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VW Jetta TDI



  • wilewile Posts: 1
    I bought a 2003 Jetta TDi this january with 200,000 km's. every time I start out, it smokes black, sometimes for quite a while. My mechanice tells me to put a bottle of John Deere fuel conditioner in the tank with every fill, which I have been doing. He has manually cleaned out the EGR valve, and lubricated the turbo, but it still smokes.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Detroit profits were mostly on pick-ups and SUVs - that is where the factory/manufacturer makes most money. 4-door sedans/wagons segment is too crowded with a lot of competition and it costs more to assemble those.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,080
    The term "break in" is nearly archeac. Todays modern machining technology leaves metal surfaces almost perfect.

    With that said, you need to concentrate on making the piston-rings seal as best as they can BEFORE the cylinder-walls glaze. It is nearly imposible to seal the rings after the walls are glazed. This type of engine tends to burn oil and get poor MPG.

    Many words have been written about how to seal the rings to the cylinder-walls. Basically you need to use the turbocharger so the rings are forcefully pushed into the cylinder-walls. This means AGGRESSIVE ACCELLERATION - followed by DECELLERATION. You can start doing this after about 5,000 miles.... it takes over 20,000 miles to acheave full cylinder compression in a TDI.

    You do this with a fully-warmed engine. While on highway in 5th gear allow vehcile to slow to about 40MPH....then use FULL THROTTLE to get up to about 70MPH ... followed by decel back to speed-limit. Then drive normally for at least 20 minutes to allow temp to stabilize.

    Another way to do this is to use FULL THROTTLE ACCELLERAION from a stop to get up to 70MPH ... followed by decel back to speed-limit...again followed by cooldown period.

    You should do this AT LEAST 4 times per tank of fuel as long as you own the vehicle. There are benefets to keeping the turbocharger clean too!

    I personally seated the rings in my TDI using this process and enjoy up to 56MPG. (and have spreadsheet of every drop of fuel to prove it!) At over 100,000 miles, my engine is finally "loosened up" and running very well.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Back in the 70's I used RedLine diesel fuel additive - that reduced the smoke on my MB 240D.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    That's an old motorcycle trick and I think it works. My last new car, that's what I did. Full throttle bursts but NOT to a high rpm, followed by deceleration...maybe up to 4000 rpm at most (gas engine). I did that "right out of the box" and let me tell you my particular car was faster than identical cars I drove (or by owners who drove mine). If not "faster" at least more responsive-feeling.

    re: SMOKING -- probably dirty injectors, yep.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,225
    Have you tried changing where you buy the fuel? The only time my '00 TDI smoked enough to notice was when I bought what I consider lousy fuel. You might ask them who/where their diesel comes from and then go find someone that gets their diesel elsewhere. Sometimes a lot of local stations will buy diesel from the same you have to check around. Calling a fuel distributor (bulk dealer) can help as well. Tell them you're looking for a low-sulphur, high cetane fuel and see what they say.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,477
    I noticed this Forbes article on a web site VW Tops Quality Survey
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    It seems to be a more "well-rounded" survey, which I like, rather than just statistics about these or those little problems. It's no wonder, with this broader outlook, that VW did better than Toyota.

    "To get the rankings, Strategic Vision calculated the index based on survey questions about reliability, vehicle characteristics, dealership experience, styling, interior and exterior design and their overall perception of initial quality."

    when it comes to strictly reliability surveys, I like to look at least 2-3 years in the field before judging a car. Sometimes early production glitches get fixed, so first year record doesn't look as good as second year and beyond---and other times, a car starts out great but problems develop in 40-50K miles.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,828
    that's how i broke in all my Z28s & 05 GTO... I doubt such a break-in added any hamsters to my 06 TDI engine; I think most all the TDIs are laughably slow but very drivable due to torque.
    04/05 passat TDI had decent grunt but also a now-apparent design flaw - chain driven oil pump apparently fails on *every* one of the 04/05 passat TDIs, and now VW sells a replacement gear-system instead. it's $2000+ job, and usually not under warranty. !

    As far as TDI & redlining, i agree there's no reason to ever get close to redline or even yellow line, but seems like the consensus is that it's good to give the TDI a daily blast up to a decent rpm to let it the exhaust "blow its nose" of accrued soot in an old/DIRTY diesel, and let the turbo spread its 'vanes' .

    for the new/CLEAN jetta TDI diesel, similarly blasting onto the the highway should help to ensure that the DPF can do its occasional cooking thing.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,477
    Yes, given your 3rd paragraph, this is really what I don't understand.

    I have been running 2 cars (03 Jetta TDI 119,000 miles /04 Civic 87,000 miles) side by side (even I will say it is an apples to oranges comparison), for easily... 5 years. Needless to say, the "make up" has been off (glitz and glamor) for a very long time, if it ever was on.

    Hopefully for obvious reasons, @ similar mileage (87,000 miles) , BOTH have been completely and utterly reliable. Given both cars' similarities and differences, I have been completely happy with both.

    The wear items on the Civic are consumed at roughly 2 x the rate of the Jetta.

    This is interesting in that the Jetta is run harder and faster on the non commute portion and is 435 #'s heavier. I would dare say if I ran the Civic like I do the Jetta, the consumption rate would be more like 3x to maybe 4x's higher !!?? It would also probably be a drag to the 38-42 mpg we now post.

    One explanation could be "higher" initial quality. Another could be the Civic engineers designed it that way: given that most folks are almost brainwashed about the Civic's quality before most folks even own one.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,477
    Given the wikipedia article about VW TDI engines (the BOLD- my sic), I would agree. (msg # 3107)

    @ 75% RPMS or 3,825 rpms (of 5,100 redline) that would accomplish the goals.

    (sorry to hear about the $2k chain driven oil pump issue).
  • tennctennc Posts: 2
    I have just taken delivery on a new 2009 Platinum Gray TDI sedan and was reading over the owner's manual which shows four tie down locations in the trunk. My car has two in the back but none up toward the back seat as in the manual photograph.

    Is this normal for new TDIs or did mine miss out on something that is supposed to be there?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Can't honestly say if they're missing or not, but I have found that VW's owner's manuals are not necessarily the most accurate. There is also the option that they are simply living up to their abbreviation: VW = Varies Widely.
  • tdifuntdifun Posts: 10
    Just wanted to give everyone an update. The trans seems to be reacting faster off the start, just needs some more miles. Only 300 miles so far. Also still on first tank of gas, can't wait to fill er up and see how I did, only knowing its going to get better each tank.

    I can never get the keys from the wife, as she drives it to work most of the time.
  • tennctennc Posts: 2
    Answer to my own question - By checking a half dozen of TDIs at the dealer it appears that all of these do not have the front tie down anchor points. Apparently this feature has been deleted.
  • jkinzeljkinzel Posts: 735
    Also still on first tank of gas,

    Tell me your not using "Gas". I must assume you are using "diesel" or your car would not be running.

    I know it's a tough habit to break, but after getting our TDI, I have had to make sure when talking to the wife I use the word diesel or fuel, never "gas" or I might end up with a tank full of it.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 14,477
    Yes, that can be a VERY costly (MIS) fueling.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,633
    Putting gas in a diesel car is probably worse than putting diesel in a gas car--brcause the diesel will actually run for a while and may cause serious damage. The gas car would just conk out in about 100 ft.
  • tdifuntdifun Posts: 10
    LOL, yeah it was a slip up on typing. Yes, I put diesel in and got 28 MPG for the first tank.
  • danstdidanstdi Posts: 10
    Have a 2001 with 304,000 km. Always loved this car. I have maintained it faithfully. At the moment, I am about 60% through the life of my 2nd replacement timing belt. Use 5/8 of an once of Raycor Cetane booster every fill.

    What I have noticed recently is a loss of power when I reach the 2800 RPM band. More noticeable up hills. Interestingly enough, I am not getting any warning from the MIL or any other lamp on the dash. I know they are working as they light up on engine start as perscribed. This sort of thing happened at just over 100,000 km a few years ago and was told it was my mass air flow sensor (but I did get a MIL warning on my dash when this happened). That was replaced under the emission warranty.

    Usually, anytime something is wrong, some lamp would tell me so on the dash. Not his time. Due for an oil change next week - I'll ask the mechanic - just wondering if anyone has had a similar problem?

    I plan to run this car to 500,000 - I enjoy driving it very much.
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