Tell Us About Your Very 1st Diesel

marcoforehand

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Location
southeastern pa
TDI
2005 jetta 5spd, 2013 Beetle dsg, 02 Jeeta 5spd retired after 300K+
1981 Toyota Diesel pick up with a 5 spd manual transmission and white cap
very much like this one
purchased new and drove it for just 5 years
I did regret giving up on it but, if I remember correctly, it developed a head gasket problem and I hadn't become the drive 'em till they are well and truly dead guy that I am today
 

MikePA

Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2020
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
TDI
2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen 4dr DSG TDI w/Sunroof & Nav xxxPL7AJ5EMxxxxxxx
My first diesel was a 2014 JSW. I remember it well. Of course, I've only had it a month so far... :ROFLMAO:
 

Johhny04

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2006
Location
Markham, Ontario
TDI
2003 Jetta TDi
My first car which happen to be a diesel and got me addicted to them and VW was my dad's 1986 VW Jetta GL Turbo Diesel. 5 speed, crank sunroof, no A/C and 68 hp of fun. Me and my brothers all learned how to drive in that car. After 11 years and 325k KM, he moved on to a Volvo 850 T5 and I inherited the Jetta. It was such a durable and reliable car. When I sold it in 2002, with over 470k km it still had the original clutch, original tranny and engine, body was also in very good shape with minimal rust spots. They sure don't build them like they used too.
 

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.
These threads always make me feel more like a nube! My first diesel was actually my wife and then 12 year old daughter planning and scheming. They decided that we should buy a 2000 New Beetle and then when my daughter got old enough to drive to school, the can would also be old enough to not be too worried about in a high school parking lot. They had even picked out the color, cyber green. My wife grew up on a farm, so diesels were second nature to her. My only input was cloth or leather interior but since the diesels were too hard to find, I had to settle on what showed up, cloth. Run that lil diesel to about 150k miles and had all kinds of issues with glow plug harness and door alarms. I know there was a short somewhere but wasn't willing to track it down. Fast forward and my daughter decided that she didn't want to drive it to school. She was worried about driving a stick in Charlotte traffic. We ended up getting the girls a 10 year old Corolla with 40k miles. Traded the beetle on the JSW that's still sitting in the driveway with around 140k miles. We had an 11 Golf that we gave back to VW. My current driver is an 07 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel. So diesels are still going strong here after 20 years.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
My first diesel (and my first new car) was a '78 Rabbit L. Here's the window sticker:

It wasn't cheap then, and that would be about $23K today, adjusted for inflation. Lots of money for a 48 HP car with no A/C. I only drove it about 120K miles because I didn't know at the time how long it would last. It did tend to go through clutches, however. They would get scuffed and chatter badly. Otherwise it was pretty trouble free. It tried to run away a couple times, which was the only time it would go fast. It was like my old air cooled Beetles: drive it flat out all the time and no one knew.
 

tactdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2010
Location
North Carolina
TDI
2005.5 Jetta
Add a zero to that destination charge for current cost.
$200 a year in fuel, what was diesel a gallon back then? I vaguely remember gas being about 55 cents a gal.
My first car (a Fiesta) had vent windows (no A/C), I guess Leatherette was an upgrade from fabric seats?
A remote controlled outside mirror was one of those joy stick controlled mirrors, physical connection, not what
is currently considered a remote control today (wireless :))
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
i bought this car in May of '78, just before the second big fuel crisis. Diesel jumped to $0.59/gallon or so during that crisis, but there was an Iranian station on Wilshire Blvd in LA that had it for $0.36. And if I was willing to drive to Tijuana Pemex was $0.18. Fill the tank for less than $2.

Remote controlled mirror was a spring controlled knob on the door. In fairness, my '02 Jetta has the same mirror controls.

The Rabbit was a nice car, but when I got IBW I realized it had twice the power, weighed 50% more, had A/C, and got the same or better FE. The Wagon's EPA numbers are 42/50. Diesels did improve.
 

Pat Dolan

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
Location
Martensville, SK
TDI
2003 A4 Variant, 2015 Q7
My first diesel wasn't actually my car, as I was GM of the dealership. It arrived I think late summer '77 as a '78 model and thrilled me to pieces. I sold a fair number of them but will never forget the arrival of the first. We were in a Northern mining town, and there was not a single M-B diesel in town, but so much equipment was diesel that the car drew a LOT of attention. Moved South, drove gassers for a while when building boats and my F350 CC was killing me in fuel costs for deliveries, so I bought a 6D14T and stuffed it into the truck and my diesel addiction began. We brought in container loads of diesels from Japan and sold them (with gearboxes mostly) to others and did conversions since neither the 5.7 nor 6.9 were up to heavy use. A long string of Jetta and Rabbit diesels passed through the driveway, ending up with an '84 5000S (that we still have). All of my trucks for the last 30 years have been diesels, and my equipment is almost 100% diesel - I also do some fuel blending for those. My current focus is to end up with a diesel powered airplane, but not in any way you would expect. The two most memorable diesels were the '80 Rabbit 4 door I bought for my Father-in-law. It was a phenomenally good car and he became obsessive about mileage and could crack off 62/63 mpg tank after tank, and it would start unplugged at -40 every winter. One of my wife's A2 Jetta TDs racked up over 650,000 kms before rust took it out. We still have her '03 Jetta Wagon, but will need some body/rust attention before being back on the road (only 360k on it, so a LONG way to go yet). It is well on track to the third most memorable/capable of the lot.
 

djr6789

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2016
Location
Wales
TDI
Passat B5 AFN
I had my first diesel when I was seventeen! It was a 1999 golf mk4 tdi it had 192k miles on the clock! I paid £250 for it in 2012. It was owned by an idiot( to be honest i wasn’t much better at that age, maybe worse haha) it had tax and mot but wouldn’t drive. The clutch pedal had lost pressure and dropped to the floor and the shift tower was the early style shift tower that didn’t have the ball socket for the gearstick but instead a pin. The pin for the y axis movement of the gearstick had sheared so I just drilled it and put a bolt instead. The clutch pedal fixed it self!

I then had the problem of insuring the thing at that age due to only having passed my test a few months and had written off a car in that time already.

Surprisingly I got a quote for £1800 for the year! So I was on the road in my golf while my other mates had ****e like the Vauxhall Corsa b Peugeot 106 Fiat Punto Ford Fiesta. And the best part was although being a tdi 90 it was faster than all them other junk and easily did 60mpg and I ran it on SVO! Now being 17 in 2012 was harsh due to the ridiculous fuel prices! I had passed my test and wanted to do all the driving in the world! Fuel was around £1.45 a litre on a good day. No problem for me though I could easily afford to drive all day at night as long as the local supermarket could keep up with the huge sale increase in cooking oil that seemed to happen overnight haha. I racked up a 1000 miles in the first week of getting it on the road!

I’m not proud of this in the slightest! I was a huge idiot at that age! No I’m not lying! I was the typical chav that looked like I had stolen my mums car for a joy ride and picked up my mates to hotbox the thing and brake all the traffic laws! I should not have been trusted with a chillington wheelbarrow let alone a 1900 turbo diesel. But the car and engine was solid it could take all the abuse in the world a 17 year old could give it! Pin the revs at 5.1k and side step the clutch ? Yeah In a Vauxhall corsa guaranteed mechanical failure. In a golf ? No problem! Top speed for miles on end was no bother. J turns were frequent as was for driving on local beaches and doing stupid speeds on B roads and single track lanes. Like I said I should not have been trusted with a wheelbarrow.
 

gearheadgrrrl

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 15, 2002
Location
Buffalo Ridge (southwest Minnesota)
TDI
'15 Golf DSG, '13 JSW DSG surrendered to VW, '03 Golf 2 door manual
First diesel and first new car was a '79 Golf 2 door, German built. Replaced by a Golf 4 door 5 speed in '86, parked it in '01 when the clutch went. Had bought a Ford Ranger gasser in '98 but wasn't happy with the MPG so I bought a new '03 Golf 2 door 5 speed, then added a new'13 JSW with DSG 10 years later. VW made me an offer I couldn't refuse to take that one back, wouldn't have given it up but I was able to grab a '15 Golf DSG when they turned them loose in '17. Tried to buy back the '13 but the dealer that grounded it and thus had first dibs on it wasn't interested. So at 70 years young I've been driving VW diesels for 4 decades, 5 decades if you count the trucks I drove at work. At the slow rate I'm putting on miles the '15 will be covered by the TDI Settlement warranty until 2028, by which time electric cars will be the last fad and I'll buy another diesel!
 

Wasserpest

Veteran Member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Location
Monterey, CA
TDI
'10 Jetta SW 6MT, '15 Jetta DSG
My first diesel was an 82 Chevy Impala. Terrible car, GM just switched the gas to a diesel engine, and added a battery because a single one couldn't crank the beast. But I traveled (and sometimes lived) in it throughout the Southeast, spent a Winter in Minnesota (crazy), and finally made it to California. Lots of memories, not all good. It tended to blow the head gasket every thousand miles or so which over time got super expensive. On my trip to Minnesota the whole dashboard went out, so I had to drive "blind" lol. Almost ran out of diesel while crossing Dead Valley. Once I did run out and it had to be towed and re-primed. I was still new to diesels... only happens once. On the plus side, the car was very roomy, and for it's size the fuel consumption was reasonable.
 

Tdijarhead

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 10, 2013
Location
Lawrenceville PA
TDI
2003 TDI Jetta Daughters Car, 2001 TDI Beetle, Daughters car, 2005 Golf TDI Mine, all 5 spds
My 1st diesel was a 79 rabbit, given to me by my father in law. For years my mother in law (future at the time) drove back and forth quite a distance for work. When the diesel rabbits came out she (they) bought one. After they had it for 3-4 years they loaned it to my wife’s brother. He hated that car. Wouldn’t take care of it, ran it out of fuel several times, etc,etc.. When he bought a new car my father in law got the rabbit back. No brakes to speak of, no wipers, blown glow plug fuse and several other things.

They gave the car to me and I started tinkering and fixing things and before long we drove that thing every where. It was fun reliable got great fuel mileage. It wasn’t long before the body rotted away and so I bought my uncles rabbit that had been sitting in his driveway for over a year. It seems no one could keep a carbureted gas rabbit running properly. I removed the engine, transmission, interior including the dash and converted it from gas to diesel.

The old rabbit was silver the new one white, transferring the dash in those days also transferred the VIN so I never even did an official plate transfer or insurance change, I just changed the color on the registration form the next time I registered the car.
 

My_name_is_Rob

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Location
Western Can(t)ada, South of 54.40
TDI
2013 A4 Quattro
My first diesel was a 1986 Mercury Topaz with a NA 2.3l engine. It was horribly slow, but since i had bought it when i was 15, it was a good starter car.

My first VW diesel, was a 1997 Jetta with the AHU. It had approximately 700k kms on it when the timing belt jumped, and at that point the body wasn't really worth a rebuild.
 

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
Back in 2003 I'd been driving a 1984 Saab 900 Turbo since 1987 and had added about 250k miles on its odometer. I had a great Saab mechanic in San Diego, with the shop on Pacific Highway near the I-5 freeway. I was there, probably picking up my car after some maintenance or repair, when a pretty Asian girl in a Tornado Red Golf TDI pulled up in front to drop off her girlfriend.

I'd been shopping for a new car and am really glad that I hadn't found anything I liked well enough to buy. As soon as I saw and heard that Golf I was hooked. The first dealership didn't have any TDIs. The second only had a NB 5-speed, so I took a test drive in that. I emailed a third dealership and the internet sales manager called me. He was expecting some TDIs to arrive but wouldn't know exactly what until the transport truck pulled in. He called me on a Sunday morning and said he had the Golf I wanted. I was there an hour later; the red Golf was off the truck but still had whatever covers they put on new cars.

Anyway, two days later I took delivery -- one of the very last ALH TDIs available new in California. A month or two later the '04 PD TDIs came out and could not be sold in California. (You had to buy a used one with at least 7500 miles on it, registered in another state, before you could import and register it in California.)

So, 855k miles later (and counting) I know that was one of the very best decisions I made in life (along with enlisting in the Navy). Now I have another '03 Golf (indigo) and an '03 Jetta wagon (candy white). And my nephew recently got a nice low-mileage '03 Jetta after briefly owning an earlier ALH TDI that, while very cheap, was not worth fixing to make it a reliable beater.
 

IndigoBlueWagon

TDIClub Enthusiast, Principal IDParts, Vendor , w/
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Location
South of Boston
TDI
'97 Passat, '99.5 Golf, '02 Jetta Wagon, '15 GSW
TornadoRed, your story (and your username :)) is a lot like mine. I read about ALH TDIs in a magazine and nearly bought a black on black Jetta GLS in 2000, but I had another year to run on my Audi A4 lease and couldn't get out of it. So I waited. When the lease came up on the Audi I bought it out and started looking for a Golf. Couldn't find one in Massachusetts, and at the time I was traveling to Denver every other week, so I had Mountain States Motors out there looking for me as well. Then on a work trip to Germany I saw a couple Golf Wagons and thought that was a better option. Found out my local dealer in MA had a GL Wagon coming that a customer had waited 6 months for, but delivery had taken so long the customer didn't want the car. I almost didn't buy it because of its crank windows (little did I know) but did. And that's IBW.

Since then I've bought about 12 TDIs, I now have four. But IBW is still my favorite, probably will pass 423K today.
 

ezshift5

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2003
Location
West Coast
TDI
2013 JSW TDI (Enroute BB).......2017 Jetta 1.4 turbo 5M ....................
My favorite (My first was a1981 Rabbit diesel 4M 4-door) was the 1982 Rabbit diesel 5M pickup that I drove past 300,000. Cute little truck. Back then I worked for the state's accident investigation division. Contractors made repeated offers to buy the truck - the Rabbit diesel PU- I drove to various job sites. I sold it in 2012 for what I paid for it. Again - great little trucklet.............
 

eli

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2002
Location
North USA
TDI
2017 Chevy Cruze TD Stickshift
my first was a 1999 volksy jetta wagon stickshift. awesome vehicle!

after college one buddy had a 79 rabbit diesel stick. other dude had a 81 dasher diesel 3-speed slushbox which was hilariously slow and sooty.
 

Stupendous60

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2019
Location
TX
TDI
2000 Beetle TDI automatic "Otto", 2000 Beetle TDI manual "Amfeny", 2000 Beetle TDI manual "NC", 2002 TDI Beetle manual "Manny" 2019 Beetle gas/auto "Nunu"
Mine was my 2000 NB TDI automatic. I had promised my self a 96 Cadillac Sedan de Ville, which I got. My wife piped up and said "I want a new car too!" Ok, what do you want? A New Beetle! says she. A what? I was only slightly aware they even existed. So I researched and decided ok, but I get to pick the engine. Deal. Traded a 1993 Mazda Mx3 AND a 1993 GMC 1500 Sportside with a 5.0L. Drove both from Tucson to Phoenix AZ to trade them in. (not my finest hour) We still have the NB but now its my daily. Thought about selling once but our Ford F#c-us Dsp transmission tanked, so I got rid of it instead.
P.S. the reason I picked diesel is due to my Dads 1980 Rabbit (with a Playboy bunny front license plate) that got 50 MILES TO THE GALLON! which totally impressed my budding mechanic nature.
 

TurboABA

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Location
Kitchener, ON
TDI
2010 Jetta 6spd MT, 2014 Touareg Execline
2010 Jetta - got brand new..... still my DD. It was the last of the MKVs and VW was unloading them to switch gens.
At the time, I was using a lifted 4x4 Ram on 35s as a DD, and going back and forth to work was killing my wallet. My buddy needed to borrow my truck to do some renos, so we swapped vehicles for a few days. I drove his 2006 TDI around for a few days and was hooked. Within days, I got myself one.

8 years later, I finally sold my Ram but realized that I still need the convenience of a pickup and the ability to tow. As a result, I picked up the Touareg and a utility trailer and haven't looked back since. I could've saved a lot at the pumps if I would've made the Touareg decision back "in the day", but better late than never I guess.
 
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