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VW Jetta TDI



  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Heat has never been a problem for me with the TDI's I've owned. Live in the Chicagoland area. Don't know how long in minutes it takes to get hot air as I've not been interested enough to time it.
    09 with the leatherette and 2004 TDI wagon with leather seats I don't particularly enjoy how cold the material can be in very cold weather, however, heated seats fix that issue in short amount of time.

    1982 Chevy Silverado 6.2L diesel that I drove many years ago, now that was a cold blooded truck.
  • I am in my second winter with my 09 TDI (6 speed standard). I have spent many weekens up in New Hampshire skiing in the winter and have started my Jetta in the morning after sub zero nights without any problems. I do make a concious effort to wait until the coil light goes off before starting. It takes a second or two longer before the light extinguises itself on very cold mornings. As far as waiting for the car to heat up I dont notice it taking much longer than a gasser. The heated seats do help in any case. I am approching 37,000 miles.
  • The consensus in the Denver area is that with Diesel No. 1 the tdi is good to start down to -10F even without additives. The battery heats both the glow plugs and the fuel filter, which seems to help a lot. Because I live where it can get below -10, I bought Terry Frost's Frostheater product and it's excellent. I have it plugged in when overnight temperatures can be expected to go below 20F. It's just easier on the glow plugs and the engine generally. The plus is that when you do that you get heat in the cabin almost immediately.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    With properly blended fuel, the TDI will start down to very low temps without a problem. Using your own additive is basically insurance on the chance the fuel you're buying is NOT blended properly. Buying at high volume locations or known fuel depots is a best practice regardless, but screw-ups happen and that's when you'll be glad you added your own protection. Diesel is just NOT as forgiving when it comes to the weather and a major temperature drop or driving cross country could cause concerns. I recall an early cold-snap in New England states a few years ago leaving a lot of diesels with gelled fuel lines because the fuel wasn't mixed for the extreme temps that hit.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    I'd agree with that, given the variation in blending. I think -10F is pushing your luck without additives. I remember not starting one time in Colorado at 8+F...let it sit until high noon and 20F and bingo, it kicked right off.

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  • Any experience with the radio and possibly the video input on the back?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Umm .... the issue with fuel Gelling is NOT with starting the engine. With gelled fuel, a VW TDI will start just fine.... but after driving for several miles, the particals of parrafan start to plug up the fuel-filter and can stall the engine.

    The fuel is heated by way of excess pressure from the injection-pump being fed back into the fuel-filter. However this may not be enough heat below -10F.

    The need for diesel fuel-additive is many-fold. Certainly anti-gell in the winter... however the incerase of Cetane and lubricants for the injection-pump are also important.

    I use fuel-additive AT EVERY FILLUP all year long. "PowerService" is available at Walmart.
    *) White bottle in winter
    *) Grey bottle in summer

    The increased Cetane improves fuel efficency and quiets the engine too. Unlike gasoline fuel-additives, the Diesel fuel-additives TRULY DO increase MPG because our TDI engines are designed for the European fuel which is not available here in North America. Expect 3-5 more MPG when using a Cetane enhancer!

    I get over 700 miles per tank of fuel... and average 50MPG (measured by entering each fuel-purchase into a spreadsheet for the past 6 years)
  • ggeeooggeeoo Posts: 94
    I am In love with my Jetta Sports wgn TDI I guess they heard the horror stories fixed
    the problems 55 MPG WWWWOOOOWWWW!
  • I checked the URL and even went to theURL for Webasto in Germany. Good thing I remembered some college German. In any event, there is no description on either URL of specifically what the heater is, how it works, etc. The only think that looks specific is a picture of the interior of a car, bus, etc. with a yellow glow.

    Do you have any details of how this heater works?

  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Check this UK link:

    The way my brother's Webasto interior (Peugeot - wagon) car heater worked was with remote control, powered by diesel. But there are models with timers, etc.
    He was also able to start the car with remote control which is now slowly geting popular in this country as well.

    Details on diesel powered model:

    If I would live in Quebec, Ontario or Alberta - I would definitely get one!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    Still doesn't tell us how it works. Is this a secret? :P

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  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    Open the second link that ends with "teaser" and click on "products" - and play the video. It shows you in details how it works in heavy British accent. And that is how it works!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    Okay. Looks like it takes a fair bit of installation. No something you'd want some monkey to try and install for you.

    It's like a 21st century version of the air-cooled VWs 19th century gas heater. :P

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    Let's hope not. Mine caught on fire and luckily I had a fire extinguisher close by. Burnt the paint on front fender. The gas line was leaking to the heater. Air cooled VWs were not great in Alaska. Except in the snow which they would go places no front wheel drive could go.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    If it's installed right, it works great! I have seen it and experienced it EU! Webasto has been making these units for some quite now without any problems (or law suits...).
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    Sounds like the trickiest part would be to wire it up so it turns on your heater blower motor. I wonder how it does that with automatic climate controls and all that computer stuff?

    Very slick item, though. The cell phone part seems a bit sinister though. I might use it in a novel about assassins :P

    I had a Corvair with a gas heater. That thing really put out some heat, but it consumed gasoline at an alarming rate. There were three settings: "too cold, too hot and too medium".

    We've come a long way. I could see this device in Alaska, definitely. When I worked there, we just kept the diesel trucks running for 3 months.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    Were you in Prudhoe? Our trucks idled all day long up there. We plugged them in at night. No cabin heater. Just circulated the coolant and kept the battery charged.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    No I was around Talkeetna. These trucks were at roadhouses. They would shut them off for short periods of course but usually not overnight. 45 below zero is not fun.

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  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,086
    My son's band plays at one of the places in Talkeetna from time to time. Somewhat of a rowdy little town. No way to make 45 below pleasant. I don't miss it at all.
  • A knowledgeable friend of mine during a recent discussion told me that the turbo unit is a known weak point on these vehicles because there are bearings that receive oil from the engine only when it is running and providing oil pressure.

    Whenever the oil pressure is too low, the bearings are subjected to wear (and then possibly failure). Low oil pressure is a condition that always occurs during each cold start and after each shutdown. Here is his advice:

    * keep revs to a minimum after the engine first fires and starts - never rev up on starting

    * nothing can be done for shutdown, except to ensure that the engine is running at low idle when the ignition is turned off. The turbo spins for quite a while after the ignition is turned off and since the engine is no longer supplying oil pressure (and therefore oil), there is wear caused during each shutdown.

    The good news: he said that he knows of a modification that can be made to the oil supply side of the turbo in order to fix this starvation problem.

    This involves the installation of a small accumulator on the oil intake side of the turbo unit. On installation the accumulator is pre-filled with oil and charged to about 80% of the operational pressure of the oil system.

    Then, whenever the car is started, oil from the accumulator is delivered to the turbo bearings while the engine is developing sufficient oil pressure to accomplish this with out the accumulator. Similarly, on shutdown, oil pressure and supply is maintained by the accumulator during turbo run-down.

    He also advised me that a turbo failure is completely unrelated to the way the vehicle was driven after start-up or prior to shutdown. In his opinion and experience, these vehicles experience this failure because of the poor design of the original equipment. The modification above takes care of the problem.

    Does anyone heard of this solution (& the cause of the turbo failures) before? While it makes technical sense that it would work, I have not seen anyone suggesting this solution.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    I have worked with Saab R&D in Trollhattan, Sweden for almost 15 years and the failure of the turbo unit (theirs was modified Garrett unit) was pretty rare.
    Not sure which "modified" unit VW is using because I know Garrett pretty much has this market cornered.
  • longo2longo2 Posts: 347
    Jogo, doesn't the Garret Turbo run ball bearings on the shaft and the VW only a bushing type? The Garret ball bearing set up should not be so 'oil needy' as a bushing?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    Your "knowledgable freind" has some valid points... but may not be fully qualified to discussVNT (Variable Nozzle Turbocharger) failure modes and causes.

    First of all, the VNT does not need oil "pressure" like an engine crahkshaft bearing needs "pressure". VNT requires "flow" coming in from the top and the oil is free to drain from the bottom out of the VNT housing.

    The "big" concern with your turbocharger is to know that it is OIL COOLED (there is no antifreeze flowing thru the center-section like on most other vehicles) This is exactly why VW specifies a particular oil for your TDI engine. The oil must be able to withstand flowing thru the hot turbocharger without turning into thick-goo. (or coking)

    1) Use the correct engine oil!
    2) Follow your friends advice reguarding startup and shutdown procedures.
    **) startup - Idle briefly to get the oil flowing thru the VNT..
    **)Shutdown - idle for awhile to cool off the VNT before turning off.

    The shutdown is the most important.... especially if you pull off the hughway into a rest-area. The turbocharger was over 1000 degrees just moments before you pulled into the rest area. It is IMPERATIVE that you idle the engine at least 2 minutes before shutting off the engine.

    Again, the issue is not lack of oil for lubrication.... it is lack of oil FLOW to remove the heat from the VNT bearings. Using the wrong oil can cause "coking" (formation of solid carbon particals) within the VNT bearing due to the extreme heat.(You can google "oil coking" to get more details)

    There is no need to apply a "solution" to a non-existant problem. The use of an accumulator or axzilary pump to flow oil when engine is not running is NOT needed for a street-driven TDI.

    If you wish to discover the REAL failure-modes for TDI VNTs... the #1 failure-mode is from people that "baby" their TDI engine and allow the insides of the turbocharger to fill up with carbon. That is why it is best to use FULL THROTTLE accelleration several times per tank of fuel. Concsnsly think about burning off the build-up of crud within the VNT.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,174
    The turbocharger was over 1000 degrees just moments before you pulled into the rest area. It is IMPERATIVE that you idle the engine at least 2 minutes before shutting off the engine.

    That sounds like a lot of fun especially if you pulled into the rest area because you really had to go. :confuse:
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    As far as I know (and correct me if I am wrong) VW is using Garrett unit as well (Garrett has since became a unit of Honeywell). Any time you have a turbo unit designated P/N that starts with GT or GTB that indicates a Garrett product. And they all use ball bearings.

    Like I've said, they supply turbos to just about all auto manufacturers nowadays.
    Also, like I've said before, failure of the turbo unit is quite rare.

    Bpeebles is right by saying no need to worry about non-existent or future/hypothetical problem.

    If there is anyone out there whose turbo failed, let's hear it!
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    The only turbo's I've seen "fail" on TDI's were generally misdiagnosed by dealerships OR were "tuned" to psi levels far beyond the design scope.

    It amazes me the number of turbo failures that also needed any number of sensors replaced along with it. Generally the problem was the sensor to begin with and the dealer realized this AFTER the new turbo would not boost as well.
  • jogousajogousa Posts: 402
    In the past, most of the problems with technicians misdiagnosing at dealerships was due to their poor training or lack thereof. But that is (or was) a systemic problem with other professions as well.

    In Europe, you have "trade" schools just for about any trade (plumbers, electricians, chimney cleaners, etc.). In this country, most of trades you learn is by looking over someones shoulder.

    Most mechanics who get a true "factory" training (dealers actually send them overseas) or those with higher technical education, have desk jobs at dealerships and low or minimum wage guys, who actually work on cars, learned trade by watching someone else do the repairs.

    It has changed a lot lately though, with all the electronic diagnostic tools available nowadays. Those are now "no brainers" that simply show mechanic where the problem is and how to fix it. To diagnose a problem properly is still an art. It it not an issue, when car is under warranty (car dealerships love to fix those because they get reimbursed by the factory).

    Case and point with VW - if you do your own oil change outside of the required window, next time you go to the dealer for a routine maintenance (that includes the oil change) he will show it on his R.O. and bills the factory for work that wasn't actually done.
  • You could put a turbo timer that will idle the engine for a set amount of time after you shut it off if the engine temp is above a preset level. Two minutes seems a little exessive to me. Most turbo timers on thr the high powered supras I have worked on were set to 60-90 seconds. These are engines making in excess of 600 hp so signifcantly more stress then the turbo in a TDI.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    You said ==> "Two minutes seems a little exessive to me."

    You must have missed where I pointed out that the VNT turbocharger installed on VW TDI is OIL COOLED. The only way for the heat to be removed from the VNT bearing is thru the oil flowing thru it. There is not a whole lot of oil flowing.... just a slow trickle thru the VNT bearings.(drip drip drip...)

    Almost all other automaker I am aware of uses a WATERCOOLED turbocharger. (There is antifreeze flowing thru the turbocharger bearing housing to remove the heat.) This is why most of those automakers do not specify synthetic oil for their turbocharged engines.

    With this realizartion.... would you rely on 60 seconds of oil-flow to cool down a hot VNT on your TDI?

    Keep in mind that my example of a highway rest-area is worst-case-scenaro for heat-soaking of the VNT bearings. Under most other driving conditions, you would get off the highway and drive at slower speeds for several minutes before shutting down the engine. This is why you do not usually have to think about it.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,371
    I think some people chatting at the local bar are remembering the early days of turbo, such as the Merkur, the early American efforts in the 80s, and the first Saabs.

    Turbo tech has come such a long way since then. Turbos just don't grenade like they used to way back when. They pretty much last the life of the car.

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