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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old February 1st, 2018, 21:00   #1
Twitch
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Default Looking at alh need help!

Hello new to the forum i have been commuting a lot for work and started looking at the 1999-2003 jetta tdi 5 speed i narrowed it down to a 2000 with minor rust with 250k miles and had the timing belt done at 208k that needs minor repair work axle brakes ext and a 03 with 190k miles clean for around the same price and its going to need a timing belt soon but looks turn key ready to drive what else should i look out on these cars thanks in advance
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Old February 1st, 2018, 21:41   #2
csstevej
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First Welcome!
Chances are the suspension will need to be refreshed.
Brakes will probably needed to be replaced.
Definitely drain and reservice the transmission.
Have someone with a VCDS run a full scan for issues.
Take car for a test drive and see if it goes into limp mode.
Chances are the intake will be clogged.
Best bet would be if they had a full service records.
This just off the top of my head.
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Old February 1st, 2018, 23:34   #3
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That is a good list! Depending on condition turbo and injection pump may need replacing as well… they can go over 500k but you are within the average lifespan I see.

Vacuum hoses and possibly N75 valve too.

When well maintained the ALH is pretty much the best diesel VW ever made.

-BB
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 02:19   #4
UhOh
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Best investment is to have a guru go over a prospective car for you.

Note that just because you cannot see any rust that that don't mean that there isn't rust lurking. Folks who know these cars (MKIVs) know about fender and rocker rust. Rust on rockers is an expensive proposition. If you don't care about rust (and your department of motor vehicles doesn't care) then a car with rust should be available for a good price.

One can generally expect to shell out $1k at a minimum unless it's a top-notch car (which has been fully maintained). If a timing belt is required then expect to shell out another $1k. Cars that are selling in the $2k range generally are going to look to need $2k to $3k in parts and work to get them in to the "reliable" category. I was extremely fortunate in obtaining my spare Golf for only $3k: it was very well maintained; tuned, new nozzles, AND, a 6spd (and no rust).

Any claims of maintenance MUST be backed by paperwork (if the vehicle is not from a known trusted seller). MANY stories of folks buying one of these cars with "recently changed timing belt" and finding that that was not the case or shortly encountered a timing belt failure (one of these can approach $3k in repair costs).

If you could find someone with a well maintained copy of these cars then that would be very instructive. That would give you a standard with which to compare against.
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Old February 2nd, 2018, 14:02   #5
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Well having done the 00 route that had 230k and also needed the timing belt and clutch done plus a few other things....
My thoughts are always try to buy the lower mileage car assuming that both vehicles are in similar shape. My 00 ended up basically needing all sorts orf work. I ended up doing the T- belt,a clutch the turbo and basically the entire suspension refresh. I probably could have gotten away with a little less on the suspension but I figured what the hell Im into it now I want it perfect. I drive a lot of miles and spend a great deal of time behind the wheel so if your after one of the best commuter cars ever made,(IMHO).. Buy the lower mileage car and go through it until you are satisfied with its ride reliability and performance then ENJOY����������
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 05:29   #6
Twitch
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I picked up the 2003 vw jetta tdi has 190xxx From what i could tell from the test drive quick 5 min test drive suspension is tight shifter bushings are tight steering is tight engine heated seats all windows worked glove box is broken didnt have any any leaks i am going to put my car on my lift �� yea after working on a lift ill never go back to working on the ground again and will do a more through check but after driving 3 hrs didn't want to return home empty handed shook all the wheels wheel bearings seem good put the car in 3rd gear and floored it no clutch slip no body rot but couple digs PO said a hammer fell on the roof and the trunk has a nice size dent im going to try and pop out from hitting it on the inside the windshield washer fluid light is on and the check engine light was on but went off seems like a internitten thing i plan on doing the timing belt at 195,000 so i know its done also with the manual transmission fluid is it a volkswagon specific or can i just go to wally world and pick up mobile one mtf and dump it in? Sorry for the run on post and thank you for all the help also with cleaning the intake is it a hard job to do i am familar with diesel have a 2009 6.7 cummins which is plauged with egr cross over tube and intake horn becoming clogged not mine tho ��
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 06:30   #7
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The MTX will use any GL-4 MTX fluid and be ok; I use the VW stuff, but I like Redline MTL too although it's harder to find. Do not EVER use any gear oil that has "GL-5" on the label ANYWHERE in an MTX (from any manufacturer) unless it is SPECIFICALLY stated to be ok by the manufacturer of the gearbox; it will destroy the synchros VERY reliably.

You need someone with VCDS to find the CEL; a common and annoying cause is a glowplug problem and that's not a "must fix now" sort of thing as long as one or two of them are working, even in cold weather, but there's no way to know without scanning the car.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 07:45   #8
csstevej
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Congrats on the car buy.
It's not hard to do an intake manifold clean, just takes time.
I personally did an egr cooler delete and had it tuned out so I don't get the CEL.
Makes getting the manifold and turbo out easier if need be.

You can look for a used cleaned out manifold in the classified section and then just do a swap, when you do this I highly recommend you pull the lower intercooler and drain the pipe and soak up any oil in the intercooler before you start it and drive.

Some people use synthetic synchromesh in The manuals. I did this to my daughters car and works great.
Before you drain the M/T make sure you can get the fill plug off first..... go, ahead and ask me why��.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 08:14   #9
Genesis
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Uh, yeah, you always take the fill plug out first....... :-)
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 09:09   #10
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Hey Twitch, congrats on your purchase; when owning an TDI, VCDS is really your friend as it is extremely informative about what is going on with your car when the CEL turns on. I do own VCDS and I also own Torque Pro and am very happy with both of them. I really don't like driving around with my laptop connected as it causes distracted driving.IYDK, Torque Pro is an app for Android that will properly read most any CEL code an ALH will display as well as clear them, and Torque Pro uses a Bluetooth OBDII plugin that turns itself off when not in use. The OBDII adapter and the app cost less than $20.00 in total. Depending on what the CEL is for you can also go to your local Auto Parts store and get them to read the code and clear it for you; the only issue is most generic code readers don't put out VW specific codes but it will generally still point you in the right direction. If it is something as simple as a glow plug code a generic OBDII reader will tell you that much.
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Last edited by Nevada_TDI; February 3rd, 2018 at 09:12.
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Old February 3rd, 2018, 17:40   #11
Twitch
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I have a buddy with vagcom that is going to scan the car for me and is a vw guy and knows decent amount on them for any other things i dont know i have auto enginuity so i can scan codes if i want i can get the vw oem software for 200 bucks and see what that does. Been reading up on the alh and am use to big diesels (cummins) where there happy around 2k i read these things like or need to be ran hard to keep everything cleaned out in them like do couple 4k shifts every couple days or something thanks for all the speedy replies im use to cumminsforum ans takes days to get a single non informative post. Also if i can get access to WVO and do a 50/50 blend of WVO and diesel can i run that to save more money on fuel or just stick with D2 thanks for all the help looking forward to being on this forum
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Old February 4th, 2018, 06:45   #12
maxmoo
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[QUOTE=Twitch;5377541]I have a buddy with vagcom that is going to scan the car for me and is a vw guy and knows decent amount on them for any other things i dont know i have auto enginuity so i can scan codes if i want i can get the vw oem software for 200 bucks and see what that does. Been reading up on the alh and am use to big diesels (cummins) where there happy around 2k i read these things like or need to be ran hard to keep everything cleaned out in them like do couple 4k shifts every couple days or something thanks for all the speedy replies im use to cumminsforum ans takes days to get a single non informative post. Also if i can get access to WVO and do a 50/50 blend of WVO and diesel can i run that to save more money on fuel or just stick with D2 thanks for all the help looking forward to being on this forum[/QUOTE]

My thoughts on this is ...since these cars get such excellent reliable milage from D2 already.....why risk gumming things up just to save a few pennies?
It's been shown again and again around here, wvo will cause problems sooner or later.
You can buy a lot of D2 for the cost of rebuilding an injection pump.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 05:32   #13
Twitch
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Thank you for your input about the WVO also since these cars were made before ulsd should i stick a couple oz of 2 stroke oil or anything to help with the injection pump i know on the vp44 pump from the 98.5 to 2002 cummins they were not made with the intent of running ulsd and along with a crappy lift pump there prone to failing. are there any lift pumps on these cars or just regular fuel pump in tank then the injection pump. Just like learning as much as possible when i get a new vehicle thanks in advance for all the help
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Old February 5th, 2018, 06:07   #14
maxmoo
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There are no other fuel pumps on the pre 2004 engines only the injection pump itself.
Some of us add a lubricant to the fuel, vw only recomends stanadyne...I use "Howes meaner cleaner" and a few probably do use 2 stroke oil....but it is not necessarily needed......they seem to last even without adding anything.
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Old February 5th, 2018, 06:52   #15
BobnOH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmoo View Post
There are no other fuel pumps on the pre 2004 engines only the injection pump itself.
Some of us add a lubricant to the fuel, vw only recomends stanadyne...I use "Howes meaner cleaner" and a few probably do use 2 stroke oil....but it is not necessarily needed......they seem to last even without adding anything.
Yes and I'll 2nd that, use of an additive for lubricity.
Also, you can dial back the EGR involvement whith the vag-com.
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