2009 Jetta Sportwagon TDI - To own or not to own


New member
Oct 15, 2015
New York
Future owner - 2009 Jetta Sportwagon TDI
Hi All,

I am a newbie here so I apologize up front for being an idiot.
I do not own a TDI yet, but I would very much like to buy one. I used to own a 1986 Jetta (gaser) and loved the care....now I'm looking for a diesel.
I am looking for advice/suggestions before I take the plunge.

I've been doing a lot of research (including doing a lot of reading on this site) and figured I'd save my self a lot of miss-information by just talking to the experts/gurus/owners here.

Some background:

My daily commute to work is only 6 miles, so a diesel would not really make sense there. However, I do make weekend trips from Albany, NY to Buffalo, NY (about 600 miles round trip) 2 to 3 times a month to take care of a Hops yard I planted on the family farm.
Being a one car family (wife and 5 kids) is getting a bit tough on the weekend commutes...so looking for a good reliable second car.
I have always known diesel engines to be very reliable (almost bullet proof) if well taken care of. The diesel tractors my dad bought in the 70's still run as well today as they did new...he also had a (1985?) diesel ford escort and put over 300k on (before it caught fire in the driveway!) and the engine ran flawlessly (until the fire!).

I have my eye on a 2009 Sportwagon TDI with 103k on the clock. I was ready to pull the trigger till I started reading some of the posts here regarding the DPF and the High Pressure Fuel Pump failures related to the newer TDI engines. Quite frankly, what I read scared the heck out of me.

In your opinions, how "scared" should I be of these issues....are they wide spread (as in a lemon of a design and pretty certain to fail) or does it only appear that way because of the high concentration of posts regarding these issues in this forum?

So I guess my question boils down to this.....
Can I expect the same type of performance from the newer TDI engine that I have known from our other diesels, or is it truly a time bomb waiting to go off?

Thank you kindly.
- Andy


Veteran Member
Sep 16, 2015
Mooresville, North Carolina
2013 DSG Jetta TDI
Think about it this way.

When something goes wrong on a car, people head to the forums and post.

When something doesn't go wrong on a car, nobody posts. Take that how you want, but i'm a fan of the "drive more worry less".

I am not however saying to write off these issues. The HPFP is a well documented problem. To be honest, I'd rather know about it, and know the different fixes, preventative measures I can take instead of it happening without me knowing it was a known problem. 103k is up there, VW stops warrantying the HPFP on the 09-12s at 120k, so keep that in mind.

This is why when I looked for a TDI, I made sure it was a low mile one with the warranty still intact. I'm not too worried about it happening, but I still use lubricity additives just in case.


Veteran Member
Aug 17, 2003
Auburn, New York
2002 Jetta GLS TDI 5M
Something else to keep in mind specifically about the 2009 model year- those use a combined catalytic converter and dpf in single unit. Starting in 2010, the DPF and CAT were separated. I'm not sure we know what the cost will be to replace or rebuild the combined unit used in the 2009's, but the speculation has been pretty consistent that the 2010+ will probably be preferable from standpoint of maintenence of those items.


Veteran Member
Mar 19, 2009
2009 jetta sportswagen
OP, if this car scares you, I would advise you not to buy it... BTW, you will also need to do a timing belt job around 120k which will be around $800 in parts and labor give or take. Its a big purchase and I would not want to have worries and fears hanging over my head when I drive the car.

These cars require regular maintenance , with special oils and fluids, and either you or a competent VW mechanic will need to complete those in a timely manner.

I don't worry about the overblown issues that you have described. My 09 JSW has been reliable and efficient. If something catastrophic breaks, I will make my decision then if I fix it or replace with something else.