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What about VW TDI engine?



  • I drove a TDI manual Jetta GL yesterday. It was a lot quieter than I expected. The car had plenty of headroom and enough hip room. The only concern I had was the performance. I know this car is nothing like my Maxima, however I have driven many manual four cylinders. I really needed to wind out the tach to about 3.5 - 4 to get it accelerate. I know with diesels it has more torque at lower RPM's however this car kept pulling as the rpm's went up. I know there is a price to pay for such high MPG but I don't know if I am ready to make that sacrifice yet.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,869
    Much has been made about what the best shift point is for maximum economy. It is known that the engine "likes" running at around 2000 rpm, and the turbo starts kicking in at about 1500 and is going full tilt by 2000. Try shifting at about 2500 rpm during normal acceleration, then when cruising speed is reached, selecting a gear which puts the revs between 1500 and 2000.

    For absolute maximum acceleration with a stock engine, shift at about 4000 rpm, because power drops off quickly beyond this. There is little to be gained by shifting at 4000 compared to shifting at 3500.

    If there is not enough performance stock then there are chips available for the ECU which will add about 25HP.
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    That shifting at 3000-3500 will give you good pickup and keep your MPG high. Funny thing is, I was in a minor accident yesterday and had to rent a Grand Prix. While it probably could beat my TDI Passat in a 0-60 race, it just felt sluggish. I had to thrash the engine to get any pull. With the TDI, it's just there, there quickly, and there in copious amounts. :)

    Of course, there's a VERY easy way to improve your speed AND MPG ... get an UPsolute chip. 30% increase in torque and HP, a much smoother power band, and slightly increased MPG!
  • I heard about these chips... sounds to good to be true. Is it hard to install? Will it void my warranty? God forbid, if there was any engine damage can I take it out and then bring it to the dealer and play dumb? I saw one that cost around six hundred but the HP & torque increased significantly.

  • Usually you'll have to have them do the chipping. I did mine at a get together, where they chipped a bunch of cars at once (at a discount). Check out and their message boards for get together and chip discussions.

    UPsolute seems to be the chip of choice. It's $325 standard, and gives you about a 30% increase in torque and HP and a small increase in MPG if you can keep yourself from gunning the car with all the newfound power.

    You can ask your dealer if a chip will void the warrantee. Seems to vary from dealer to dealer. If it DOES, you can always get a tuning box instead of a chip. They do roughly the same thing, but a TB is less elegant and won't be quite as smooth. It also can be removed in a few minutes, so you could take it off before you head to the dealership.

    Of course, a chip is hard to detect anyway. They'd have to go in and find it (or drive it and realize it's way too powerful). will be able to answer all your questions.
  • leomortleomort Posts: 451
    server can't find the tdiclub website. is it still active?

  • bluewolfbluewolf Posts: 101
    The site is down until later today from what I've heard...
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    what the title says
  • suntansuntan Posts: 1
    i live in LA...and gas prices are rising..I am thinking of picking up a used TDI....any thoughts, suggestions or concerns?
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,727
    The TDI's are great engines. As for used you'll just have to look for a good deal. The resale values are high. I had a 2000 Jetta GLS TDI that had a list price of $21k and I sold it a year later with 35k miles for $17k. It was a great car, but my wife got a company car and we had 3 vehicles in the driveway. Since we have a boat I had to keep the tow vehicle and sell the VW.

    I've heard TDI's are not for sale in CA. Since I live in the midwest I don't know if that's true or not. If it is I'm sure the used ones really will command a premium.

    If you are purchasing from a private party, just try to verify maintenance was performed on a timely basis.

    Good luck
  • transmittransmit Posts: 2
    Just got a 2002 TDI GLS Golf. It rocks!! The engine is plenty powerful and I am loving the car! This car was a downgrade from my 1999 Subaru Legacy but it is more powerful and alot more fun to drive... Not to mention double the mileage.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    May it serve you well for many years to come. Btw, you may also be interested in our ongoing VW Golf discussion. We look forward to hearing more about your ownership experience.... Happy motoring!

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • minuchin1minuchin1 Posts: 6
    I agree that the the TDI engine is far more powerful than I expected. However, my Jetta proves to have flimsy, fragile interior components, not to mention persistent, costly repairs. I've owned it for 7 months and am ready to move on.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,869
    I could not disagree with you more. The VW is praised for the quality of it's interior. I have both Golf and Jetta TDI and no problems at all with any interior components. What components are you referring to? Problems so far have been one window regulator replaced and one heated mirror glass replaced. The TDI is truly a great car. Possible problem areas with TDI and VW in general are window regulators and MAF sensors.

    miniuchin- what year of TDI do you have? How many miles? Did you buy it new? Do you have a dealer service problem or a car problem? Do you abuse your car or is it just a lemon?
  • minuchin1minuchin1 Posts: 6
    Based on your reply, I'm thinking I may be dealing with a lemon. I'm the second owner--it's a 2000 with 71k miles, and maybe that says it all. I bought the TDI because I commute and heard good reports about the engine durability. Since I got the car I've replaced a window regulator, rear brakes (they were out of aligment--one wore to metal while the other was barely worn), two glow plugs needed to be replaced (I replaced all four), the wiring harness has a "sporadic problem" that I'm waiting on, and now I need to fix the mass air control center. I'm not hard on cars. In fact, quite the opposite. Much of the interior wear came from the previous owner. Interior components that have problems include the front cup holders, glove box hinges, rear ash tray, center console arm rest--fabric is faded and the cushion is flattened. Mark, how many miles do you have on your TDI? Do you think I'm experiencing the high miles hazards?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,869
    When you refer to the mass air control center I think what you mean is the MAF. The Mass Air Flow sensor is a problem on both gas and diesel VW's. The good news is that the MAF for the 2.0 appears to be working fine on the TDI. It can be obtained for $45 from and for slightly more from a VW dealer. The part number for the 2.0 MAF is 06A906461A and the part number for the TDI MAF is 06A906461. The TDI MAF is $255.00. Buy the 2.0 MAF and save yourself over $300 compared to having the dealer install a TDI MAF. The dealer will tell you the 2.0 MAF will not work. You can verify what I am telling you at

    The glove box door latches are a problem area. Cup holder has been a problem for some people. You seem to have a car that was used roughly and that has nearly every problem possible. Better luck in the future.
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    You can also remove and clean it... may solve your problem. Do some searches at for instructions.
  • minuchin1minuchin1 Posts: 6
    Wow. You just saved me hundreds. The dealer wants to charge me $366 for the part and over $100 for labor. Thanks for the tips. I searched and couldn't find instructions on how to clean it. Is the labor on this easy for a automotive neophite as myself, or should I have a mechanic do it?
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    Don't get too exited yet... cleaning it may NOT solve your problem, but it certainly is doable for the quasi-mechanic.

    Check out this page for some instructions:

    Post over at's general maintenance... there may just be someone local who can help you out. There are a ton of folks over there who love to work on these cars. :)

  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    I don't own a TDI but a friend has a 2001 Golf Tdi and swears by it. I have owned VW's in the past and liked thier reliability. I am gathering info about the VW TDI and from what I am seeing it is a good vehicle. But, I do alot of work around my house and need my truck. I am seriously entertaining the thought of getting one of these down the road. When I was in Europe (France,Italy) I was amazed to see that most of the cars there were TDI's of every make and model. I was even more amazed that there was no smell of diesel fumes or fuel anywhere. They drive like regular gas cars. Is it true that the diesel there is better processed than the diesel here? I heard that somewhere but have been unable to verify it. The Europeans are miles ahead of us on diesel engines. Just think what it would do for petro usage if we had diesels in all our cars like the Europeans do.
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