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Volkswagen TDI Models



  • Hello:
    My wife is the proud owner of a 2004 Jetta TDI. I am so impressed with the car, I am not looking for a Golf TDI or possibly another Jetta. Most of the cars I see for sale are outside California. I need to know what the restrictions, risks and hastles of buying and bringing a car into CA from elsewhere. I called the CA department of Motor Vehicles and go no help. They did say the car has to be a 50 state car! How would I know this.

    My other questions is about 'salvage title' cars. Is this a risk too?

    Any advice welcome,

    Sacramento, CA.
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    In theory, the current TDI is simply not legal for sale in California. In practice, my understanding is that you can register the car in CA if it has at least 7500 miles on it. You are not likely to get this response from the DMV - their job is not to make it easier for you to do this. You asked the wrong question - try this one:

    "I'm bringing a used car into CA for the first time, and it is a diesel and not CA-certified. What do I have to do?"

    The car cannot be made to meet current CA regulations, and thus cannot be "certified", as most gasoline cars can. However, when a new resident moves to CA with such a car, they are not generally required to sell the car, as long as it has a certain number of miles on it that "proves" that the car was not purchased out of state just to circumvent the regs.

    Bottom line: Since you are already a CA resident, the hassle factor is indeed considerable. Better to wait until the car meets CA regs [the '06 or '07 model year].
  • Thanks for the reply. I guess my hope was that 2004 TDI's where legally sold in CA. We have one so I know that. Therefore, would a 2004 TDI that is from another state easier to bring in. Would a 2003 TDI from Michigan be different from a 2003 TDI sold in CA?

    DMV did say something about checking the VIN # or 50 state sticker? I don't know how to do that when buying from a prvate party.

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    The emissions certification sticker is displayed in the engine compartment, on most cars I've seen as a stick-on somewhere under the hood itself. It has, in every recent car I've ever known, indeed noted whether the drivetrain was CA certified, 50-state legal, or otherwise. So yes, if the '03s and '04s were 50-state cars, it should say so on that sticker, and you should be able to register it without further ado in CA.

    Insist that any PP selling the car take a digital picture of the sticker and send it to you via e-mail, or ask to have the car inspected by an authorized VW dealer before closing the transaction. I would also check with your nearest VW dealer to verify that the car you're bringing in is one they can confirm was originally legal for sale in CA.
  • I am now on my second jetta, my first was a 931/2 new body style for those days and I drove it to 392000 kms then I got my timing belt changed and the guy wanted to time it a little bit ahead to get more power, I imagine he was just trying something because it basically blew my motor, so I then bought and 98 TDI and I already have 245000 kms and I have never had anything wrong with the engine other than glowplugs which was also a problem on my 931/2 but all in all, it is awesome on ice, through snow and don't get me wrong, I don't BABY this car when it comes to driving it! I do the occasional rally racing with it just for fun and its been through pretty much anything I could think of, yet no problems!! So whats up with the newer ones then! I still get about 53mpg on average with a fillup cost of about 35$. If thats not stunning, what is?
  • vwinvavwinva Posts: 71
    CEL is starting to come on. Checked codes, reports intermittent problems with EGR. My question is: will a gallon of biodiesel in the mix clean out the manifold or do I need to take it apart and manually clean it?
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    The "heated EGR" on the TDI engine is not desigend for the sulpher-laden fuel that we have here in North America. I am eagerly looking forward to the mandated ELSD (Extremly Low Sulpher Diesel) starring in 2006.

    If your EGR problem is the ol' "intake clogging" issue that all TDIs endure, then there is nothing you can pour into the fuel tank that will magically fix it. Lets not forget that diesel fuel should NEVER be present in the intake manifold.

    Instead of guessing that plugging is your problem, a physical inspection of the intake plenum is trivial to do and will tell you if it needs to be cleaned.

    Do not forget that for the EGR to be flagged as a problem, it only takes a minute difference in the calculated airflow -vs- the actual airflow.
  • I finally did it, after much research and test driving. I bought a new 04 Jetta TDI today. It is a GLS with the leather package and automatic. I paid $21,200 plus $369.00 dealer handling. MSRP was $23,400.00 It seemed like a good deal but I could not find alot of information on pricing. Here in Colorado it did not seem like the dealer wanted to deal on the TDI's, regardless of what model you are shopping for. Let me know what you think. Thanks, Bill
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    As long as you're happy with the deal, don't dwell on it! An $1800 discount sounds reasonable though. Congrats and enjoy!
  • CEL is starting to come on. Checked codes, reports intermittent problems with EGR. My question is: will a gallon of biodiesel in the mix clean out the manifold or do I need to take it apart and manually clean it?

    adding B100 doesn't reduce the existing crud in the EGR/intake manifold. It does reduce the it's formation (with less soot). Since B100 is a good solvent, chances are. the B100 added to the tank may clean the lines out and end up clogging the existing fuel filter.

    You'll have to remove the intake manifold to clean it completely (not a fun job). You can use B100 to clean the intake manifold and EGR. Plenty of information at Fred's about it.

    Depending on what part of VA you're you can do to 2 things to mitigate (well 3 things) the crud in the intake:
    1. EGR mod which reduces the exhaust gas recirculated back into the intake (depending on the part of VA you live in, you may not have to worry)
    2. Get something to "filter" out the oil in the ventilated cranckcase air, such as the Mann Provent CCV or something
    3. Use biodiesel to reduce the soot ouput.
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    As a previous owner of a total of three Volkswagens, the latest a 1995 Golf, I am considering taking the plunge again on a TDI Golf. Some comments (incl. Consumer Reports) suggest reliability is a problem on the latest version cars. What is your experience?
  • window regulators did impact it somewhat (2003 models got revised ones and extended warranty on pre 2003 models).

    then there was the ignition coil fiasco...not a problem for TDIs (no spark plugs).

    The TDI engine is not problemic, there are known issues (intake crud that requires cleaning).

    MAF sensor failures...happens to both gas and diesel
  • vzh9p7vzh9p7 Posts: 24
    VW (2003 Jetta TDI), is in for it's 60K mile maintenance, and they said the tires are about shot. Now, I really like the Michelins that came on it, but I'm not a high-performance driver or anything. I've also heard Michelins are kind of "soft" and wear fast. I'd hoped to get more mileage from them (replaced the F150's tires at 120K)...particularly since nearly ALL of our driving is freeway, but in Michigan.


    Any recommendations?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,561
    Oem Michelin's seem to have a range of wear rates between a normal 30,000 miles to a higher of 95,000-up miles. Other than longer life I am not sure of some of your other parameters, but here are a few of my top picks when I go to replace my OEM Goodyear LS-H's.


    Goodyear Triple Tread (700 utoq vs400 for oem Michelins) T rated

    Goodyear Comfort Tread (700 utoq vs400 for oem Michelins)T rated


    Kumho Ecsta HP4-716 H


    BF Goodrich Traction T/A H


    Falken Ziex ZE 512 H


    Yokohama Avid H4S


    As you probably have read, the GY Triple Treads and the Falken 512's are "directional tires" so if you plan to stay with the oem recommended rotation pattern, no problems or concerns.


    I have implemented a 5 tire cross rotation, I am at 46,000 miles on my oem Goodyear LS-H's and am projected to go a min of 85-95,000 miles.


    You can do a sort of modified 5 tire rotation with directinal tires. If you decide on this combination let me know and I can describe who what why when and how.
  • vzh9p7vzh9p7 Posts: 24
    As usual, thanks for the information; I'll go start checking some of these out. Yes, I'd like longer life; but we are particularly fond of both the traction and the ride quality that the Michelin's have, and from what I've heard, going to a longer wearing tire (e.g., harder), might impact that.


    The dealer wanted just under $600 for the Michelins.
  • masemase Posts: 1
    Sounds like a good deal to me... mind if I ask the dealers name? I'm thinking about buying one here in Colorado.


    Many thanks.
  • homerkchomerkc Posts: 113
    I put Avid H4s on a 95 Golf and the tire wear was horrid. They wore out faster than any other tires I've seen. However, I have Yokohama Avid TOURING tires on my Dodge Intrepid, and those are great tires. Stay away from the H4s.


    Pirellis are a good choice - and the Tire Rack web site has a wide variety of reviews and user comments. Take a look.
  • I was at my VW dealer today and was advised by the service manager that VW has cut the price of their Castrol synthetic TDI 505.01 oil down to $4.95 a quart. Also said that their 1.8 gas engine now requires the 505.01 oil. This will help a great deal to lower the cost of an oil change. GRB
  • dpldpl Posts: 4
    Hi All, I was reading my VW service manual for my 04 TDI Jetta that came with the vehicle. Noticed at the 10,000 mile service interval to drain the water separator. What is it, and where is it on the engine?


  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,561
    As you stand at the front of the vehicle looking into the opened hood, it is like 11 inches behind the front headlight on your left nearest the right side front fender. (passenger side) It has a series of tubes emanating from this clamped down cylinder shaped filter. The plastic screw is at the bottom of this filter " hidden " by surrounding parts.
  • bpeeblesbpeebles Posts: 4,085
    As alluded to above, it is not "on the engine" at all.The "water seperator" is really just the fuel-filter housing. The drain for it is on the bottom of the fuel filter housing. Most folks report that there is VERY LITTLE water that ever comes out of it. (Unless they got a tankful of contaminated fuel.)


    Also, do not forget that most TDI owners put some kind of diesel fuel addititive in at each fueling. The additive virtually eliminates water in the fuel. (It also improves MPG, reduces smoking and keeps the injectors clean)
  • This past week, I drove from east Tennessee to Northern Utah. About halfway, the fuel consumption increased from about 40 mpg to the low 30's. Performance seemed a little sluggish also. Has anyone else observed this? It happened before I got to the higher altitude in Wyoming. Could it be winterized fuel? Do I need to take it to a dealer for a diagnosis?


    Any suggestions?
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,561
    I am guessing winterized fuel. A short while back I went from Durango, CO up to Moab UT hooked up with I 70 S to go to I 15 S to go to Las Vegas NV. 606 miles in 7 hrs of driving time and got 48 mpg (most all driving was done at altitude!
  • vwinvavwinva Posts: 71
    Has anybody used this? How does it compare to Powerservice's Diesel Kleen?

  • You're right about the BF Goodrich Traction T/A H tires. They are a good tire. I put them on in August and have about 12k on them. They handle great dry and wet but haven't had them in the snow yet. I bought them because they're suppose to be good in the snow. I commute to Wash. DC and so far these have been great. I rotated them twice and am due for #3 soon. They are a little on the noisey side but I guess that's the price you pay for the chunky tread design.
  • Hey TDI'ers. I'm new to the board and new to the TDI. I'm looking for an economical good handling car to replace my '02 Focus ZX3 that has 70k on it. I drive approx. 35k a year commuting back and forth to Wash. DC from Eastern WV and have been researching the TDI as my replacement. I checked out an "03 Jetta GLS with 22k on it in Hagerstown, Md. Cloth seats(not heated), 5M, power opts., sunroof,cd and cassette. Dealer price is 18,500. I researched on Edmunds, but I'm not sure if this is a good price. Does this seem high? Also I'm reading about the EGR Mods, and crud in the MAF sensor, etc. Is the TDI reliable without sinking a ton of cash into the maintenence? Thanks to all.
  • $18,500 does seem high


    the EGR mod helps reduce the liklihood of intake crud. The other side is a Mann Provent for the PCV system.


    Overall it's pretty reliable.


    The MAF problems is on the gas engine also
  • Yea, I thought that 18500 was high. I'm thinking of offering 2K less after I test drive it. Ads far as the Mann Provent: is it an easy after market fix? Also I've been reading alot about adding soot reducer and other additives with each tankful of diesel. Is this a performance issue? Also, can the TDI be fueled on truck stop fuel or would I need to use the diesel pump at the gas station? Thanks to all for answering my questions because I'm neww to all of this.
  • ruking1ruking1 Posts: 18,561
    To address some of your concerns, I am thinking that if you do 35,000 miles per year as a commute, the 2003 TDI might almost be a perfect fit (i.e., this vehicle was MADE to do what you need it for, mostly long distance freeway miles). We currently do app 26,900 per year. I am very impressed so far. (app 47,000 miles)


    While I have driven and ridden in the Focus, (I didn't like it) I do not have a sense of how it has worn on you. I also don't have a feeling as to price appropriateness for your area and demand level. However, I was almost shocked to find that my 2003 VW Jetta TDI actually sells for MORE than what I paid for it new.


    For sure do the EGR mod. As for crud in the MAF sensor, use the oem air filters. I would not use the oiled gauze or foam aftermarket products.


    I personally divide the maintenance issue into scheduled and unscheduled. the major key maintenance points seem to be at the 100k intervals (or 2.86 year marks for you). This is a timing belt change. (seems the bell shaped curve is app 90-120k miles) Since the coolant system is breached during this procedure, while you can reuse the G12 product, it actually is a good time to change the coolant. While water pump changing is not required at this interval due to the mk4 design it is highly recommended.


    If you are not a clutch grinder, useful life can be as high as 450,000.


    After the meager mileage warranty (50,000) I am good to go to 15,000 and or 20,000 miles between oil and filter changes.


    So tire rotation (10k) and brake pad checks will seem to be the majority of the items. Of course air filter changes (40k), cabin filters (20k)and fuel filters (20k) need changing also. Brake fluid bleeds (2 years)


    My goal is to run this thing 500,000 to 1,000,000 miles. With proper care and maintenance I see no reason why you can't do it also.


    Most assuridly you can use #2 diesel at truck stops. I would not use the high flow pumps unless you know what you are doing and are alright with an occasional spill! :( :) But at every truck stop I have fueled, there is an auto diesel area.


    Since you live in the winter area, you might probably want to get into the whole additive discussion. Bottom line is you "might" want to do a winter fuel additive (anti gel)..(Primrose (and others) makes a winter fuel treatment. I use Primrose 405 which is a cetane booster, H20 emulsifier and fuel lubricity agent. I honestly can not tell a performance difference between treated and untreated fuel


    I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the VW has a reputation for weird part's failures. You of course have alluded to it with the MAF failures. While the 2003 as been absolutely flawless for me, my sense of it is: the VW corp has a begrudgingly slow constant improvement policy :( :)
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I personally would hold-out for one with the cold weather package. The diesels don't heat up as quickly as many other vehicles and the seat heaters are terrific. Shouldn't change the price of the vehicle hardly at all since you're shopping used. You might look around as the prices vary greatly by location. Chicagoland and Texas seem to be more reasonable price wise and airfare is usually cheap too. I bought mine out of Texas and it was about $1500 cheaper than anything I could find locally at the time.
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