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Old May 9th, 2009, 12:35   #1
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Westmont, IL, USA
Fuel Economy: 40 MPG on long hauls
Default Purchasing 2005 Jetta TDI, Photos/Videos Included


So I'm buying a 2005 Jetta TDI. I took two photos and two videos to detail things I found wrong with the vehicle. The photos and videos are in the link above, on my personal webspace.

Mostly, I'm posting this for the convenience of need4speed, but if anyone else can tell me what else I should focus on, I would be grateful to you as well.

One photo of rear bumper molding seam not lined up properly, one photo of protective strip over wheel well coming loose.

One video of dent and paint scratches on driver door, as well as the "sticky" latch (very tough to open sometimes, not-so-tough others). One video of the engine compartment, detailing missing/cracked things and the vibration of the engine (it shakes from front to back a bit, perhaps neds new securing bolts or something?). I've never seen or heard under the hood of a healthy TDI, so I'm not sure. I'm fine with having to put a couple hundred or so into the engine for basic tuneup work, if that's necessary...mostly, I just want a good TDI...but there aren't many newer than 2002 (terms of my loan from my bank) in this area that have features I want or are affordable or are in easily-noticeable good shape based on internet photos/information from the sellers.

I'm also taking this car to an area TDI mechanic (at DuPage Auto Works, West Chicago, Illinois) soon this coming week (Tuesday or Wednesday) to have it looked at by somebody who might know what they are doing.

This TDI is just the first I'm looking at, because it's right down the street from my house. Most of the others I've seen are farther away (30 plus minutes), and some far enogh to require a day trip just to look at...and the only mechanic in the area is 30 minutes from my home as it is...in the wrong direction to look at most of them without much hassle (only open from 8 to 5 weekdays, which is when I'm at work an hour and a half away from them).

If anyone wants/needs more photos, information, etc. I will be able to provide. It's a five minute drive to the dealer that's selling it.

Information from dealer site:


2005 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI Sedan 4D

Vehicle Qualifies for the CARFAX Buyback Guarantee
No Total Loss Reported to CARFAX
No Structural/Frame Damage Reported to CARFAX
No Airbag Deployment Reported to CARFAX
No Indication of an Odometer Rollback
No Accidents / Damage Reported to CARFAX
No Manufacturer Recalls Reported to CARFAX

2005 Volkswagen Jetta GLS TDI Sedan 4DStock Number: V8863A
VIN: 3VWSR69M65M018639
Bodystyle: GLS TDI Sedan 4D
Engine: 4-Cyl. Turbo Diesel
Transmission: Tiptronic Auto Trans
DriveTrain: FWD
Ext. Color: Beige
Int. Color: Beige
Mileage: 125569

Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail: $14,300.00
Web Price: $9,495.00 First Name Last Name

Value Added Options
Air Conditioning
Power Steering
Power Windows
Power Door Locks
Tilt Wheel
Cruise Control
Am/Fm Stereo
Single Compact Disc
Dual Front Air Bags
Front Side Air Bags
Abs (4-Wheel)
Moon Roof
Alloy Wheels

Pwr Tilt/Slide Glass Sunroof W/Sunshade, Tinted Glass, Pinch Protection
Chrome Applications For Front/Rear Bumpers
Aluminum Body-Side Moldings
Fully Reclining Front Bucket Seats W/Adjustable Lockable Headrests
Front Seat Height Adjustment
60/40 Split Folding Rear Seat W/Height-Adjustable Headrests
Front/Rear Side Curtain Protection
3-Point Seat Belts For All Seating Positions W/Emergency Locking Retractors
Front Safety Belt Height Adjusters, Pretensioners, Load Limiters
Daytime Running Lights
Child Safety Rear Door Locks
4-Wheel Anti-Lock Braking System (abs)
Anti-Intrusion Side-Impact Door Beams
Driver/Front Passenger Airbag Supplemental Restraint System
Driver/Front Passenger Side-Impact Airbags

80 Amp/Hr Battery W/Battery Box
70-Amp Alternator
Independent Macpherson Strut Front Suspension
Independent Torsion Beam Axle Rear Suspension

Pugi of Chicagoland
Web: http://www.pugi.com
Email: dm510252@highergear.net
Phone: (630) 964 - 9500
Toll Free:
Fax: (630) 964 - 5775
2020 West Ogden Avenue
Downers Grove, IL USA


Thanks for looking!


Dash_Merc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2009, 12:57   #2
Veteran Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Il.USA
Fuel Economy: 43/41/40

My main concern is the 100K timing belt and whether or not it has been changed. Somebody, a TDI guru, would have to confirm or deny if its been changed or not. Do not trust the dealer to give you an honest answer on that based on past stories/posts here on Fred's. I too have an 05 Golf with the same, 09A transmission and no problems to date, but my mileage is no where near the Jetta in question. Another major concern is the type of oil used because VW is very specific on that one. There may be a warning sticker under the hood stating such. What I do not understand is the no recall reported by Carfax. I have had a few with my Golf, which I could list if you so desire, but nothing really major.
Welcome aboard, but do some more investigating.
JB05 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 10th, 2009, 06:20   #3
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Westmont, IL, USA
Fuel Economy: 40 MPG on long hauls

Yeah, I'll be calling the mechanic on Monday to schedule a checkup for as soon as possible. Unfortunately, from the test drive, I couldn't tell how well limp mode is being dealt with; there are very few hills with little enough traffic sufficient to test that around here. Would I even have to worry about limp mode on a Jetta with the tiptronic auto transmission?

I'll definitely be having the mechanic check the timing belt. As for other issues: the Carfax is "clean," but I hear that means about nothing these days.

Recalls out for the 2005 Jetta GLS TDI: http://www.internetautoguide.com/aut...753/index.html

The car needing a special type of oil won't be a huge deal, right? I just need to find out what kind and where to buy it and I should be ok. Yes, price would be the issue, of course...but then again, that's a problem with all imports, yeah?

Is there anything else I should be aware of?

Thanks JB05.


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Old May 10th, 2009, 14:20   #4
Veteran Member
need4speed's Avatar
Join Date: May 2004

Hi and welcome to the club!

The exterior dents and scratches are unfortunate. But the car does look pretty decent for an 05 with that many miles.

Do you know if these were long highway trip miles? Or were they commute-to-work ('round-town driving, stop and go in heavy traffic) miles? That makes a significant difference in the type of wear on the car - if those 125k miles were mostly long cross-country trips, then it's not as much of a concern, I'd say. Usually, a used-car dealer doesn't know the answer to this question, so don't sweat it.

The trim-strip can be easily and cheaply glued back on (one wonders why the PO/dealer hasn't done this if he's wanting to sell).

The popped out molding adjacent to the wheel-well;
Can mean one of two things:
1. He parked too close to a high-curb, and bumped the plastic molding, and popped one of the trim-screws out. (these are along the inside of the wheel-well -there's one that popped loose on mine, and the molding on mine came out like that, but jut finding the same trim screw and replacing it should lock that piece of plastic down so it lines up with the metal body panel.)
2. . . . or, he was in a minor collision and there is underlying damage to the frame - there would almost definitely be scratches on that bumper if that happened.

Maybe the dealer would be willing to come down on price because of these defects. Doesn't hurt to ask! Oh - they'll have their intimidation tactics to try to make you feel guilty. Don't worry about the salesman.

The main issue with the oil, is you would want to be certain that the PO (Previous Owner) has always had the oil changed with the right oil. If they used whatever oil was on sale at Wal Mart, (etc) then there could be undue wear on the cam lobes (which is a common issue with this engine). I don't know if there's any way you can tell at this point, after 125k miles. Unless he's got all the receipts for all of his oil changes. Maybe your mechanic can do an oil analysis - ask him. But this is sometimes expensive (and takes time. . . days).

So: The engine sounds fine to me - that sound and the shaking is pretty normal for a diesel. Sounds just like mine. It also looks very clean, and I guess I wouldn't worry about the broken/missing strut covers. The ones on my 03 are in good shape, but who knows - maybe this car's struts were changed and the person who did the job broke the caps. They're not important. The cap for the power steering fluid looks munged - so this says that:
A - a non-skilled mechanic (like me) has topped-off (or maybe just checked?) the power steering fluid. The damage to the (green) cap isn't anything to worry about - the reason they topped off the power steering flud? Maybe a leak? Did you check underneath the car for puddles? That's just a long-shot guess.

Are you planning on having the mechanic check out the car AFTER you buy it?

One thing you should know about this engine: it's got a big plastic cover over the top. You're not really looking at the engine, you're looking at the plastic cover. The cover helps with airflow and ventilation; for external cooling (not that critical) and mostly helps dampen the sound from the diesel, so it doesn't sound that much louder than a gas car. Removing this cover is three screws on my car. THEN you can actually see the engine, and where the timing belt is, along the passenger-side of the engine. (under another plastic cover.)

So; just forward of the green plastic cap, are two rubber hoses; about 1" wide. Those are fuel lines. One goes from the fuel filter (which is that black cyliner with the four hoses coming out of the top), to the Injection Pump. The other one returns surplus fuel back to the filter (to warm the incoming fuel up on cold days, at startup time). So those two hoses go from the left of your video frame to the right, and duck under the plastic engine cover. The Injection Pump is right under there. That's where you would have heard a loud ticking, if your IP was going bad.

There are some articles on this site that talk about how to inspect and change the timing belt.

Before you make a decision on buying this car, you should read:

There's also a FAQ on purchasing a used TDI - but I can't find it. Maybe someone else has a link handy.

Don't feel rushed into buying one car, if it's the only one you looked at. I know you understand that these cars are sometimes a little hard to find (try California, where VWoA didn't sell any diesels for several years), so you're afraid if you hesitate, you'll lose the car to someone else - but trust me; after you look at two or three others, if you still want this one, you'll feel a LOT better about your decision afterwards.

Good luck. I hope you have some success with your mechanic.
2003 Jetta 4dr TDI.
G60/VR6 flywheel/clutch. VNT 17 retrofit.
Never. Trust. Dealers.
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