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:05   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roughneck View Post
Hi all, I'm brand new to the forum and about to be the first time owner of a 2012 VW Jetta TDI Sedan....(maybe)

Being in the market for a new car, I had spent hours of research finding which vehicle would be the best match for me. All factors considered, I settled on the above mentioned vehicle.

Well....last night, I had a local mechanic (20 years in the bizz) swear up and down that the VW is NOT a wise investment. His reason, simply because after your warranty is up; any further maintaince and repairs, are very expensive and parts are NOT readily available such as they would be with other brands.

Honestly, I fell in love with the VW Jetta TDI even before owning it. However listening to this mechanic preach, I am very hesitant moving forward with the purschase. I know 1 mechanic is 1 source and 1 opinion, but it is a credible one nonetheless.

I am hoping to get some solid input addressing this concern from the VW TDI veterans on this forum. Thankyou for reading.
Your mechanic does not seem to be at all aware about EU based vehicle manufactures.
EU law makes things exactly opposite of what your friend describes. Note I am not saying parts are cheap, I am saying they are readily available.

If he said VW just SUCKS, now that could be open for debate.
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:07   #14
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Oh, and btw, no car is a wise investment
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Old October 7th, 2011, 10:08   #15
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I think you should ask several TDI owners, current or previous, that has had a High Pressure Fuel Pump failure on their 2009 through 2012 tdi, particularly one that had a failure outside of the 36k mile warranty, and had to pay for it themselves... if their car is a money pit. If they got rid of their new TDI's, ask them why. Get both sides of the story.
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