Buying a used TDI FAQ -- please add

Sojuah

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2006
Location
Honolulu, Hawaii
TDI
2000 Jetta
Seeking Advice - Jetta TDI Wanted

Aloha,

My fiance and I just moved from Hawaii to Denver, Colorado and are currently automobile-less. I have been tasked with finding a car that we can drive with a clean conscience (diesel milage or hybrid were the choices) that we can keep and drive forever. I'm 99% sure I want to go with a diesel (and with a Jetta) in part b/c my brother and I would like to go all diesel and I want to start learning everything I can about them now. Also, I'm partial to them b/c after living in Hawaii I start a little slower in the cold, too. :) My questions are these:

1. Is there a difference we should know about between the pre-99 Jettas and 99-current? Obviously the body styles are different but is there a difference in quality or simplicity of the engines? Just a quick look on this website reveals a shift in engines and horsepower, but does that translate into more reliability or more maintenance costs?

2. Our budget really only allows us to purchase something under $8,000 USD or so. But there are barely any 1999 Jettas and earlier available in the Colorado area (or anywhere, frankly, when I looked on e-bay). Is that because they're a better car and people are hanging on to them or were there just lots more newer models being sold in the 2001-2003 range that are now available?

3. Please let me know if anyone out there knows of a good car that wants to go to a good home here in Colorado or nearby state. Short of that, does anyone know of a solid diesel/vw mechanic (to run a car past if we do find one) or likely source for a Jetta here in Denver/Boulder?

Many thanks--I really am impressed with the information on this site!
Joshua
 

bhtooefr

TDIClub Enthusiast, ToofTek Inventor
Joined
Oct 16, 2005
Location
Newark, OH
TDI
None
The older engine uses a simpler turbocharger, and has slightly less torque. All TDIs sold in the US before 2003 had 90 horsepower, though. FWIW, it was available from 1997 to early 1999 in the US.

Under $8,000... that's a tricky price range. "A3" (third-generation Golf/Jetta - although the A3 Golf doesn't count for this) Jettas aren't overly common, "A4s" (fourth-generation Golf/Jetta/New Beetle) cost more.

You could go for an "A2" (model years 1985-1992 - the last A2 Golf diesels were in 1987, and there were no A2 Jetta diesels for 1987 or 1988), and go way under budget, but 52 hp can seem really weak at times. ECOdiesels (59 hp) aren't very common. Neither are turbodiesels (68 hp).
 

MikeS_18

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Location
Bow, NH
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon, '13 Passat SE, '64 Ford Econoline
If you have them, bring the rhino ramps and a T15 torx and take off the belly pan, looking to make sure that the belly pan had not been ripped up (it'll be scratched to be sure) and then check for leaks and other miscellaneous visual problems.
 

Wen76wagon

New member
Joined
Sep 11, 2006
Location
Sequim, WA
TDI
None yet
Used jetta wagon

This is my first post. I am looking at a used 2004 GL Jetta Tdi wagon. I was wondering where the best place to have it independently checked by a diesel mechanic in the kirkland, WA area. Also wondering about pricing, what people in/around Seattle are paying for used cars similar- but maybe that question is a different thread?
 

isukennedy

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2005
Location
Racine, WI
TDI
none... for now. '11 JSW in the future???
This should really be sticky or added to the "how-to" thread.

Speaking of, I think I'll do that right now.
 

adamek

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Location
Sharon, MA
TDI
2002 VW TDI Beetle, 2012 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI
Newbie First Post

Thanks for all the tips. I'm shopping around for a diesel with good gas mileage. I llive walking distance from the Sharon, MA train station and used to take commuter rail to work, but Teradyne closed down their Boston buildings. Now I have a 84 mile round trip commute. Not the best thing for a minivan.

I'm considering a 2002 GLS TDI Beetle. I printed out the first part of this FAQ and I'll be using it to look the car over.

It's been a long time since I've had a diesel. My second car was a 1980 Chevette Diesel, 50mpg city or highway with my driving. I loved that car, but it was totaled when a young driver did a U-turn right in front of me in 1988.

I'm planning on using some bio-diesel and possibly getting a SVO conversion.
 
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rdkern

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 21, 2004
Location
Humboldt Co CA
TDI
Passat 1997 silver (sold after 11 years), Jetta 2000 atlantic blue
If you loved anything about the Chevette - you will go totally wild over the NB. No comparison.

Good luck!
 

adamek

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2007
Location
Sharon, MA
TDI
2002 VW TDI Beetle, 2012 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI
The Beetle was sold shortly before I got to the lot. I'm stilll looking and also considering a Jetta.
 

basskleff

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2006
Location
MA
TDI
2003 New Beetle GLS
adamek said:
I just bought a 2002 TDI Beetle, http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180105116784

I'll be picking it up either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

This is my first diesel in 20 years.
Congrats, I have the same exact car in an '03.
Get an aluminum or steel skid plate as soon as you can.
I have the Evolution Imports plate, and it's awesome.
Enjoy, put some miles on, and then plan on changing all the fluids and filters in the next few thousand miles, including the ATF and ATF filter.

-BK
 

Mobiledj

Active member
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Location
Burnaby
TDI
Jetta
Buying a Jetta

I originally posted this in the wrong area and got sent a link to this thread

1. What is the Maintenance cost like compared to a reg gas vehicle
2. Is the Tiptornic transmission any good (worth the money)
3. What should I be paying for a 2004 Jetta TDI in Vancouver (Canada)

Is there a goto guy out here?

Thanks for all your help

Found this site to use as value of used vehicles .... http://www.vmrcanada.com/value_menus/canprices/02vojeta.htm

Do you think it is very accurate?
 
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gootz

New member
Joined
Jun 29, 2007
Location
Westgate ia
TDI
none ........yet
Almost a first time buyer

I am going to look at a 2004 jetta tdi wagon automatic with 100,000 miles on it this coming saturday owner is asking $14,200 . Now I have been researching tdi's off and on for 6 months now and I am confused with all the engine pre-fixes and suffix's...use this oil do not use that oil. I also understand VW does not make a wagon anymore.....is that true?? if so how come? I would prefer a manual tranny but car is for wife and she will only drive an automatic....what is the life (miles) expectancy of the tranny?? Is this a high dollar tranny to fix or replace?? What is the mileage diff between an automatic and a stick? I plan on running the tdi to 400,000 miles or more, how many tranny's will I go thru? 90% of miles are highway with 1 person in vehicle. Thanks in advance for any advice on the above and the asking price.

gootz
 

TonyJetta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Location
Tucson, Az
TDI
'15 Jetta TDI SE / '06 Jetta TDI DSG Pkg0 / '96 Passat TDI
Welcome to the site! You will find a WEALTH of information on this site...too much at some times! As well as a wealth of opinions.
A TDI is probably THE most complex vehicle to evaluate as a used car, mostly because the engine itself will run for 300-500k miles, depening ENTIRELY upon maintenance. Having said that, here's some answers

gootz said:
I am going to look at a 2004 jetta tdi wagon automatic with 100,000 miles on it this coming saturday owner is asking $14,200 . Now I have been researching tdi's off and on for 6 months now and I am confused with all the engine pre-fixes and suffix's
1Z/AHU - 1996~1999.5
ALH - 199.5~2004.5
BEW/BRM - 2004.5-2006
BEW/BRM are also known as PD or Pump Deuse engines, where are each cylinder has it's own high pressure pump/injector driven off the cam. Prior models used an injection pump.

Just look at sticker on the timing belt cover; that's the engine code and serial number.

gootz said:
use this oil do not use that oil. I also understand VW does not make a wagon anymore.....is that true??
BEW/BRM require 505.01 oil, otherwise camshaft damage can/will occur.

All other engines can use just about any synthetic diesel oil. Most here use Mobil Truck Diesel Oil.

Since I have an '06 (BRM) and a '96 (1Z), I'll be using the 505.01 in both cars, which is acceptable, since the 505.01 is a higher rated diesel rated oil.

gootz said:
I also understand VW does not make a wagon anymore.....is that true?? if so how come?
Not true...Wagons with a TDI motor tend to be rare as opposed to just a sedan. Let me put it this way: most Jettas produced are sedans with gas motors, then wagons with gas motors, then sedans with TDI's, then wagons with TDI's. I don't know the actual numbers, I am sure someone does and will correct me.

gootz said:
I would prefer a manual tranny but car is for wife and she will only drive an automatic....what is the life (miles) expectancy of the tranny?? Is this a high dollar tranny to fix or replace?? What is the mileage diff between an automatic and a stick? I plan on running the tdi to 400,000 miles or more, how many tranny's will I go thru? 90% of miles are highway with 1 person in vehicle.
WOW!

Read through this thread, and then search for "automatic"...You wind up with more reading material than you know what to do with.

The bottom line is some autos will run 100k, while others will run to 200k. Some are able to be rebuilt and other have bought new replacements; this ranges between $1500-$4k and you won't know until you get the trans out of the car, and perhaps back together and try to drive it. That scared the crap out of me; when I was looking for a daily driver, I decided to stay w/ 5sp and teach the wife. I also think the diesel is the easiest to lear how to drive a stick: from a stop, let the clutch out, then it becomes accelerate-clutch-shift-release; coming to a stop, shift to neutral and use the brake.

The MPG diff on the old (<2005, non DSG) autos is ~4-6 mpg, depending on driving style and type of driving (city/fwy). There appears to be no appreciable (maybe 1-2mpg) MPG difference between DSG autos and 5sp.

For the lifetime you are looking for, stick with a 5sp and teach the wife, or look at a newer DSG. Driving a 5sp is not difficult; it actually forces you to concentrate more on the road, which is a good thing!

gootz said:
Thanks in advance for any advice on the above and the asking price.

gootz
The best advice I can give you about asking price....
1) Used crazedlist.org to search craigslist nationwide for that year jetta to see what the real street price for that car is, with the auto. KBB / NADA has NO concept of what a TDI is worth; as fuel prices keep increasing, these cars will not go down in price and some have actually appreciated in value.

2) How nice is the car? Clean inside and out? How is it maintained? Dealer or owner maintained? Records? Does the car look used & abused or loved and well maintained?

3) How much are YOU willing to spend?

4) Are YOU willing to maintain this vehicle properly? If you just want high MPG, put gas in it and go...Look for a corrolla or something like it. Personally, I like the 10k mile oil change interval, 20k air & fuel filter changes, with the VW diesels. Then there's the possiblilty of running biodiesel which get into the whole socio-economic debate, and I'll leave it at that!

HTH

Tony
 

ymz

Top Post Dawg
Joined
May 12, 2003
Location
Between Toronto & Montreal
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI Wagon, 2003 Jetta TDI Wagon
TonyJetta said:
ALH - 199.5~2004.5...BEW/BRM - 2004.5-2006
Correction: in North America, the PD engine came in with the 2004 model year...

At 100,000 miles, the car must have the timing belt, water pump, tensioner and idler (as well as a couple of "stretch" bolts) replaced. Automatic transmission fluid/filter change is also recommended if it hasn't yet been done.

Maintenance history is crucial... If you can't verify that only 505.01 spec (or higher - but we won't go there) oil has been used throughout the life of the car, don't buy it !!!!! If you see VW dealership service records, the VW part number for the 505.01 spec oil is (was) G052167A2. If you see records using p/n ZVW352540S - that's the wrong oil !!!! The current iteration of dealership oil for the PD engines is p/n ZVW-352-167-Q-DSP.

Good luck,

Yuri.
 

diesel_tech

New member
Joined
Aug 12, 2008
Location
Illinois
TDI
*wish list*
Howdy,

I am looking to buy a A3 Jetta TDI and was wondering if they have been known to have any problems with the Chassis/Suspension.

I have only been able to find cars with +200K in my area (central Illinois) and was worried I might be facing some "known" issues with the suspension.

I plan on overhauling the engine myself (if it dosen't need it then great, but I love working on Diesel engines).

Also, i'm new to forums so please excuse me if its already on here, has anyone ever put ATAAC 's (Air-To-Air-After-Cooler) on these, just a neat thought.
 

bayshorecs

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2006
Location
SoCal (Rancho Cucamonga)
TDI
06 Golf
Sent you a PM.

Not many of us in the central Illinois area.

To answer your questions:

Valve guides can leak some around 200k. If no smoke on startup, let them go.

Suspension is a sure thing that needs to be done
 

WhtEnt

New member
Joined
Mar 9, 2009
Location
Langley BC
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI-1.9 Turbo
Door locking key problem- 2003 TDI GLS

We've got a 2003 TDI GLS. Currently having problems locking car via the key fob.
Fob battery is 'good'...tested good recently in battery tester. Opening car via key fob works fine, just locking won't work...most of time. Have to resort to locking via the passenger door 'all door lock switch.
Has anyone got an idea what could be the problem ?
 

TonyJetta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Location
Tucson, Az
TDI
'15 Jetta TDI SE / '06 Jetta TDI DSG Pkg0 / '96 Passat TDI
WhtEnt, you'll want to start a thread of your own in the A4 forums. You'll get more people in tune with that era of TDI's.

Tony
 

mrfunk76

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Location
pa
TDI
04 golf
Over seas vs. Us

Is there any gain from buying an 2003 golf with red "I" vs. A 2004 gls golf with "tdi" in silver. I know the red means it is from over sea.
 

nafets

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Location
sonora, CA
TDI
none, yet
buying first tdi ? salvage title good idea?

hi been look at getting a tdi golf for some time now

ive run across a '05 golf that has 58,000miles on it and the guy is asking $9800 but the catch is that it has a salvaged title, was salvaged at 30,000 miles which would suggest that it had substantial damage. according to the owner the front end was damaged, and the radiator long with some other stuff was replaced (i wasn't quite sure on the details of what )
my question is this:

is buying this car a good deal

what do i need to know if i do decide to look more into it.

is there anyware i might find more info on this topic

thanks alot
stefan
 

TonyJetta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Location
Tucson, Az
TDI
'15 Jetta TDI SE / '06 Jetta TDI DSG Pkg0 / '96 Passat TDI
Guys...you should really start your own threads, either in the MKIV or MKV forums (titles list years)...you'll get more specific answers. Even TDI101 would be a safe bet.

Tony
 

Mando

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
TDI
2002 Golf GL
Whew, I've read every post in this forum. Wow, great information. I am looking to buy a 2002 Golf GL, TDI 5-spd from a co-worker. Their family is the only owner. 155K miles on it. I haven't done the carfax on it just yet. Thoughts? Things I should be weary about?
 

kiva822

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Location
Chico, CA
TDI
'03 Wagon, '03 Golf
Whew, I've read every post in this forum. Wow, great information. I am looking to buy a 2002 Golf GL, TDI 5-spd from a co-worker. Their family is the only owner. 155K miles on it. I haven't done the carfax on it just yet. Thoughts? Things I should be weary about?
i hope that's hyperbole, as this thing has been around since the late 90's :rolleyes:

check out the FAQ here and www.myturbodiesel.com

have a guru local to you check out any car you plan to buy.

start a new thread, as this one you posted in is 7 months old..
 

Mando

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
TDI
2002 Golf GL
Kiva, Good advice. Allow me to correct my previous statement. I have read the 6 pages of this particular thread. Poor choice of verbiage. Thanks for the link.
-Mando
 

echo hotel

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Location
Idaho
TDI
working on it
very helpful for first time tdi buyer!

i'm looking to buy my first tdi - a 2004 passat wagon, and this information in invaluable. much appreciated!
 

TonyJetta

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 15, 2005
Location
Tucson, Az
TDI
'15 Jetta TDI SE / '06 Jetta TDI DSG Pkg0 / '96 Passat TDI
You'll also want to check out the Passat tdi section. You'll find model specific info there. The Passat TDI has one specific issue that comes to mind, with the balance shaft in the engine.

Tony
 
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