Thoughts on buying used Touareg TDI

Marcus_go

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Location
Vancouver, B.C
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
My dad is looking to replace his Audi A4.

He likes the size and practicality of the Touareg and would be looking for an example around 2013-2014. I see that the emission recall provides extra warranty from in-service date so that would roughly be around 2023 or 2024. From what I read, 2013 has double row timing chain and a bit more power.

Overall, what to look and watch for on a used example? My dad doesn't drive a lot, but would make sure the engine gets run on the highway to bring up to operating temperature and so it can regen. Any chassis or electrical issues on a 2013-2014 model? How is the 3.0 TDI holding up overall? Would he be better off with the gas VR6 engine? From what I have researched, the TDI is a much better engine than the gas VR6.
 

lemoncurd

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Location
Vancouver, WA | Willimantic, CT
TDI
MK6 Jetta SloWagon TDI (Golf Varient)
I would say do a normal PPI on the vehicle and then pay close attention to the timing chain tensioners.
When you show up, see if the vehicle is already warmed up. If it is, turn the car off and stall while looking else where and try to get it as cool as possible
This will let you see if the tensioners are slapping or are worn out on the next engine start
Also do a vcds autoscan of the car
Other than that, theyre damn good engines and damn good cars imho
 

Marcus_go

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2003
Location
Vancouver, B.C
TDI
2001 Jetta TDI
I would say do a normal PPI on the vehicle and then pay close attention to the timing chain tensioners.
When you show up, see if the vehicle is already warmed up. If it is, turn the car off and stall while looking else where and try to get it as cool as possible
This will let you see if the tensioners are slapping or are worn out on the next engine start
Also do a vcds autoscan of the car
Other than that, theyre damn good engines and damn good cars imho
Okay good to know. The ones he is interested in have around 100,000 km.

What to watch for with emissions systems?

Most here in Canada come equipped with the pano roof. Any issues with them?
 

lemoncurd

Well-known member
Joined
May 24, 2019
Location
Vancouver, WA | Willimantic, CT
TDI
MK6 Jetta SloWagon TDI (Golf Varient)
Okay good to know. The ones he is interested in have around 100,000 km.

What to watch for with emissions systems?

Most here in Canada come equipped with the pano roof. Any issues with them?
Oooooooo pano roof! I have one in my sportwagen! Just the drain tubes! You'll have to google the exact location but they are behind the front wheel and infront of the rear ones (afaik)

For emissions, the car will have a DPF. Search around on here for a thread talking about soot/ash load and read up on those faults. There is a sticky somewhere. I believe it is in the TDI Emissions area

VCDS Autoscan will tell you lots of data
 

TurboABA

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Location
Kitchener, ON
TDI
2010 Jetta 6spd MT, 2014 Touareg Execline
Lots of tech and complex systems in them. A great vehicle, ahead of its time, but a premium SUV so maintenance\part costs will reflect that.
VCDS full scan pre purchase.
Test every button\feature you can find.
Check NAV version because if you're still on stock one, it's more or less useless unless you live out in da stix and don't care. Lots of road\infrastructure changes around populated areas since those years. An update through the dealer will cost you stupid money.

IF\when properly maintained, these engines will get over 400k.
Brakes are not cheap to replace, so make sure they still have life in them or that the price allows for 1K worth of parts if you're going to do them yourself, and probably 2.5k if you're paying a dealer.

At only 100k, you will have plenty of warranty left from the fix.... so don't sweat any of that.
Warranty Period
The warranty period for the “Extended Emissions Warranty” is the greater of:
 10 years or 193,000 km, whichever occurs first, from the vehicle’s original in- service date;
OR
 4 years or 77,000 km, whichever occurs first, from the date and mileage of the completion of the emissions repair
The VR6 will be cheaper to buy initially, but will lack in both grunt & MPGs, so if you enjoy those and\or tow, you will only want the TDI. The VR will also not be covered by the extended warranty due to fix.... so for me, there's only one choice.... the TDI.
 

redbarron55

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2010
Location
Navarre, FL.
TDI
2012 Touareg TDI Executive
The TDI it is. I wouldn't go to the trouble for the gas, especially towing our little travel trailer.
 

Savageman69

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2007
Location
ontario
TDI
2012 Highline Touareg TDI
i dont care what anyone says i love my touareg....by far the best vehicle ive drove, butter smooth and darn quick...handles as good or better than all my jettas ever did. Fuel mileage is unreal for a big heavy suv...it can pull a house down and not even feel it. Amazing comfort and features ...and nothing sounds like a tuned and deleted 3.0 tdi...its pure heaven
 

bioburner

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2003
Location
Out there
TDI
02 Wagon 285k - Gone ‘10 JSW - Gone '13 Q7 145k

2013>> does have the 2 rows of chains=higher mpg=few more hp=maybe some timing chain noise.
 

TurboABA

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Location
Kitchener, ON
TDI
2010 Jetta 6spd MT, 2014 Touareg Execline
The 2nd gen engine had several changes/improvements which are well documented in the respective SSPs if you do your research. Everything from timing drive, to cooling, to intake flaps, etc.
 

zrheard@bama.ua.edu

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 9, 2008
Location
alabama
TDI
2004 Jetta
I have thought about buying a touareg several times and always decide not to because of maintenance. I'm thinking about it again, and I thought the last time I looked at the 2nd gens that I did find some with rear lockers, is that wrong? Do the 2011+ have anything but the on road off road dial?
 

squeegee_boy

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2003
Location
Denali, AK
For people looking at a Touareg TDI, my experience with a 2016 is mixed. I am now at 102,000 miles. The car has never left me stranded. It used to start after sitting all day at -45 deg F. This past winter, it started after sitting at the Fairbanks airport for a week where the high temperature was -20F for the entire week, but it struggled. I suspect this was partially due to it still running its original battery. All of this is based on the car not being plugged in, as there apparently is no means for doing this on a 3.0 TDI

Problem areas: The adaptive cruise control is a nightmare. From Touareg-specific forums, I am not the only one. The problem is sporadic, so the dealer is never able to diagnose. The camera is $2,200 and the sensors are $1,800 each (there are two). VW has replaced the camera under goodwill, but it really never solved the problem which I've had since the car was new. Swap the windshield, and the cameras have to be realigned at $500. You can purchase your own alignment board, but the last time I checked, it was $8,000. FYI, I have not had any cruise control for the past 18+ months because I have not had the time to align my sensors after a snowy owl committed suicide by striking one of my sensors. The last Chrysler 300C that I rented incidentally had two cruise control modes, one was adaptive and the other was not. On a VW, if the car is not happy without the sensors, you do not have cruise control.

I do not have any sunroof leaks (nor do I have any leaks on my 2004 JSW). I know this is a VW issue and maybe it's because I've used the sunroof maybe twice since purchasing the car (same with the JSW), but my particular example does not have the issues that other VWs seem to have.

I am concerned a bit about the engine. My TDI extended emssions warranty will expire in 15,000 miles (it is shorter than the one negotiated for the Golf/Passat), so I sent my oil in for analysis at the last change. They don't really have a universal average for 3.0 TDIs but against whatever baseline they have, the metals were 3x their baseline average. These engines are known to have timing chain issues and God knows I've had my share with VW timing-chain equipped engines. I'm dropping from a 10,000 mile interval to a 10,000 km interval going forward. I'm not sure how much of my metal contamination issue is due to our climate; where I live, we never got above freezing (0 deg C) for 6 months. This equates to a lot of extreme cold starts. I'll see how the next analysis comes out. If I have to do timing chains, it comes off the back side of the engine, so transmission removal.

My engine uses coolant, probably 0.25L every oil change. It is a well-known leak from some EGR component buried deep in the valley of the block. I don't have the patience to have my dealer try to tell me that they can't find it (good luck telling your dealer that you know where it is coming from), so I will likely tackle this myself when the leak gets worse. It appears to be close to a 16 hour job for a $30 seal (more like $600 when you replace gaskets and seals to access it).

In the past few months, my keyless start has stopped working. From my VCDS scans, it appears to be failure of a convenience module. It is a $600 part if you could just buy it and slap one in. Unfortunately, it requires papal dispensation from the motherland, since it is linked to the vehicle immobilizer. Buy the $600 module from the dealer, and it is a $1,000 part. Of course the dealer has to troubleshoot the issue themselves, so add $400. Then add labor to install and program, and I am expecting my $600 part to cost me $3500 out the door.

I bought this thing because I was waiting for a 2016 Golf Sportwagen with the upgraded infotainment, but those cars obviously never showed up. With rumors of the 3.0 TDI disappearing, I literally bought mine on the last day before a stop-sale. The AWD is well sorted, the 26.4 gallon fuel tank is basically unheard of today outside of full size pickup trucks, and the car is very solid. On the other hand, I don't think Volkswagen has ever understood how electricity (or timing chain guides) works, and my Touareg has done nothing to dispel my suspicions. If the engine does not grenade, I will likely dump it at the 200,000 - 250,000 mile range assuming the component failure stays constant.

Another cost to consider: tires and brakes. I'll be limping my 4th set of tires into the winter (I've purchased two sets of winter tires, plus one additional set of summer tires for 25,000 miles/set but I probably have at least one more season on my winter tires before they are worn...so maybe 30,000 miles on a set of tires). A lot of people consume brake pads and rotors on these cars as well; personally I am still on my original brakes/rotors. Your driving environment may be different.
 

Mike in Anchorage

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2009
Location
Anchorage, AK
TDI
2016 Touareg Lux, 2015 Golf Sportwagen SE, new 4 Sept 2017;2009 VW Jetta TDI Sportwagen (Ruby) sold to VW on 22 SEP 2017
I also have a 2016 and although I live in Alaska, the T'reg is used in the Lower 48 and garaged in Las Vegas. We use it to explore and to tow an Airstream for our retirement pleasure. I bought it used in Nov 2019 with only 7500 miles on it. Not CPO, but a good warranty. I pulled the Airstream with it from Austin, TX to Las Vegas, planning to be back in a couple of months for camping adventures. Enter Covid. It sat for 15 months unattended. I paid for the new battery that I admittedly did not set up for charging while I was gone. The only other thing was the sensor for the DEF fluid was malfunctioning and not showing that DEF was added when it was. The vehicle locked me out, and I saw it coming, so made sure it did so in the VW Dealer lot in Vegas. Fixed under warranty.

The Lux version has the ventilated seats and the heated steering wheel. Both really nice features for a variety of weather conditions. It tows super well, handles well, and is a very solid machine. Yes, I know sensors and modules can and do fail. They're difficult to diagnose and often more difficult to access. Any one buying a T'reg needs to be prepared for expensive repairs from time to time.

A VCDS is almost essential.
 

TurboABA

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 24, 2010
Location
Kitchener, ON
TDI
2010 Jetta 6spd MT, 2014 Touareg Execline
My engine uses coolant, probably 0.25L every oil change. It is a well-known leak from some EGR component buried deep in the valley of the block. I don't have the patience to have my dealer try to tell me that they can't find it (good luck telling your dealer that you know where it is coming from), so I will likely tackle this myself when the leak gets worse. It appears to be close to a 16 hour job for a $30 seal (more like $600 when you replace gaskets and seals to access it).
I'm a little late to the party, but I have a suggestion for you if you really want to find "proof" of this leak before your warranty expires, as it should be covered by it. Get yourself a cheap endoscope\boroscope off Amazon, etc. which will allow you to get visuals (both pic & vid) and visibility in those difficult areas. I am familiar with the area that you're trying to access, and it will be difficult even with this additional tool, but it may reduce the amount of "stuff" you'll have to disassemble to get the evidence\confirmation.


Example of what I recently spent some coin on:
 
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