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VW Jetta TDI

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  • pruzinkpruzink Posts: 112
    It really is not normal for these cars to smoke at all. There are tons of posts on tdiclub.com on causes and solutions for typical problems associated with this, I would strongly suggest reading up on them to come up with a game plan to find out why. In addition to just plain wasting fuel, there are some potential causes that could end up destroying your engine. For instance, if it is the seals in your turbo-charger leaking engine oil into your intake air, if the car sat at idle for any length of time, enough oil could accumulate in your intercooler and sit there until your next acceleration and become a source of unmetered fuel causing the engine to run away and destroy itself (are you loosing any motor oil, do you get any unwarranted RPM increases after sitting at idle). Jettas also have a very high failure rate on the MAF sensors (I believe this generally leads to sluggish acceleration and can be tested by disconnecting the MAF to see if the car runs better without it). I would really spend some time at tdiclub.com reading up on the subject.
    As far as the oil light coming on when the car is cold, that is not normal either. Is your oil level correct? I'm not sure if you have the same style filter that I have; but I know that with the A4 TDIs there are 2 ways the oil filter can mess up on a cold engine. One is there were some filters that were being sold that did not have the propper oil dam in the center (prevents the filter from draining back when the car is off). When you look down the center of the filter, it should not be an open hole from one end to the other, there should be a piece of plastic about 2/3 from the bottom. Reason 2 is the filter has an up side and a down side when you install it. Low oil pressure when starting the engine is something you really don't want either.
  • So I've read a few of the posts here, and I'm almost afraid to ask...but here goes. I have a TDI Jetta GLS with 122,000 miles on it. I've really loved the car...until a year ago. Thats when I decided to finally get the timing belt replaced as part of normal maininence.

    It took a bit longer than planned, but when I took it home...it felt great. The next morning, however, it was a ragged beast! I didn't want to turn over, then when I gassed it, it shot out tons of white smoke. Anyway, I took it back...and later that day, I get a call... Its my Fuel Injection Pump. They don't want to charge me labor...but the part is $1200. I wait months (since I don't have the money), then I go in. I get it replaced...and then...I still have this problem where its a rougher start and when the engine is still not hot and I press the accelerator fully, smoke shoots out of my tail pipes. SO...I go back in.

    They say...the timing belt ($650) was required to know it was the Pump ($1200)...and replacing the pump was required to know it was the whole electrical glow-plud assemply ($650). Obviously, I didn't go back to them. Another dealer looked at it, said there isn't anything wrong...but there is a little oil coming from the top of the engine. Minor...but should be changed eventually. BUT...now I have a check engine lite one (relating to the emissions I'm told)...and a intermident blinking glow plug light.

    Was I screwed regarding the $1200 Pump? Was it the electical assembly the whole time? Did they just start replacing parts cause they didn't have a clue? I'm way pissed! Also...has anyone noticed that Jettas seem to put extra braking on the rear disks? I was also told that I need a new master cylinder because my front disks are original, but my rears going thru pads a bit to quick.

    HELP!
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    To answer your question succently, yes.

    The glowplug harness is KNOWN for the connections to start to corrode and cause hard starting. (But replacing the TB did not cause it to suddenly go bad.)

    The smoking after the TB change can be explained by the IQ (Injection Quality) being incorrectly adjusted.

    They replaced the Injection Pump because they had no clue and it seemed the logical cause of the problem. (But replacing the TB did not cause it to suddenly go bad.)

    There are very few TDI technitions that KNOW what they are doing. Most dealerships have somone with a "certificate" that they took some course and can recognize a TDI 2 out of 3 times... but that does not make them an expert at setting up the IQ or troubleshooting problems. (obviously caused by changing the TB)

    Lets not forget that most mechanics are REWARDED by selling additional parts to customers. They often dont give a Cr@p if the part is bad or not.

    I have always wonderd what would happen if their paycheck was REDUCED every time they diagnose incorrectly and dont fix a problem. I would bet problems would be diagnosed and repaired with much less error.

    It is very hard to find a repair shop that is reliable. The turnover of techs is often high and there is greater chance to get a bonehead working on your car.
  • Thanks for confirming my suspicions. I figured the TB would not cause all those problems...but that was how they "got" me. That 1200 could have gone soooo much further. Hmmm....now I have to conduct a interview before anyone touches my car. lol

    So now I'm in a quandary. I have a 2000 TDI (122,000 miles) and there are a few problems going on. The car (last I checked) was still worth 9 or 10K. I've put in 1900 because of the TB and the Injection Pump...about a year ago. BUT...there is the Glow plug assembly (harness) that needs to be fixed (est. $650), oil very slowly appearing from the top of the engine (est. $275), new tires (est. $300-$400), and finally that master cylinder problem (est. $450, IF the break place I went to was honest). The car tends to rattle quite a bit now, but I own it totally and I'm its only owner. Total, to get all those problems fixed (not including the front bumper skirt), I have about 1800 more to put into the car. And there is no guarantee that something else will not be "found" or go bad.

    Should I trade it in and start making payments for a new/used TDI? I really don't have the money to keep forking out cash for something that is a "diminishing return". Any advice? I'd like to stick with a TDI, but...
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    $650 for a glow plug wiring harness??? They do occassionally go bad, but they're cheap as dirt.

    http://www.worldimpex.com/item_detail.html?sku=122585

    That's $28 for the harness and a monkey could swap it out in 1/2 hour. In addition, many times just the contacts are corroded a bit and do not require replacement. Take some sandpaper or scotchbright to the glowplug and harness connectors and see what happens. I've cleaned mine twice and that fixed the "problem". I've seen numerous problems with TDI's after dealers get their hands on them for a timing belt change. They just don't seem to understand the proper way to time these engines. It's not rocket science, but there is an exact method that must be used, otherwise many times the car will not cold-start properly. Then they start throwing parts at it left and right.

    I know a guy that actually bought a TDI from a dealer because they couldn't get it to run. It was on their used lot but wouldn't start after having the timing belt changed. He got it dirt-cheap and then had it fixed in a matter of minutes just by setting the timing properly.
  • Ok...it sounds like keeping my TDI is a option?? But if there are virtually no techs that know what they are doing...(or should I say, they know EXACTLY what they are doing)...how is a TDI a good choice? It seems to me that going with a normal gasser would tend to be easier in terms of finding a qualified tech.

    Hmmm...it sounds like I really need to become the tech myself or the timing will be wrong and I'll get sold on parts I don't need (for prices that are total BS!...Thanks for the headsup Sebring95! I can't belive they quoted me $650 for the glow-plug assembly when it costs $30!). Any other comments are much apprciated.

    There must be other people that love these cars that have found somone they can trust. Or atleast some that knows the engine...any pointers?

    Speaking of loving these cars...does anyone like the look of the new 2006 Jetta?? It looks like every other car on the street...heck...not even as good.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,233
    IMHO, these cars shouldn't be driven by the average public. And I mainly say that because the vast majority of VW dealers are either:

    A) Incompetent at repairing TDI's,
    B) Crooks,
    C) Both A & B,
    D) Outside the statistical norm

    If you'd like to email me (in my profile above) I can turn you on to some links of better mechanics at better prices. Or how-to links if you'd like to trying becoming your own mechanic. I've yet to encounter a repair/maintenance item I was unable to tackle on my own. I'm probably above-average in terms of mechanical abilities and tool inventory, but there's still a lot of things that can be done with just a couple tools.

    Not big on the '06 Jetta myself either. Not big on the new Audi's either, my '02 A6 may be my last.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,166
    I can't believe they quoted me $650 for the glow-plug assembly when it costs $30!).

    It's not just VW dealers. My wife's Lexus LS400's gas gauge quit. The Lexus dealer quoted $1200 to repair it. After a year of searching I found a very competent independent Lexus shop. They charged us $246 including the parts. Lexus dealer repair may be the biggest rip-off around.
  • hooper1hooper1 Posts: 1
    Hello all, I recently changed my fuel filter and now car wont stay on. It starts when I fill the filter with fuel then cuts off.Someone told me that there is air in the system.Can someone out there please help.
  • I'm new to this entire thing so please forgive my lack of experience and knowledge. I just bought a 2002 TDI GLS with 127,000 miles for 10k. It's a great car. The timing belt was even changed at 111,000 miles. I was wondering what the most reliable places to buy Jetta accessories off the internet are? Also, my brake light on the dash comes on intermittently and beeps. It does not stay on and does not do this every time. Also, every now and then my electrical system resets. I would appreciate any input. Thanks
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It sounds as if you have an air leak in the INTAKE side of the fuel plumbing. (It is sucking air)

    You may wish to verify that all of the O-rings you installed are seated properly. (It does not hurt to coat O-rings with silicone before installing)

    Also, make sure that the thermostat "tee" is installed properly. It is supposed to recirculate the fuel thru the filter until things warm up... then the warmed fuel is divirted back to the fuel tank to warm it up.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    It sounds to me as if perhaps your EMERGANCY BRAKE LEVER may not be staying down all the time. (or its switch is flaky)

    The brake light on the dash will come on accompinied with audable beep when the EMERGANCY BRAKE LEVER is lifted and the vehicle is in motion. (Try it for yourself if you do not beleive me)
  • Thanks, I think that it's swithc. Any idea on what may be occuring with the electrical system and a reliable place to buy Jetta parts, I'm looking to do a lot of the maintenence myself.
  • I just recently got a 04 jetta tdi wagon with 32k miles. The first time that I tested the mpg I got nearly 50 with mostly hwy driving avg 60mph. Then I put a bike rack with 3 bikes on top and headed out on a trip using interstate hwys avg 75mph. I was quite shocked when my mpg dropped to 32 (Tested 3 times). Does this fit with others owners experiences?
    thanks
    mike Smith
    Moab, Ut
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If by other "experiences" you mean the laws of physics.... sure it fits just fine.

    Three bicycles (and the rack itself) are very unaerodynamic. Heck, just driving with a window down will reduce the MPG. If you SLOW DOWN, then the aerodynamic drag will be much reduced. (it is logrithmic in nature)

    I hope this drop in MPG does not surprise you in any way.
  • whigggywhigggy Posts: 1
    Hi guys, I have a 2002 90hp TDI wagon, and I am sick of paying my dealer tons of $$$ to replace glow plugs. I have the engine light on with the code for cylinder 4's glow plug going out (this after I replaced it at 50000, I am at 63200 now). So, I took of the plastic engine cover, could see the inline 4, and where the plugs go, but I need assistance in actually doing the surgery. Any tips of links that could help out? Thanks, I appreciate all your input.

    Whiggy
  • Got my 2004 Jetta TDI in June of '04. Love everything about it except for one thing. And it's a BIG thing. Black,greasy soot all over the garage floor. And I mean alot of it! VW service says it's normal but other owners I've talked to have no problems and I haven't seen it posted as a problem or FAQ in any forums.

    Does anyone else see this as a problem or does my car have the problem? :confuse:
  • I have an '04 GLS TDI (purchased 04/04) and recently purchased an 05 Passat GLS TDI and I don't have that problem at all. I do, however, back them out of the garage on the mornings I let them warm up, but even so, they sit in the same place on the driveway and I haven't had any problems. Does the station where you get your diesel pump alot of it? That could be part of it, old or poor quality fuel. Heck, my F350 Powerstroke diesel doesn't even leave any marks on the drive.

    -PR-

    03 Ford F350 SuperCrew KingRanch 6.0L Powerstroke
    04 VW Jetta GLS TDI
    05 VW Passat GLS TDI
  • Thanks for the fast response! I live in Florida so don't even have to let it warm up. Just start and go. It's running in the garage just long enough to let the clutch out and back out, and what a mess. I've tried different stations around the area and nothing seems to make a difference. VW tells me it's normal and there's nothing they can do about it and every owner I talk to says they have no soot whatsoever. The VW regional service rep is looking at it tomorrow and he'll probably tell me the same thing.

    Thanks for your input.
  • toddf1toddf1 Posts: 4
    My girlfriend has a 1997 TDI turbo/fuel injected Volkswagen Jetta. A few months ago it started becoming quite sluggish, especially noticable going up any type of grade. It is usually a very peppy car and has just over 200,000 km which from what I have heard is not much for these engines. It starts easily and idles great. My mechanic buddy had me change the air filter, and add a fuel cleaner into the tank on fills but didn't do anything. We then changed the fuel filter and it was considerably better (not 100% the way it was) but very noticable difference. After a couple of weeks the car has become sluggish again. He thought it may have something to do with fuel pressure or the pump itself.

    Any ideas?
  • cancan Posts: 1
    I also have a 2004 Jetta TDI and I recently drove 1300 miles to florida and parked in a freshly painted gray garage and saw no signs of anything on the floor except A/C condensation.
    This is my second TDI and I never seen black particles left behind,I hope this helps :) :)
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Lets hope it is NOT the fuel pump. (A diesel fuel pump is VERY expensive even a rebuilt one may be near $800)

    There are several things I would check
    *) Snowscreen plugged up (easy to clean)
    *) intake plenum plugged up (somwhat harder to clean)
    *) bad MAF (about $100 - $200 part)
    *) VNT vanes carboned up (may be able to free them up by wiggling the lever)

    VNT = Varible Nozzle Trubocharger
  • travisvwtravisvw Posts: 2
    I bought a 2002 JETTA TDI Feb of 2004 with 28,000. It now has 74,000 miles. I was driving on the freeway when I heard an unusually loud knocking sound coming from the engine. It also acted as if it lost power. I immediately pulled off the road and had it towed to the dealership. The service shop is telling me I need a new engine because of a lack of compression. I guess my question is do Jetta tdi's engines only last 75,000 miles?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The TDI engine has been known to go at least 300,000 miles. Diesel engines in general should last TWICE as long as a gasser.

    Your engine obviously had some kind of unusual failure. I wonder if the timing belt was not replaced at the proper intervals? If the timing belt skipps a tooth, the valves can contact the pistons making for an instatnt boat-anchor.

    Another possibility is that the proper synthetic oil was not used in the engine.

    Do you have any other details about what the problem is? "Lack of compression" does not automaticly mean you need a new engine. A good mechanic can use a remote-camera and snake it into the engine to 'look around" and make a more detailed diagnosis.
  • travisvwtravisvw Posts: 2
    Synthetic oil was used at the recommended intervals and the timing belt is not recommended to be changed until 80,000 miles, however, the mechanic has ruled that out. Volkswagon is requiring the dealer to disassemble the engine for diagnostic purposes. The mechanic said that he was 90% sure that a new engine is needed, but he had not made a determination as to what exactly caused the compression loss. It has run problem free up until now. Its a mystery. I am hoping that VW, despite the fact that the engine is 14,000 out of warrantee, will back up their product if this is some sort of manufacturer defect.
  • toddf1toddf1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the suggestions Bruce. I will look into these one by one. I have a diesel mechanic buddy who has helped me when he has time. I am leaning towards something being plugged because of how much better it ran after changing the fuel filter. Yet after a couple of weeks it has become sluggish again, frustrating.
    He mentioned having the fuel pressure checked but wasn't sure quite how to do this on the vehicles.

    I'll let you know how I make out.

    cheers,

    Todd
  • HI MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN I AM AN INDEPENDENT VW TECH IN NEW-BRUNSWICK CANADA I WORK ON TDI EVERY DAY SO YOUR PROBLEM MIGHT BE YOUR INTAKE MANIFOLD IS PROBABLY CLOGGED FORM THE EGR GOING IN TO YOUR INTAKE MANIFOLD YOU HAVE TO REMOUVE THE HOSE IN FRONT OF THE EGR LEADING TO THE INTAKE MANIFOLD AND REMOVE THE EGR TO HAVE A LOOK IF IT SEEMS CLOGGED IF YES YOU WILL NEED TO REMOVE THE INTAKE MANIFOLD AND CLEANED IT PROBABLEBLY AND ALSO THE INTAKE PORTS IN THE HEAD I HAVE HEAD OF ONE OF MY CUSTOMER WHO HAD IT CLEANED IN AN ULTRASONIC BATH IF AVAILABLE IT SEEMS TO HAVE IT CLEANED LIKE NEW IF THIS IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM THEN CHECK YOUR CATALYTIC CONVERTOR IT MIGHT BE CLOGGED ALSO THE AIR FLOW METER COULD BE AT FAULT BUT THE ENGINE CODE AHU DOSEN'T SUFFER AS MUCH AS THE TDI ENGINE CODE ALH FROM 19991/2 UP TO 2003 SO GOOD LUCK
  • HI MY NAME IS CHRISTIAN AND I SERVICE VW FOR A LIVING I LIVE IN CANADA WHERE THERE IS A LOT OF TDI THE QUESTION OF OIL IS YOU HAVE TO USE SYNTHETIC 5W40 VW NORM 502.00, 505.00 FOR TDI UP TO 2003 AND VW NORM 500.00, 505.00.505.01 FOR PD TDI OR PUMPA DUSA I USE ELF MOTOR OIL IT IS EUROPEAN IT IS APPROVED BY VW THE TYPE YOU ARE LOOKING FOR IS ELF EXELLIUM LDX 5W40 FOR UP TO 2003 AND ELF EXCELLIUM DID 5W40 FOR PD DIESELS I'M A DISTRIBUTOR FOR ELF I SELL THE LDX FOR 7.50 CAN A LITER AND IN BULK 6.50 CAN A LITER AND FOR DID FOR PD DIESELS IS A DOLLAR MORE IF YOU WANT MORE INFO ON THE PRODUCTS GO TO WWW.ELFMOTO.COM AND USE AND EUROPEAN TYPE OIL FILTER IS RECOMMENDED LIKE MANN BOSCH HENGEST KNETCH ETC OR VW FILTER GOOD LUCK
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