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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 August 8th, 2007, 11:44   #1
Kath
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Location: Jenner, CA
Default 2003 VW Jetta TDI Check Engine Light On

Hello,

I recently bought a used 2003 Jetta TDI. The car now has 95K miles. The previous owner provided maintenance records and seems to have done a good job keeping up with scheduled maintenance.

I was loving this car . . . until my Check Engine Light (CEL) came on yesterday. I noticed the Temperature Sensor Gauge was not working - the needle just stayed stuck at the bottom. I was hoping the two symptoms were related.

Today, as I was driving to the mechanic, the temperature gauge began working again after a few miles, but the CEL stayed on. The car is driving well . . . so far.

I went on line and found a TON of articles about the CEL in the 2003 Jetta TDI. Some people have replaced a bunch of parts, including catalytic converter - only to have the light come back on, time after time.

Has anyone else experienced this with their TDI??? If so, how was it resolved?

My car is at the shop right now, undergoing a $166.00 diagnostic. I'll keep you posted.

Wanting to remain in love with my TDI,

Kath.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 11:54   #2
Monkey1
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Either coolant temp sensor $20, or sticking thermostat $30
I had just the same issue last week... Vag com logs say coolant temp beyond range... meaning that the coolant temp was too cold and thats why the Cel came on,, and the coolant was too cold cause the thermostat was stuck open a bit.

not a sign of poor maint. just one of those things that happen now and again
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Old August 8th, 2007, 12:57   #3
Honeydew
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An investment now in VAG-COM from www.ross-tech.com can pay dividends if you plan to hold onto the car for a while. It is a cable and software that works in conjunction w/ your laptop to interface with the car's ECU. You can check and clear CELs and know what the problem is before taking it to the shop, if needed. Check out the OBD forum here for more.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 13:04   #4
owr084
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Honeydew
An investment now in VAG-COM from www.ross-tech.com can pay dividends if you plan to hold onto the car for a while. It is a cable and software that works in conjunction w/ your laptop to interface with the car's ECU. You can check and clear CELs and know what the problem is before taking it to the shop, if needed. Check out the OBD forum here for more.
Or click on the link at the top of every page that says "VAG-com List" and follow the instructions

But, yes, it is better to own one if you do your own work.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 13:36   #5
Joe_Meehan
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That CEL (check engine light) is just a kid in class waving her hand trying to get you attention because she has the answer. You need to have the codes read. Some places will read them for FREE. Try Autozone or Advanced Auto Parts. The can't read all the possible codes, but they should get most of the important ones. Get the exact code not just their translation into English and post it back here. It likely will have a format like P1234.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 13:54   #6
Kath
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VAG-COM, huh? I've heard these mentioned a lot in conjunction with the CEL issue. I'll check that out. Thanks. Still no word from the mechanic . . . .
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Old August 8th, 2007, 15:14   #7
Kath
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Default Ay!

Well. . . the mechanic just called and said the temp sensor thing and the engine light thing were unrelated. The engine light came on because the glow plug harness in on the fritz and needs to be replaced - $350.00. (Glow plugs are new.) The temp sensor is also shot. Meanwhile, he said it's due for a BIG maintainence visit so I'm looking at an additional $400.00 which includes the temp sensor.

I'm having the oil and oil filter changed and with the diagnostic, I have to pay $250.00 to get my car back. That's an expensive oil change.

I guess once I get the print out of what's needed I can shop around for the best price.

Anyone know a great mechanic in Sonoma Co, California? I'm at Tillman's now. They seem like they know what they're doing, but I don't think they're used to dealing with folks of my budget status.

Kath.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 15:20   #8
rdkern
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I can't think of anyone on the Sonoma coast. For the glow plug issue, go to glow plugs 101 at the top of this forum. Read, read, read. 350 isn't needed if you can do anything yourself.

Expensive oil change. What is the BIG maintanence visit you have due? Fuel filter? Do you have anyplace you can work on this beast?
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Old August 8th, 2007, 15:54   #9
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If the Glow plug harness is no good.. buy a new one from the dealer for $90 and put it in your self, it just plugs in. Hardest part is removing the battery and plastic bits around there to access the wiring harness tunnel
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Old August 8th, 2007, 17:01   #10
roadhard1960
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Big maintenance consists of this http://www.dieselgeek.com/Categories...ming+Belt+Kits plus maybe a fuel, air and cabin filter. Many conservative folks do everything in this kit because failed water pump or failed idler pulleys cost more to fix if they have to go in a second time than it cost to do everything "right" the first time. On my car I had some noisy serpentine idlers that should have been replaced when I did my timing belt. Well they are still working 60,000 miles later. They will be replaced during the next timing belt change if they last. They seem to be quiet enough.
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Old August 8th, 2007, 19:19   #11
alphaseinor
 
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This dealer is scaring me...

umm... first... find someone on the trusted mechanics link, or this car will eat you alive at your dealer.

You are due for your 100k mile PM which includes:
Oil Change (every 10,000 miles)
Fuel Filter (every 20,000 miles)
Air Filter (every 20,000 miles)
Cabin Air Filter (every 20,000 Miles)
Timing Belt (see roadhard1960's comment)

Generally this ENTIRE service costs about $400-$600 (in labor... not including parts) from a trusted mechanic/guru, and it's worth a day trip to get it done right. This is not a service to be performed by someone/some dealer who wants to charge you $300 for a simple glow plug issue where you won't even use glow plugs for another 4-5 months.

Last edited by alphaseinor; August 8th, 2007 at 22:57.
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