Kerma TDI economy kit

Gamikatsu

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
TDI
None...Yet.
Hello!

So I found a local to me. Absolutely pristine Jetta TDI. 2003 ALH 5 speed. 165k miles. Garage kept one owner old guy car. 100% intact. All engine covers, seat covers floor mats, everything is intact as new. No northern rust! I'm 99% sold on it. With the upcoming 2-4 years of gas going up, I'm ready for another round of 50+ MPG.

My question is. My budget would also allow for the Kerma TDI economy kit. They claim 10-15% increased fuel economy and 30% more torque. Who here has it? Reviews?


Thanks.
 

hskrdu

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
Your best fuel economy will come from driving style, the cumulative effect of many small factors, and keeping everything in good running order. If the nozzles are tired you could replace those and try to get a small FE bump, but otherwise you're better off focusing on the basics. Also, a higher-money pursuit of increased MPGs is often not associated with lowering cost of ownership, so if your intentions aren't clear other posters will not be able to give helpful advice. For example, spending $1,985 on Kerma's "ECO TDI Kit - Max MPG" is (IMHO), crazy. Maybe if your nozzles were beat and you needed a new turbo. Even then, I doubt you's see the claimed increase in FE, unless you have other issues. More to the point, you'd never see the return via lower fuel expenditures, so financially it doesn't make sense. The other pursuit is simply the best FE, and here, if the car was new to me, I'd spend that money on a boatload of other things- especially without a full maintenance history.
 

Gamikatsu

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 19, 2012
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
TDI
None...Yet.
Your best fuel economy will come from driving style, the cumulative effect of many small factors, and keeping everything in good running order. If the nozzles are tired you could replace those and try to get a small FE bump, but otherwise you're better off focusing on the basics. Also, a higher-money pursuit of increased MPGs is often not associated with lowering cost of ownership, so if your intentions aren't clear other posters will not be able to give helpful advice. For example, spending $1,985 on Kerma's "ECO TDI Kit - Max MPG" is (IMHO), crazy. Maybe if your nozzles were beat and you needed a new turbo. Even then, I doubt you's see the claimed increase in FE, unless you have other issues. More to the point, you'd never see the return via lower fuel expenditures, so financially it doesn't make sense. The other pursuit is simply the best FE, and here, if the car was new to me, I'd spend that money on a boatload of other things- especially without a full maintenance history.
Thank you for the input. I miss my 99 Golf TDI. But that car was a giant problem child because some kid before me tried to race car it. I want a little old guy owned car so I can drive it like a little old guy.

Thanks!!!!
 

hskrdu

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
You've probably already read it, but just in case:


If I was getting a TDI that didn't have actual maint receipts (and wanted to improve FE):

1) TB TB TB (and all the associated kit) service.
2) Full maintenance update:
a) Change all fluids and filters
b) Suspension refreshed all around
c) New MAF, EGR, intake cleaning, etc.
d) Every vacuum line replaced, all hoses and lines checked
e) All brake components checked (incl e-brake and lines)
f) Engine, nozzles, turbo checked
3) LRR 105/65/15 tires
4) Lightweight VW Avus 15" wheels

Next, establish a baseline of economy. Otherwise you have no idea where to improve things.
 

Nevada_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
All of the item list above are important. If you do not have receipts on service, especially the timing belt, don't drive the car as I am sure you know a timing belt event can be a $2000 catastrophe.

I have one experience with the improvement of fuel economy: due to the fact changing the injector nozzles is a good idea at that mileage, you start with .205 nozzles a Stage 2 tune. With .205 nozzles and a Stage 3 tune, I got 52mpg at 72mph with 4 adults and luggage to Tulsa, Ok and back. But the biggest contributor of fuel economy is having a light right foot.
 

[486]

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 1, 2014
Location
MN
TDI
02 golf ALH
But that car was a giant problem child because some kid before me tried to race car it. I want a little old guy owned car so I can drive it like a little old guy.
yup
leave it stock

most I'd do is some crappy drop-in 'tune' to get rid of the EGR and get you more reasonable smoke and timing maps
 

Nevada_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
Have VWMikel write your tune and have Franko6 assemble your injectors and new nozzles.
EDIT: When something says they can give x percent (10-15%) increase fuel economy and 30% more torque, you cannot do those two things simultaneously...Drive it like you stole it with a lot more torque, and compromise FE, or drive it like Granny did and get an improvement in FE. You can't have it both ways at the same time.
Do you have any idea how many miles and years it would take to recover the "kit" cost, I do not understand why you have to buy their $987.00 turbo to make it "work". Someday Kerm* will get a visit from Karma, and wake up the night before Christmas with all three ghosts saying, "Dude, you really messed up, and it might be too late to fix it."
 
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Bob S.

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 17, 2006
Location
Central MD.
TDI
A B4V, some ALHs & BRMs
From the outside looking in, on an "old guy" babied car w/ that milage, intake clogging should be expected. Given your location, should you decide to optimize for MPG, also consider RocketChip.
 

Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
HI,

With the mods in my signature I went from approx 46-48 MPG to approx 51-53 mpg driving essentially the same way I have always driven

So I believe with the right parts MPGs can go up while still driving the same .... of course if you hypermile it'll go up even more.

As a side benefit of the mods, you will most likely also get more power if you need it in addition to the MPG gains if you don't always use the power.

The kit may be a nice totally contained pkg to get more MPGs but I have not researched the kit myself.

Hope this helps.

Andrew
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Which will never pay for itself. If all you want is to see the number go up some, then proceed with all of that. If you want to save money get your car running good and drive it better. Use some of that saved money for a few tools for DIY things if you don't already do that.
 

Vham1of7

Member
Joined
May 6, 2020
Location
Sacramento California
TDI
2014 Jetta Sportwagon TDI
You've probably already read it, but just in case:


If I was getting a TDI that didn't have actual maint receipts (and wanted to improve FE):

1) TB TB TB (and all the associated kit) service.
2) Full maintenance update:
a) Change all fluids and filters
b) Suspension refreshed all around
c) New MAF, EGR, intake cleaning, etc.
d) Every vacuum line replaced, all hoses and lines checked
e) All brake components checked (incl e-brake and lines)
f) Engine, nozzles, turbo checked
3) LRR 105/65/15 tires
4) Lightweight VW Avus 15" wheels

Next, establish a baseline of economy. Otherwise you have no idea where to improve things.
Forgive me but TB?
 

Lightflyer1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 13, 2005
Location
Round Rock, Texas
TDI
2015 Beetle tdi dsg
Forgive me but TB?
Yep always a given unless the previous owner can furnish documentation of who did it and with what parts. Preferably a trusted tdi mechanic. Critical for the engine to even run and people have been known to lie about the belt or done wrong.
 

Nevada_TDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Location
Reno, sort of...
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
As above says, if you cannot verify a proper timing belt job, stop driving the car and get the timing belt done right away...A broken timing belt can cost up to $2000.00 and might change your mind about getting the car running again
 

PakProtector

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2014
Location
AnnArbor, MI
TDI
Mk.4 and the Cummins-es
The timing belt is a *MOST important thing. These beasties will make a fair sized repair bill if it comes apart. I got my '04 with 70k on it, and 20k/4 years on its TB. It came out at 108k. The next one will be on-time and done by somebody who knows what is what, on that you may rely... :)

congrats on finding a nice one BTW.
cheers,
Douglas
 

2002_auto_tdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Location
Virginia
TDI
02
Which will never pay for itself. If all you want is to see the number go up some, then proceed with all of that. If you want to save money get your car running good and drive it better. Use some of that saved money for a few tools for DIY things if you don't already do that.
While I like bragging rights, this is the most reasonable temptation to avoid increases in mpg for bragging rights I have seen yet. I'd rather have the bragging rights because there are "worse" automotive hobbies like getting tickets but tempting post.
 
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Andyinchville1

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2016
Location
Virginia
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI wagon, 5 sp, 226K miles
In theory the cheapest way to mod a car is to upgrade parts, one at a time as factory parts wear out or you need to replace them as preventative maintenance .... that way the only extra cost is the extra cost of the upgraded parts vs the factory oem parts prices ...

Many of may mods came as a result of the above over the past 200K miles or so (some were just mods tho for sake of modding because the factory pieces were still OK (examples of this were my intercooler , exhaust , fender liner without vent and maybe a few other pieces ... the rest were upgrades because the factory pieces were giving up the ghost (like the 10 MM pump , injectors, worn suspension etc...).

So in summary ... maybe mod as you need to?

Andrew
 
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