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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 September 10th, 2008, 08:21   #1
aume2007
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Default Italian Tune Up

I'm a newbie. What exactly does an Italian tune-up consist of and what are the benefits/consequences? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

02 Jetta, 120k miles
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Old September 10th, 2008, 08:23   #2
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Drive hard, get the RPMs up close to redline for a decent stretch. 3rd gear works well and might allow you to stay near the speed limit. The benefits are that it raises EGTs to burn off any carbon that might be gunking up your turbo and it also helps keep your EGR and intake manifold clean.
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Old September 10th, 2008, 08:24   #3
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High speed run or high exhaust gas temp conditions.

Diesel engines tend to get carboned up if driven gently for long periods. Winding them up and blowing out that carbon (soot) makes them run better. It is a good idea to take it to the redline at least once every 100 miles or so (IMO).

After a bout of 1300+ EGT, the car feels a bit quicker.

Bottom line....diesel engines are made to work, so work it!
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Old September 10th, 2008, 08:27   #4
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Just don't hand your car over to these guys

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Old September 10th, 2008, 08:37   #5
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thanks guys! The tdi community rocks!
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Old September 10th, 2008, 17:57   #6
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You should always drive your car like you stole it de temps en temp as it helps clean out the soot!
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Old September 11th, 2008, 00:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aume2007
I'm a newbie. What exactly does an Italian tune-up consist of and what are the benefits/consequences? Any info would be greatly appreciated.

02 Jetta, 120k miles
Benefit - Your car running better

Cons - Speeding ticket, or crashing.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 03:36   #8
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Whenever I merge onto the highway is when I open it up. No speeding, no driving like a nutbar. I stay within the given limits.

Although I love my James Bond smoke screen when I do it.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 07:36   #9
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what about ridiculously high pressures inside the cylinders, head, all the pipes....
all there is are benefits to the italian tune up?

what if the car is 100K+, would you still beat it?
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Old September 11th, 2008, 08:22   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaceMunky
what about ridiculously high pressures inside the cylinders, head, all the pipes....
all there is are benefits to the italian tune up?

what if the car is 100K+, would you still beat it?
Short answer: YES! ABSOLUTELY!

My 02 Golf is only 292k+ and I drive it like I stole it all the time. I've done this since day one. The car has been modded since about 150k. To this day the car has never run better. One could argue that I've got some serious performance mods (RC4 tuning, PP520 nozzles, VR6 clutch, VNT17 turbo, DG Racepipe, EuroJet FMIC, 2.5" exhaust) and that means I'm stressing everything harder than I normally would in a stock TDI. I still drive it like I stole it even with over 292k miles on it. I plan to keep this car for at least ANOTHER 200k+ miles and will continue to drive it like I stole like I've done since day one.

For a totally bone stock TDI, pressures aren't rediculously high....they're high comparatively speaking but well within design limits. Hopefully the experts like Drivbiwire will chime in with more details (I'm not an expert). With modded performance, pressures are higher and are being pushed closer to the design limits. I'm also well aware that I am my own warranty when it comes to performance mods.

The TDI engine is a TURBO-DIESEL engine. That's a little different than a non-turbo (i.e., normally aspirated) diesel engine with a turbo added to it. A modern turbodiesel engine like a TDI is specifically designed to work with boost provided by the turbo to help piston rings form a tighter compression seal. It depends on being revved, loaded, and kept "on boost" all the time. That means you have to regularly get on the power and get the RPMs up while on the power. Haulin' arse on the highway in 5th does this too.

It's known that TDIs that are regularly driven *HARD* and operated over the entire RPM range tend to have fewer intake clogging and turbo problems and fewer problems in general. Those that are babied, lugged, shifted too early, putted around town with at low RPMs, and rarely or never driven hard tend to have more problems. Do this long enough and it can lead to problems caused by low compression due to the rings not sealing properly due to never seeing any boost during the engine's life. One of the worst things you can do a TDI engine is to baby it and never get on the power and use the RPM range. It's so "old school" too.

People on TDIclub are 100% totally SERIOUS when they recommend doing spirited driving and "driving it like you stole" it as part of doing TDI preventive maintenance. Get out there and put your foot into it and work that tach needle! Long highway on-ramps, especially uphill ramps, are best for getting on the power and getting the revs up to around 4000 RPM before each shift.

These cars are DESIGNED and BUILT to be driven hard all the time. Drive it like it's the Autobahn burner that it is. The great MPGs they return while being driven hard come as a bonus on top of that. Unless you've got some serious performance mods, there's no need to worry about breaking anything. In my 6 years of TDI ownership I have to say my 02 Golf TDI and 05 PD Jetta Wagen TDI are the most efficient Autobahn burners I've ever owned.

Good luck.
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Last edited by n1das; September 11th, 2008 at 09:36.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 09:32   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NB_TDi
Whenever I merge onto the highway is when I open it up. No speeding, no driving like a nutbar. I stay within the given limits.

Although I love my James Bond smoke screen when I do it.
X2.

aume2007, Welcome to TDIclub!
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Old September 11th, 2008, 09:54   #12
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Hmmm... a properly Italian-tuned TDI shouldnt be Bonding, should it?
Mine puffs a bit, but I really have to slack off on the ITUs for it to Bond on me now.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 10:02   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoaceMunky
what if the car is 100K+, would you still beat it?
IMHO, the biggest obstacle people need to overcome is the idea of what constitutes an aged engine. A gasser is getting up there at 100K. Some will make it to 250K, but it is unusual to get beyond that without a lot of work being done (ring and bearing wear, and so forth).

It is argued here that the TDI is not even completely broken in until 60K miles (and I tend to believe that, based on the experience I have had with my car.)

Cooler operating temperatures all support longevity, and the stouter bits and pieces mean that internally the engine is more robust than the gasser counterpart.

It has been stated here in the past (though I have not seen the references cited) that the industrial version of the TDI is rated at 10,000 hours before overhaul. So this has placed mileage life ranges from 300,000 miles upward.

I have 130K miles on my TDI, and I fall firmly into the Italian Tuneup camp. I find my engine likes breathing hard on a daily basis. Conserve fuel at 55 MPH. Let it romp for a bit at 4500RPM.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 10:13   #14
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I still regularly open up on my engine at 260k km. Always runs best after a hot and fast paced run.
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Old September 11th, 2008, 22:14   #15
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I only get the James Bond Smoke when I go easy on it for the week then open it up.

On a side note. I took the mk4 out on the highway tonight and left it in 4th @ 60/65mph and when I got to my destination about 15 minutes away. I found the engine to be a lot more responsive. I think I may have 'tuned up' the enigine
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