Highest mpg on 97 Passat TDI?

honda_vtec2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Location
Toronto
TDI
2000 Golf ALH tdi, 1997 Jetta 1z tdi
Hi guys, looking at buying 1997 Passat TDI with high mileage 410000km, hwy driven. Wondering what kind of mpg this car is capable of getting?

What are the best mods to do on this car for best mpg?

Thanks
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
What kind of MPG? Depends on who is driving.
best mpg mod: A best driver.
410k km is only 250k miles. My 96 Passat returned 82+ mpg in a 250 mile duration competition in 2003 with that many miles on it. That sedan's average mpg from 170K miles when I bought it to 300k miles when I sold it was 52 mpg.
 

honda_vtec2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Location
Toronto
TDI
2000 Golf ALH tdi, 1997 Jetta 1z tdi
82+ is very impressive. Other than being a skilled driver. What mods did you do to the Passat? I'd be happy getting 55+mpg.

I haven't test driven the car yet. Is this a problem car, like some have stated on here?

I read that it has a huge tank. When completely filled up with 4 adult passengers, does the car feel sluggish, or is there enough power to drive on the hwy and keep up with traffic?

Thanks
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
No vehicle modifications were allowed in the stock category of that competition. No driver induced engine off-coasting, no drafting, tire pressure no higher than the posted sidewall limit, minimum and maximum speeds for the course enforced by maximum and minimum loop completion times.
The course consisted of a short access drive of a few miles through a suburban setting with a few stops followed by repeated out and back loops on an interstate. The technique I used was to calculate the number of loops I could complete within the overall time limit at different driving speeds, and found that an average of 47 mph (2 over the minimum and a shade faster than the max loop time allowed for miles to count towards the total) allowed the lowest fuel use per mile and no wasted partial loops when overall time expired.
Windows up, A/C off, radio off, cabin fan off, minimal slowing and acceleration at the cloverleaf turn arounds, tires to 44 psi cold. I discovered that a faster speed outbound with a tail wind and a slower speed back against the head wind maintained the required average loop speed and equalized the air drag load. 57 mph "air speed" required more power and fuel than 37 mph "air speed" saved.
 

honda_vtec2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Location
Toronto
TDI
2000 Golf ALH tdi, 1997 Jetta 1z tdi
Some other questions:

Are the Passats really terrible cars to purchase based on high maintenance costs and breakdowns. I've been trying to get some research done on the car i'm looking at buying. Edmunds rated it at 2 for reliability.
I've read about the door handle problems, window regulator issues. Is there serious driveline problems i should expect, like engine, tranny, turbo, driveshafts, suspension. The owner is a diesel mechanic and has stated that he has worked on the car the last 2 years. Please advise, if anything else i should be looking, checking before i buy.

Does this 97 Passat TDI, carry the 1Z engine. Is that a good engine, with no crank pulley bolt issues? The timing belt/water pump/rollers were done 20km ago. There is a rear brakeline issue and A/C freon leak. I haven't seen the car yet. It's 200km away from me at the moment. Hoping to make a trip tomorrow, if i can find a 2nd driver, incase i buy the car.

I'd like to do the following things to the car:

EGR delete
Upsolute chip
Muffler delete
5th gear swap with the .681 gear
Advance the timing +2 degrees
LRR tires
Tint Windows
Injector swap with stock (new) ones

Is it possible to do all of the above?

I usually drive at 110-120km on hwy. Really want to get into the 55+mpg

Thanks
 

Abacus

That helpful B4 guy
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Location
Relocated from Maine to Prescott, AZ
TDI
Only the B4V left
My '97 Passat is returning about 51-52 mpg right now with the Thule roofracks installed and 3 bicycle carriers on them. Without them I get between 53 and 54 mpg on a car that's all stock with 260,000 miles (415,335 km) on it, running B5 fuel.

My best tank is 57 mpg and my worst is 44 mpg (winter at higher speeds).

Some people hate the B4 car as it's "overengineered", but I think they're OK. Sure, the windows can have problems and some of the items I would have designed differently, but if you keep on top of the maintenance I think they're fine.
 

Lug_Nut

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
idi: 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
Most of the B4 Passat fair-to-poor reports are based on the majority of B4s, the VR6 version. The automatics are not the most long lived units, the engine have a tendency to throw cam chains, cooling issues from stuffing a V6 where a four was intended, coil packs, blah, blah, blah.
The TDI wasn't available here with the automatic. A cam belt failure, although frequently terminal, is a scheduled maintenance replacement item. The four has better packaging and air flow through and around. Being diesel, there are no coil packs.
Yeah, it has door handle issues that can be easily, and permanently resolved. The window regulators can strip teeth (German one still last longer than the Chinese copies), but most of the poor reliability issues don't exist in the TDI.
 

Sweeps

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2005
Location
Orillia, Ontario, Canada
TDI
None currently. MK4/5/6 Jetta's in the past.
honda_vtec2, just wanted to point out that the mileage figures posted in here are in US MPG. The 52MPG average that is stated by Lug_Nut is actually 62 IMP MPG.
55 IMP MPG+ should be no problem in these cars.

I am sure we are all on the same page, just wanted to make sure!
 

honda_vtec2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Location
Toronto
TDI
2000 Golf ALH tdi, 1997 Jetta 1z tdi
Hello guys, I travelled from Toronto to Windsor to check out this Passat. The car is being run on mixed used engine oil and home made biodiesel. It lacks power from all rpm ranges from 1200-3400rpm. What could be the cause of this lack of power.

The gentleman selling the car is a mechanic, and stated the below things:

The IP timing was advanced without a vag-com computer. This was done to get the max amount of mpg which he stated is 1400km per tank. The engine check light is on all the time. He said this is because the I.P timing was changed, and showed me the sensor attached to the fuel injector that makes the CEL on the ECU. I'm not familiar at all with this. Please advise.

The car itself has a ding and a small rust bubble on the fender. It has been oil sprayed. Underneath has no noticeable rust. Car has tons of space, but really lacks any kind of power at all.

It is missing the belly pan cover and the top TDI cover. I can hear the engine pretty loud on the street and in the car with all the doors closed.

The engine area has a bit of blowby and some oil leak on the tube hose where there is an Air flow sensor of some sort going to the Turbo??? on the drivers side. It's not the MAF which i've seen on the air filter side. Sorry not familiar with the other sensor. There is no EGT guage to see the Turbo tempo. Not even sure if the turbo is working, cause the car is so slow.

He mentioned that he cleaned the EGR a week ago, but did not touch the Intake Manifold. Could this be the cause of why the car has no power at all?

Thanks in advance, I have until 12 noon tomorrow to decide, so any help would be appreciated. Going to research more info on this site.

I would appreciate any opinions or pointers on the above matter.
 
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