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General VW Discussion This is a place for General VW topics (the company, not your vehicle). General topics about a specific vehicle should be posted in the General TDI Dicussion Forum sections for that vehicle platform. A4, A3 & B4, B5, etc.

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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:04   #1
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Geneva,NY
TDI(s): none
Default TDI vs gasser question

Let me first start off by saying that I will keep this short and not waste you guys time here. I have been a lurker here for quite sometime and I have enjoyed reading all of the posts here and I have learned alot about TDI's.

I have a '98 Ford Windstar van that I am upside down on. At the time it was a great buy, but overall the vehicle just sucks. I used to put alot of miles on it so a TDI would have been perfect for my commute. I am currently out of work but considering purchasing an older TDI once I find work and dump the van.

My question is: Would an older TDI with say 200,000+ miles be worth it to buy for around town driving/possible road trips? More than likely I would not be driving far and using D2 in the TDI.

I am toying with the idea of purchasing a small gasser...

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:18   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: HQ of "get nothing done"

1. What is your budget for the new car purchase price?
2. Do want to trade your van or sell it out-right?
3. How upside down are you on the Ford (if you care to answer)?
4. Do you want a manual or auto trans?
5. What style of car are you looking at (sedan, hatchback, wagon)?
NEW: 2011 Frontier

SOLD at 44K miles: 2009 Jetta TDI, 6M, fog lights, protection package.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:33   #3
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Geneva,NY
TDI(s): none

KBB has the vehicle at about 1000 in fair condition which it is. It needs tires all the way around, inspection August 1st, it has a crack in the windshield, the check engine light is on and the brake lines are completly rotted where they enter the ABS housing.

I owe about 1200 on it I believe (long story). I would have to roll the loan over onto the Jetta I would think and possible trade the van in.

I am considering this Jetta which is basically exactly what I want


I am surprised at how long this guy has TDI's on the lot. He has alot of repeat customers that run their TDI's for a few 100k and then upgrade. The TDI's with high miles seem to sit for awhile. He just posted it on craigslist on April 30th.

Basically once I am back to work I will need a new vehicle and I am considering this Jetta but I have never owned a foreign car in my life and I'm a little leery about them. Because of the cost of parts versus american made cars etc.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 09:42   #4
top post dawg
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: MA

Paddy, welcome aboard !

If you are concerned about being upside down to the tune of $200 (plus repairs), how will you evar be able to maintain a Euro diesel auto when it needs things
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Old May 4th, 2010, 10:04   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: San Jose area, CA
Fuel Economy: 62/50/44mpg, normal commute range 48-52 mpg:09 Jetta TDI, 47/43/39, normal commute range 39 -43 mpg: 12 Touareg TDI, 39/31/29 mpg:

Welcome !!

Given what you are writing it seems like the best course is one of the well rated gassers (Corolla, Civic (what we have also), Hundai, etc) will be more to your budget and comfort level.

However even they have their needs and issues, contrary to the "appliance" misnomer. Each ARE different, some are specific, even to generation and MY.

(For example only)

We have an 04 Civic going up on 103,000 miles bought SPECIFICALLY for commuting. It has done that (and more) @ a range of 38-42 mpg. It seems that the major mileage maintenance intervals are 120,000 miles.

So for example, I have already bought for DIY, app $200 of (internet) parts

1. cabin filters 2 ea
2. spark plugs 4 ea
3. air filter 1 ea
4. oil filter 1 ea
5. Mobil One 5w20 oil 3 qts (to run 20,000 miles OCI's)
5. A/T fluid, washer
6. coolant, washers
7. brake pads/shoes 4 pads 4 shoes (it may/not need, or it might/not need rotors and drums)

This does not include (yet) the parts needed for a TB/WP interval.

@ the Honda dealer they are offering a $589. special !

The car seems to need alignments each 30,000 miles. So far we have gotten 3 @ 90 each. vs not needing one in a 03VW Jetta TDI @ 100,000 miles ($60.). We also only got 74,300 miles from the oem tires. The replacement Toyo Ultra 800 tires seems to be on a 100k + miles pace.

Last edited by ruking; May 4th, 2010 at 10:49.
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Old May 4th, 2010, 10:06   #6
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Geneva,NY
TDI(s): none

Thanks for the warm welcome dieseldorf!

Also let me just make things clear on how bad the van is:

The van is worth 1000

I owe roughly 1200

Right now it has studded snows on it so I need a set of tires.

Losing radiator fluid (more than likely a head gasket is gonna blow anytime)

The brake lines are shot

Check engine light is on (evap)

Windshield is cracked (may hinder inspection)

Also may need brake pads to pass inspection.

That being said I am basically counting this Ford POS as a loss. My wife wants me to upgrade for my next vehicle (newer car less miles). But prefer an older vehicle. (I had a '96 Chevy Corsica that was a very good running car for me.)

Basically what I'm thinking of doing is dumping the ford and getting a car for around 3000. Would it be worth it to buy the Jetta I posted or should I get a gasser that might be cheaper service wise but worse as far as fuel economy?
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Old May 4th, 2010, 13:05   #7
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Join Date: May 2005
Location: Port Jervis, New York, USA
Fuel Economy: low 38, high 61, avg 48

That TDI isn't too bad of a deal for $3k...

FWIW, you can usually score a newer (MK4) 5-speed 2.0 gasser Jetta for around 3k... They typically get low-mid 30's for mileage and are fairly dependable as long as you maintain them.. My neighbor picked up a 2004 2.0 5-speed with 90k on it for $4k, so they're out there..
Taking on some work here and there.. Contact me for your needs.. Can do emissions testing friendly ALH tunes on most setups, even swaps. best way to contact is text or email tdijetta99@gmail.com
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Old May 5th, 2010, 08:12   #8
Powder Hound
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Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Conkud, New Hampshiyuh, USA
Fuel Economy: pretty freakin' good.

In the last 2 years I have purchased 2 TDIs. One, a 2001 Jetta, had a little over 180k miles. I sold it because the person it was purchased for changed things and I didn't want to keep a Jetta. Overall, a very nice car.

The other, a 2dr Golf, has a little over 200k miles. I'm keeping it. It is a nice car, and it will last me probably the rest of my life that I'm allowed to drive.

Not that I think I will get there, but I'm counting on both of my golfs to get to 500k miles each. I'm just not driving enough these days that I think I'll make it. No, I don't have a death wish. I just don't think 25-30 years is enough at my current mileage.
You always pay for what you get. Sometimes you get what you pay for.
It is called dope because it does make you dumb.
Thinking outside the box is difficult for some. They're afraid they'll fall off the edge of the box and be lost to oblivion.
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