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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:10   #1
coolbean1000
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Default Replace turbo or replace car ('03 jetta tdi)?

Hi - should i replace the turbo or replace the car?

Here's the specifics:
2003 TDI manual, 220,000 miles. (I've had it since 2005/35k miles.) Replaced clutch, timimg belt, tensioner, starter, water pump, intake manifold (due to coke buildup.) The turbo was going into limp-mode, and i gave it about 4 easy-off treatments. it still goes into limp mode at 3-4-5th gear at 100% throttle. (So i don't use 100%) Compression is good; engine has been well maintained with synthentic oil changes every 5k miles. I like this car and would prefer keeping it, but...

The question(s):
How much should replacing the turbo cost (assume rebuilt turbo from rothenbacher Engineering/hansautoparts.com out of N.Carolina)?

Does the motor need to be pulled to replace turbo?

What should the total cost be (Southern NJ) to replace the turbo?

What should i consider replacing while the engine is apart?

Thank you all in advance for any guidance!

Phil
What other things
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:16   #2
Lex4TDI4Life
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolbean1000 View Post
....How much should replacing the turbo cost (assume rebuilt turbo from rothenbacher Engineering/hansautoparts.com out of N.Carolina)?....
Haha! If you buy your turbo from rothenbacher, I would advise you to save up for an entire new engine. Search for the name "Prothe" on this site. You should, in no way, buy ANYTHING from this guy. He is known to sell complete CRAP and, btw, our turbos do not take well to rebuilds.

In my opinionn, IF you need a new turbo, get a real new one from one of our trusted vendors: idparts.com, boraparts.com, kermatdi.com, etc.


Replacing a turbo on these engines is not rocket science. You do not have to pull the engine. Find the username hevster1 on this site. He is a trusted Guru in northern NJ who will do a bang up job on your car.
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Last edited by Lex4TDI4Life; April 19th, 2012 at 11:24.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:23   #3
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I've got a turbo replacement to look forward to quite soon possibly and my cost will be as follows:
300 for the turbo ~480 USD
34 for the oil line ~50 USD
12 for exhaust gasket ~12USD
3 for EGR pipe gasket
8 for intercooler pipe o-rings
then its just labour cost on top of that, i was told by my mechanic it would be a day and halfs job as they pull out the intercooler and all the intercooler pipework when replacing a turbo and flush everything to get all the oil out, check everything for leaks before re-installing with new seals where necessary or if they're 'cheap' i.e. only a couple of pounds (or dollars in your case)

and if you like the car...replace the turbo and keep on driving, you've replaced most of the major wear items apart from the suspension and DMF so it should be good to go on for another 220,000 miles! but diagnose why the turbo's gone bad first though...

(the exchange rate is just a google estimation.lol. i've only really put the prices up as you requested cost, its moreso to give you an idea of what i'd be changing when i get mine in for its turbo change soon)
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:26   #4
VeeDubTDI
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Rothenbacher = NO EFFING WAY!

Turbo replacement is not a complicated job, and certainly doesn't require engine disassembly or removal.

Before you replace the turbo, you need to troubleshoot the entire system to find out WHY it's going into limp mode. I would hate to see you put a new turbo on and have the same limp mode problems due to a bad sensor, vacuum leak, clogged intake manifold or something of that nature.

There is a great turbo troubleshooting HOW TO in the HOW TO sticky at the top of this forum.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:36   #5
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prothe? seriously?

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Last edited by bluesmoker; April 19th, 2012 at 11:39.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:48   #6
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There is no need to pull the engine when replacing the turbo.

5k miles between every oil change is not necessary...

If you need a quality rebuilded turbo, send me a PM. I can make you an offer.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:50   #7
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Ok, peeps. I get the message on prothe. (glad I posted this question!) I'll search elsewhere for the turbo replacement!

Here's an abbreviated summary of the turbo issue:

-approx 150k miles: relaced intake manifold at stealership (my last visit there) the intake was almost coked shut. cost approx $700 USD.
All the following work was done by a master-VW mechanic who opened in his own shop in S. NJ:
-Approx 170k miles: limp mode and CEL light. error codes (forgot #'s) showed overboost condition. Replace MAF
-Overboost code thrown again. Oven cleaner on exhaust side of turbo.
-195k miles: replaced timing belt to spec. Car ran like gasser: no pre-2k rpm power, but after 2k lots o' power and extended rpm range of power. Cleaned exhaust side of turbo again.
-mechanic adjusted timing belt timing (for free): it turns out one of the other three adjustments was off by 3 degrees. This would cause more smoke/soot. Hence the intake replacement at 150k miles! Cleaned exhaust side of turbo again. Overboost error did not show up for about one month when using 100% throttle.
-fast forward to today: 220k miles. Oil is now coming out of what i think is the egr valve. the oil is coming from turbo, i'm guessing from possible bearings. (this is a guess)

Depending on cost, i'm also open to turbo upgrade suggestions.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:02   #8
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Replace the turbo for sure. If you've had enough of the car, it'll sell better with a fresh turbo. If you like it, keep it, it's got lots of life left.

I'd suggest you go visit Mike Hevner in Columbia NJ. He's probably a bit of a drive for you but well worth it. He'll do the turbo work and sort out any other issues the car has as a result of the dealer's loving care.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:36   #9
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New turbo: $1500 installed. At 220K that's around $0.0068/mile

It also sounds like you could use a new mechanic. Talk to this guy: hevster1
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:42   #10
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That's who I'm talking about.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:52   #11
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Yeah I just realized we both basically said exactly the same thing.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:53   #12
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BTW, I just forwarded that VIN/mileage stuff to you.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:55   #13
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Got it, thanks.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 12:57   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coolbean1000 View Post
-approx 150k miles: relaced intake manifold at stealership (my last visit there) the intake was almost coked shut. cost approx $700 USD.
The intake manifold did not need to be replaced, just cleaned, and can be done for a lot less than $700.00. It's not that hard to do it yourself.

Based on all the other info you posted...you need a new mechanic. Best to go to a TDIclub GURU in your area. Go to hevster1 like others have recommended.

Replace turbo if needed. It may just need a new actuator and not a whole new turbo. Then keep the car. 220k miles is nothing on these cars provided the car has been properly maintained.

Good luck.
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Last edited by n1das; April 19th, 2012 at 12:59.
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Old April 19th, 2012, 13:20   #15
coolbean1000
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Hey these are really good replies. In all fairness to the mechanic, he did quote me $1500 to replace the turbo, stock. He also did the oven cleaner bit at my request. (it was a journey of diagnostics to understand why the turbo was going into limp mode...this forum helped with the ovencleaner suggestion which allowed my to get by for two years of improved performance while putting off the turbo replacement for 50k miles.)
The dealer was the one that suggested replacing the manifold, stating that the labor to clean it was cheaper than replacing the manifold. After that BS is why i don't go there any more. It's also the dealer that did the first timing belt change with the 3 degree error, at 80k miles. (which really sucked to find out)

I kept the manifold when it was replaced, and cleaned it out and will stick that in when the turbo is replaced.

Columbia is 2.5 hours each way, otherwise I'd go there. The mechanic I'm using is local, and helped diagnose in an efficient manner. I didn't convey that in my summary, but he did.

I checked out prices on the two options for upgrades on IDParts.com and decided i'll stick with stock.

Are there any other recommended maintenance items such as a head gasket or anything I should consider while having the turbo done?

Thanks - this conversation so darn useful!
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