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VW Passat TDI



  • dolphindolphin Posts: 71
    Sounds like a MAF sensor beginning to go bad...
  • Just got back from 1800 mile trip to midwest. I just kept telling my wife "I love this car." It performed perfectly with plenty of power. Gas mileage was 34+, even through the winding hills of tennessee, at 80 mph with the a/c running. The last vehicle that I took on this trip was a Hyundai Sante Fe [2002] and it seems like I spent alot of time in passing gear trying to get through the tenn. hills. Even with it's 6 cyl. engine, I got only 23 mpg. I'll recommend the passat tdi highly. I had no problem finding fuel- it seems like more and more stations are carrying it.
  • wnzbnzwnzbnz Posts: 3
    After a week, dealer thinks the "thrust" sensor may be going bad and is replacing it.
  • us_eagleus_eagle Posts: 7
    I am currently on the market for a new car. GLS TDI is my first choice because the fuel efficiency. Based on my research that TDI runs around 33 mpg and regular GLS runs around 26 mpg with mixed drive, it mean TDI saves more then 25% on gas mileage. But the price on diesel is usually at least 10% more then gas in my area; I will also have to spend $3000 more to get a TDI version. This means I will break even after I spend $20,000 on fuel. In another word. after 8000 gal (2.5 PG) or 264000 miles. Am I correct?
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    A couple things to consider. The standard gas Passats "require" premium fuel. That's about the same price as diesel lately. In the past, diesel and reg. unleaded have statistically been about the same, leaving for regional/seasonal variances. Whether you run premium in them is another issue I guess.

    Another thing to consider is resale value. My Jetta was slightly cheaper than a 1.8T Jetta when new, but is now worth several thousand more.

    Why are the TDI's so much more than the gassers? They were supposed to be about the same price, within $500 anyway. Are the dealers not discounting the diesels? That may also be a regional thing, as when I shopped Passat diesels I was able to find some dealers that wanted sticker and others that would sell slightly above invoice. Pays to shop around.
  • Definitely shop around. The local dealer in Reno, NV wouldn't deal at all, so I got on the web and found dealers in CO, ID, and Southern NV that would deal. I bought my 05 Passat TDI in Idaho for $300 over invoice and got the 2.9% for 48 months. The Reno dealers excuse was that the cars were being bought by locals for friends/relatives in California, one of several states void of TDIs. Although I haven't had my Passat very long I love it. Only wish I could have got a TDI 4motion. I heard they are available in Canada. Does anyone know if that is true?
  • tomsawyertomsawyer Posts: 12
    I purchases a Passat TDI in May. I now have 4,200 miles on her and I have to say so far so good. Car is quick, comfortable and I am averaging roughly 550 miles a tank full.

    One thing though: I just got my insurance bill ( I live in NJ) and they price the car at $1,500 ($500 deductible) for the year. My other car is an X5 4.4i ($1,000 deductible) and I pay $1,175. Think the 325 difference is all in the deductible? I also noticed that the car's symbol is 20 while the X5's symbol is 15.

    Any comments?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    My 2005 Passat and 2005 GMC hybrid PU truck are both $570 every six months. That is with $240 deductible collision & $120 ded comprehensive. That is for So. CA.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Well you can't compare insurance state/state or owner/owner, but the symbol tells you a lot. My Jetta is also a high symbol (18). I have the same deduct and policy on all my cars, and right now my Jetta is about the same to insure as my 2005 Honda Odyssey and 2003 Chevy Silverado. The wife's GX470 is about $100 more/year.

    I think the TDI is more because it has a Turbo. I'm not joking.
  • bhill2bhill2 Posts: 1,779
    If it's like my diesel Rabbit (OK, this was a while ago) it is because it is a VW. Everybody knows that VWs are sporty and are driven by people who tend to speed and take chances, right?

    2009 BMW 335i, 2003 Corvette cnv, 2001 Jaguar XK cnv, 1985 MB 380SE (the best of the lot)

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Everybody knows that VWs are sporty and are driven by people who tend to speed and take chances, right?

    Of course! Actually, while my TDI is a symbol 18, a 2.0slow Jetta was only a symbol 15 which is much closer to any other similar car. The 1.8T was a symbol 19. I believe a Trans-Am (at that time) was also a symbol 19. I'm just listing what I remember from when I bought my TDI. I'm old enough to not care about insurance, but was quite surprised when the bill came so I talked to the agent about it. He reassured me he had it right in the computer and he wasn't sure why a 90hp car would get such a high rating either. If they only knew I've bumped mine to over 115hp..... :P
  • thsmiththsmith Posts: 10
    I had a VW Sharan (mini-van) during a work assignment in Germany and had the exact same problem. I cannot remember exactly what it was, but it is a common problem. Take a look at the diesel board on vwvortex, or perhaps the tdiclub and post a question.

    When I had this problem I posted there and got an answer very quickly and the response agreed with the dealer's inspection. Sorry I cannot remember what it was, but it was some type of sensor that would not allow the boost to work - essentially, you are non-turbocharged when this happens. Stopping/restarting the engine resets the sensor. I think it will get progressively worse (start happening more often).

    Good luck.

    Here is a list of possible solutions from the diesel board at vwvortex - you might want to post a new query tho, b/c this info is from an older post:

    Your car is going into limp mode. This happens when it sees too much boost, so it cuts the boost altogether. Maybe fueling too, but I am not sure about that one. It is reset each time you switch off the ignition. Thats why the problem seems to go away upon restart.

    There are several things that can cause this. Most likely, the variable vanes in the turbo are sticking in the full boost position (due to soot buildup in the turbo). So while puttering around under normal acceleration, the ECM doesn't see crazy boost levels, so it thinks all is fine. But when you punch it, the boost spikes too high and the ECM shuts it down so as not to blow up your turbo. The best way to see if your vanes are sticking is to try to move the actuator rod on the turbo. There is a vacuum diaphragm that controls it. Look for the vacuum line that goes down to your turbo to see where it is located. If you cant move it by hand, try unplugging the vacuum line from the N-75 solenoid & apply vacuum. Either with a vacuum pump or just use your mouth. You can provide enough suction to move this rod yourself. Make sure it moves freely. If not, lubricate the area with a good penetrating oil.

    A second possibilty is your N75 valve has failed. This is what controls your turbo. It is not a common problem, but as with all electrical parts, it is possible it is no longer functioning. You can try to swap your boost control solenoid with your EGR control solenoid as a temporary test. The parts are very similar, so can be swapped to trouble shoot, but they do have some differences, so it should be used only as a test. AT least it will save you the cost of buying a new N75 valve if it is not the problem.

    A third option is that your intake is plugged, restricting the airflow. this restriction does not allow the compressed air to move fast enough into the engine, causing the higher than usual pressures before the restriction. This is a common problem here in north america because we use diesel that is more dirty than yours. 500ppm of sulfur IIRC. But since your diesel over there is supposed to be much cleaner than ours, I do not think option #3 is your culprit.

    Try to see if either of the first two help out & well go from there. Oh, one other thing. Before going through all this, contact someone who has a code reader or Vag-com to get the code stored in your ECM. It will probably read something like 'Charge Pressure Deviation' or something similar. If you can't contact someone who can retrieve the code for you, you may have to go to the dealer. Some will do it for no charge (it only takes 3 minutes), some will do it for a nominal fee, and others will charge a full hour labour to do it. It depends on the dealer & how customer friendly they are.

    Good luck & let us know how it goes.
  • wnzbnzwnzbnz Posts: 3
    Thanks for your response. Thrust sensor did not correct the problem, and 2004 Passat TDI is back at dealer. I printed out you info and will pass it on to the dealer. The problem occurs mostly on hot days, temperature greater than 85 F.

    Thanks again.
  • slezesleze Posts: 1
    I am interested in buying the the TDI wagon so I test drove an automatic TDI sedan (wagons only come in automatic). The only thing that concerns me is the <1900 RPM power. Whether you floor it or gently press the accelerator, you accelerate VERY slowly until the turbo kicks in.

    Is there anything I can do to fix this lack of power? It didn't feel like the engine was struggling or anything but was just some sort of computer setting. Would a chip fix this?
  • soupboysoupboy Posts: 15
    Welcome to turbo lag. You might find some aftermarket bolt-ons or ECU remapping options that will allow the turbo to spool up sooner but you're probably not going to see much. You could try brake standing...

    The nice thing about the TDI is the broad torque range. For comparison, my WRX (gas turbo) does nothing until 2800rpm....but it's also a manual so you can rev and launch.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    I have driven my 2004 TDI wagon for over a year now (13,000 miles +), and I have NEVER experienced either turbo lag or lack of low end power. You may experience Tip lag until you learn how to drive it. By the way, flooring a diesel is not the way to get maximum acceleration out of it.
  • tomsawyertomsawyer Posts: 12
    I would appreciate some help on this one. I am doing the 5000 mile service on an 05 Passat TDI.

    I completed the oil change no problem; however, I am not sure how to empty the fuel/water separator. Can anyone guide me on how to do this? Here's a couple of questions -

    1) Is the fuel/water separator located on the right side of the engine next to the oil filter housing?

    2) If it is, is it a black canister with 4 hoses connected to the top of it?

    3) On the bottom, I see a white plastic wheel that looks like it can be turned.

    4) If this is it, it looks like the canister is held on to a metal arm with some type of torx screw. Does anybody know the size and will it fit on to a ratchet?

    5) Should I take the screw off to lift the canister to turn the plastic wheel?

    6) Will diesel fuel come out of the canister if I turn the wheel?

    I appreciate all who answer. Thanks in advance.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    cosmo, if flooring a diesel is not the way to get max accel out of a diesel vehicle, what is the way to do it? i used to floor my 2003 jetta 5-spd very often, in order to get max accel. i find myself doing it less often with 2005 passat tdi however.
  • liscolisco Posts: 1
    Just purchased a 2005 TDI wagon - have 2k miles to date. When I accelerate to 30 to 45 mph and let up on the throttle, I get a strange vibration/sound that seems to come from the drivers side roof panel area. I have ruled out heat shields - I can put the car in neutral and coast - the noise is there. I will take it back to the dealer, but just wondering if anyone experience the same issue. It certainly will help the dealer pin it down - you know how it goes - we could not duplicate the problem etc.

    Also - what is "tip lag"?

  • bzackbzack Posts: 12
    I bought a Passat TDI last week. So far I have driven 350 Kilometer. For the first 150 Kilos, it's mainly highway, I got 5.7L/100 Kilo. For the last 200 Kilos, it's all city, I got 7.5 L/100 Kilo. Is this normal?
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    If your figures are based on actual fuel added at fill ups, you are getting better fuel economy than I am with my '04 TDI wagon. If your figures are based on the trip computer readouts, you may be in for a let down when you refuel. My trip computer is consistently optimistic by 4 mpg.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    There is a discussion regarding this issue on another popular TDi forum. The subject to search for is "Shifting patterns of a automatic TDi". I have found that flooring the pedal gives me diminishing returns in regards to acceleration and a significant increase in exhaust smoke. I found a sweet spot that seems to give me the best acceleration with less smoke, and the shift point in automatic mode is 4,000 rpm. You have to experiment. It didn't take me long to get the feel for it. Off the line, depress the accelerator smoothly as if you were aggressively but sanely driving a manual transmission, i.e. not like you are a fifteen-and-a-half year old that pops the clutch and mashes the accelerator and either kills the engine or burns rubber. That sudden dumping induces Tip lag, and acceleration is temporarily zilch. To accelerate when already in motion, manually downshift one lower gear and go for the sweet spot. Flooring the acclerator will cause the Tiptronic to downshift too far and you lose the advantage of the TDI's torque.

    Works for me. I'd like to learn what works best for the rest.
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    thanks cosmo. i'll try to incorporate your advice re acceleration and will report back if i notice anything that might interest you or others here. i actually wish the car would smoke *more* like my 2003 jetta TDI 5-speed would do - because i tend to enjoy putting a soot cloud on tailgators. in related news, i noticed that it seemed impossible to make the car smoke on the low-sulfur california diesel fuel. but on nevada fuel, ascending into some nevada/wyoming mountains around 7000 feet, i put a magnum opus sooty onto a left-lane hog who was dawdling up the mountain. i was lovin that, but i have it on good authority that such enjoyment makes me an idiot!

    i've looked at two other VW forums (fora?) and have not found the thread to which you refer but i'll look for some others. wink wink nudge nudge say no more. funny enough, on one of those other VW forums i found a discussion about the next-gen version of my other car, pontiac GTO. sometimes i've got the need for speed/acceleration, other times i've got the need for diesel mpg :)

    in diesel price news, it's nice to see the price of diesel *almost* as low as the price for regular unleaded here in new england and in some other states on I-80...
  • bzackbzack Posts: 12
    Thanks! My figure is indeed based on trip computer. Even though it may not be accurate I'm still surprise in a good way: compared to my Grand Cherokee, Passat is extremely fuel efficient.
  • I am new to the TDI, loving it after 5 days. My commute is mostly highway -- I have not needed to buy fuel yet, but the computer tells me I am getting about 41 mpg.

    1) I do notice it seems to be better if I keep my speed to 70 or lower, but I still can get 38 mpg at 75. Does that match your experience?

    2) Will my mileage improve after the engine is broken in?

    3) I "drive" it like I drive gasoline cars -- I turn the key, start and go. Of course, it's 100 degrees here in PA. Should I be waiting 5 seconds or watching some glow light?

    4) I got the GLS for $23,677 before tax and tags. How did I do? That was $1800 less than the first dealer I spoke to. Once I got below invoice, I stopped shopping. I also feared that the TDI supply would dry up.

    5) Can I play MP3 CDs in the Monsoon, or just conventional CDs?

    Thanks! I look forward to joining the legion of loyal VW drivers.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    2) Will my mileage improve after the engine is broken in?

    Historically, the TDI engines have been quite tight when new. Performance and economy goes up after 5k-15k miles.

    3) I "drive" it like I drive gasoline cars -- I turn the key, start and go. Of course, it's 100 degrees here in PA. Should I be waiting 5 seconds or watching some glow light?

    No need to wait in the summer, but when temps start dipping you might start making a habit of waiting. The glow-plug light should just blink right off if warming isn't needed. I have three diesel vehicles and pretty much catch my self waiting to start every vehicle I own :) I'm not sure how fast you throw it in gear after starting, but you really should wait maybe 5 seconds or so at the least. It's very hard on a transmission (any vehicle) to be thrown straight into gear before pressue is brought up. I usually start car, then put on seat-belt, etc. before going into gear. Just a little tid-bit.
  • smokerrsmokerr Posts: 5
    We have a 2005 Passat TDI wagon, automatic trany with 4,000 miles

    Fuel mileage on the highway has been 38mpg (trip meter reading, with 3 people, packed to the roof with baggage).

    Two people and some baggage, 40-42 (lower with headwinds, higher figure neutral). Actually measured, not trip meter readings.

    Trip meter is a .2 to .5 high on the highway, and 1.5 to 2 mpg high in town (assume the algorithm has a harder time calculating right with frequent speed changes).

    It should get better after full breakin, uncertain on the Passat with its special break in oil (imprvoed very fast intitialy), but typical 10-15k in a diesl will max out.

    Under 70 is best economy range, though I have had the higherest reading in town, very early moring, 35-40 mph speed limits and hit all the lights, computer reading of 43.5 mpg.

    Do not wait for light, as it does not acivagte at high temps. Read manul for low temp ops (40 degrees and below I believe).

    You can increase mielaege with some tricks, put in netural and coast to stops as far in advance as you can (it maintains speed very well on the level), coast down hills, turn engine off if waiting for more than 30 seconds at hte light (also in manual).
  • eliaselias Posts: 2,120
    putting the car in neutral & coasting is not a way to save fuel - to the contrary. it's a waste because it uses fuel. instead, if you keep the car in gear & downshift as you coast down to a lower speed, zero fuel is used. as far as i know, this is true for all current vehicles, both diesels and gassers and has been the case for all fuel injected cars for the past couple of decades.
  • joss1joss1 Posts: 2
    As fare as finding "Power Service Diesl Kleen" and other similar brands, go to a bonafide truck stop off a highway. They have a many different brands. Even ask a trucker what they use in thier rigs for some more feedback.

  • Good stuff. I have only bought gas one time, and I hadn't set the trip odometer beforehand. So right now, all I have to go on is the onboard computer.

    Strictly on the turnpike at 60mph, I get 45 mpg readouts. On my whole commute this AM, including miles before and after the turnpike, it was 44 mpg. I never exceeded 60 and accelerated gently.

    At 70 mph, mileage drops to about 41. At 80 I can still get 38. This is no luggage and just me in the car.

    Regarding coasting: of course, the car consumes less gas idling in neutral than it does in gear. Before the Passat TDI, I drove a 5-speed and had downhill backroad spots in my commute where I would step on the clutch and coast for a half mile or more. But of course, taking your foot off the gas in an automatic (the only available trans for the Passat TDI) creates a drag. That is useful when approaching a stop, since it saves on brakes, but otherwise a waste of momentum. It is simple to shift into neutral and coast, but here is my question:

    Is it not hard on the auto transmission to pop in back into "D" when you are going about 40 mph? Might that shorten the life of the trans?

    And, in Tiptronic mode, is there any way to go from 1,2,3,4,5 into N? :confuse:
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