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Volkswagen TDI Models



  • My 03 Jetta TDI manual wagon quit while going 70 this AM. Coughed a few times and I could feel the power dropping. Coasted to the breakdown lane and only the battery indicator light was on. Tried restarting and it turns over, but no ignition. I have 26k on it and 140 miles on this tank of regular diesel. I had driven about 20 miles this morning before she quit. Towed to a dealer. Anybody have any idea what I should expect?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    What was the temparture? My first thought was gelled fuel. Do you add antigeell to the tank in the winter?
  • tdibobtdibob Posts: 12
    Easy way for a lazy guy like me. I will appreciate both the methods. Thanks.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,334
    Bottom drain is the "hardest" way. On the VW you also need to remove app 10 fasteners.


    Topside or using an evaculator like a Pella or a Mity Vac, in my case will take app 12-15 min from oil and suction of the oil cartridge holder, to pouring the new oil in either the oil cap opening and or oil cartridge.
  • fuel relay. Been there/done that
  • Fuel relay? Late last night they were able to get it going, but had not yet diagnosed the problem. Temperature was 19, but fuel is treated for -2.
  • vzh9p7vzh9p7 Posts: 24
    A buddy who has a TDI is starting to experience the coolant level warning light coming on during cold starting (e.g., 5 degrees). It goes off after a while. Coolant does not appear to be low. Sensor stuck/frozen you think?
  • UPDATE - After they had it for 2 days, they found nothing wrong. I drove it 5 miles on the highway and it lost power and stalled again. I was able to restart, but could not ever get it to rev very high, and it would stall out. Towed back to dealer for more bad service....
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    If the light is blinking, YES!Very common problem. The antifreeze level is right on the verge of being too low. When cold, it contracts enough to make the sensor think its too low and BLINK the indicator lamp.


    It is impossible for the "sensor" to freeze, it is simply 2 metal 'probes' that stick down into the resivoour bottle. If the fluid does not touch them, the indicator light will BLINK.


     Add a splash of G12 antifreeze to the system and it will be OK. (NEVER use anything but G12) Any good VW/Audi dealership would add a splash of fluid for no charge.


    Also, check for "coolant migration problem" while under the hood.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085


    Did you look at the clear fuel hose between the fuel-filter and the engine? Does it have any fuel in it?


    Immediatey add some (more) diesel-fuel antigell.


    I wonder when you last changed the fuel filter?
  • vzh9p7vzh9p7 Posts: 24
    Thank you very much. I'll forward it on. I, as always, greatly appreciate you input in helping out those of us who are, er....less than mechanically inclined!


    By the way, I posted earlier that I needed new tires. I just got a set of Yokohama Avid T4's, and my first drive on them seems to show that they are as quiet as the original Michelins. I think the handling is "perhaps" a little less gripping than the Mich's, but I really need to try these out in the spring (it's -8 here), to get a better feel for them. All in all, after a day of driving on them, I'm fairly happy, particularly since they were half the price ($309), out the door.


    Thanks again for everyone's input on this and other questions. I certainly appreciate it!


  • I am a new owner of a VW Jetta TDI. I get great fuel economy. However, in the four months that I have owned my Jetta, I have had faulty control switches in the steering column, ESP malfunction, defect in my sunroof, and a combination of Faulty alarm system/faulty radio. Apparantly the alarm routes through the radio. Had I had only these problems with my car, I may have been disapointed, but would still have been understanding. But, and this is a big but, I have waited as of today Six weeks for the radio to be repaired. I have been told that the radio is on back order and so far, they do not know when I will be receiving a replacement. Although my car is new, and I will be receiving a rebuilt radio in a new car, I still have to wait. This confuses me as the 2005 model is still in production and I dont think that the are sending them out off of the line without radios. I have contacted both the dealership where I purchased my car and VW customer care, with no success. On a side note, in speaking with VW Customer care, apparently they will not wait on the line for you to speak with a supervisor, you will be disconnected. Also, the most detailed answer that I received from customer care is that the issue is a high priority, it is being researched, and they apologize, but they are doing all they can do. I do not believe this, as if they were doing all that could be done, they could easily pull a radio out of one of the cars sitting on the lot, and place it in my car. I am very dissatisfied with VW at this point and I would strongly recommend anyone that is considering making a VW purchase to reconsider.
  • tdibobtdibob Posts: 12
    May I suggest that you should copy VW/Germany for their information to improve quality. Quality has been an issue with VW. Luck also plays a part! I am thinking of getting 05 Golf TDI and I do not have the courage yet! Good luck.


  • obieobie Posts: 39
    Now that the diesel Passat has been out nearly a year, can anyone out there with 8-10k miles report their fuel economy?
  • p100p100 Posts: 1,116
    Some years ago, I have gone through a new VW lemon nigthmare, and my biggest frustration was the incredible arrogance and indifference of the VW customer complaint receiving department (cannot call them customer service - what customer service?). Save 37 cents on the postage stamp - your letter will make no difference. The only mesage these people understand is a dent in their pocket book. And this can only be achieved by potential customers turning away from these products until the quality improves.
  • I have an 01 TDI with 53K miles. I lost some severe power upon inclines and brought it in (Suspected carbonization and MAF sensor). Sure enough, both are true. The local VW dealer tells me that it is tough, every 50K or so I need to spend $600.00 to de-carbonize the intake (Pictures available if you are interested). I understand there is a work around for this by plugging the intake and draining the excess oil on the ground instead of re-injecting the oil back into the intake - anyone know where to find this procedure?

    As for VW - the recognize the design flaw but refuse to do anything about it. I know the EPA and other Gov't agencies are beginning to look into this and my pictures/recpt's are heading there way of more evidence but more recpt's/pict's may help..


    Let me know if you know where the workaround is. If I do need to de-carbonize every 50K, the cost savings for diesel is gone and VW has some shoddy workmanship...
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    If you back-off the EGR system and keep the oil vapors out, you shouldn't have the problem. It's most common with city driven vehicles, because EGR operates more in idle situations. The biggest problem is the junk #2 diesel that the rest of the world doesn't have to deal with. I'm over 100k miles and with the adjustments I've made, my intake looks pretty clean. Small amount of build-up, nothing to worry about.


    I would think an independant mechanic could do this service substantially cheaper. Someone did one at my house one day in a couple hours, a good part of which was soaking the parts and have a beverage. VW dealers are too expensive to bother with and don't bring much to the table in the way of service. Nothing other brands aren't guilty of, but VW's rates are higher, so it makes it even less attractive.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You apparently misunderstand why the intake plugging occours. It is not a "design flaw" as you suggest. I fear you have it backwards. It is the EPA that MANDATED the EGR system that CAUSES the plugging. (When bad fuel is used) The EPA does not give a #$@ if your intake manifold needs to be cleaned out occasionally because of their rules.


    It is the CR@PPY diesel fuel in North America that is the main cause. (better diesel is supposed to be available by 2006) In NA, most of the crude is made into GASOLINE, only the lefrover cr@p is diesel.


    When fed with quality diesel, the TDI can go well over 200K miles with no intake plugging.


     Also, not using the correct engine oil can contribute to cloging. Additionally, not cleaning the "snowscreen" may speed the clogging process.


    I have never heard of your suggested method of somehow draining some kind of "excess oil on the ground". Please explain to us where this "excess oil" is to be found? (it sounds like snake oil to me ;-)


    The ONLY way to properly clean a gummed-up intake manifold is to REMOVE IT FROM THE VEHICLE. Any attempt to clean in while installed on the engine is asking for serious engine damage. $600 is outrageous and you can do a lot better than that if you do some research on the internet.


    There are also things you can do to help PREVENT the intake clogging. (I did to my TDI with 1000 miles on it.)


    As for your MAF, that is a totally seperate issue. Have you perfomed the simple test to see if your MAF may be bad?


     If you REALLY need a new MAF, you can get one online and install yourself. (very easy to

    install with a screwdriver)


    BTW: Your "cost-savings" will come back in the summer. Diesel prices ALWAYS go up in the winter because diesel is used to heat homes. (under the name of "heating oil")
  • I agree with needing to remove the intake to clean it - unfortunately, I had no choice but to pay the dealer - I just had back surgery and cannot even bend over to add oil for a few months - oh well. I am diligent on oil changes and do it every 5-7K, using synthetic (Yes the correct type)


    As for #2 fuel - I am not familiar with the differences - is #1 better? I buy my fuel from a truck stop typically and both are available. I was not aware of the snow screen cleaning - I will look into it (Any good book recommendation on the TDI?) I am a fairly capable mechanic (Old gear head) and most tasks come easy, the computerization will get me though due to costs.


    As for a design flaw - I disagree, I am a mechanical engineer and there are quite a few ways to dispense of the excess oil without intentionally clogging the intake (E.g. excess filters, drains, etc, etc.) It is VW's responsibility to inform each consumer of this flaw prior to purchase - this is pure negligence on their part. On my high performance equipment, I have always been instructed of minimum standards for fuel, oil etc... and the repercussions of not sticking to it - VW did not do this.


    As for the draining the oil - the dealer explained that I could plug the port into the intake and put a tube in place from the EGR (I think) to drain the extra on the ground. Of course I do not like this because of environmental concerns and I am sure it will break some law here.


    IT almost seems like making the computer adjustments from the VAC software may be best but I am very open to other alternatives.
  • "There are also things you can do to help PREVENT the intake clogging. (I did to my TDI with 1000 miles on it.)


    <What specifically are you speaking of?>


    As for your MAF, that is a totally seperate issue. Have you perfomed the simple test to see if your MAF may be bad? "

    <What simple test? I had mine replaced under warranty, otherwise, I can buy them directly from Bosh for ~$15.00 (in the trade). VW just reduced the cost of them from over $500 to $75. so that should help most.>
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I can relate and sympothize to your having back troubles. The few times by back was messed up, I was very frustrated that I could not even bend over the engine bay. (much less actually lift a wrench)


    I now know what you are refering to "about putting a tube in place". This is commonly known as the "Elephant hose mod". I agree that it is not the best way to alleviate intake plugging. (It tends to make your TDI stinky because of the fumes it eminates)


    An alternative to the "Elephant hose mod" is to fasion an oil-seperator that goes in between the cam-cover and the intake plenum. Many folks have built up different variations on this theme using PVC and a bronze scrubbie which allows the oil to seperate from the airstream.


    Since there are volumes of information online about TDI intake clogging and how it can be reduced or eliminated, I will not re-hash it here. Basically, if you reduce the EGR gasses or oil in the intake, the intake will not clog.


     Do some research on "CCV" (Crank Case Ventalation) and you should find a weeks worth of reading.


    The intent with all of these CCV efforts is to reduce the "suckage" of crankcase oil into the intake tract. (which then combines with the impurities of the fuel via the EGR and accumulates on the intake)


    Check out these videos about various TDI issues. You will find that the "snowscreen" is relatively easy to remove and clean.


    I wish you a swift recovery 8-)
  • I have a 2005 wagon in Houston, TX. Mostly highway miles doing 70-80. I get 30 mpg with the AC running and 33 mpg w/o the AC.


    I couldn't be happier with the car even with the $65 oil changes.
  • Thanks for the thoughts on the speedy recovery -- A good nuerosurgeon and a few weeks are getting me there.


    I will look into both options and report back a solution for me ( I have a couple of other buddies with the same issue so we will probably do a combination and report back results - thanks)


    Do you know what the difference on #1 & #2 fuel is?? Is #2 more oil than fuel?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    In many places, #1 is kerosene. #2 diesel in this country is just standard diesel that meets very minimum requirements. Something in the order of 40 cetane and less than 300ppm sulphur (shooting from the hip here on numbers). There are some "supreme" or "premium" diesels around that are closer to 50 cetane and 30ppm sulphur. These burn tremendously cleaner, quieter, low aromatic, and burn more efficiently. They're also much better on the fuel system and EGR.


    BP/Amoco sells "diesel supreme" that I try to run, but it's hard to find and usually you have to call the fuel depot to find out IF and where it's available. Many stations have "supreme" or "premium" on their pumps, but there's no legal standard for these fuels and many times it's just plain rot-guy #2. Most stations are independents and can buy fuel from anywhere, even if the sign says "bp", "sunoco" etc. That's why researching through a fuel depot is the only reliable way to find high quality diesel.


    Sometime in 2006, the sulphur level in diesel fuel has to be reduced to 15ppm sulphur. Whether or not that will result in a true premium diesel (like the BP Supreme) is unknown, but having 20X less sulphur has to be an improvement!


    When I run BP Diesel Supreme, my TDI is obviously quieter, a bit stronger, NEVER smokes (even on cold starts) and the mpg doesn't change that I can measure.


    If you can't find premium diesel, I'd recommend at least running an additive. Powerservice (white bottle at wal-mart, etc.) has a cetane booster and helps prevent gelling. 4oz per fillup helps, but I don't notice a performance difference. I mainly do it to make SURE the fuel is treated for cold. It never seems to fail that somewhere a station forgets to treat the fuel and cars/trucks are gelling up.
  • Might be the fuel-sender unit. There is a mod for this, but I do not know if this affects you model year or not...check out for the info.
  • pruzinkpruzink Posts: 112
    You could have a problem with a glow plug, or the glow plug wiring harness. "" has many posts on troubleshooting glow plugs and the wiring harnesses; I would suggest looking there for more info. As far as the oil light coming on, that does not sound good. You may have installed an oil filter without the propper drain back dam. There is an up and down side to the oil filter, there should be a plastic anti-drain back dam in the center of it about 30% of the distance down from the top of the filter. People have reported seeing filters without this feature and the engine taking too long to get oil pressure up when starting.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    I still feel compelled to comment on your assertion that the "intake crud" is some kind of "design flaw".


    Let me explain another way.


    When gasoline engines started coming thru with catalytic-converters installed. (Early 1970's) The cats would "plug up" all the time. This was because most gas pumps still delivered REGULAR GASOLINE (with lead in it) Since this gas was about 60 cents a gallon, most folks pumped that into their tank. (Unleaded fuel cost more)


    Only after the fuel suppliers were able to get more UNLEADED GASOLINE into the delivery structure and the nozzle-size was modified so you could not plysically put the leaded fuel into the tank... then the cats stopped getting plugged-up.


    With the VW TDI engine with the "cooled EGR" the situation is simular. The required fuel for the TDI is not readilly available in North America. It is not a matter of #1, #2,#3,#4... etc. (There is no question you want to run #2 diesel in TDI.)


    There is a Federally-mandated date by which all road-diesel will be ELSD... I am eagerly awaiting that date.


    Some folks run BIO DIESEL fuel which virtually ELIMINATES the intake gunk. BD is hard to find and pricey. You often have to buy it by the drum and dispense it into your TDI on your own. (Some folks find this cumbersome and somewhat inconvienent.)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363 attracted to all of VW's diesel models as we are, and since we are in no urgent need of a different car at the moment, I would not consider a new diesel automobile in this country until the fuel situation is finally solved. The ultimate irony is that the state with the best fuel is California - where NOX emissions prevent the cars from being sold at all as new.


    Yes, these engines were not made to run on the crud we sell as diesel in this country. Yes, this problem should finally be solved around 12-18 months from now, depending on where you live and buy your fuel.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,334
    I can certainly understand your logic, but low sulfur stuff is available ala "designer" fuel. Biodiesel (B100, B20,etc.) is also.


    As you have pointed out, is that in speaking with a very knowledgeable repair guy, another irony is of the engines that he has torn apart for one reason or another, ones that have been run on CA specified #2 diesel show the least wear and tear overall vs 49 states #2 diesel.
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