Looking at new 2013 JSW TDI. Reliable commuter car or not?

joshuawray17

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2013
Location
Palmdale
TDI
None... yet
I am considering the purchase of a new 2013 TDI JSW. It has been six years since my '01 GTI 1.8T was totaled and replaced with a '99 MBZ W210 Diesel.

Is the JSW going to be less of a maintenance queen than my W210, or even worse?

Much of the talk here that makes me thing these cars are just a couple of issues away from lemon status.

Is this car even worth considering, or should I just go buy a Toyota?
 

elitegunslinger

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Location
Barnegat NJ
TDI
2010 Golf TDI :D
Yes, the TDI is still worth considering and a newer vehicle shouldn't need anything more than oil changes and basic maintenance for quite some time. If you want something that will be cheap to fix and get good fuel economy, any mundane 4 banger will suffice.
 

andydg

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Location
California
TDI
Used to have SW & Passat
It would also depend on what type of 'ride' you're after. The Toyota feels different on the road than a German car. I just purchased a '12 wagon last May and have over 15k miles already and have loved every minute of it. Best I can recommend is drive the wagon and then a Toyota back to back and see which one suits you best.
 

jbright

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Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Location
Indianapolis
TDI
2009 Jetta DSG
I've had my sedan for almost four years now and it's been totally reliable (regular maintenance). I commute 60 miles a day, all freeway as fast as I can get away with. The main selling point of the TDI is that it's very enjoyable to drive while my wife's Toyota is not. I look forward to the commute because of the car. How much that's worth is up to the individual.
 
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Rob_MacCara

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
Location
Halifax, NS
TDI
Audi Q3 gasser
Is this car even worth considering, or should I just go buy a Toyota?
You're going to get two types of answers here - one will be from those of us that think highly of them, and the others from those that are totally disgruntled due to any number of complaints from broken cup holders and being afraid VW will not cover damage caused by some poorly designed components they feel the factory should be slip-streaming the newer versions into the current factory run (even though a fairly small number of customers have been affected).
 

rickcrna1

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2007
Location
Vancouver, WA
TDI
2010 JSW
Hands down....buy the Toyota. They are less expensive to maintain, less quirky, easier and cheaper to repair, have good resale value...and on and on.

The "thrill" of driving a German designed car wears off really quickly after a couple of repair bills.
 

P0234

Veteran Member
Joined
May 18, 2011
Location
NoVA
TDI
11 JSW
Reliability on the TDIs is slightly below the average German car. And no German car is like a Toyota. Toyotas seem to love abuse, VWs start to self destruct when abused. If you've had issues with your MB, you'll have issues with your VW.
 

Analogeezer

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2013
Location
Northern Virginia
TDI
2013 Jetta Sportwagen 6MT
Toyotas are not all "that" anymore....

I've got no direct experience with a TDI (I have ordered one but not taken delivery) but I can tell you the days of bullet proof Toyota reliability are long gone.

You can read all sorts of things on the interwebz, for starters Google "Matrix Transmission Failure" - you'll find hours of fun reading on the C59 five speed manual which without exception fails from 70,000 to 110,000 miles, we're talking catastrophic failure, it's a bearing issue.

Personally I'm replacing my Matrix XRS (which has a different transmission, the C60 six speed) with the JSW TDI, the car was very reliable until it hit 70,000 miles/7 years of age. The past three years I have replaced:

Brakes - THREE TIMES - stock calipers freeze up and the rebuilt calipers (no aftermarket brake stuff available, just rebuilds of the stock units) last about 10k.

Brake Master Cylinder failed as well

Clutch only lasted 80,000 miles, which is typical for this car, nobody gets over 100k on a clutch, many are worn out at 60,000

Radiator started leaking around 80k

O2 sensors only last 80k, go like clockwork right at that mileage - not a big deal but I've never owned another car that actually needed one replaced, even at high mileage

Thermostat stuck CLOSED at 90k, I barely avoided a catastrophic overheating event by jacking the heat on full

Serpentine belt tensioners last about 40k before they start squeaking like a banshee, I'm on my second one

Fusible link had a meltdown, stranded me on the side of the road....

What finally pushed me over the edge was the transmission developed an ominous gear rattle once it gets warmed up, I did an oil analysis which didn't turn up anything but based on the other stuff going on I feel like it's replacement part A time....

Toyotas were very reliable cars at one time (my first car was a Corolla and for the era - mid to late 70's was extremely reliable) but they earned that rep 20 years ago and the past 10 years or so (as they have cut costs and cheapened their product line) they are no longer infallible; Google "Camry Oil sludge" for example.

Analogeezer
 

joshuawray17

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2013
Location
Palmdale
TDI
None... yet
Okay folks.

Perhaps you need a bit more background about my mentality and tenacity when it comes to keeping a car running. This should probably read as the German Diesel Lovers Manifesto.

Firstly, I do enjoy the smell of Lubro-Moly Diesel Purge in the early morning hours. It quickens the senses and just slightly stings the eyes. The simple joy of an oil change only requiring 30 minutes and nearly 2 gallons of synthetic is piece of mind for another 8-12k miles. I can tell by the pitch and tempo of the klatta-klatta of the injection pump if it's happy and healthy or under-lubricated and sickly. I look at the slow warmup period of the oil-motor's coolant and corresponding delayed availability of cabin heat as a time of introspection and appreciation for the electrically heated seats (where available). I have no qualms about replacing all of the worn rubbery bits on suspensions, engines, steering and transmission links to keep the rattly/sloppy/leaky gremlins at bay for years to some. I appreciate that leaking diesel fuel is not to be looked at as a time for alarm, but a time for using said fuel as a cleaning solvent to remove many miles of road dust from the engine bay, transmission housing, etc. Sooty panels around the exhaust are our badge of honor, only to be washed off only for lofty presentation purposes. Broken bits and baubles will not deter our love for our car, so long as the wheels are turning and the low guttural growl of the torque-rich inline continues to provide an undercurrent of "go".

I am an engineer, and yes I have my own shop coveralls and specialized German automotive tools.
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
With all that added info, I think you'll be fine with the JSW. I've had mine almost three years now (where'd the time go?). Only issue I've had was a bad battery which was replaced under warranty. The tow to the dealer was a nightmare though. I've had a couple of flats from screws and nails, but like some on here might, I can't blame the car or brand of tire. I have a rattle in the driver's door but haven't tried to fix it yet. Just need time when I'm home and the car is home. My daughter has taken to that being her primary car now.

I love the room of the car and that it has enough power to tow. The square footage with the seats down is about the same as the CR-V we used to own. The main difference is that the crv had a higher loading area.
 

pknopp

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Location
WV
TDI
2012 Jetta Sportwagen
Love mine. In other threads I have noted my wife's Kia's problems and she was gave a Ford Focus as a loaner. We took a little trip this weekend to the mountains for some snow tubing. I decided to take the Ford just to see how it drove.

Now a Ford and a Toyota isn't the same thing but they seem to perform close to the same IMO. I would hate to be making payments on the Focus.

I had mine for 14 months, 17,000 miles and zero problems.
 

flylow2

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2010
Location
Hillsborough, NJ
TDI
2010 White Gold JSW TDI 6M (build date 23Feb10)
Interesting topic. I too have the sense that the Toyotas, and Hondas of today can also leave you hanging with some hefty repair bills. My expectation is the VW will likely be more expensive to maintain than the Honda or Toyota of today however. The emission systems are very complex, expensive, and likely prone to sensor/hardware failures long term.

My JSW has been perfect until 70K at which time I had a CEL code thrown intermittently. I have VCDS and the repair cost me all of $130 (cost of a glow plug). Removal and installation was easy and I have that nice self satisfied feeling of not being hostage to the issue by doing the repair myself. My fingers are crossed on the DPF and HPFP. I love this car but I do like to hang on to my vehicles until they become too much of a reliability risk. 200K miles is my personal target.
 

NRU73

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2004
Location
N.E.
TDI
02 GOLF TDI Silver, 5 Speed
Going by your posts I think you'll be fine.

To me one of the biggest things is the interior of the VW's.

I would take our Golf for the interior and sport seats alone over the new Camry a friend of ours has. Never mind the engine and how it rides.
 

bvencil

Veteran Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Location
Virginia
TDI
2011 JSW TDI (6MT)
Okay folks.

Perhaps you need a bit more background about my mentality and tenacity when it comes to keeping a car running. This should probably read as the German Diesel Lovers Manifesto.

Firstly, I do enjoy the smell of Lubro-Moly Diesel Purge in the early morning hours. It quickens the senses and just slightly stings the eyes. The simple joy of an oil change only requiring 30 minutes and nearly 2 gallons of synthetic is piece of mind for another 8-12k miles. I can tell by the pitch and tempo of the klatta-klatta of the injection pump if it's happy and healthy or under-lubricated and sickly. I look at the slow warmup period of the oil-motor's coolant and corresponding delayed availability of cabin heat as a time of introspection and appreciation for the electrically heated seats (where available). I have no qualms about replacing all of the worn rubbery bits on suspensions, engines, steering and transmission links to keep the rattly/sloppy/leaky gremlins at bay for years to some. I appreciate that leaking diesel fuel is not to be looked at as a time for alarm, but a time for using said fuel as a cleaning solvent to remove many miles of road dust from the engine bay, transmission housing, etc. Sooty panels around the exhaust are our badge of honor, only to be washed off only for lofty presentation purposes. Broken bits and baubles will not deter our love for our car, so long as the wheels are turning and the low guttural growl of the torque-rich inline continues to provide an undercurrent of "go".

I am an engineer, and yes I have my own shop coveralls and specialized German automotive tools.

I think you answered your question :)
 

PhotoWrite

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2002
Location
Nevada
Okay folks.

Perhaps you need a bit more background about my mentality and tenacity when it comes to keeping a car running. This should probably read as the German Diesel Lovers Manifesto.
snip...
Probably so, and a nice bit of writing too ;)

Buy one, join the club. Hope to be only 11 months behind you with a new JSW in Dec. (current engine) to replace our 2000 Golf.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2013
Location
northern mi.
TDI
none yet
passat or jsw

I too am considering passat or jsw.My wife will be needing a new car within next year and wants better mpg.Is the overall cost per mile driving present day volkswagon still worth getting tdi.Also since my wife spends a lot of time driving are these vehicles quiet inside.I have not driven either vehicle yet nearest dealer is about 50 miles away.
 

sgoldste01

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Location
Webster, NY
TDI
None; Replaced 2010 Golf TDI with 2012 Subaru Impreza 5-door with manual tranny
Reliability on the TDIs is slightly below the average German car. And no German car is like a Toyota. Toyotas seem to love abuse, VWs start to self destruct when abused. If you've had issues with your MB, you'll have issues with your VW.
True, but some of us took loving care of our TDIs and still had numerous problems.
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
I too am considering passat or jsw.My wife will be needing a new car within next year and wants better mpg.Is the overall cost per mile driving present day volkswagon still worth getting tdi.Also since my wife spends a lot of time driving are these vehicles quiet inside.I have not driven either vehicle yet nearest dealer is about 50 miles away.
The JSW is a lot quieter than my 2000 Beetle. It still has some road/wind noise that new tires did not totally eliminate. The Golf is slightly noiser than the JSW but I think that is due to the sunroof. My 03 Passat is the quietest of them all but am not sure how that compares to the new ones.
 

ValveCoverGasket

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2012
Location
pnw
TDI
colorado duramax, 1z vanagon, tdi touareg
True, but some of us took loving care of our TDIs and still had numerous problems.

and this is whats scaring me from pulling the trigger on a new tdi... a JSW would fit my needs perfectly (and be cheaper than the 2 vehicles im using to accomplish the same tasks, long distance drive to work, get to the mountain, move the dog around, etc) but reading tdi club keeps making me nervous :D

and my coworker (whos also on here) got a 2012 golf last summer and is starting to run into some of the issues you guys post about - intercooler icing namely - so it DOES happen, not just to random people on the internet haha...
both my coworker and i feel as the original poster does about maintaing cars, but sometimes you cant overcome design it seems.


anyway, random side note hah
 

sgoldste01

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Location
Webster, NY
TDI
None; Replaced 2010 Golf TDI with 2012 Subaru Impreza 5-door with manual tranny
...but sometimes you cant overcome design it seems.
Well said, and is a big part of why I dumped my TDI after only 30k miles and 27 months of ownership. Being meticulous about the TDI's care won't stop the intercooler from freezing, and won't stop the HPFP from imploding. Many of us know that biodiesel is great for lubricity, but we also know of failed HPFPs coming from states with mandated biodiesel, so it's unclear how much that works to your advantage.

The other reasons why I dumped my TDI were the dealership and VWoA, who I didn't adequately stand behind a product with known design issues. But that's a debate I don't wish to bring into this thread.

At the end of the day, I can't tell you how nice it is to not have to make the sign of the cross on my chest every time I try to start the car after driving in freezing weather, or after buying diesel from a station that I'm not familiar with because I'm out of town on a road trip.
 

pknopp

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2011
Location
WV
TDI
2012 Jetta Sportwagen
and this is whats scaring me from pulling the trigger on a new tdi... a JSW would fit my needs perfectly (and be cheaper than the 2 vehicles im using to accomplish the same tasks, long distance drive to work, get to the mountain, move the dog around, etc) but reading tdi club keeps making me nervous :D
Go on any forum and you will find those with problems. From Equinox's with failed fuel pumps to Subaru's with excessive oil consumption.

My wife's 2012 Kia Rio will officially be at the dealer's service dept 1 month tomorrow.
 

elitegunslinger

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Location
Barnegat NJ
TDI
2010 Golf TDI :D
Go on any forum and you will find those with problems. From Equinox's with failed fuel pumps to Subaru's with excessive oil consumption.
My wife's 2012 Kia Rio will officially be at the dealer's service dept 1 month tomorrow.
You'll never beat my record! :p
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
and this is whats scaring me from pulling the trigger on a new tdi... a JSW would fit my needs perfectly (and be cheaper than the 2 vehicles im using to accomplish the same tasks, long distance drive to work, get to the mountain, move the dog around, etc) but reading tdi club keeps making me nervous :D

and my coworker (whos also on here) got a 2012 golf last summer and is starting to run into some of the issues you guys post about - intercooler icing namely - so it DOES happen, not just to random people on the internet haha...
both my coworker and i feel as the original poster does about maintaing cars, but sometimes you cant overcome design it seems.


anyway, random side note hah
I had a 96 or 97 Windstar with a V6, which was also the primary engine in the tauras, that was known for problems. There were reports of multiple engine replacements before some cars had even passed 50,000 miles. The main issues were related to poor fit between the block and head which gaskets couldn't overcome. I developed a small gasket leak around 120,000 miles that dripped anti-freeze onto the oxygen sensor. That triggered the check engine light, which meant that I could not pass the state emmissions inspection. Check engine light is automatic failure. The garage I used also did the state inspection, so after the third time of replacing the O2 sensor in a month, they finally replaced it and did the inspection before backing the van out of the service bay. I considered my self lucky and turned around and traded the van within a month.

Long winded but all because one vehicle fails doesn't mean they all will. I've asked before what the actual failure rate is of the IC and have not gotten an answer. Current assumption is that the HPFP failures are between 2 and 3%. If it's what meets your needs/wants, then buy it. If you can't get past the issues with the CR engine, then buy a gasser.
 
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sgoldste01

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Location
Webster, NY
TDI
None; Replaced 2010 Golf TDI with 2012 Subaru Impreza 5-door with manual tranny
If it's what meets your needs/wants, then buy it. If you can't get past the issues with the CR engine, then buy a gasser.
Nobody needs to get stranded by an HPFP or intercooler issue. Getting stranded, and/or not making it to your destination, is much different than having an idiot light on the dash that otherwise leaves the car operational.
 

kjclow

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 26, 2003
Location
Charlotte, NC
TDI
2010 JSW TDI silver and black. 2017 Ram Ecodiesel dark red with brown and beige interior.
Nobody needs to get stranded by an HPFP or intercooler issue. Getting stranded, and/or not making it to your destination, is much different than having an idiot light on the dash that otherwise leaves the car operational.
Did you have either of these issues? No! I said if you like the car but can't get past the CR issues, buy a gasser. You chose to buy a subie when you had other issues with your car but continue to haunt these threads.
 

sgoldste01

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2010
Location
Webster, NY
TDI
None; Replaced 2010 Golf TDI with 2012 Subaru Impreza 5-door with manual tranny
I did have intercooler issues. I admit that the fuel system problem that standed me out of town for 3 days was a major fuel leak and not the HPFP issue.

But my personal experiences are not the point. The point is that every MK6 TDI, regardless of model year, and regardless of how well it's maintained, is a candidate for these issues. VW knows how to build a TDI without these issues--just look at the Passat. But they continue to roll these MK6 issues through the assembly lines, even though they've engineered the solution.

Frankly, I consider the entire generation of MK6 TDIs to be prototype products, with known issues that the manufacturer knows how to solve. I expect the MK7 TDI to be a better product, and if I wanted to buy a new TDI Golf or Jetta, I would wait until the MK7 was out in the field for a year, then I'd check this forum for status. I wouldn't recommend the MK6 TDI to anybody. At least not anybody I liked.
 

JarHead

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Location
Gardner Kansas USA
TDI
2002 TDI Golf Gone But not forgotten. 2000 Jetta TDi Kerma Tuned
I did have intercooler issues. I admit that the fuel system problem that standed me out of town for 3 days was a major fuel leak and not the HPFP issue.

But my personal experiences are not the point. The point is that every MK6 TDI, regardless of model year, and regardless of how well it's maintained, is a candidate for these issues. VW knows how to build a TDI without these issues--just look at the Passat. But they continue to roll these MK6 issues through the assembly lines, even though they've engineered the solution.

Frankly, I consider the entire generation of MK6 TDIs to be prototype products, with known issues that the manufacturer knows how to solve. I expect the MK7 TDI to be a better product, and if I wanted to buy a new TDI Golf or Jetta, I would wait until the MK7 was out in the field for a year, then I'd check this forum for status. I wouldn't recommend the MK6 TDI to anybody. At least not anybody I liked.
Now we have had no issues with my JSW.

But I agree with your statement completely it was well spoken.

But here's my issue honestly what car out doesn't have its own problems the gentleman earlier in the post talked about his matrix. Having all kinds of problems. Has everyone who owns a matrix having those problems you know probably not.

So buy the car that fits your life and drive the hell out of it.

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