Break-In

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Drivbiwire

Zehntes Jahr der Veteran
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Anytime you are below 1800 rpm, I call it lugging.

Allowing your TDI to idle is the equivalant of lugging.

The engines need to reside in that 1800-2500 rpm range when you are driving down the road.

Pushing the engine, getting it on boost and accelerating briskly clears the turbo, cat and intake system.

Know that you safely rev your engine "trains the driver" more than it trains the engine.

The DSG is an adaptive shifting transmission, make it adapt to the optimal rpm ranges that lend to TDI durability AND reliability.
 

Jack Frost

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2009 Clean Diesel
Outie_ DI-D said:
forgive me if this is has been asked..

how do you LUG a TDI engine

thanks
Lugging an engine is done by asking it to produce large amounts of power at an rpm so low that excessive pressure is built up inside the cylinder at the start or even before the power stroke. When it happens, you can hear and feel the engine shudder. In the worse case, it may even "buck". At the same time little extra power is produced and the car accelerates very poorly or not at all.

Typically this is best experienced by trying to accelerate a car in high gear at too low a speed but it can happen in any gear. However a car can work out of it faster at the lower gear and may not be able to at all at the higher gears. I can produce a sustained shudder by in my car by trying to accelerate in sixth gear at 50 or 60 kph where the engine's rpm is only doing about 1000 or 1100. I advoid it by dropping down a gear or deciding not to accelerate.

Shuddering can damage your engine's piston and bearings because of the high and violent rise in pressure and excessively hot gases inside the cylinder as a result of more fuel being burnt inside and the refusal of the slow-moving piston to allow its volume to increase. Blow-by occurs on the piston rings which damages the oil film on the cylinder walls. I believe that vibrations and harmonics don't do anything much good either. The vibrations and the excessive pressure can also damage the bearings as the oil film cannot keep moving parts separated. It is also a time you might blow a hole in your head gasket.

Everyone experiences it. A little bit of lugging is nothing to be concerned about. It is just when driver don't recognize it and habitually operate in that zone, the damage accumulates. However, a good heavy dose of it will instantly reveal a weakness in an old engine.
 

TornadoRed

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I would only add that it can be hazardous to your turbo, to request very high boost at a low engine speed. The cylinders can only hold a certain volume of air, if you try to push more in there at a higher pressure, it can put a lot of stress on the turbo vanes. That is why in a high-load situation it is better to downshift, to get the engine speed up and reduce the backpressure on the turbo vanes.

In a low-load condition, cruising along at 40 mph in 4th or even 5th gear, as long as you are not trying to accelerate or climb any steep hills, your engine and turbo should be just fine. But downshift before putting any stress on the engine or turbo.
 

supton

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Central NH (USA)
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I like the explaination about shuddering from lugging; helps paint a better picture, thanks.

How about this scenario: There is a hill that I drive once/month, car is pretty loaded up, and I usually take the hill in 5th at full throttle. But vehicle speed is only 60mph, and so it doesn't accelerate. Full throttle at 2k, for 30-60 seconds, not bad, right? I figure, it's not making lugging noises, so it's just working the motor.
 

TornadoRed

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supton said:
I like the explaination about shuddering from lugging; helps paint a better picture, thanks.

How about this scenario: There is a hill that I drive once/month, car is pretty loaded up, and I usually take the hill in 5th at full throttle. But vehicle speed is only 60mph, and so it doesn't accelerate. Full throttle at 2k, for 30-60 seconds, not bad, right? I figure, it's not making lugging noises, so it's just working the motor.
That sounds like a borderline situation -- I suppose it depends on how steep the hill is and how heavily loaded the car is. When I was towing over 2000 pounds, I downshifted on almost every hill.
 

supton

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Wife, 2 kids, luggage, dog. I think the hill is a 9% grade, going by the warning on the other side.
 

wild03

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Location
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Hi there,

I bought a TDI jetta manual about a week ago, been driving it to work and back (8 miles away) all city (16 miles per day).

The car feels great driving in the range of (1200 - 2000) rpm. The only reason I take it to 2500 is because I read this guide. But what I can't get used to is going beyond that, maybe 3000 would be my max!

In the morning I keep it below 2K for about a mile or so, then when the engine is warm I pull out of lights, stops, etc. at 2500 for 1st and 2nd gear. then go back to the 1200 - 2000 mode. Usually dropping to 1200 in 6th gear and 45mph or so, until the next light etc. I might do the 2500 - 3000 sessions 3 or 4 times during the one way commute and 3 or 4 on the way back.

I know this might qualify as babying the car, Is it bad? or borderline bad? Thanks guys, great forum, The wealth of info here was what drove me to get this car, and so far I'm loving it. All that I expected thanks to the research I did here prior to the purchase.
 

TornadoRed

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wild03 said:
I know this might qualify as babying the car, Is it bad? or borderline bad? Thanks guys, great forum, The wealth of info here was what drove me to get this car, and so far I'm loving it. All that I expected thanks to the research I did here prior to the purchase.
IMO you are babying your engine. Is it bad? No, but it will take longer to break in, and you will not observe the best performance or the best fuel economy until the break-in is essentially complete.

Your route to and from work might not be the best for opening it up, so take a longer drive next weekend. Go somewhere where you can let it rip -- run it up to 4000 rpm in whichever gear is still reasonably legal, then lift off and let is slow down to 2500-3000 rpm, then rev it up again. Do as much of this as you are comfortable with, or your passenger(s) can tolerate, or the other drivers on the road can tolerate.
 

Drivbiwire

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Joined
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Boise, Idaho
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2013 Passat TDI, Newmar Ventana 8.3L ISC 3945, 2016 E250 BT, 2000 Jetta TDI
1154 miles driven today, two fuel stops, average speed 77 mph, 25.7mpg in a loaded down 2009 ML 320 Bluetec. A/C on the whole time (I never shut it off in the summer anyway) (4) people, bags, trailer hitch mounted luggage carrier (loaded approx 250lbs) Top speed was 105mph, typically cruised between 75-85 mph. 3,000 to go until I get home from the break-in run :)

Pu$$y foot a new engine my A$$! PS fuel economy increased from a nominal 23.7 @ 80 to 26.0 (Same elevation only 1,000 miles later and similar ambient temperatures measured over 100 miles).

Currently in Lincoln NE...Chicago Bound!
 

wild03

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TornadoRed said:
IMO you are babying your engine. Is it bad? No, but it will take longer to break in, and you will not observe the best performance or the best fuel economy until the break-in is essentially complete.

Your route to and from work might not be the best for opening it up, so take a longer drive next weekend. Go somewhere where you can let it rip -- run it up to 4000 rpm in whichever gear is still reasonably legal, then lift off and let is slow down to 2500-3000 rpm, then rev it up again. Do as much of this as you are comfortable with, or your passenger(s) can tolerate, or the other drivers on the road can tolerate.
This is good news then, Even if it takes longer break-in. The way I see it, any benefit in efficiency obtained from a sooner break-in is evaporated from all the 4K rpm runs and punishing of the engine, and longer unnecessary driving.

The sooner the breaking the sooner the wear in the components. Don't get me wrong, I step on it once in a while when passing old ladies etc. but never pass 3K, the car feels fast enough below that so why punish it ;)

Thanks.
 

Bob_Fout

Oil Wanker
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Location
Indiana
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2003 Jetta - Alaska Green (sold) / 2015 GTI 2.0T
If you never run it past 3K RPM, expect turbo problems in the future. Your VNT vanes won't have the full range of motion.

The occasional hard run to 4K is not going to impact mileage one iota.
 

ruking

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wild03 said:
This is good news then, Even if it takes longer break-in. The way I see it, any benefit in efficiency obtained from a sooner break-in is evaporated from all the 4K rpm runs and punishing of the engine, and longer unnecessary driving.

The sooner the breaking the sooner the wear in the components. Don't get me wrong, I step on it once in a while when passing old ladies etc. but never pass 3K, the car feels fast enough below that so why punish it ;)

Thanks.
I think that once you know the real parameters our specific turbo diesels are designed to run, then its all the best and welcome to the club.

On the other hand, no one is telling you to go faster (I would assume you mean mph) than is both legal and of comfort. However you can gear down so you can use the range of recommended revs AND go your desired speed. Another way to put this is one can keep up just fine with the "old" ladies and STILL drive the turbo diesel slightly to moderately aggressively.
 
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wild03

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ruking said:
I think that once you know the real parameters our specific turbo diesels are designed to run, then its all the best and welcome to the club.

On the other hand, no one is telling you to go faster (I would assume you mean mph) than is both legal and of comfort. However you can gear down so you can use the range of recommended revs AND go your desired speed. Another way to put this is one can keep up just fine with the "old" ladies and STILL drive the turbo diesel slightly to moderately aggressively.
If the turbo vanes fully open at 3K, I probably do that 3 or 4 times on the 16 mile drive. What I understand about taking it to 4K is that it will accelerate break-in. I'm not too concerned about this one, I rather just exercise the turbo vanes a few times per day.

I understand about the higher speeds, I'm more concerned about the extra fuel of reving the engine that high and cycling the Rpms in such un-natural way.

Again in the vanes fully open by 3K, I'll do that a few times a day.
 

ruking

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wild03 said:
If the turbo vanes fully open at 3K, I probably do that 3 or 4 times on the 16 mile drive. What I understand about taking it to 4K is that it will accelerate break-in. I'm not too concerned about this one, I rather just exercise the turbo vanes a few times per day.

I understand about the higher speeds, I'm more concerned about the extra fuel of reving the engine that high and cycling the Rpms in such un-natural way.

Again in the vanes fully open by 3K, I'll do that a few times a day.
To solve your immediate issue, slightly above max torque ( 1,750-2,250 rpms) say 2,300 to 2,500 rpms, the turbo is on boost AND the turbos vanes are doing their VARIABLE (pilates) gig . :) The other issue is with the redline being at 5100 rpms again 75% of that is 3,825 rpms (aka 4k for government work) 75% is WELL below punishing !!??

It was very obvious the "fuel issue" is of issue to you. What I/others are trying to get you to see is by concentrating on the fuel issue "exclusively" you are "increasing the chances" (clearly no guarentee!) of mechanical issues down stream as drivng the TDI can be very "fluid" and for sure cummulative, so to speak. You also oxymoronically increase the chances getting LESS fuel mileage (as Drivibiwire illustrates using his own experiences breaking in a new 09 MB SUV).) Drivibiwire has posted before on the "topographical" curve of the TDI's fuel efficiency map. You might want to search for it or if it has changed much, Drivibiwire might up date it.

This might be off topic, but since you seem to come to the TDI by way of the/your gasser (NON TURBO I presume) experience, let me use a Honda Civic analogy. Again it is the same issue. Know and understand the parameters of your machine (Civic in this case) . We use it in a point a to point b daily commute and I assure you, we drive the TDI and Civic FAR differently. Come to this is the EXACT point A to Point b distance and (circus here) 3 drivers. Rather than bore you, fire away. Or tell me what you would do to achieve (exceed) those numbers.

But here are the mpg numbers: 03 TDI Jetta range 48-52 mpg, 04 Civic 38-42 mpg. If you are using a 09 TDI, it does a range of 39-45 mpg with 42.5 to 43 mpg as an average. This car is still in perpetual break in mode @ less than 9,000 miles.

If you look at Civic surveys we are in the top 3 to 6% of mpg and don't even TRY !!!!!??? In other words 97% to 94 % of Civic drivers report WORSE fuel mileage. We routinely rev it to 75% of redline (4575/6100 rpms max hp), coincidently max torque is rated @ 4500 rpms!!!!, counter point: baby it. We change oil and filter every 20,000 miles, counter point: 5,000 miles OCI is about MAX.
 
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Sip'n Diesel

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boy, I wish I had 25K to drop on a new TDI; only to pussyfoot it around and miss the chance to achieve peak compression #s :p

if you don't break it in properly, don't complain to us when your MPG sucks (among OTHER PROBLEMS) :rolleyes:

wild03 - TDIs were designed to run around Europe at Autobahn speeds... the turbo under your hood can make MAX SUSTAINED PSI (boost) ALL DAY LONG, without any damage... does that mean anything to you? anything at all?

if you just want to get MPG, forget everything you know about driving cars: YOU HAVE A TDI! IT'S DIFFERENT! :eek:
 

TornadoRed

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As a reminder: respondents in this thread and in the older one (now numbering in the thousands of member posts) confirm that engines past the break-in stage get better fuel mileage, typically at least an additional 3 mpg.

Babying the engine means you never obtain those additional 3 mpg, or instead of seeing them starting around 4k-10k miles, it could take several times longer/further.

Anecdotal evidence from hundreds or thousands of members approaches the standards of real evidence.

Also, I saw a thread the other day about a TDI which was using a lot of oil. Oil consumption dropped and then stopped entirely after the owner started working the engine harder. I've read many such stories here -- engines that were babied, which had low compression, low power, poor acceleration, and measurable oil consumption... and then all the bad consequences were reversed just by properly exercising the TDI engine.

When you asked if babying the engine was bad, I said "not really, BUT..." and then described a proper breaking-in procedure. If you've decided to ignore that advice, to baby the engine, to limit engine rpm to less than 3000 revs, then that is your choice. But both the engine and the turbo should be properly exercised for long life -- babying the engine might mean spending more time in the zone where turbo surge can occur.
 

Sip'n Diesel

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... and if that's STILL not convincing enough, consider this:

since your new state-of-the-art TDI is equipped with a DPF, that adds yet another level of complexity to this issue. by pussyfooting around, never "rolling the coal," skipping ye olde "Italian tune-up," not using the full power band, etcetera; leads to more carbon build-up

what does that mean? well, theoretically, since you have all this additional carbon and particulate matter in the exhaust; your DPF will go through more "regenerations," and will do so more often than members here who drive their TDIs as Dr. DBW has prescribed. when the DPF is having a regen; your engine USES MORE FUEL to do so, thus hampering your precious MPGs even more :(

if you're afraid to shift above 3,000 RPMs because it's "too fast" or "too loud" or you think you might be "hurting the engine," then you can just give your car to me... I'll drive the sh!t out of it for 10,000 miles*, give it back to you, and you can go about your pussyfooting with the extra MPG attributed to PROPER BREAK-IN :D

*there may be a small fee associated with my services, on top of the fuel surcharge ;)
 

Steel

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When I was a kid, i had the same fear about my various motor vehicles... that i was pushing them too hard. So i'd baby them around and got nowhere fast. Especially bad with a two-stroke dirtbike.

At some point I learned how to not fear opening that throttle and wringing the engine out until they didn't turn any faster. A lot more fun and my engines performed better too.

Point is, 4000 rpm is not even close to "punishing" these engines. Find a hill at just the right steepness and you could run your car at 4000 RPM at WOT all day long and she'll be happy as a clam.
 

wild03

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Thanks, for all the replies. I will digest the information and will try my best to follow the advice! I managed 42mpg on my drive to work today, got lucky at the beginning with some traffic lights, unlucky at the end of the trip with others that dropped the 43mpg I had achieved a mile from work and dropped it to 42. I'll try to have a little more fun tomorrow, I just don't want to get addicted to the G forces!
 

biochemosu

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Jetta TDI 2009
Question

Thank for the great advice! I just purchased my new 09 Jetta TDI 2 days ago and I am having a blast! I will say that I was babying it just a little bit, b/c the manual is not clear at all about breaking in the engine. I do have one question, I was doing the 3k rev up and I noticed it wouldn't go past 3k. Right up to it, but not over. Is this a problem, or just b/c I was babying it and need to work on opening up the lines on the turbo? I only have 250 miles on it so far.

Also, I noticed that when it got close to the 3k there was a slight jolt both in park and in Neutral. Again, sorry for all the questions, this is my first new car, and first diesel. I am having a great time trying to squeeze every extra mpg I can, its fun to brag about it to my gas guzzling buddies.

One last thought: I traded in my 1994 Jeep Grand cherokee with 180k miles on it (clunker) and on my drive back from the dealership in my awesome new Jetta, I realized that I burned ~2.3x as much gas on the way there as I did on the way home!
 

ruking

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biochemosu said:
Thank for the great advice! I just purchased my new 09 Jetta TDI 2 days ago and I am having a blast! I will say that I was babying it just a little bit, b/c the manual is not clear at all about breaking in the engine. I do have one question, I was doing the 3k rev up and I noticed it wouldn't go past 3k. Right up to it, but not over. Is this a problem, or just b/c I was babying it and need to work on opening up the lines on the turbo? I only have 250 miles on it so far.

Also, I noticed that when it got close to the 3k there was a slight jolt both in park and in Neutral. Again, sorry for all the questions, this is my first new car, and first diesel. I am having a great time trying to squeeze every extra mpg I can, its fun to brag about it to my gas guzzling buddies.

One last thought: I traded in my 1994 Jeep Grand cherokee with 180k miles on it (clunker) and on my drive back from the dealership in my awesome new Jetta, I realized that I burned ~2.3x as much gas on the way there as I did on the way home!
You might want to put the car in S (super) to try out the extra longer and high revs that setting promises. If you want more over all control, put the car in the "manual" shift gate. Then you can adjust your revs more to your liking.
 

40X40

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biochemosu said:
Thank for the great advice! I just purchased my new 09 Jetta TDI 2 days ago and I am having a blast! I will say that I was babying it just a little bit, b/c the manual is not clear at all about breaking in the engine. I do have one question, I was doing the 3k rev up and I noticed it wouldn't go past 3k. Right up to it, but not over. Is this a problem, or just b/c I was babying it and need to work on opening up the lines on the turbo? I only have 250 miles on it so far.

Also, I noticed that when it got close to the 3k there was a slight jolt both in park and in Neutral. Again, sorry for all the questions, this is my first new car, and first diesel. I am having a great time trying to squeeze every extra mpg I can, its fun to brag about it to my gas guzzling buddies.

One last thought: I traded in my 1994 Jeep Grand cherokee with 180k miles on it (clunker) and on my drive back from the dealership in my awesome new Jetta, I realized that I burned ~2.3x as much gas on the way there as I did on the way home!

Were you in neutral and park when the car would not rev past 3,000 rpm?

If so, why were you reving your new car like that?

Bill
 

VeeDubTDI

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biochemosu said:
Thank for the great advice! I just purchased my new 09 Jetta TDI 2 days ago and I am having a blast! I will say that I was babying it just a little bit, b/c the manual is not clear at all about breaking in the engine. I do have one question, I was doing the 3k rev up and I noticed it wouldn't go past 3k. Right up to it, but not over. Is this a problem, or just b/c I was babying it and need to work on opening up the lines on the turbo? I only have 250 miles on it so far.

Also, I noticed that when it got close to the 3k there was a slight jolt both in park and in Neutral. Again, sorry for all the questions, this is my first new car, and first diesel. I am having a great time trying to squeeze every extra mpg I can, its fun to brag about it to my gas guzzling buddies.

One last thought: I traded in my 1994 Jeep Grand cherokee with 180k miles on it (clunker) and on my drive back from the dealership in my awesome new Jetta, I realized that I burned ~2.3x as much gas on the way there as I did on the way home!
Well, revving it up in park and neutral certainly won't help your fuel economy. :rolleyes:
 

biochemosu

New member
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Jetta TDI 2009
I was trying to do what the first poster suggested by reving the engine (see that post for the reasons) up to 3k (warm) and I really just assumed that you did this in park or neutral. I didn't hold it at 3k, just reved it up briefly (<1sec) and I only did it 2x. I may have read that wrong and it meant just get it up to 3k while driving.
 

40X40

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biochemosu said:
I was trying to do what the first poster suggested by reving the engine (see that post for the reasons) up to 3k (warm) and I really just assumed that you did this in park or neutral. I didn't hold it at 3k, just reved it up briefly (<1sec) and I only did it 2x. I may have read that wrong and it meant just get it up to 3k while driving.

He meant while driving and in gear.... No offense, but please consider driving lessons. Many of the instructions and discussions here are geared to be read by people with more than a minimum level of mechanical experience.

Bill
 

40X40

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Location
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biochemosu said:
Wow, that was totally unnecessary. We all make mistakes.

I repeat, no offense intended. If you feel you need to do something to get yourself up to speed, do it. If not, fine. All we know of you is what we can glean from your posts... I cannot tell if you are a gearhead having a bad day or a kid on his parents computer. Are we good?

Bill
 

wild03

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Location
Miami FL
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:(
ruking said:
To solve your immediate issue, slightly above max torque ( 1,750-2,250 rpms) say 2,300 to 2,500 rpms, the turbo is on boost AND the turbos vanes are doing their VARIABLE (pilates) gig . :) The other issue is with the redline being at 5100 rpms again 75% of that is 3,825 rpms (aka 4k for government work) 75% is WELL below punishing !!??
Today I made itt o 3K 3 or 4 times which was about half of the total take offs. I figured I exercized the turbo and still managed a wopping 44mpg in the city. :eek:

Thanks for the advice. I think I have reached a nice compromize and still exersize the turbo vanes.

sip said:
wild03 - TDIs were designed to run around Europe at Autobahn speeds... the turbo under your hood can make MAX SUSTAINED PSI (boost) ALL DAY LONG, without any damage... does that mean anything to you? anything at all?
Sip, I also know that this being a machine it means that wear is cumulative and such behavior can only accelerate it.
 

Drivbiwire

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Joined
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Location
Boise, Idaho
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2013 Passat TDI, Newmar Ventana 8.3L ISC 3945, 2016 E250 BT, 2000 Jetta TDI
wild03 said:
Sip, I also know that this being a machine it means that wear is cumulative and such behavior can only accelerate it.
These engines are designed to last 25,000 hours at 80% load before needing an overhaul. At best when driving down the highway you are only running at 40-50%.

Unless you can say that 100% of your driving is up a 20% grade all day everyday and anytime you are moving you aint gonna wear the engine out!

The statistics work against every TDI owner, that is you will total your car in an accident before you reach 50% of the cars actual service life!

These engines are used in Power Generation, Pumping as well as Marine applications. Puttering around in a small car regardless of how hard you try to push it won't even come close to reducing engine life.
 
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