New (to me) 2003 Jetta GLS TDI -- lovin' it!

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
I got it for a little under 8k, with 120k miles. Looks good, though it had one tiny nick in the paint on the hood, just over the VW symbol. Patched up with grey paint until I can get the proper color from a dealer or someone on the forum. Purrs like a well-fed tiger.

He's going over to CoolairVW on Friday for maintenance, as the records for everything other than oil changes were iffy. Getting timing belt, filters, trans fluid, etc. as well as a valve cover that is known to have a small, but troubling leak.

The only non-stock element I'm certain of so far: one of the two previous owners added tint. But I'm not knowledgeable enough to spot anything else with certainty.













Looking forward to many years, many miles, and few fill-ups. :)
 

PeterV

TDIClub Enthusiast, HO5G Doyen & Zen Master
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Location
So, NH.
TDI
2000 Jetta 5 sp.
Welcome to Freds.

Also you have the last of the good cars. ALH is the only way to go. USE the right oil. While the valve cover is off look at the cam & followers for wear.

Nice looking car.
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
Love your TDI and its color, but I'm a bit biased. Get an aluminum skid plate for it. Enjoy!

And, welcome to TDI Club...
Thanks! Your 03 Jetta is what my 03 Jetta wants to be when it grows up. :D

The skid plate is definitely the first mod/enhancement on my list. I hear good things about both the Dieselgeek and Evolution models. Any recommendations from the God of 2003 Jetta Mods? :)
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
Welcome to Freds.

Also you have the last of the good cars. ALH is the only way to go. USE the right oil. While the valve cover is off look at the cam & followers for wear.

Nice looking car.
Thanks. My girlfriend is a deft hand with the camera, which helps.

I went for the pre-PD model years when looking for a Jetta because I wanted an engine that would put up with biodiesel up to B100 (less, of course, in cold weather). As much as I liked the newer models, that was a deciding factor for me.

CoolairVW is going to give it the once (perhaps even twice) over. I'm checking with the dealer I bought the car from tomorrow to make sure of the exact oil they used when they did the change. If it's not up to snuff I may have to make this the shortest oil change turnover period on record. The sticker they left on the windshield only says Valvoline synthetic -- no mention of what kind, what viscosity, what spec. Doubly worrying: it specifies another oil change after 6000 miles, not a normal VW diesel spacing, as far as I know. :mad: Of course, I may be wrong, and it may be fine. Keeping my fingers crossed.
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
Well, I've long held to a superstition that every car deserves a name. Also, I finally figured out what else I'd seen that reminded me of that Platinum Grey color. So, in honor of the country of origin and color, decided to name him Mjolnir, after the hammer of Thor:




"Whosoever drives this Jetta, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of . . . TDI" :D
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
Thanks! Your 03 Jetta is what my 03 Jetta wants to be when it grows up. :D

The skid plate is definitely the first mod/enhancement on my list. I hear good things about both the Dieselgeek and Evolution models. Any recommendations from the God of 2003 Jetta Mods? :)
Um, I am not a god of anything. There is only one God...

I use the DG skid plate, which I am happy with. I have no experience with Evolution, but I'm sure that would work fine too.
 

buildingup

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2010
Location
Washington, Mi
TDI
None
I just installed the Evolution skid plate with the hole for changing oil on my car since I have a 2" drop. Works real great and friends and I are impressed with the design and fit of the plate.

Already touched it a couple times. Once down a road in IL and then a few times leaving the house my gf lives at currently.
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
Um, I am not a god of anything. There is only one God...

I was speaking facetiously, hyperbolically, and alliteratively (just kinda thought god of mods rolled off the tongue). I didn't mean it any more seriously than if I had referred to you as the Jedi Master of Jettas. I don't happen to be of the same religion as you, but I certainly never intended to insult your beliefs.

I use the DG skid plate, which I am happy with. I have no experience with Evolution, but I'm sure that would work fine too.
Looking at the forum posts, and the mounting hardware for both, I'm leaning toward the DG plate myself. Plus "Mein Panzer-Platte" just sounds cool, IMO. :D
 

rocketeer928

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Location
Northeastern Illinois
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed

I was speaking facetiously, hyperbolically, and alliteratively (just kinda thought god of mods rolled off the tongue). I didn't mean it any more seriously than if I had referred to you as the Jedi Master of Jettas. I don't happen to be of the same religion as you, but I certainly never intended to insult your beliefs.
I wasn't insulted; just making a point. I'm glad you like my Jetta.
 

mtellez

New member
Joined
Apr 13, 2010
Location
Harlingen Tx
TDI
2003 Jetta GL TDI
I can surely attest to the fact of getting a skid plate soon. I too just purchased a (new for me) 2003 Jetta TDI. I have had it for a little over a month and low and behold my 16 year old son took it to take his girlfriend home and on the way back joy riding he went over a set of railroad tracks or so they say and took out the pan. Boom a hole and to make it worse he did not know until the engine light went off. Well we towed it home. Well a week and a half later the turbo went out (due to lack of Oil no doubt). I am fortunate that when I bought the car it only had 78k and I paid $9,800 and an extended warranty on top. Seeing this is not my first Jetta, I had a 62 notch back and 82 Jetta Turbo Diesel at the same time. Two years ago I got rid of my 2005 PD. So with the local dealer who loves me I talked to them and they allowed me to warrant it under the extended warranty and I got a new turbo $100. Not bad if you ask me. I bought a used pan first and all is good not. I just got it back this morning. Now comes the mods I can’t wait. So the first thing i will do is not replace the plastic cove with another, but aluminum skid plate. thanks guys
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
An update on the Jetta. Mods/addons so far:

1. Bought a Dieselgeek Panzer plate. It's waiting for CoolairVW to have a chance to put it on (I also have automatic transmission maintenance and a thermostat replacement to do with him, so three birds with one stone there).

2. Bought some Monster Mats from patrickaccessories.com. Should be arriving start of the new week. No more shifting, shedding Wal-Mart mats! Yay!

3. Bought some car cleaning/care items from Zaino:
a.) Z-18 ClayBar for smoothing out rough, gritty paint surface.
b.) Z-12 Glass Cleaner for getting rid of pits on windshield.
c.) Z-CS Clear Sealant for shiny shininess!

Shiny Jetta is shiny! :D










 

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
same as mine, i just have the stock black wheels with hubcaps though. I really love the color. how many miles have you put on it since you've had it? I really want to clean it up because the front lip of the hood is all scuffed and pitted like i've been driving behind a rock truck for 10 hours.

after contemplating names, my wife and i came up with the name orville... i got it and live in eastern nc so it seemed somewhat appropriate.
 
Last edited:

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
same as mine, i just have the stock black wheels with hubcaps though. I really love the color.
I'm liking it too. I rented a Chevrolet HHR while I was car shopping, and it was painted a much plainer gray which I didn't find appealing at all. The metallic flake in the VW platinum gray really takes it to a whole other level.

how many miles have you put on it since you've had it?
About 4000 so far. Roughly 60/40 highway/city.

I really want to clean it up because the front lip of the hood is all scuffed and pitted like i've been driving behind a rock truck for 10 hours.
Zaino's got a scratch and swirl reducing polish for darker paint colors, Z-5 I believe. I haven't tried it, but I've had great results from the other Zaino products I've used, so it might be worth a try. If the paint's actually chipped, you may end up needing to get some matching paint. Several places online can set you up once you get the color code -- I believe it's printed on the label on the end of the driver's door.

after contemplating names, my wife and i came up with the name orville... i got it and live in eastern nc so it seemed somewhat appropriate.
Was it a coin toss between Wilbur and Orville, or was it the majesty of Orville's mustache that won the day? :D
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
Received the new Monster Mats a couple of days ago and put them in. They look good, feel good, and don't shed fake carpet bits or move around, so they're 100% better than the Wal Mart generic mats someone had put in before I bought it.:










I also put in the OEM 6 disc CD changer I got from SMTM. Sweet tunes, and installation was fairly easy once I realized that VW puts an unwired blank female connector over the male power/control connector in the trunk. I assume it's on there to act as a protective cap. However, as it was definitely a two-handed job, I didn't get any pictures. Sorry. :(
 

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
I had those mats from day1 almost when i bought the car brand new in april 03. They lasted about 6.5 years or so before the drivers mat started coming apart and getting tears where my feet are most of the time. I consider it worth what I paid for it.

We went with Orville because it seemed more in line with the name my mother gave her 74 super beetle conv, Oliver. I don't know. I kinda like Wilbur more though
 

PeterV

TDIClub Enthusiast, HO5G Doyen & Zen Master
Joined
Aug 17, 2000
Location
So, NH.
TDI
2000 Jetta 5 sp.
ZAINO YES the only way to go. My '00 has 100% Zaino. And is also a 100% TDIfest attendee..
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
I had those mats from day1 almost when i bought the car brand new in april 03. They lasted about 6.5 years or so before the drivers mat started coming apart and getting tears where my feet are most of the time. I consider it worth what I paid for it.
I completely agree. The sets for the MK4 Jettas seem to be getting scarce. One place I tried to order them said they were on back order from VW with no set fulfillment date for the backorder.

We went with Orville because it seemed more in line with the name my mother gave her 74 super beetle conv, Oliver. I don't know. I kinda like Wilbur more though
Wilbur:



Orville:




The mustache! Why the increased lift from wind flowing over that mustache may have made all the difference in achieving flight! Although I'll grant you Orville's head is more aerodynamic. :D
 

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
I feel much better about Orville now.

I'll just have to get another car and name it Wilbur and just have both.
 
Last edited:

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
and here is mine, just hubcaps

 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
Wow - this is kind of like looking in a mirror.....

Here's a pic of my '03 the day I bought it back in May:


How are you liking the mud flaps? I've been thinking about getting a set for mine.

It was originally sold in New Mexico, so I'm not surprised they weren't part of the trim package. If they were, I'm guessing the reaction would have been something like "Flaps I understand, but what is this 'mud' you speak of, strange car selling person?" :D

On the flip side, when I clay-barred the paint, if I hadn't refolded the bar to get a fresh surface, I could have made one side of it into serviceable sandpaper from all the tiny bits of sand stuck in the surface.
 

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
what are you referring to?
i like my mudflaps
 
Last edited:

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
what are you referring to?
i like my mudflaps, they add zeitgeist to the car, hahaha.
I was referring to the hubcaps.

The mudflaps looked like OEM to me, and in Kansas they would come in handy. Quite a bit of clay-heavy soil around here, and if that stuff dries onto your paint, good luck getting it off without a lot of elbow grease.
 

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
the hubcaps are just the standard that came with the car when we bought it in april of 2003.
 
Last edited:

dadsdiesel

Veteran Member
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
North Central Penna
TDI
'99 NB TDI
How are you liking the mud flaps? I've been thinking about getting a set for mine.
Normally I am not a big fan of mud flaps, especially if they look out of place.

For example, my F-150 is white, and I think black mudflaps would look terrible on it.

But, the black mudflaps on the gray Jetta look fine to me.

That part out of the way, I am kind of obsessed with keeping my vehicles clean. I have a limestone driveway, plus I drive nothing but rural roads in NW Penna (dirt shoulders, etc). The mudflaps are a huge help in keeping the car clean when the roads/driveway are wet. Plus, in the winter, they use a 50/50 mix of salt/sand on the roads, and they certainly help protect the area behind the tires.
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
Drove over to CoolairVW's yesterday to get my Dieselgeek Panzer Plate put on, have the automatic transmission fluid and filter changed, and have a faulty thermostat replaced.



Naked tranny (*do not* Google that . . . trust me).



New filter ready to go in.



Old transmission fluid out. Note that it's not in shadow. It's as dark as a pint of Guinness. :eek:

For comparison, here is what new fluid should look like:



And the old pan:




Gooey, chewey, but not sparkling like a badly-written vampire. Just a few flecks. I've seen worse:



That one, thankfully, is lifted from another website, and is most definitely not my car.



High tech method for saving me some $$$ by reclaiming the coolant that was replaced when the timing belt was done a couple of months ago. Thanks, CoolairVW!



While getting ready to replace the thermostat, CoolairVW noticed these lines were sweating (I don't blame them, it was really hot). This was causing slight oil leakage, so he went ahead and replaced them. I'm leaving the cover off for a while to check for any further leakage.

Next post: Panzer!
 

benIV

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Location
SouthEast NC
TDI
Orville - 2003 platinum gray Jetta 5m 220K miles ||| Wilbur (Knurren) - 2003 silver Jetta wagon 5m 230K miles
nice post, that pic of the magnets was scary, good tihng it wasn't yours, hahaha
 

Woodrobin

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
Topeka, KS
TDI
2001 Jetta GLS
On to part two of the trip to CoolairVW's: The Panzer Plate installation. By the way, Dieselgeek was very gracious and helpful when some idiot (me) had to call and ask him questions because some absent-minded dingbat didn't think to print off the instructions and bring them with him (me again). I owe you one, Jim.





Here's the old plastic piece. Still in pretty decent shape overall. Better shape than the grasshopper, anyway.





Panzer Plate is just chillin' with his new buddy, driver's side plastic guard.





Until, that is, he caught sight of the twins. Ooooooh, shiny. In the upper left is the sheet metal cover for the oil drain hole.





All of these pieces came with the kit from Dieselgeek. Except the kneecap. Kneecaps not included.





Some assembly required. This is one of the side pieces ready to be attached.





Once the twins moved into their new neighborhood, they were kind of shy. Plenty of room for the tires to turn, by the way. Not planning on getting any bigger wheels, but there was room if I ever do go that way.





What is that, coming out of the shadows???





Panzer Plate! It's you!





Gratuitous full frontal shot! The side panels are just visible where they bolt onto the Panzer Plate.

CoolairVW did a great job, and my Jetta is now solidly protected, and shifting silky smooth with significantly less opaque transmission fluid and a fresh filter. Happy driving was then had . . . well, except for the thirty minutes I spent driving through Kansas City at 0-5 miles an hour. &^%#ing road construction. When I was actually going at proper road speed, it was definitely happy driving.
 
Last edited:
Top