Turbo replacement - is it worth it?

Riija

Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Location
USA
TDI
2005 Golf TDI
My 2005 Golf TDI is throwing the PO299 error code. The mechanic that looked at it told me it was a bad vacuum pump, which he replaced. A day later, the code was back. Now he is telling me the turbo is going bad and I need to replace that as well. While I absolutely love this little car, I am questioning whether or not it makes sense to move forward with these repairs. I already have 210K miles on her, and I am concerned about what will fail next (i.e. would I be throwing good money after bad). I just recently had the heater core replaced which was not cheap. The timing belt was replaced at 180K. I am also kind of questioning the information I am getting from this shop that did the vacuum pump replacement… seems to me like it is possible that they mis-diagnosed the issue the first time around, what if they are wrong this time also? The pump cost me $600, the heater core was $1500, and the turbo will be almost $2500. Hindsight is always 20/20 of course, but if I had known two months ago what I know now, I would have started looking for a replacement vehicle.

I think I included all of the pertinent information to get some advice from the experts here, but if I left anything out please tell me and I will update this post. Thanks in advance for the feedback!
 

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
I just had this code on my 05, it was the vacuum actuator for the turbo. Unfortunately vacuum actuators are not made separately by Garrett so I bought a chinese one off ebay. Time will tell if it holds up but so far I've put about 2k miles on it and it's working perfectly. Most garages/dealers will replace the entire turbo.

The vacuum actuator is attached to the turbo and can be replaced fairly easily as long as you don't mind crawling under your vehicle. You will need a mity vac to set the range of motion.

I agree it sounds like a mis-diagnosis. By vacuum pump I assume you mean the pump on end of the head? It easy to tell if that's bad with a mity vac. You hook the mity vac to that little tiny nipple just in front of the check valve, you do have to disconnect that small vacuum line leading to the tiny nipple. With the car running you should get a rock solid 25 psi on your mity vac gauge.

If you're ready to get rid of it offer it up for sale here on the forum. If it's a 5 spd it should sell fairly quickly and if it's a rust free southern car that's a huge bonus. 210k miles is less than half what's on my 05 at 430k.

If you do decide to have the turbo replaced, have them give you the old turbo and offer that for sale, you could probably get $1-200 even with a bad actuator.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 wagon BEW; 2015 Passat CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
You need a new mechanic, that P0299 can't be explained by a "vacuum pump"...btw, in you car, engine code BEW, vacuum is created by what we call tandem pump, it pulls fuel from the tank and creates some fuel pressure for your injectors.

Also, there are even alternatives to the more expensive Garret VNT-17 replacement turbo. I went with this https://www.darksidedevelopments.co...150-1-9-tdi-turbocharger.html?setCurrencyId=1

Darkside are a reputable vendor here. This turbo is almost plug and play for your car, it needs a smart actuator, that is all.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 wagon BEW; 2015 Passat CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
I might have an actuator that will could be made to fit your turbo (if still good), but you need a mechanic that can do more than just throw parts at issues. I might have a pic of the actuator I can sell, your original bracket needs to be reused.
 

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

Riija

Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Location
USA
TDI
2005 Golf TDI
What would you say the likelihood is that this component and that the turbo also failed (meaning that the diagnosis was partially correct)? Hope what I said makes sense.
 
Last edited:

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 wagon BEW; 2015 Passat CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
Tandem pumps do leak, mine was replaced long ago because of fuel leakage, causing erosion of coolant hoses right below (pretty common), but it is unrelated to P0299
 

greengeeker

Vendor
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Cambridge, MN
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS
There are a multitude of causes for underboost. The likelihood that the turbo itself has failed and is the cause of it, is very remote. It doesn't sound like your mechanic can diagnose and differentiate the various causes so don't trust his "guidance"
 

Riija

Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Location
USA
TDI
2005 Golf TDI
There is one thing I neglected to mention in my original post - I had a stiff brake and lethargic acceleration in addition to the PO299 code (which still persists after the replacement of the pump). With that additional information, does the mechanic’s assessment seem more 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
A stiff pedal would relate to vacuum loss. Again more than likely that would be a cracked hose that leads from the vacuum pump to the brake booster. Those plastic hoses are known to split. A loss of vacuum there could have caused a hard pedal and anemic acceleration also, but replacement of the hose or in your case the entire pump assembly and the hose should have solved both problems.

A P0299 could be caused by a bad vacuum line leading from the n75 to the turbo actuator. Something that can be easily checked with a mity vac. If the line will not hold vacuum you have a hole in the line, replace the line, (<$10) if the actuator will not hold vacuum you need a new actuator.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 wagon BEW; 2015 Passat CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA


$100 shipped, but I think you first need to be sure you need it.
 

Riija

Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Location
USA
TDI
2005 Golf TDI
Thanks so much for all of the great info! The first step is for me to retrieve my vehicle from the shop which I will do tomorrow morning.
 

greengeeker

Vendor
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Cambridge, MN
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS
There is one thing I neglected to mention in my original post - I had a stiff brake and lethargic acceleration in addition to the PO299 code (which still persists after the replacement of the pump). With that additional information, does the mechanic’s assessment seem more reasonable?
There is a hard line between your tandem pump and the brake booster - inspect this for cracks.
 

GlowBugTDI

Veteran Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2018
Location
Cambridge, MN
TDI
2001 Beetle GLS TDI (BIODSL). Glow Bug TDI (sold)
A stiff pedal would relate to vacuum loss. Again more than likely that would be a cracked hose that leads from the vacuum pump to the brake booster. Those plastic hoses are known to split. A loss of vacuum there could have caused a hard pedal and anemic acceleration also, but replacement of the hose or in your case the entire pump assembly and the hose should have solved both problems.
This happened in my ALH (01) but works the same way. The black tube that went from the vacuum pump to the brake booster cracked and would cause the car to go into limpmode (underboost). The brake pedel would also sometimes get stiff and act oddly. So maybe this could be your problem Riija

Unfortunately there are a few areas you could be losing vacuum, but hopefully its something simple like this.
 

Riija

Member
Joined
May 19, 2022
Location
USA
TDI
2005 Golf TDI
I had the day off work today so I took my car to another local shop and they diagnosed and resolved the issue in about 30 minutes: the hose at the boost solenoid was not secured. So it seems like I paid $600 for a new tandem pump that I did not need. I am wondering if this is something that could have come loose on it’s own? The shop that made the repair said it was not split. Could that have happened when the heater core was replaced by the questionable shop? One other thing I forgot to mention… after the heater core was replaced, I was leaking coolant like mad, and I had to take it back to the shop so they could correct that too. Man, what a fiasco.
 

pedroYUL

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2011
Location
MI, USA
TDI
2004 wagon BEW; 2015 Passat CVCA; 2015 GSW CRUA
Glad you got it sorted out. IMO, no point in trying to dissect history here. Move on and avoid the previous shop at all cost...also, most dealers are clueless, in my experience
 

dhangejr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Location
PNW is my home
TDI
mk4 Jetta
It sounds to me like you’re not a mechanic. So it sounds to me like you didn’t do anything underneath your engine bay. So it sounds to me like the shop that is at work on your car forgot to plug that hose back in. So it sounds to me like I would never go there again. Personally I have an attitude problem so I’d be in there raising hell, and that’s what I did before I knew how to work on the car. And that’s why no mechanics ever touch my car today LOL or rarely I should say: I have a lot of buddies who are good mechanics, one guy is a certified mechanic and really good at working on cars but I would never let him touch my TDI. He’s the kind of guy who just dives in and starts turning bolts like he knows what he’s doing. Not realizing that some things are slightly different.the TDI is an easy car kinda; it’s all documented here and there’s a some held available too :)
 

TwistNShout

New member
Joined
Jun 7, 2022
Location
WI
TDI
2003, 2004, 2013 Golf TDI
The vacuum actuator is attached to the turbo and can be replaced fairly easily as long as you don't mind crawling under your vehicle. You will need a mity vac to set the range of motion.
Hello, we have a 2004 Golf TDI with 240K and a PO299 code that we have been wrestling with. We have tried several other things to get the code to go away and it always seems to come back. We have put a vacuum tester on the actuator and we can't get a vacuum there, so we think that's the source of the code. We are looking for any tips for the process of replacing the actuator, including how to use the mity vac to set the range of motion.
 

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
Hello, we have a 2004 Golf TDI with 240K and a PO299 code that we have been wrestling with. We have tried several other things to get the code to go away and it always seems to come back. We have put a vacuum tester on the actuator and we can't get a vacuum there, so we think that's the source of the code. We are looking for any tips for the process of replacing the actuator, including how to use the mity vac to set the range of motion.

Here is out diy thread summary.

 
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