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VW MKV-A5 Golf/Jettas Discussions area for A5/MkV Jetta/Golf (2005/2006 PD and 2009 CR).

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Old November 23rd, 2008, 11:44   #1
DoctorDawg
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Default FAQ: 2009 - 2010 TDI-specific issues

The '09+ TDI is in some ways a whole new beast, and is bringing lots of new readers to the Club. Inevitably, we're starting to see a lot of newbies asking the same questions over and over again, so herewith I humbly propose the following '09+ TDI-specific FAQs. If I've overlooked any common questions or have fumbled any of the answers, please chime in.

1. Q: My brakes squeak! Anybody else have this?
A: Yes. For the first couple of stops in the morning, many of us hear our brakes squeak, and it is worse on wet mornings when a little rust has formed on the rotors. This is not terribly uncommon in many makes of new cars. In my car, the morning squeak went away after a couple of months.

2. Q: The owner's manual says the first oil change is at 10K miles. Can this be right? My grandpappy taught me its important to do the first oil change early to remove metal particles generated by the break-in process.
A: No, its not right...VW is lying to you, just to be mean. OK...joke. Seriously, 10K miles is the correct interval for the first (and every other) oil change. Welcome to the brave new world of high-performance synthetic oils, oil filters that actually work, and engines which are machined with astonishing precision. Relax and enjoy 10,000 miles of not having to crawl under your car!

3. Q: Can I use oil "X" in my 2009+ TDI?
A: It is vitally important for the health of your Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) that you use only oils meeting the VW 507.00 spec, just like your owner's manual says. Oils meeting this spec contain extremely low amounts of ash, because oil-derived ash will crap up your DPF (in which case you can kiss both your warranty and your kid's college savings goodbye). If an oil says it meets the VW 507.00 spec, yer good to go. If it doesn't, yer not. Even some VW dealerships don't understand this yet, so don't assume that the oil the parts counter sells you (or the service tech uses in your car) is 507.00 unless and until they prove it to you by showing you the label. 507.00 oils can be difficult to find on most store shelves; they have been spotted at Pep Boys, or you can e-buy them at either idparts.com or avlube.com (and prolly elsewhere, for all I know). Finally, there is absolutely no truth to the rumor that the name "507.00" comes from the average price per liter for this stuff...but its close! And one more thing: the oil capacity is 4.0 liters. Not 4.5 liters. Not 5 liters. Not 4 quarts. 4.0 liters. And you measure your oil level with the engine at full operating temperature, after it has sat turned off for about 3 minutes.

4. Q: Can I burn {100% biodiesel, 20% biodiesel, waste vegetable oil, Crisco shortening, etc.} in my 2009+ TDI?
A: Your owner's manual warns you that B5 (5% biodiesel) is the highest percentage of biodiesel that you can burn without voiding your warranty. There's a good reason for this. Your Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) gets 'regenerated' every few hundred miles in a process which involves squirting a little extra fuel into your cylinders post-combustion. This unburned fuel vaporizes, travels down your exhaust system, burns there, and heats up your DPF, burning the accumulated soot out of it. Biodiesel requires higher temperatures to vaporize completely than does conventional #2 diesel, so if you run too high a percentage of biodiesel some of this post-combustion injection won't vaporize and will end up in your oil instead of your exhaust stream, thus diluting your oil with fuel. This is bad. But hey, its a free country: you can burn anything you want in your TDI (for a while, at least). Just don't say we didn't warn you.

5. Q: Do I need to use a fuel additive? Which one should I use?
A: The owner's manual is silent on this issue, but folks who have asked VW customer service report they've been told that no additives are either needed or recommended for your '09 TDI. Your engine was designed to run well, and long, on our crappy U.S. Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD). Rejoice! In cold weather your fuel is heated before it hits your filter (at least, once your engine is running and warmed up this is true; but for that first crank in the A.M. it is dead cold, so here you're relying on properly blended winter fuel). Some folks on this board say "Powerservice (or Stanadyne) won't hurt your car", but it is prolly worth noting that the majority of those folks don't seem to own '09s (in previous years, Stanadyne was recommended by VW). The fact is, with the '09+ nobody really knows, we're all just guessing, in the absence of solid advice from VW. Basically, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

6. Q: I can't find a filling station with nozzles that actually fit in the filler neck of my '09+! ***?
A: Yup, its a problem...but not a huge problem. First, be sure yer not filling up at the 'truck' pumps, where the big boys play. Pumps intended for fueling semis use huge nozzles which won't fit in your car at all; don't even try. Pumps meant for fueling cars and light trucks (you'll usually find these right beside gas pumps) use smaller nozzles, and that's what you want. If you look down your filler neck you'll notice that the '09+ has 'fingers' in there, about 2" down, which partially obstruct the filler neck. Why these exist is one of life's Great Unsolved Mysteries. The metal tube of a regular-size nozzle will fit past these, but the spiral wire frequently wrapped around the metal tube won't. Fortunately, the first two inches or so of the metal tube are usually bare (without the spiral wire), so you just stick that part in as far as it goes, then stop. Try to pump the last gallon or slow fairly slowly, so you don't get fuel drooling down the side of your car. With a little practice, its easy. Some folks have also fashioned slip-on reducing extensions for nozzles, from copper fittings, but if you go this route you'll lose the auto-off function of the nozzle (not like that works very well, or anything).

7. Q: My radiator fan started running loudly when I {turned off the engine or got off the highway onto surface streets or stopped at a light}. What's that about?
A: Your car was in the middle of regenerating the Diesel Particulate Filter (see Q4, above). The DPF gets very hot in this process. When your road speed drops too low to provide the required cooling, your fan turns on. When idling, you may also notice that your idle speed increases slightly to 900 RPM. You can prolly learn more than you ever wanted to know about DPFs and regens by reading these two threads:
Did My car just go through a regen??? DPF ***
FYI: DPF regen info from my '09 TDI

8. Q: Every time I turn off the engine I hear a soft, high-pitched whining sound from under the hood; it stops after about 30 seconds. Is this normal?
A: Yes. Opinions still differ regarding what's going on (the ECU is adjusting something in the engine), but we know that every '09 does it. My personal opinion is that this is your engine's way of saying "Weeeeeeeee! That was fun!" Its that kinda car. Update: a recent VW TSB ascribes this noise to the EGR valves: "After switching ignition off, the EGR system must go through an adaption of the valves to maintain calibration. These noises are considered normal...."

9. Q: When I test drove a demo '09 TDI, the steering wheel had a "TDI" badge on it. The car I took delivery on didn't have this badge. How can I order one?
A: You can't. The original '09 demos were a special limited edition (the 'Loyal Edition'). They were the only vehicles bearing this steering wheel badge. Neener neener neener!

10. Q: I'm considering buying an '09+ TDI, but I'm worried about reliability. How's the track record of this car?
A: At the time of writing (Nov. 2009) its still early days. Hardly anyone has owned one for more than 3 months, or has more than 10K miles on one. But that said, problems reported to date on this site have been generally minor and generally infrequent...about what you'd expect at this point, IMHO. A lot of us really love these cars and are very glad we own 'em (so far).

11. Q: The dealer told me the '09 Jetta TDI has a timing chain instead of a timing belt. Is that right?
A: No. The '09 TDI Jetta has a timing belt, just like previous TDIs. It is sad but true that many dealers have no idea what they're talking about with respect to the '09. When you take delivery on your new Jetta get in and drive away from the dealership as fast as you can, and try not to go back again if at all possible.

12. Q: Does the sound system on my '09 have a separate amp?
A: Some option packages come with a separate amp, some don't. Look under the driver's seat. If there's an electronic box under there, that's yer amp. If there's not, it ain't.

13. Q: Does VAG-COM work with the '09 TDI Jetta?
A: Yep, like a champ.

14. Q: Where can I find a shop manual for the '09 Jetta TDI?
A: Hopefully you're just curious, and not actually in need of one yet! According to darrenf (see post #14, below): "The Bentley electronic manual at eBahn.com now covers the 2009 2.0CR engine (engine type CBEA) as well as the Sportwagen. I've read that the electronic version on CD/DVD includes these updates as well using the Live Update feature. They do not advertise a 2009 print version yet." And according to redbrick1 (see post #117, below): "Bentley Publishers is now taking preorders on their website for the updated MK5 manual, including the JSW and 2.0 L CR TDI engine. Should ship middle of December."

15. Q: I'm really disappointed by the fuel economy I've gotten from my first {X} tanks. What's going on?
A: The '09, like every other diesel ever built, needs some time to break in, so be patient for the first coupla thousand miles. And after that, remember that the '09 is pretty unique in that it can either deliver great performance, or great fuel economy: your choice...but both can't be 'great' at the same time (crudely speaking, this is a law of physics). If you want excellent fuel economy try to keep your foot out of it. If, instead, you want to drive like a maniac, don't expect miracles. Once your engine is broken in, if you drive sensibly (not like a granny, just sensibly) you'll enjoy mid-40s MPGs unless you live in mountainous country or do nothing but very short trips in the city with lots of stop-and-go driving (in either of those two cases, you might-should consider a hybrid if economy is your main goal).

16. Q: How do I remove the plastic cowl from the top of my engine?
A: The four corners of the cowl are held down by snap fittings. Just grab one corner and pull straight up, gently but quite firmly; it will snap free. Repeat for the other three corners. To reattach, replace and push down on each of the four corners until they snap locked. Edit: I'm grateful to whitedog for pointing out: "I found out the hard way on my 2004 Jetta to use caution when pulling the engine cover off when the temperature is below about 15F. They tend to get a little brittle and can break."

17. Q: Hey, I can't hear my turbo! What's up with that?
A: What's that you say? I couldn't hear you over the awesome scream of my turbo. No, actually, most of us can't hear our '09 turbos; they're scary-quiet...and those of us with long turbodiesel experience in other vehicles kinda miss it. But it's one heckuva turbo anyways (puts out 22 PSI, stock), and it sure gets the job done. Think of it as the strong, silent type.

18. Q: Arrrrgh! My automatic transmission is behaving weirdly! (added 8/6/2009)
A: The DSG, VW's automatic-manual transmission (Its an auto! No, its a manual! No, its an auto! Hey...just shut up and drive, will ya?) in the '09 is widely reported, by folks who know, to perform rather differently than the DSG did in the '06 and preceding years. Several problems or 'features' have been discussed (and often confused) in various threads. In approximately decreasing order of badness, these are:
a) 'False Neutral': A small but not insignificant number of owners have reported that without warning their DSG will occasionally go into Neutral while they are driving (with or without flashing PRNDS, and accompanied by engine racing) -- clearly a scary safety hazard, since you've suddenly lost all power to the wheels. This appears to be due to a defective batch of DSG temperature sensors (the build numbers / build dates which got these defective sensors has not yet been established, to my knowledge). When the defective sensor reports tranny overheating, the DSG has a brain-fart and decides that protecting itself is more important than protecting the passengers, so it goes into neutral regardless of what the car may be doing at the time. So there's two things going on here: a relatively small number of '09 DSGs have a faulty temp sensor (hey, stuff happens), and all '09 DSGs have a bad design flaw in the DSG's software...it should never, NEVER shift into neutral all by itself; that's just nuts. VW should do the right thing and issue a recall to update the DSG software. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has initiated a defect investigation on this issue. The fix is to replace the defective DSG temperature sensor. A lot of dealers don't seem to know about this, but when they are persuaded to call the VW Tech Line they get told to replace the sensor and that seems to work. This issue seems to be the first (and only) thing we can all agree is a true serious defect in some '09s.
b) Hesitation when taking off from a stand-still. Definitely observed by many, and this one can scare the pants off of you if you're trying to dart into oncoming traffic. The fix is simple, and of two parts: 1: Don't dart into oncoming traffic, and 2. The hesitation occurs only when you come off of the brake pedal and onto the accelerator really quickly. Give it half a heartbeat between taking your foot off the brake and touching the accelerator, and then don't stomp on the pedal but rather squeeeeze it...like shooting a gun, you don't jerk the trigger, you squeeeeeze it. That half-second between off-brake and on-accelerator, combined with not stomping on the pedal, makes the hesitation go away.
c) Bumping/jerking/slamming into gear occasionally. Some folks experience this, but many don't. I can force my DSG to bump on the downshift if I brake aggressively, but its not real bad or anything. When I brake gently and smoothly, no bump. YMMV.
d) Engine lugging / too low RPMs at about 35-40 MPH. Yep, it happens. I personally believe that VW fiddled the '09 DSG's programming to keep RPMs lower (by upshifting sooner) in order to squeeze a few more MPGs out of the '09. But they went a mite too far; being in 6th gear at 40 MPH is just wrong. When you're lugging the car isn't real responsive to the go pedal, which is definitely annoying and could in some circumstances be unsafe, I suppose. The fix is simple: when the engine is lugging, flip over into Tiptronic and shift down one gear. I've never yet met an auto tranny whose every gear choice I fully agreed with. The good thing about the DSG is that, unlike other autos, you get to have the last word regarding what gear it should be in. An alternative solution to the lugging issue is to drive around in S (sport mode) instead of D; the shift points are all higher. But this will cream your fuel economy, so using the Tip when the tranny is in the wrong gear is prolly a better solution.
e) Cold shudder. Shortly after cold start-up, some folks report a single brief transient 'shudder' which then goes away. I don't have any experience of this so I don't know what to tell you.
f) Slight but noticeable 'defueling' (slowing) when cresting a hill. Seems to be somewhat commonly reported, but seems not to happen all the time, just on some hills, sometimes. A minor annoyance, at worst. I can make it happen (but only on one hill I've ever met) if, anticipating the coming downslope, I slightly back off on the go pedal just before the crest. If I don't, it doesn't happen. I seem to recall seeing some folks with manual transmission reporting this same problem, in which case it isn't really a DSG issue. I don't believe anybody has the foggiest idea what causes it.

19. Q: Good lord, why would anybody buy the DSG if it has all these problems???!!!???!!!
A: Because for many of us it is a fine transmission, and we like it a lot. Problem (a) above has never been experienced by the vast majority of '09 DSG owners. Problem (b) occurs only when you drive the car wrong (IMHO). Problem (c) doesn't seem to be very common. Problem (d) is another case of driving the car wrong (shift if you don't like the gear!) though I'll admit that VW could have done better here. Problem (e) seems to be rare, and (f) is no big deal unless yer lookin' for something to complain about or you do a lot of motocross driving.

20. Q: I have one or more of the DSG problems described in #18, above. What can I do about it? (Added 8/28/09).
A: VW has issued a voluntary recall for DSG-equipped vehicles manufactured between September 2008 and August 2009, to fix the 'false neutral' problem. Call your dealer to see whether your vehicle is included. Additionally (but separately) VW has just recently announced a "customer service program to address concerns raised by its customers with certain Direct Shift Gearboxes" for other (as yet unspecified) DSG problems. For details on both these programs, see posts #s 1 and 90 in this thread: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=255996

21. How do I adjust the e-brake so it doesn't drag or so the lever has more throw?
A: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=251826

22. Q: My 2010 Jetta has only a few hundred to a coupla thousand miles on it, and the Check Engine light just came on! OMG! The dealer says they think it has something to do with the exhaust. What's going on?
A: A number of new 2010 owners have encountered a Check Engine light at very low miles caused by a batch of defective EGR gaskets. A couple of good threads to read on this topic are here and here. Replacing or repairing the gasket (under warranty!) fixes the problem, apparently with no consequences. We hope this is your problem.

23. Q: The DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) idiot light on my instrument cluster has never illuminated. I presume this means my car isn't executing any active regenerations ("regens"). What's going on?
A: The DPF idiot light on your cluster does not illuminate during a regen. Like most idiot lights, it illuminates when there is a problem. I quote from the TDI Supplement I received with my '09 owner's manual*: "If the indicator light in the instrument cluster comes on, the diesel particulate filter has become blocked with soot as the result of constant short-distance driving. In order to clean the diesel particulate filter, drive at a frequent speed of at least 37 MPH for 15 minutes....if the indicator light still does not go out, contact an authorized Volkswagen dealer or qualified workshop to have the problem corrected....A message may also be displayed in the instrument cluster informing you or prompting necessary action." This statement is a little less than utterly clear, so here's the take-home: (i) DPF idiot light comes on only when your DPF is excessively blocked, not when a regen is in progress. (ii) Active regens (i.e., initiated by the computer, and involving post-combustion fuel injections to heat up the DPF) can only occur at sufficiently high speeds and exhaust temperatures...conditions which short-haul city driving does not provide. (iii) You can't make a regen happen by driving at highway speed, but if the computer wants to initiate a regen then driving at highway speed provides the conditions which make this possible. (iv) If an MFD message accompanies the idiot light and tells you to go straight to a repair station, get your vehicle towed to the dealer; your DPF is so badly clogged that a normal active regen is no longer possible...the dealer may either initiate an emergency regen (via the dealer's computer) or may have to replace your DPF (depending on just how badly blocked it is).

*Nota bene: As an early purchaser of an '09 TDI, I never received an '09 owner's manual...when I bought mine VW was stuffing '08 (i.e., non-diesel) OMs in these cars, plus a little 8-page TDI supplement. So I can't quote chapter and verse on what the '09 OM says on this subject. But the language quoted here from that Supplement is nonetheless definitive.

24. Q: Is it necessary to prime the fuel system after changing the fuel filter?
A: Previously I've answered this question by saying "Here's all I know for sure: (1) The Bentley manual's procedure for changing the fuel filter does not tell you to prime, and (2) I have changed my filter 4 times now, without priming, and my fuel system is just fine." Well, that was then and this is now. At my 40K fuel filter change I had to re-prime the system with VCDS to get my car started again (see thread). I now recommend strongly that you prime...or at least refill the filter canister after a change.

25. Q: When its open, my sunroof sometimes makes a terrible noise (kind of like blowing across the top of an empty pop bottle).
A: Yeah, that can happen when wind direction and speed and how far open your sunroof is all come together just right, turns your car into a $25K flute. The simple fix is to just close your sunroof a tiny bit...just until the noise goes away - hey presto. The more expensive fix is to buy a deflector. I like the WeatherTech, personally.
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Last edited by DoctorDawg; April 25th, 2010 at 15:07.
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 14:04   #2
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Well put Dr. Dawg!
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Old November 23rd, 2008, 16:47   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorDawg
The '09 TDI is in some ways a whole new beast, and is bringing lots of new readers to the Club. Inevitably, we're starting to see a lot of newbies asking the same questions over and over again, so herewith I humbly propose the following '09 TDI-specific FAQs. If I've overlooked any common questions or have fumbled any of the answers, please chime in.

11. Q: The dealer told me the '09 Jetta TDI has a timing chain instead of a timing belt. Is that right?
A: No. The '09 TDI Jetta has a timing belt, just like previous TDIs. It is sad but true that many dealers have no idea what they're talking about with respect to the '09. When you take delivery on your new Jetta get in and drive away from the dealership as fast as you can, and try not to go back again if at all possible.
Bears repeating.
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Old November 24th, 2008, 06:42   #4
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Quote:
13. Q: Does VAG-COM work with the '09 TDI Jetta?
A: Yep, like a champ. You'll need the HEX-COM+CAN or the HEX-USB+CAN interface.
Will the Micro-CAN not work with the 09?
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Old November 24th, 2008, 07:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoeser
Will the Micro-CAN not work with the 09?
Yes it will.

Well done, DD!! Please sticky this.

Bill
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Old November 24th, 2008, 11:15   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomo366
Folks........
The 09 Jetta is an A5 Jetta.
There is an A5 Section! This section covers A5 Specific cars! There is an A5 FAQ sticky there
And most of these questions are answered there.
Crap, Back to the A5 section

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Old November 26th, 2008, 10:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomo366
Folks........
The 09 Jetta is an A5 Jetta.
There is an A5 Section! This section covers A5 Specific cars! There is an A5 FAQ sticky there
And most of these questions are answered there.
Gee willikers, I was just tryin' to help, fer gosh sakes.

I posted in TDI 101 because that section is for newbies, so it seemed to me that that's where a newbie FAQ belongs. That, plus a newbie wouldn't know that the 09 Jetta is an A5.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 11:01   #8
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Thank you! Thank you!! Thank you!!! This is a great service to us new folk.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 12:09   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorDawg
I posted in TDI 101 because that section is for newbies, so it seemed to me that that's where a newbie FAQ belongs. That, plus a newbie wouldn't know that the 09 Jetta is an A5.
Not that my opinion matters, but I agree with this logic. The 101 section is for basic questions and these are basic questions.
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Old November 26th, 2008, 14:09   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorDawg
Welcome to the brave new world of high-performance synthetic oils, oil filters that actually work, and engines which are machined with astonishing precision. Relax and enjoy 10,000 miles of not having to crawl under your car!

Some good information on this concept is here:
http://www.babcox.com/editorial/ar/eb40250.htm
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Old November 26th, 2008, 17:51   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tomo366
And Basic A5 Questions are answered in the A5 FAQ...........
I said elsewhere I was going to shut up again, so I'm leaving it alone.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 15:06   #12
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More info:
  • The Bentley electronic manual at eBahn.com now covers the 2009 2.0CR engine (engine type CBEA) as well as the Sportwagen. I've read that the electronic verion on CD/DVD includes these updates as well using the Live Update feature. They do not advertise a 2009 print version yet.
  • The 09 TDI (at least the Sportwagen) uses a midline CECM module which doesn't support fogs or Xenon headlights. Use of fogs requires a special harness with relay that is available from the dealer. All functions will work except the dead bulb detection and perhaps the dash fog light indicator.
  • All 09 TDIs include an Auxiliary Heater Heating Element that is not present on the gassers. This makes up for the engine's cool operation by provinding cabin heat immediately on engine start (if sufficient electrical current is available). The relay regulating this power is under the driver-side dash and may audibly click as it switches the strip heat on and off in response to available current.
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Old November 27th, 2008, 15:41   #13
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Thanks, Darren. I've updated my FAQ #14 with the info from the first of your bullet points. Much appreciated.
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2009 Jetta TDI (Loyal Edition, Campi White, DSG, #1470, built 5/08): 56K miles and zero problems 1/16/2011.
WeatherTech deflectors, Dieselgeek skid plate (both A+)
My other diesel gets 120 MPG (minutes per gallon): Kubota 2630 w/ FEL
My other other diesel I don't even want to talk about (1995 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 4x4)

Last edited by DoctorDawg; November 27th, 2008 at 15:57.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 18:59   #14
jvance
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Excellent work Dr. Bob! I agree that this belongs in TDI 101, since newbies don't know an A5 from an A1M1 Abrams.
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Old November 28th, 2008, 19:11   #15
Dark-Warden
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Location: Brampton, Ontario
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also agree took me a bit to get the hang of things this is the best spot for it, tis where i first looked when i joined. Might stop alot of the posts
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