'03 - Getting old and losing power

bornfreeee

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Location
CO
TDI
2003 VW Golf TDI
With just under 200k on it, the tdi behind my Golf has really lost some climbing power over the course of this winter it seems. The days of going 75mph on all stretches of I-70 across Colorado are over and I'm now down to struggling to maintain 60 on some climbs. Anyone have any thoughts on where I could be looking to solve this problem? Thanks!
 

brady rogers

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Location
oklahoma
TDI
03 jetta 5sp TDI, 2010 bmw x5d, 81 1z MTDi Caddy, 97 jetta tdi
I would check your intake manifold for starters. Pull the egr valve off and look in there. They generally start plugging at this point. If that looks ok, I would try cleaning the MAF sensor. If you have a vcds handy or know someone with one, you can check its readings. The actual should be really close to the requested values. if the actual value is like 250 and requested is 480 or 500 then your maf is bad. Your snow screen could be potentially be causing you problems as well if its not cut out. (its in your intake tract that feeds your airfilter box. You can pull the battery and battery base tray to get to it)
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
200k is mild, 450 is old, 600 is end of life
First thing, Check timing and don’t start the car until you have. If your off, your timing belt is ready to snap or bad things.

There are plenty of things that could cause this low power so we will start with the basics of an engine.

The most critical is the timing belt is its fairly easy to check physical timing. Basically you rotate the engine by hand with a socket wrench at the crank, NOT anywhere else, until you line up the 3 timing marks, one on the cam, the lock pin on the IP and the one on the flywheel.
What AGE (how many years since) is your timing belt and how many miles has it been, most owners change it within the right mileage but don’t within the right time frame. You really only have 5 years for a belt to last or your service mileage.
2nd on the list is the most common issues like Brady rogers mentioned. Clogged intake, MAF, vacuum lines, clogged turbo vanes, actuators, vacuum pump; boost leaks and so on for a hefty list of simple issues that are easy fix.

A few words of advice, if your intake is clogged up BAD, you need to clean it AND the intake ports otherwise you risk a chunk falling off into the engine and causing a holy mess of bent parts.

I have to ask, when your oil changes are done, and when was the last one and what oil level is it at now.

If your turbo vanes are getting clogged up, it could be from a worn out lifter or lifters.
VCDS is going to be a MUST for you now, and a VAG-COM cable
You need to check for compression as well. Get a compression tester and a glow plug adapter and carefully take the glow plugs out, if they fight you, don’t bother, best not to snap them off.
Are there any other issues you have, like oil leaks, coolant loss, how often is it serviced and so forth. A bit of history can help.
 

bornfreeee

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Location
CO
TDI
2003 VW Golf TDI
Thank you for the info and advice. Last oil change this January, almost 4k miles ago. And oil has been lost since then, I had to add a good 1/2 litre recently. Gets oil on filters on schedule. Timing belt has never been looked at.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
well you have your 1st task, service timing belt NOW. it is litteraly the weak link on TDI's if not maintained.
Even if its not the issue, you need to index timing marks before going forwards. if they are off, maybe your off by a tooth or so. If i was you, i would not even crank the engine over untill the belt was replaced, too risky. Unless you find a reason like you have very low compression, fix the belt, all other issues can be fixed cheaply and easily, but not this issue if it goes south.
oil loss is not horrible but not good either.
index the timing and report back.
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
Timing belt obviously needs service if maintainence/history is out of interval, but I've never seen a timing belt "stretch" or change significantly enough to really alter the timing if it was set and done properly to start with.
MAF, intake clogging, turbo not functioning properly (for several reasons), the rare exhaust plugged, etc, etc. Miles aren't really high enough for the engine to be "low on power" unless severely abused/neglected.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
being out of time can defiantly rob power with out causing a limp mode. stretch, no but skip a tooth, YES
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
Mine has almost 350k on it. I don’t consider it old or tired. Less the 200k is just getting started. You just need to do some maintenance on your car and it’ll go double or triple the miles that are already on it.

I saw a wagon on Craigslist a couple of days ago, 00-05 I don’t remember with 5spd and right around 100k in the Harrisburg PA area.

My memory is getting bad, not Harrisburg but Binghamton NY. No idea who this is by the way.

https://binghamton.craigslist.org/cto/d/apalachin-2003-vw-jetta-tdi/6863544747.html
 
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Rob Mayercik

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2001
Location
NJ, U.S.A.
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS, Baltic Green/Beige
Fuel filter's a good idea, but Mongler is right here - if this thing still has the original timing belt after 16 years, that should be the first thing done before it's driven again.

Once the timing belt is known to be good, then we can talk about plugged filters/intake, vac leaks, etc...
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
16 year old belt should scare the bajebus outa you. Many here have had them snap only 5 years after service.
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
Timing belt does have a service life according to the belt manufacturers but for the most part very seldom does the belt itself initiate the failure. Usually something else in the belt path/system fails and destroys the belt (and the valvetrain, etc).
Having rebuilt more than a couple of "belt failure" MklV cars (gas and diesels and replaced a few that were in stages of "pre-failure) in each case either a waterpump, tensioner or roller/idler bearing was going bad or failed and caused a "belt failure".
It would be extremely rare for a belt to jump/slip just one tooth or enough to cause running issues w/o it continuing to "slip" enough to to cause valve damage. Gradually going out of time would be more likely to have the IP sprocket bolts loose and allow the injection timing to go bad.
Regardless, if the TB and partner parts are due (perhaps very past due) they need changing immediately. If anything in the system fails it's game over. There are no "timing marks" on the cam, you need a locking plate to properly position that when checking timing and installing the locking pin in the IP with the crank at TDC.

http://pics3.tdiclub.com/pdf/a4timingbelt.pdf
 

rmidgett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 10, 2012
Location
Nashville
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
MKIV TDI with less than 200,000 miles

Heck, I'd like to find a MKIV TDI with less than 200,000 miles!

Less than 198k miles, black 2001 Jetta, manual, fresh clutch, new-ish starter, fresh timing belt/water pump, new battery, good but noisy Goodyear tires, new fuel filter, new silicon vacuum lines, replaced fuel return lines, cleaned & sealed wiring entry into cabin to stop rain leaking in, located in Nashville, TN, clear title, no wrecks, sluggish acceleration above 3k RPM, heat blows all the time, A/C works, power windows, locks & sunroof work, headliner falling, rear seat backs won't fold down, class 1 trailer hitch, cruise control MIA.

What's your offer? Make it right & I'll consider it. rmidgett@comcast.net
 
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bornfreeee

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2017
Location
CO
TDI
2003 VW Golf TDI
Hey, the tdi has it's mojo back. New timing belt, but that's not what was robbing the power.....bad turbo intake actuator valve replaced and cleaning off the MAF sensor solved it. Ready for another 200k. Thanks.
 
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