School Me On VW TDI !!

PappyD

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Location
Indianapolis
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI 5 spd
First post. If info is somewhere in the FAQ's then point me in the right direction... I looked around but it seems I need to first be a TDI owner...

25,000 miles a year in my work. Looking at a diesel. I work for a company that is taking "company cars" and now reimbursing us at 45 cents a mile. So I've been comparing a gas sedan at 25mpg vs a diesel (Jetta TDI) at 40 plus mpg. Fuel in my area usually shows diesel at about 20 cents more per gallon over regular unleaded.

Any good threads or discussions of a similiar nature? I'm real curious about diesels and would look forward to the endless tinkering and the quest for maximum effiency. :)

I've looked at a few used Jetta's. 2007-2009. But, I wouldn't rule out a new vehicle if it made sense.

Any Help?
 

frugality

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 19, 2003
Location
Spring Lake, Michigan
TDI
none, 2016 GTI
First post. If info is somewhere in the FAQ's then point me in the right direction... I looked around but it seems I need to first be a TDI owner...

25,000 miles a year in my work. Looking at a diesel. I work for a company that is taking "company cars" and now reimbursing us at 45 cents a mile. So I've been comparing a gas sedan at 25mpg vs a diesel (Jetta TDI) at 40 plus mpg. Fuel in my area usually shows diesel at about 20 cents more per gallon over regular unleaded.

Any good threads or discussions of a similiar nature? I'm real curious about diesels and would look forward to the endless tinkering and the quest for maximum effiency. :)

I've looked at a few used Jetta's. 2007-2009. But, I wouldn't rule out a new vehicle if it made sense.

Any Help?
Right at the top of this very forum is:

Starting post for newbies

And tell us about these 2007 and 2008 TDI's you've looked at. ;)
(hint....there weren't any sold here in those years)
 

PappyD

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Location
Indianapolis
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI 5 spd
Right at the top of this very forum is:

Starting post for newbies

And tell us about these 2007 and 2008 TDI's you've looked at. ;)
(hint....there weren't any sold here in those years)
Well, I looked at the "starting post.." seems to explain diesels well and answers some questions.

TDI's? No question..I'm a noobie looking for reasons to buy a diesel. A high mileage driver who now has a CHOICE of vehicles to use. So, I'm curious about the attraction to diesels and what is out there. I could just go and buy a mid-line Honda Accord and be done with the whole thing. Run up some miles and then trade it in on a new one and repeat the process. I'm a little bit of a techno-mechanical geek so the whole diesel idea is intriguing. :cool:

Thanks for the suggestions.

Pappy
 

FlashT

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2010
Location
LA
TDI
'98 NB - sold
Originally Posted by PappyD
Well, I looked at the "starting post.." seems to explain diesels well and answers some questions.

TDI's? No question..I'm a noobie looking for reasons to buy a diesel. A high mileage driver who now has a CHOICE of vehicles to use. So, I'm curious about the attraction to diesels and what is out there. I could just go and buy a mid-line Honda Accord and be done with the whole thing. Run up some miles and then trade it in on a new one and repeat the process. I'm a little bit of a techno-mechanical geek so the whole diesel idea is intriguing. :cool:

Thanks for the suggestions.

Pappy
So what are you waiting for? If the fuel economy isn't reason enough to buy one, then the reliability and the fun-factor should be. If you are a DIY'er and you like to modify, then your search for the right type of car is over. A well-maintained tdi will outlast several hondas and be more fun to drive, but just make sure that you get one with a manual trans.
 

VWBeamer

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2009
Location
GA
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon
These cars are not for everyone. Maintance on a diesel is not harder, it's different.

The bad part is the dealer network sucks, and while their are some good dealers, chances are the ones near you are not good. This means you pretty much have to depend on what you know to make sure your car keeps running.

The good news is every thing you need to know is on this forum or myturbodiesel.com.


If you can change you own oil every 10K, if are willing to seek out a trusted mechanic to do your Timing belts, if are you are willing to do your own research when you have a problem, then these are good cars.

If you want to just put fuel in it and drive, drop it off at the dealer when there is a problem, etc. I would buy the Honda. Owners who do not know about TDIs loose their a$$ for the most part, over paying for repairs, paying for repairs thast could easily be avoided, paying for Turbo's that don't need replacing. etc These cars don't require a lot of repairs, but people who don't know about them start throwing parts at them. You HAVE TO KNOW what is going on, or ARE going to get rippped off.

Having said all that, I would not consider having a gas car. There is no other car avalable in the US that has the combination of power and economy. These cars will get the EPA est or better if they are not hot rodded too bad.
 

PappyD

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Location
Indianapolis
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI 5 spd
Thanks FlashT and VWBeamer,

So what are you waiting for? If the fuel economy isn't reason enough to buy one, then the reliability and the fun-factor should be. If you are a DIY'er and you like to modify, then your search for the right type of car is over. A well-maintained tdi will outlast several hondas and be more fun to drive, but just make sure that you get one with a manual trans. ________________If you can change you own oil every 10K, if are willing to seek out a trusted mechanic to do your Timing belts, if are you are willing to do your own research when you have a problem, then these are good cars.

If you want to just put fuel in it and drive, drop it off at the dealer when there is a problem, etc. I would buy the Honda. Owners who do not know about TDIs loose their a$$ for the most part, over paying for repairs, paying for repairs thast could easily be avoided, paying for Turbo's that don't need replacing. etc These cars don't require a lot of repairs, but people who don't know about them start throwing parts at them. You HAVE TO KNOW what is going on, or ARE going to get rippped off.


Thanks guys. Now I'm feelin' it! I was crunching numbers for fun and came up with the overall cost to be slighly in favor of the diesel (2009 Jetta TDI vs Honda Accord similiarly equipped). The advantage looks to be in the resale value of the diesel.

I'm a DIY too. Don't mind turning wrenches to save $$ or to do an equal or better job than the local dealer. I live in Indianapolis so I'll check for recommended places for service, etc.

LOTS of great info on this forum!

Pappy
 

pdh

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Location
Newfoundland, NJ
TDI
2015 Golf TDI, 2014 BMW 328d, X Drive
I have a 2006.5 TDI Jetta w/117,000 mi., stick trans. This car has been very reliable. No problem yet with the cam which this vintage has been plagued with. I have a great dealer whose service mgr reads this forum. I avg 42 mpg, 1/2 city, 1/2 hwy. I have done nothing to this car other than the recommended maintenance which includes timing belt change @ 80k. The car is fun to drive, and I think a great buy.
 

manual_tranny

Smyth Performance- Intern
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
New Bedford, MA
TDI
2001 Golf @182K; 2000 Jetta @290K
If you're looking for making the most money while you drive, think about buying a 1999-2003 Jetta, Golf, or New Beetle. These will get you the best mileage and with a little experience you'll find they are actually easier to work on that a lot of new cars. The suspension is easier to replace than most Hondas and Audis too... no complicated upper and lower control arms etc... just simple. In my opinion they handle pretty darn good for FWD, too.

Guys in this thread mentioned timing belts, but they didn't explain why they are so important. These engines are interference engines, meaning that valves WILL hit pistons if there is a timing belt failure. It is extremely expensive if the timing belt system fails... so I recommend learning how to do the job and/or asking for help from an experienced member. Looks like you're in Indiana. That's not too far away, if you get a car from 1999-2005 I can lend you tools and experience to do the belt correctly.
 

icecap

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Location
Chilliwack & Mission BC
TDI
2006.5 Jetta TDI 5Spd Black Anthracite Pkg 1
Add me to the plus list. My 06.5 has been trouble free and now has 86K Km's or about 55K miles of trouble free driving. Handles like a dream, fun to drive and I can honestly say I'm alive today due to the cars ABS/ESP system as it was the only reason I was able to avoid a high speed T bone of a pickup truck that decided to do a U turn from the shoulder completely blocking my path while I was doing 70 MPH. The driver looked as though he was looking at a map and being a rural route with little traffic didn't look back before pulling out. I stood on the brakes with all of my might and was able to swerve around the front of the pickup with the driver side of the car on the gravel shoulder of the oncoming lane and the passenger side wheels on dry pavement. The ditch on the oncoming side was deep and would have resulted in a rollover if I had gone over the embankment. It was one of those situations you reflect upon and wonder how did I do that, but in reality there were strange things going on with the cars systems that were responsible for the happy outcome. My best mileage has been 46 MPG (US) on long highway trips and I initially purchased the car due to a daily 90 minute freeway comute. Its my 4th VW and second diesel as I also had a 1.6L IDI 82 Rabbit that I gave to my daughter who took it to university when it had 230,000 miles on it.
 
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Corsair

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Location
Auburn, New York
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS TDI 5M
VWBeamer x2. If the driving you do happens to be highway where you can have the cruise control set for extended periods of time at reasonable highway speeds, and you get a manual trans, the actual MPG you calculate will be closer to upper 40's or 50, than to lower 40's. I went through similar calculations years ago, looking at a honda etc. I think my break even point (buying new) was something around 70K miles. I have been happy many times that I bought the VW, forgetting the break even point. (I also own a 2009 CC 4motion, but I guess that has no relevance here...)
 

DrewD

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
VW and reliability should never be used in the same sentence or even paragraph.

Pappy, you would be wise to avoid a newer TDI. They are not made to tolerate the poor lubricity of the fuel here and their emission system is too complicated for the average knuckledragger at the VW dealership shop to understand. Although fuel releated failures are still considered "rare" when they do happen you'll be out of a car for several weeks and if you are unlucky, the dealership will blame the fuel sticking you with the 8-10k repair. In addition to that, you have to worry about condensation in your intercooler lines causing catastrophic engine failure from hydrolocking....another vw design issue.

An older generation (PD) TDI is not he answer either. The PD's are known for eating camshafts, DSG and DMF failures, and th usual electrical quirks.

I owned an 04. WHile it never stranded me, it saw the dealership almost weekly. It was a good thing that the dealership was on my way to work each day and I could just drop it off and catch a shuttle. I sold the 04 and got an 06 that was never quite right. It took the dealership almost 2 years to diagnose and repair a clunking noise that occured whenever the vehidle accelerated or rapidly decelerated.
I'm glad I sold them before their warranty expired.

I won't stand by VW until the horror stories are replaced by stories of an automaker and dealership network that know and stand by their product.

For the sake of your sanity, please consider a non VW product unless you can find a manual 2003 TDI with low mileage. I consider the 03 models the best of the bunch as long as you avoid an automatic. They are pre-PD and pre CRD.
 
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jbright

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Location
Indianapolis
TDI
2009 Jetta DSG
PappyD, I see you live in Indy. There are three dealerships in the city. The one I've dealt with has been pretty good so far. I can't say I have any major complaints with their service or my treatment there. I don't know about the other two dealerships, but it's nice to have a choice. So far, I love my car and can't imagine driving anything else. Time will tell. If you decide on a TDI send me a PM (click on Jbright in the upper left hand corner) and I'll give you the lowdown on the dealership, where to buy good diesel fuel, and independent shops. Good luck.
 
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BeetleGo

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 1998
Location
Cambridge, MA
TDI
5-door, 5-speed Golf GLS replaced BeetleGo.
It sounds to me like you're a prime candidate. See my signature below and start your searches. There is a ton of information here. If you have specific questions, fire away! :)
 

manual_tranny

Smyth Performance- Intern
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
New Bedford, MA
TDI
2001 Golf @182K; 2000 Jetta @290K
I'm real curious about diesels and would look forward to the endless tinkering and the quest for maximum effiency. :)
VW and reliability should never be used in the same sentence or even paragraph.{snip..}
I owned an 04. WHile it never stranded me, it saw the dealership almost weekly.
Sounds like PappyD won't need to worry about that, because he's into endless tinkering. You couldn't be better suited to a car, Pappy! :D
 

PappyD

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Location
Indianapolis
TDI
2006 Jetta TDI 5 spd
...endless tinkering...too funny!

OP here! Found a nice 06 Jetta TDI 5 speed a few weeks ago. Great shape, detailed maintenance records, owner trading it in for a 2010 Sportwagen. Sold it to me for a little better than what the local dealer was offering.

Learning about diesels! Only on my 3rd tank of fuel. So far so good. Going back in soon for a service call on the airbag light. Need to take a close look at the trunk latch when it gets warmer here Indiana. First tank of diesel came in at 33 mpg of combined driving. Adding Stanadyn per instructions on bottle. Have access to biodiesel bought have been counseled to not use it intermittingly. D2 or biodiesel, one or the other.

Thanks to all for advice!:cool:
 

BeetleGo

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 21, 1998
Location
Cambridge, MA
TDI
5-door, 5-speed Golf GLS replaced BeetleGo.
Here in Massachusetts, ALL diesel is now 3% biodiesel. Check what your state is doing. You may already be using biodiesel, always, anyway. If not, and you have access to biodiesel, use it. It improves lubricity (essential now that we're all using ultra low sulphur fuel), it improves cetane content (shoot for 50), and of course you'd be putting your money back into AMERICA (where it belongs).

How's that?
 

manual_tranny

Smyth Performance- Intern
Joined
Jan 5, 2010
Location
New Bedford, MA
TDI
2001 Golf @182K; 2000 Jetta @290K
OP here! Found a nice 06 Jetta TDI 5 speed a few weeks ago. Great shape, detailed maintenance records, owner trading it in for a 2010 Sportwagen. Sold it to me for a little better than what the local dealer was offering.

Learning about diesels! Only on my 3rd tank of fuel. So far so good. Going back in soon for a service call on the airbag light. Need to take a close look at the trunk latch when it gets warmer here Indiana. First tank of diesel came in at 33 mpg of combined driving. Adding Stanadyn per instructions on bottle. Have access to biodiesel bought have been counseled to not use it intermittingly. D2 or biodiesel, one or the other.

Thanks to all for advice!:cool:
Awesome! Here's a thread that may help with your trunk latching problem...

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=234382
 

TornadoRed

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2003
Location
Saint Paul (ex-San Diego)
TDI
2003 Golf GL 5-spd, red; 2003 Golf GLS 5-spd, indigo blue; 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, Candy White (SOLD); 2003 Jetta TDI wagon, silver
25,000 miles a year in my work. Looking at a diesel. I work for a company that is taking "company cars" and now reimbursing us at 45 cents a mile. So I've been comparing a gas sedan at 25mpg vs a diesel (Jetta TDI) at 40 plus mpg. Fuel in my area usually shows diesel at about 20 cents more per gallon over regular unleaded.
At only 25k miles a year, your savings with a TDI probably won't save you enough to cover the payments on a new car. When I bought my Golf, I was driving 50k miles a year and the savings DID cover the payments.

But you will definitely save enough to make it worthwhile, assuming you start out with a TDI that has been properly maintained, assuming you keep up with the maintenance in the future, and assuming you have a TDI guru in your area and never have to rely on a VW dealership or a local mechanic who is not experienced in the care of TDI engines.

I see that you have a 2006 Jetta. Just take good care of it and enjoy the torque and the fuel economy.
 

CommieGIR

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Atlanta, GA
TDI
1998 Jetta 1.9l TDI (2001 ALH motor), 1990 Audi 90 Quattro 2.4TD IDI, 1987 Audi 5000 Quattro 2.4TD IDI
I feel like I should contribute to this:

I have a 1998 Jetta TDI I just finished refurbishing. It has 255k mies, and it has almost NO wear on the cam, crank, or pistons. These cars WILL outlast any Honda or Toyota you can find. I have owned 7-8 VW Diesels, all of them still running under the care of their current owners:

1989 Jetta 1.6l NA
1981 Rabbit 1.6l NA
1985 Jetta 1.6l TD
1984 Jetta 1.6l NA

These are awesome, efficient, and reliable cars
 
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