Considering a 2009-2011 VW/Audi TDI - Opinions?

HudsDad

New member
Joined
Jul 6, 2013
Location
East Texas
TDI
N/A
For the next three or four years, I'll be taking my son to see speech, physical & occupational therapists three times a week. Due to the fact we live in BFE, this necessitates a 140mi round trip each time. My SC 5.7L Tundra averages ~14mpg on the highway and our Outback XT only manages ~22mpg, so I really need to find something a bit more fuel efficient. I've looked at all the usual gas offerings in the 28-32 mpg range (VW, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, Hyundai, Mazda), but I like the 40+ mpg (on paper, at least) performance of the TDI. I just don't know about the overall reliability. I had a 2002 VW Jetta 1.8T that lasted six years & 140k before the first "expensive" repair (transmission), but I have never known anyone who owned a TDI version. I'm assuming the Audi and VW TDI drivetrains are pretty much the same, so if I'm wrong, please let me know.

Since my son and daughter are still under age 5, I need a four-door that can accomodate a pair of car seats. Wagon, hatch or sedan is fine. Reliability and efficiency are the two most important issues for me...in that order...so if these cars are known to be trouble, I'll stick with gas and deal with the extra expense since I live over 100 miles from the nearest VW/Audi dealer. I'd like something in the ~$25k range with less than 40k on the clock that has a good chance of lasting 4+ years and another 100k miles. I do my own basic maintenance here at home and I've had a Cummins diesel for over a decade, so I'm somewhat familiar with the needs of a diesel engine.

Anyone here have a 3-4 year old VW Jetta/Golf or Audi A3 with the TDI and willing to offer any insight with regards to common issues or complaints? Thanks in advance.
 

Strykeviper

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2010
Location
Orlando, FL
TDI
2000 Jetta GLS 5 speed swap, 2002 Jetta Wagon, 2015 Passat SEL, 2013 Jetta Sportwagen
I had a 2009 Jetta TDI 6M and the only complaint I had was the fuel efficiency. With the a/c on, (too hot in florida without it), it only got about 37mpg unless you were mostly highway. My 2001 with the 01M gets the same average in town. My 2000 with 5 speed almost never gets below 41mpg with the a/c on and I've gotten over 50 anytime I have mostly highway miles. The 2009 only got 43mpg as my best highway tank. My in-laws have a 2010 JSW TDI DSG and all highway from Kissimmee to Daytona for the race last night managed 37mpg with the a/c on and averaging 65mph most of the trip.

Only issues I had with the 09 was the door lock modules, door seal and rear brakes. I had 1 or 2 door lock modules replaced under warranty. When they fail they will not lock. The door seal kept coming off and was replaced by 2 different dealers 3 times before I sold the car. It also needed rear brakes around 40-50k, there are no indicators so I found out it needed brakes when they started grinding the rotors.

I think the biggest concern with these vehicles seems to be the HPFP. If the HPFP fails it sends metal flakes throughout the fuel system and is very expensive to take care of if not in warranty. The DPF system can become an expensive repair later on once it becomes too full and needs to be replaced.

FWIW, I sold mine because I had the 2001 and found a 2000 that I purchased while I had the 2009. I only sold it because I had 3 vehicles and the 09 was the only one with payments. Now I have my pair of TDI's and no payments :D
 

showdown 42

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2012
Location
naples,FL
TDI
2016 TDI touareg
I own a 2009 JSW TDI DSG with 20k miles. Zero problems, 40mpg highway high 30's around town. I love the car and the mileage gets better as the engine breaks in. My car is still in the break in phase. Build quality of the JSW is excellent. Good luck with your search.
 

paramedick

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Location
Versailles, Kentucky
TDI
2015 Audi Q5 TDI
If it was me, I'd be looking at the 2004-5 Jetta wagons that are starting to flood the market. Classic body design. Decent engine but with a camshaft issue. They can be had in the $6-8k range.

Yes, they usually come with baggage. Dead lift pumps. Seized alternator pulleys. Timing belt usually due. Possibly worn camshaft.

With due diligence at purchase time inspection, many of these things can be caught. They are negotiating points for the final price.

Fix the problems, use 5w40 oil, keep the filters changed, and you will have a very reliable 40 mpg+ vehicle. Small or no car payment, too.
 

azerite

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 26, 2006
Location
NYC
TDI
2010 Jetta Wagon, 2005 jetta
I have a 2005 Jetta and a 2010 sportwagen. The 2005 wins hands down.

sent from mobile
 

Jack in Jax

Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2012
Location
Jacksonville, FL
TDI
None
More of the same Q...

Altho' my needs are different from HudsDad, my Q about reliability is essentially the same. I'm new here & hope to pick up a fuller perspective on why there are so many truly negative & hostile comments from former VW owners about their cars' reliability. We're considering a Jetta or JSW TDI and will buy new. Every published VW review I've read has a comment section filled with negative & 'never again' comments from previous owners. Longevity of parts & systems (due to poor design as much as poor build practices) feature prominently altho' dealers don't come off well, either.

We've been impressed with the late model VW's we've seen and enjoyed driving a 2010 JSW TDI recently out west (except for its noisy cabin due to wind/road noise, not engine noise). Can a few of you with extensive VW experience offer some perspective on this dilemma we face? Are there some especially relevant threads you can reference that I've missed so far? Many thanks!

Jack
 
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dieseldorf

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 11, 2000
Location
MA
TDI
ex- 1996 wagon, ex-2000 Jetta
  • Reliability and efficiency are the two most important issues for me
  • so if these cars are known to be trouble,
  • I live over 100 miles from the nearest VW/Audi dealer
Hud, welcome aboard! Don't overlook the obvious: consider an modern, fuel-efficient Asian car that runs on regular gasoline ;)
 

autdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Location
Alabama
TDI
2000 NB, 2003 NB, 2006 Touareg, 2015 Jetta, 2013 Beetle, 2013 Touareg
If it was me, I'd be looking at the 2004-5 Jetta wagons that are starting to flood the market. Classic body design. Decent engine but with a camshaft issue. They can be had in the $6-8k range.

Yes, they usually come with baggage. Dead lift pumps. Seized alternator pulleys. Timing belt usually due. Possibly worn camshaft.

With due diligence at purchase time inspection, many of these things can be caught. They are negotiating points for the final price.

Fix the problems, use 5w40 oil, keep the filters changed, and you will have a very reliable 40 mpg+ vehicle. Small or no car payment, too.
I've stuck with the 2003 and earlier, but they are getting harder to find a decent body on one, and now they seem to have gone up since I got the last one. I need to start thinking about another one for the next driver in line, so what is the rough parts cost on the things that you would just chuck and replace so you don't have to deal with them in 2-5 years? By that I mean I would replace non-failed, but failure prone parts now, rather than wait for the car to be needed by the family member, especially if I have to tear things down to fix them, or it failing would take more of the motor with it. I've had the deluxe timing belt kits done on the ALHs when I got them, so that level, plus what more? Do you replace the cam just because, other parts like that?
 

KITEWAGON

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Location
Seacoast, NH
TDI
2014 Touareg Exec, 2014 JSW
If it was me, I'd be looking at the 2004-5 Jetta wagons that are starting to flood the market. Classic body design. Decent engine but with a camshaft issue.
I'm curious why you are excluding 2002/2003 Jetta wagons? I'm just curious about your reasoning since I commonly see the 02/03 versions recommended over the 04/05.
 

paramedick

TDIClub Enthusiast, Vendor
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Location
Versailles, Kentucky
TDI
2015 Audi Q5 TDI
I'm curious why you are excluding 2002/2003 Jetta wagons? I'm just curious about your reasoning since I commonly see the 02/03 versions recommended over the 04/05.
Not a thing wrong with the ALH wagons. I like them. Unfortunately, everybody else does, too. They bring ridiculous prices far in excess of book values.

OTOH, the BEW wagons are usually priced fairly. Many folks try to get rid of them when they start having problems or become scared of the camshaft. Pity.

The engine makes nice power by itself, and is wonderful with a simple chip tune. The problem list is easy to work through if you do your own work. Can get pricey if you pay folks to do your repairs.

I am 90% pleased with my own BEW wagon. Before I'm done, it will have have some breathing mods (turbo, SMIC, new boost pipes, PD150 intake) and a new interior. Oh, yeah. A nice six speed from Ryan.

I've stuck with the 2003 and earlier, but they are getting harder to find a decent body on one, and now they seem to have gone up since I got the last one. I need to start thinking about another one for the next driver in line, so what is the rough parts cost on the things that you would just chuck and replace so you don't have to deal with them in 2-5 years? By that I mean I would replace non-failed, but failure prone parts now, rather than wait for the car to be needed by the family member, especially if I have to tear things down to fix them, or it failing would take more of the motor with it. I've had the deluxe timing belt kits done on the ALHs when I got them, so that level, plus what more? Do you replace the cam just because, other parts like that?
What would I chuck? I'm throwing away a failure prone EGR system, a lousy intake design, and a weak turbo. All of these work on my car, but I'm making it as simple as I can. I'm keeping the CAT because it's the right thing to do. I won't do anything with the camshaft unless I have to. I'm fortunate as my waggin's previous owner ignored the VW maintenance requirements, therefore saving my cam....:). :D. All I had to do was fix the dead lift pump, the seized alternator pulley, the bad serp tensioner, the multiple failed boost connections,.....
 
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