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Volkswagen TDI Models



  • kilimanjarokilimanjaro Posts: 11
    Is VW still selling these cars in California
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    TDI is being sold in CA and NY. They are generally limited to a certain number so it is better to buy early in the model year if you live in CA or NY.
  • mdecampsmdecamps Posts: 115
    The problem you had with the window is very common and has been addressed by VW. It is not a recall item, but when it is replaced, then the new parts have been improved. As far as the rest of your problems, that seems to be unusual. I've had my Jetta TDI for almost 2 years and the window problem is the only problem I've had. I get anywhere between 46-51 MPG. I currently have about 28,000 miles on the car. I feel confident it will go 250,000 strong.
  • tdinewbee1tdinewbee1 Posts: 1
    Hi folks,

    New guy here. Strongly condsidering new purchase of 4dr Golf TDI.

    Test drove auto trans model. Sensed it had good low end and mid range torque but not so confident about its "Passing" power. Would it be safe on an auto trans model to drop it to the next position down from "Drive" (3?)-- at 55 or 60 mph, for a few seconds to build up RPM -- in order to enhance passing capability? I had a small pickup truck (manual) and dropping from 5th to 4th (briefly) was the recommended method of building passing speed.

    Or would it just be better with this concern in mind to go with the MANUAL?

    (I'm a little spoiled in the upper end performance bracket due to my old Saab 900 Turbo).

    Thanks in advance!

  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    I can't speak for the automatic, but with my 5-speed, I have absolutely no need to downshift when passing on the highway. It shoots from 70->90 with ease in 5th. You have to realize that the TDI's sweet spot is the 2000->3500 RPM range. You don't wanna drop to 4th... you'll shoot out of your sweet spot.
  • ksamksam Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a Jetta TDI but would like to get the honest impression and opinion of those who own one. Have you genuinely liked the car? Would buy one again? I have read about several problems people are having but I am sure that is the case with any car. Maybe just sour grapes. I have owned Hondas for over 15 years and have had no major problems. I do like like the styling of the Jetta and have read alot of positive things about the Jetta as well. Your advice would be appreciated and valuable to me. Thank you!
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Yes, it was a 1998 Jetta TDI (200,000 miles), a 2001 Jetta TDI, & 84 Rabbit Diesel (400,000 miles) owners who convinced me to get a Golf TDI. So far I love the car, especially fuel economy.
  • minuchin1minuchin1 Posts: 6
    I'm the second owner of a Jetta TDI, bought it with 48k and now have 71,000. I've had consistent repairs since the purchase in October--standard stuff like glow plugs, window regulator, wiring harness, and now the MAF. That's the sour grapes part. I absolutely love driving it. The power is incredible. With the last repair, I tried to get VW to help as MAFs are known liabilities. No luck, since I'm the second owner and I drive a lot. If I were doing it all over again, I'd buckle down a bit and buy one brand new. Lots of incentives available right now.
  • jabildajabilda Posts: 47
    I own a Jetta TDI Wagon and love it. Part of my driving is city and I still average 46 MPG. The power is better than a typical 4 cyl. The shifter is great IMHO. I even love the cupholders, although they cover the radio. The backseat is the greatest disappointment so if 4 up driving is a must, make sure the backseat is for little ones only!!

    For those of you interested, my dealer tells me that the next model makeover of the Jetta will make it bigger inside to address the North America market and that the next generation Passat (they're shooting for 2005) WILL include a diesel engine (FINALLY). My own impression is that 1) the technology will be better and 2) it will be a higher HP engine.

    Lastly, I drove a new W-8. If I had the $38k and need for speed / German luxury, it would be in my garage. It was fast and very stable. It was like driving a 'slotcar' - it held the road very well (like it belonged there) and felt solid.
  • Peek torque is at only 1900 rpm, which is exactly 53 mph with the automatic transmission in 4th gear with the torque converter locked up.

    This transmission does have a lockup torque converter, doesn't it? Haven't driven one yet as I only recently discovered that VW, in their infinite wisdom, has finally decided to make the TDIs again available in California.

    So the question, is it better to go back to third which would be around 2675 rpm at 55 mph, or 2920 rpm at 60 mph and go up to 77 mph which is about 3750 revs, or let the engine 'lug it', staying in 4th gear? 55 mph in 4th gear locked up is 1982 rpms; 60 mph figures out to be 2162 rpms.

    Since most automatics are controlled by a computer these days, I don't think that will be of any concern to any individual owner.

    With the standard transmission yes, it would be, but not if you have the automatic. The computer will decide what is best when the throttle is opened fully, and do what is needed. And in the same manner, it'll decide when the correct speed has been reached if it did 'force' the downshift, and the computer will 'order' the automatic when to upshift into 4th gear. I would guess it would be somewhere between 75 - 80 mph.

    Anyone care to comment on the torque converter lockup question? Please do!

    We must go with the automatic because my wife has a bad left knee.

    Anyone know if the computer has a rev limiter for the motor?

    And if it does, what is that limit?


    Test drove auto trans model. Sensed it had good low end and mid range torque but not so confident about its "Passing" power. Would it be safe on an auto trans model to drop it to the next position down from "Drive" (3?)-- at 55 or 60 mph, for a few seconds to build up RPM -- in order to enhance passing capability? I had a small pickup truck (manual) and dropping from 5th to 4th (briefly) was the recommended method of building passing speed.

    Or would it just be better with this concern in mind to go with the MANUAL?

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    I have two TDI and one has the auto and the other has manual trans.. First I have no problem passing with either and would not expect other drivers to have trouble unless they are doing Indy 500 type driving. Second in regard to the question about shifting to third I do not recommend it. With the peak torque available at less than 2,000 rpm it is better to keep the motor in the 1500 to 3000 rpm range. I know that some gasoline motors work best when revved close to redline but the TDI different.
    In closing I want to state that I slightly prefer the auto in the TDI to the manual.
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    I have a stick, so I can't comment on the auto, but TDIs love to be in the 2k-3k range, so don't downshift to get more power... you'll be shooting out of the power band.
  • Greg,

    Thanks for responding.

    Yes, I knew you had TDIs with both transmissions, and that you drive and seemed to prefer the automatic Golf, as that is your daily driver, right? I read all of the messages trying to find all the information I could.

    Can you please field that T/C question for me? Should you not understand what I am asking, please email me off-line, but having read all of your posts, I seriously doubt that!

    Under mimimum throttle, at what speed does the T/C lockup once it reaches top gear or overdrive? This is assuming that it does have a lockup torque converter? My '99 E300 did not have one, and it would not get decent fuel economy on the highway mainly because it didn't have that feature which is common to most, if not all recent automatic transmission equipped vehicles. Without that T/C lockup feature, there is slippage even at highway crusing speeds on level ground, and when you hit an incline or grade, the revs will show an increase of several hundred rpm because of that slippage of the torque converter,
    and fuel is simply being waisted heating transmission fluid.

    If your speedometer is correct, and I've figured it right, you should show 1900 rpm at 53 mph with the Golf, and 55 mph at 1900 rpm with the Jetta Wagon. With the Golf, at that 1900 rpm, the tach should not jump a couple of hundred revs when you accelerate from that speed slowly. The revs will rise, but only as your speed is increased, and not as a result of there not being a torque converter that is locked up. No T/C lockup will show an immediate jump of two or three hundred rpm when the throttle is increased even slightly, especially at the lower speeds. Some people can detect the T/C when it locks up as it will seem like the transmission is upshifting again, as if it had a fifth gear, and the tachometer will drop slightly. When the transmission torque converter is locked up, the vehicle will then 'feel' almost as if it has a standard transmission which has no slippage, correct?

    60 mph is about 2150 rpm,
    65 mph is about 2330 rpm, and
    70 mph should be 2509 rpm.

    BTW, were you the owner of a hot, or bad mopar product at one time?

    Thanks again.

  • rocquerocque Posts: 37
    I have problems with my glows plugs, anyone else have this problem and is it expensive to fix
  • penhopperpenhopper Posts: 2
    I purchased my TDI Jetta in 1999 primarily for the excellent gas mileage. It ran fine for the first 24,000 miles. Since that time I have had a relay go out which disabled the car. Then two window regulators. ($350 each to repair) The alternator failed ($900 and impossible to find even in Houston Texas) Settled for a "rebuilt" alternator for $560!!!! A month later the battery exploded. It took the dealer a full week to get a replacement battery in. Now the car alarm system has gone haywire. I cannot lock my car doors. If I lock them the alarm will not disarm and I will not be able to start my engine. So my car is left unlocked at all times and I pray someone will steal it.

    If you buy this car be prepared to buy ALL parts from the dealer. I cannot even get an oil filter without going through the dealer. The part numbers are often not even listed at any auto parts store.

    Pretty soon you realize that you didn't save a dime on gas. I am looking to buy a Honda now. Honda parts are readily available at any auto parts store and the reliability and high resale have sold me on their product.

    By the way what is a MAF? I am sure it is lurking about ready to cost me another thousand dollars.
  • jamie_5jamie_5 Posts: 5
    I am considering a TDI GLS Jetta as a commuter car for my 100 mile/day freeway drive to work. This is Plan A, looks pretty good/sporty with 17" GLI rims and suspension, a little tint on the windows and gets approx. 50 mpg. Plan B: buy a mid 90's Honda Accord for the commuter, and get a real sports car for fun and weekends. What do you think and do you like your TDI's?
  • zmanusafzmanusaf Posts: 12
    Hello out there, I need an opinion from people with some knowledge on this subject. Getting the Performance Muffler on a Jetta TDI, would it help the performance or hurt it? And if it does help it, would it be enough to make it worth paying the money to get it? Thanks, Roger
  • minuchin1minuchin1 Posts: 6
    Penhopper, I can only say I feel your pain. In a sinister kind of way, I'm glad it's not just me. Same things--window regulators, glow plugs, MAF, relay. VW will not help you in any way even though these are well known problems. It seems from others' replies that you either get a lemon or a trouble free car. Get the gas MAF (see previous entries). It works just as well and costs 46 clams compared to 350 from the dealer.
  • kld96kld96 Posts: 1
    I am currently considering a 2002 TDI. I have a 96 Trek and love it. I have read about a lot of people having quirky problems like the windows not working. I find them mostly on the 2001. Anyone know if these problems have been fix on the 2002s. Overall, I have read good reviews.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    The warranty for the 2002 is bumper to bumper for 5 years so if the window problem is not fixed on the 2002's it will be by the time the warranty ends.
  • jamie_5jamie_5 Posts: 5
    OK, after reading a lot of comments and reviews over the past few weeks, I am seeing that the Jetta and their owners have a real love/hate relationship. Looks are great, relatively sporty, good fuel economy and performance is common. Durability, part accessability, dealer service and reliabilty of the car is pretty poor compared to similar Honda/Toyota cars.
    WOULD YOU recommend to go buy one one to your mom/dada/grandma or best personal friend?
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I like my TDI Golf
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Consumer Reports recommends the Jetta and Golf and so do I. I only recommend the TDI or 1.8T though.
    Don't buy one if you do not have a good dealer or other service provider in your area. If you do not have a basic understanding of diesel operation and service requirements or no desire to obtain the knowledge I would not recommend the TDI. The TDI does not require MORE maintenance but it does require DIFFERENT maintenance than a typical gasoline motor.
    Parts are available over the internet at much better cost than dealer. This is no different than the Nissan or Chevy I owned in the past. Regular maintenance parts such as filters and oil are available at autoparts stores.
    VW and TDI tends to attract more automotive enthusiasts than a Corolla or Accord does and they are much more critical about the cars. Some of these fanatics complain daily about items that an average owner would never have a problem with. Statistically an average VW will have more problems than a Toyota or Honda. It is a fact and not opinion. Given that fact I decided that VW TDI had more to offer than alternatives such as Accord or Camry. I get 40-50 mpg, a great interior, much more driving enjoyment, class leading safety, and average reliability.
    So I would recommend the TDI to my father but not my friend because my friend does not even take care of the car they have and is a mechanical idiot.
    Had I relied on the opionions of the complainers on the Jetta topic I would never have purchased a VW. I discussed at length the ownership experience of TDI with people who had owned them for at least 2-3 years prior to buying my TDI. Now I own two of them.
  • Really good post Greg.

    To what you have said above, I would add:

    It does take a 'special' type of person to own and appreciate a TDI. These motors are not for your average automobile driver, and that type of person will complain about everything. And I would suspect this same individual would get 'hosed' by an dealer that they would take whatever they are driving to for service and repairs!

    Pumping your own fuel is really messy, and it smells, and I can't get the smell off of my hands, and it is too noisy, etc. We have heard them all and many more other complaints before, many many times. This type of person has no place with a TDI.

    My five day old Jetta Wagon TDI automatic is the best diesel I've owned, and this includes 15 others diesels including several earlier Mercedes Benz and the last MBZ brought to North America, the 1999 E300 TD (Turbodiesel) at $50K! But this 'type' of person would not be happy with even these latest fine machines, the current VW TDIs.

    No matter if it were to cost exactly the same to get necessary maintances performed, they will say that it is so expensive compared to the gasoline powered vehicles.

    It is my understanding that mine will blow the doors off of the standard 2.0L gasoline engine that has 120 hp. I believe that, as I jumped on mine today 'out-of-the-hole' and I couldn't believe the acceleration.

    Most think the TDIs are 'slow' and lack passing ability. NOT! Although mine has only 500 miles, it feels just as strong as the 220 hp Highlander I sold to be able to buy this TDI. It is much more responsive at any highway speed up to 85 mph which is a fast as I've gone so far.

    So for those of us that are in the 'know', we will enjoy these fine machines, but to all others, we will simply have to pity them, and wish them godspeed in whatever they buy.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I would agree, only if your were using the high pressure nozzles tractor trailer drivers use (done that before, never again).

    Using the "car" grade nozzles -- there's no mess involved.
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    You could pump biodiesel and the only smell on your hands would be the odor of renewable fuel and energy independence. ;)
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    Wish I can get Biodiesel without driving at least 6 hours
  • I am considering a VW TDI as my next car. But am waiting to see if BMW might launch a 1-series with a diesel engine for 2004. I think I would have to consider the Jetta Wagon or the Golf, as I insist on getting the German-built VWs.

    I currently drive a BMW 318ti, with a supposed 138hp, but I think it needs a tune because it is not even spunky. The much heavier Jetta TDI can launch and run circles around my 318.

    My first car was a 84 Rabbit Diesel, and that was a great car, until it met a quick death to a F-150.

    Enjoyed reading this post and I look forward to following up again soon.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The Golf's are assembled in Brazil (at least that's what my window sticker says).

    The Mini Cooper is expected to get a diesel also....supplied by Toyota.
  • weauxdweauxd Posts: 1
    Is there a company that makes an upgraded chip for the '02 TDI Jetta? I found where there are chips for the Jetta 3, but how about the Jetta 4?
    Thanx for any help.
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