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Old June 22nd, 2010, 15:18   #1
last vw
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Barrie, Ontario
Smile Turbo Charger replacement cost

My parents have a 2003 Jetta TDI. They have had the engine light coming off and on. JUST before the light comes on, there is a loss of power on straight aways and/or up hills, occurring at highway speeds. The next time they drive it, all is well again! It's a hit and miss situation. They took it in to have the code read and it's the turbo charger. We're about an hour north of Toronto, in Ontario.......approximate costs and mechanic recommends appreciated. Other than that the car appears to be in perfect order. Don't want to go back to the dealership as it's out of warranty.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 15:25   #2
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Between Toronto & Montreal
Fuel Economy: 5.3 l/100 km (at 115 km/h)

Going into "Limp Mode" isn't always an indication that the turbo needs to be replaced!!!!!! Don't jump to conclusions or let someone do that for you... For some light reading, see: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=179589 (there are other message threads related to this...)

Offhand, I don't know anyone in Barrie, but just down the road, at 400 and Finch, forum member "VDUB TECH" (Brandon Pilkey) runs DCB Auto Repairs... He's earned the trust of the local TDI-Club owners... reasonable prices and excellent work. 416-747-0400 http://forums.tdiclub.com/member.php?u=61521

All the best,


Pereat mundus, fiat musica!
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 15:44   #3
Curious Chris
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Sigh. I would invest in VCDS at www.ross-tech.com and then people here like me and YMZ will help you run test that VCDS can perform on the car.

I bet the code was MAP intermittant low or something like that. That code can be the turbocharger or it can be a vacuum line or it can be a solenoid or it can be a VNT actuator. You can see the range in repair cost go from about $5 to $1500.
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Old June 22nd, 2010, 19:54   #4
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Location: Columbia, SC
Fuel Economy: 45 & 38

I would replace the MAF long before I replace the turbo. And I'd buy seaside property in Arizona before I believe a VW dealer..
2006 Mercedes E320 CDI - 34 mpg on first tank, best 38.5
2003 BMW K 1200 LTC (45-54mpg)
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Old June 23rd, 2010, 06:48   #5
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Location: Northern Colorado Front Range

changed the filters, cleaned the snow screen, cleaned the intake/EGR yet? do those first.
"If you make it idiot proof, nature will build a better idiot"
Considering WVO? see these:

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Old June 23rd, 2010, 20:14   #6
Super T
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Location: Alberta, Canada
Fuel Economy: Best: 58.2 MPG

Sound like a VNT actuator problem. The dealer doesnt sell the actuator on its own. They call the entire turbo and sell it that way. I had similar issues with my car, the actuator would stick and cause the "limp mode" of low power. Especially up hills, was a gauranted check engine light to climb hills. Turn off the car, restart; bam powers back.

You can get the actuator on its own through various vendors around here. www.idparts.com has them but there are others.
2001 Jetta TDI(Retired) - Golf Front end, 18x8" Fast DTM wheels, Evo Skidplate, Frost Heater, 11mm IP, RocketChip Stage 4, VNT-17/22, Race520's, 3 Bar MAP, 3" Eurojet exhaust, McNally Boost/EGT combo gauge, SBC Stage 2 Endurance w/SMF, PD lift pump, ARP head studs.
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Old June 24th, 2010, 07:34   #7
Tom W.
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Location: Raleigh, NC
Fuel Economy: Getta 49MPG IDI 60MPG Passat 34mpg

There is absolutely no good reason to replace your turbo. If your turbo went bad, it wouldn't "reboot" and act normally when you start the car up again. When turbos go bad, they stay bad.
Read Canadiangrizzly's thread. Sometimes the fix is $3 of vacuum line and 5 minutes of your time. Sometimes it is a $110 part and an hour of your time.
If you read Canadiangrizzly's thread and still don't want to fix it yourself, find a local TDI enthusiast.
Chemically cleaning your turbo: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showpost.p...8&postcount=48

canadiangrizzly's Diagnosing limp mode: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=179589

GoFaster on loss of power:
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Old June 24th, 2010, 10:57   #8
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Default Well it could cost this much

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Old June 24th, 2010, 11:05   #9
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Since most VW dealers don't stock actuators (and the ones that do haven't for long, so techs and service writers don't necessarily think of it), they think of turbo replacement as a likely cure for limp mode. Actuator, N75, faulty vacuum lines, MAF--these can all be causes of limp that don't involve replacing the turbo.

We sell quite a few turbos, but if a customer calls with these symptoms and wants a turbo we try and talk them out of it, or at least get them to explore other options first. It's true that carbon can also cause this issue and turbo replacement may be the best course, but I'd rather not get a phone call where the new turbo doesn't solve the problem.
2002 Jetta wagon, 362K, RC3+; 1993 Mercedes-Benz 300D 2.5, 197K; 1997 Passat, 285K; '99.5 Golf, 257K; 2011 335d, 56K; 2015 Golf Sportwagen, 8K. Principal, http://www.idparts.com
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