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VW Jetta TDI



  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited November 2012
    The pulley coming off the alternator is VERY COMMON. If you read thru the website, you will see.

    If you think the pulley is expensive.... for a long while, the pulley was NOT A REPLACEABLE ITEM and you had to replace the entire alternator when the pulley failed. In the last several years, the pulley became a separate item.

    This happened to my TDI around 140K miles. I replaced pulley AND the the failed tensionor.... good to go for another 140K miles.

    The reason for the pulley issues is because on the TDI engine the alternator pulley has a SPRAGUE CLUTCH. This one-way clutch allows the alternator to 'overrun' when the engine is decellerating.

    DO NOT put a solidly-installed (non SPRAGUE) pulley on TDI engine.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    "The pulley coming off the alternator is VERY COMMON"

    That I didn't know!

    From what I have now learned about it from checking this forum and others,
    seems it's a "wear item" along with the serp' belt and tensioner that VW doesn't mention.

    I now wonder, if for some strange reason...this worn out pulley acting up is the cause of my "shuddering" issues between 2000 and 2400 RPM. If it is causing a sudden alternator load on the engine when starting to pull up a grade on CC, then a different qualities of fuel, might..might, be able to create the shuddering effect.

    It's a long shot, but so far the alternator clutch pulley is the only suspect I have.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited November 2012
    It is EXTREMELY unlikely that an alternator pulley could fail in any way that you would feel it in the way the vehicle drives. I am confident you could cross "alternator pulley" off of your list of possible culprits. (or move it wayyy to the bottom of suspects.)

    A for being a "wear item", this is simply a point of view. Eventually ALL machines will wear out. Using this logic... Your entire vehicle is a "wear item" too.

    Another example- The Timing Belt has a specific replacement interval in miles. the same time EVERY moving component that touches the TB is susceptible to wear and should be replaced at the same time the TB is replaced. These other components are not specifically mentioned in the TB replacement interval... but if you do not replace them, you are ASKING for failure before the next scheduled TB replacement. (Pullies, tensioner, bearings,waterpump, seals....etc.)

    In other words -- the waterpump will NOT last as long as 2 Timing-Belts.... so it makes sense to replace the waterpump when the engine is torn apart to replace the Timing Belt. ( Because the TB needs to be removed to replace the waterpump) Most of the cost of TB replacement is LABOR...not parts. Would you want to pay for the same labor AGAIN before the next TB replacement? (along with the associated inconvenience of unexpected downtime)
  • I had a check engine light come on last week... :mad: It was a throtle body that needed replacement this time, about $600. I had a pressure sensor go in May ($200) and a door lock mechanism ($400) go about a year ago. I'm considering trading in my '09 Jetta TDI sedan since it only has 77K miles and I've already had to shell out $1,200 in repairs. Not to mention that the 80K mile ($400) DSG fluid change is due soon.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited November 2012
    I am curious - how can a "throttlebody" go bad? It is simply a ventrui in which a butterfly valve moves.

    Fo rthat matter - What kind of "pressure sensor" costs $200?

    It sounds to me you need to consider changing your MECHANIC.... not your vehicle.

    Oh- I agree with you about the cost of maintaining the DSG xmission... this is one reason I always drive a manual xmission. In over a million miles of driving, I have never EVER had any xmission problems. (all the way back to 1979 VW Scirocco)

    It seems silly to pay MORE for a fancy xmission and also have to pay MORE to maintain it.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    edited November 2012
    Had my DSG fluid and filter changed at 40,000 miles and again at 80,000 the service writer almost hugged me saying hardly anyone ever does it and then can't understand it when a DSG replacement costs over $4,000 and VW gives them the bill.
    Last change of fluid/filter cost $270.00 at the dealership, not cheap by any means, but a much better deal than a new DSG.

    I think VW originally thought the DSG option could be sold to customers by claiming it was a 'lifetime fluid' set up. Same mistake of a lot of other new cars being sold these days with automatics.

    One thing I know for sure, no a/t is "lifetime"...they produce iron filings, brass cuttings, melted plastic, rubber, aluminum shards, and fiberous clutch debris that when all combined is a circulating liquid sandpaper going through the tranny.
    Then there is the natural breakdown of the fluid itself....through heat and pressure, it's like a baby, and needs to be changed often and for the same reason.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,850
    Good analysis. I see it as similar to oil changes on the engine. If you change every 10,000 miles as suggested it is about $50 or more. So after 40,000 miles you have spent $200. On my Toyota they recommend changing every 3000 miles. I used Toyota the first time and they charged $53 for dino oil cheap grade. Since then I use MobilOne and it is less than $50 every 5000 miles. Still about $400 every 40,000 miles. Insurance and evidence if something does happen.
  • eliaselias Posts: 1,898
    iirc, the throttle bodies get clogged with carbon on the TDIs - gotta be replaced or have labor-intensive cleaning-process done.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    edited November 2012
    It is not the "throttle body" that gets clogged with carbon... it is the INTAKE MANIFOLD (IM). There are places which offer a "swap" wheras they send you a 'cleaned' IM and you send them your clogged one. This greatly reduces the cost/time to correct this situation.

    However, A simple change to the EGR settings thru the onboard computer can greatly limit this clogging. Also, with TDI, one *must* use FULL THROTTLE ACCELERATION at least one time per tankful to keep the carbon-buildup cleaned out.

    If you think having the IM cleaned out is expensive, try replacing a carbon-clogged turbocharger (over $1500 just for the part!!) It is far cheaper to blow the carbon out of the turbocharger with the throttle-pedal once in a while.

    My TDI is over 150,000 miles and no clogging.... This is testament that I am doing something right.
  • fho2008fho2008 Posts: 393
    I'll have to look at my records but is the DSG fluid/filter change part of the 40K service? I had the 40K done at the dealer, long weekend with relatives but I can look up exactly what was done later on.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    The DSG fluid is expected to be changed every 40,000 miles on my 2006 TDI BRM engine, don't know what you drive but my other vehicle is a 2003 Honda Odyssey, notorious for transmission trouble.

    AS a result of all the grief that comes with the Honda's I am paranoid about any transmission that has fluids and filters so on this service with the VW I just, do it. To make things interesting for the DIY'er out there, the VW fluid change is particulaly complicated. The Honda just gets a drain and fill every second motor oil change, takes about 10 min.

    The VW fluid change on the other hand is a total PIA.
  • fho2008fho2008 Posts: 393
    Its a 2008 Jetta gas turbo-DSG.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    It's probably the same fluid change interval for your gasser, but if you can't find
    any DSG fluid service mileage mentioned in your book, then by all means just call the nearest VW service and ask them what the interval is.

    Then shop around (if you can) and get some price quotes for the service. I did this once on a road trip we were taking and the VW Dealer in Las Vegas wanted $595.00!
    I got it done at Southtowne VW in Sandy, Utah, for $270.00 , had a coupon, still, that's about an hours shop time plus the filter and fluid, so I didn't think that was too bad, plus they did a recall fix on the drivers seat wiring while it was in for the a/t change.
    Saved me a lot of time, plus they gave me a new VW Jetta Sportswagon to drive for a few hours.

    (loved that car, if they would have had a TDI in the new "Wheat Beige" and the light colored interior on the lot, we would have traded our 06' on the spot and driven away in the 12')
  • fho2008fho2008 Posts: 393
    As I said, with the holiday and family and so on I will check my records, the 20k service isnt much but the 40k they do alot, I got a loaner for the 40k service and picked my car up the next day.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    That is one reason my VW dealership is a 2-hour drive from my home.... they provide free loner cars .... and even pickup-n-delivery from my driveway if I wanted.
  • vw2010vw2010 Posts: 1
    edited January 2013
    My 2009 Sportswagon has 19,000 miles. I purchased it new from the dealer in May 09 with a 3 year service warranty in Illinois. I called the dealership about service in December 09 and the June 2010, and each time they said I did not need service/maintenance as my mileage was so low

    Last June I was told I needed to replace the Particulate Filter at a cost of $3500.00 without labor. The "warranty had been expired for three days. They told me the service light had been on for 500 miles, which was not true. After I complained VW paid for the parts not the labor. THey did the work, but again did not service the car. VW service said I should drive my car on the highway to blow out particulates?

    In July 2012 I went to Jiffy Lube to have the car serviced as I was going on a trip and VW dealer kept saying my car did not need servicing. The Lube garage placed Pennzoil 5W40 Plat Synth Euro in the car, what they said VW recommended.

    Several weeks ago the service light came on again and the engine failed while my son was driving. Again, I am told we need to replace the particulate filter , 3500.00 for the filter and then add labor and replace some other things due to the seal on the fuel injection failing and diesel leaked on a belt which also needs replacing.

    When we told VW service the exact oil ( above) that had been used they said yes that was right and the warranty would cover it. THen they made a phone call and came back saying the the density of the oil was wrong and that the warranty would not cover it. Needed to be 5W30 not 40.

    Has anyone else had trouble with the PARTICULATE Filters?

    I have also had the problem of a very loud fan noise for several years...when I asked the dealership service they have twice said they did not notice anything.

    As a lay person, I say VW could do a better job educating new owners on Diesel engines.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Would you mind posting the name and location of your VW dealership that has been gouging you for repairs?

    That way every other owner in your area might give them a WIDE berth!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 10,822
    He/she can post the dealership name here, but it's more likely to be seen by the intended (local) audience if submitted in our dealership & repair shop reviews section:

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I am soooo glad my 2003 TDI does NOT have particulate filter (or much of the other cr@p they bolt onto the newer TDIs.)

    I even get better MPG than the newer TDIs. With only 140,000 miles, it still has many years of life left.

    (Esta mated 2003 TDI engine life is 300,000 miles based on the same engine used in ocean-going vessels)
  • First off, you need to get the car away from the dealer.. Go to and look for a trusted guru near you. Second ,NEVER, NEVER let Jiffy Lube service your car. These engines require specific VW 507.0 spec oil.. Nothing else. Other oils will cause DPF problems. If you can't change your own, again find a local Guru on the TDI website. .Read. Read. Read this website. There is a lot to learn here, but the cars can be fantastic if maintained and driven properly. One thing stressed here is don't baby this engine.. it likes to work and work hard. Make it do it. I have 60,000 miles on mine with absolutely no issues. Good luck.
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