Turbo sticking


Well-known member
Mar 7, 2005
1999 New Beetle Black
So, my TDI has been going into limp mode, so it's been parked a lot lately and I now should be able to find some time to do something about it.

When the issue first presented I checked, and the actuator was stuck. It easily freed up, and has a reasonable amount of movement and moves freely when I'm actuating it by hand. After it's freed up, usually the first time I really put the boot into it, say going up a big hill it will apparently seize up, CEL flashes and power drops back to nothing. I'm able to easily free it up once it cools off, and I move the arm past the point where it's catching.

I'm guessing that when operating it under boost, the actuator moves beyond where I've been moving it by hand and it's at that full travel it seizes. I'm hoping that someone with a better understanding of how the turbo works can tell me whether it's more likely to be a carbon issue (and thus respond to a on-car chemical cleaning), or rust in which case I'd pull it and clean it manually.

Thanks for any input!


TDIClub Enthusiast, HO5G Doyen & Zen Master
Aug 17, 2000
So, NH.
2000 Jetta 5 sp.
Note pleast indicate where you are.............. You will get much more help if you show where you are located.

TDIs need to be driven hard. So you have a 12 year old car and is the actuator housing rusty? if so it could be leaking. A mityvac check would help. Also if you can get a vag con scan the numbers will assist you in finding a solution.