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What about VW TDI engine?



  • 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: 3,870
    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: 3,870
    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.
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    As a European, I was really surprised to see that VW dared selling TDI engines at all on the US market. They probably don't sell many of them, but they probably don't mind either given VW's insane financial health. Probably a test for them, but if it is successful, expect other EU brands to try and sell their Diesel engines on you too...

    Here in France, Diesel powered cars have outsold gas powered cars for two years now. The main reasons behind this are the great improvements made in Diesel engines for the last 5 years, their better mileage but above all the fact that Diesel fuel is 20% less expensive than gas. Here, gas "scores" at $1 per... liter! That's about $3.5 per gallon...

    Nearly every European (and now Japanese!) manufacturers have Diesel engines. VW's TDIs (I don't even know which version is on sale in the US) exist in numerous fashions: inline 4, 1.9l displacement, with horsepowers of 90, 100, 110, 130 and 150. Torques range from 144 lbft to... 224 lbft (yes, you read well, that's more than most gas powered V6s out there). They equip very numerous models from the different brands owned by VW (Skoda, Audi, VW itself, Seat, and I forget some of them). Average mileage for these engines range from 35mpg to 42mpg. Also existing are V6 TDIs, 2.5l displacement, with hp of 155 and 180, torques of 231 to 268 lbft, mileage 34mpg (best) to a not so impressive 25mpg (Audi A4 V6 TDI Quattro 180). Quite a large palette, uh? :)

    On to the most noticeable engines out there, though there are so many it's impossible to list them all:

    * probably the most fuel-efficient engine in the world for its power is BMW's inline 6 3l, which scores 183hp and a hefty 288 lbft of torque (more than a Porsche 911 or an M3!) from 1700rpm up to 3200rpm. Equipping the 3 series (Try "BMW 330d" in Google), this damn thing can lead it from 0 to 60mph in 7 seconds, swallows the quarter mile in 15'2 seconds, scores... 141mph top speed, accelerates from 50 to 75mph in 5'4/6'6/8'8 on gears 3/4/5, but manages to score a 36mpg average mileage! Ever wondered why BMW's 328i was replaced with 330i? 330d was the reason :) The same engine also equips the 5 series (in which it scores 193hp and 296 lbft) and X5, and soon the new 7 series, but this time with 203hp and 310 lbft torque...

    * THE flagship Diesel engine nowadays is Mercedes' (yes, you read well) 4.0l, V8 (!). It scores 250hp and... 412 lbft of torque! It equips the S series, G series and ML series, and outsells all other engines available in these models! The S series, dubbed S400 CDI, scores 155mph top speed (voluntarily limited!), 50 to 75mph in... 4' (in Drive - no manual gearbox available) and still manages to get a 23mpg average mileage...

    * lastly, soon next year, VW is going to unleash a 5l, V10 TDI engine. The 313hp is already not bad for the displacement, but the torque is mindblowing: 542 lbft! The first vehicle which will have the privilege to get this engine is the VW Phaeton, but it will also make its way into the future Audi A8 and VW Tuareg.

    Needless to say, many, many other engines exist, this is only a sample (although I think I've listed pretty much all the TDI engines, except the 1.4 TDI, 75hp and 144 lbft). And needless to say, BMW and Mercedes are both working on replies to VW's monster V10 TDI... The war is not over... Oh, also, more than 80% sales of super sedans and luxury sedans are Diesel equipped... That says quite a lot.
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    We have the 90 bhp TDI.

    Some of us wish for the PD TDI's, especially the 130 or 150 bhp version.

    OUr problem is the level of sulphur in our diesels compared to Europe.
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    ywilson, indeed our diesel fuel is crappy compared to Euro fuel. Their max PPM for sulfur is 15. Our is 500!!! Most of the junk you see coming out of trucks, etc, is sulfur.

    December 31, 2006 is the deadline for implementation of ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel), which will make them much cleaner and will allow the US to get the good diesels they have in Europe.
  • oogeeoogee Posts: 1
    I've got a TDI. Actually, two of them: 2001 Golf and Jetta, both 5 spd GLS 4 door models. Awesome cars!! Love them both, but like my Golf more. Somehow it's got more zip to it. According to my dealership here in Arizona, the rear windows have a pinch sensor problem that required the replacement of both motors. He's got a pile of them that VW has yet to claim. I had both of mine done on the Golf while under warranty. My (wifes) Jetta had the glove box latch break, also covered under warranty.

    Question I have is this: I am moving to Alaska, where the temperatures average -20F or lower in the winter (sometimes as much as -60F!)
    Anyone with advice on operating a VW TDI in these conditions. Besides trying to find block, oil pan, and battery heaters, using synthetic oil, does anyone out there have experience with this, or maybe I am better off selling my TDIs?
    Does VW even make these heaters? I know that diesel is available up there, but want to know about the driveability and operation of the TDI/VW in the extreme cold. Any help much appreciated. Thanks
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I think I've seen some sort of heater in the VW Driver's Gear Catalog.
  • japetjapet Posts: 5
    The concern with diesel and cold weather is very over rated. Diesel in northern climates is treated to avoid gelling. The oil pan heater is a must, get it installed up north where they will know what they are doing and may offer an alternative suggestion. Last “spring” my 2000 Golf TDI was parked outside for 3 days at -40F, not plugged in, (not recommended). It did start with a pause and a cloud of black smoke. After 30 minutes of idling it ran fine except for the square tires. Also if you don’t have the heated seats get them because on short trips the engine does not warm up.

    Good luck!
  • I live in Maine and own a TDI Beetle. Twenty below zero over night - the car always starts in the morning like it has been waiting for me to turn the key. I do use Mobil Delvac 1 5W-40 synthetic motor oil and I always use a splash of Power Service diesel fuel conditioner when I fill up. I've had the car for 24 months and I now have 107,000 miles on it. The thing runs like the day I drove it off the lot. Change the oil every 15,000 miles and it doesn't use a drop. K&N air filter also!
  • jeff186jeff186 Posts: 95
    Can anyone shed some light on TDI maintenance costs. Specifically, what does the manual recommend for the oil change interval? What does an oil change cost for the TDI engine? What other info should I know re: diesel maintenance? I expect the costs to be much higher compared to a Corolla or Sentra, but want to quantify it some. Thanks.
  • Well there are no spark plugs, wires or other electricaL ignition stuff to worry about. I can't stress the importance of clean fuel enough (water free). I think the maintenance manual states oil changes every 10,000 miles for TDI's. Fuel filter is pricey $50.00!!! I had a Honda Civic and I find maintenance costs to be less than Civic.
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    From what I've gathered, TDI maintenance is less frequent, but more expensive per interval. The two factors should work out to make the overall maintenance cost end up in the same ballpark.
  • jeff186jeff186 Posts: 95
    Hmmm, still mulling it over, TDI vs. Corolla/Sentra. I've noticed that diesel fuel cost goes up in the winter months, at least here in N.J. Right now, diesel is about 10 cents less than unleaded regular. Another question I need to ask: anyone know how the current TDI engine will be affected when low-sulfur diesel (finally!) becomes mandatory in 2006. I understand that some new diesel engines may come over from Europe then. But if I buy a TDI today, I plan on having it for many, may years. Thanks again.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    You can also look up recommended manufacturer maintenance & costs in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide. Good luck.



    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards

  • abc246abc246 Posts: 305
    Is VW changing the output of this engine or going to use a larger TDI in the USA for 2003?
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    There won't be any changes for 2003 MY engines.

    When ULSD comes, a current TDI will just run better! :)

    Jeff, if you drive a ton, then a TDI will definitely be worth the extra $$ in terms of fuel savings. Or, you can run biodiesel and eat those fuel savings in a fit of environmental consciousness and patriotism. That's what I do. OPEC can kiss my hairy ... ;)
  • ywilsonywilson Posts: 135
    I have been looking at these and for me, it is just a matter of really liking the new technology. I also like the fuel savings. This very well maybe a purchase for me when I am ready for another vehicle. Where can you buy that new "bio-diesel"? I know it is made out of SOY but I have not seen anywhere to get it.
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    You can learn about biodiesel at

    Luckily for you, there are several places in Maryland that carry biodiesel (Tevis Oil). Info here -

    (Moderators, if that link is inappropiate, please delete the last sentence).

  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    The main problem of ULSD is the lack of lubricity. Further refining of the diesel from our Low sulfure to ultra low sulfure reduces the lubricity, which may cause a problem (reducing life) of the fuel pump.

    This is here Biodiesel can help, even when used as an additive....(fill blank here)

    In Jersey, I've noticed diesel prices in NJ will raise with gasoline prices, and still being cheaper or comparable to regular gasoline, or sometimes mid-grade.
  • joffficerjoffficer Posts: 169
    Hi, I was thinking of replacing one of my cars with a Golf TDI. I work around jet aircraft, and have heard of others using JP-8 fuel in their cars/trucks. I've been told it's a much more refined diesel fuel, and works great. Anyone know the truth on that? (it sure could save even more money)
  • chmeeeechmeeee Posts: 327
    Evilbad, don't do that if you want your car to run. Jet fuel is very similar to kerosene, I think that very bad things would happen to your engine if you used it. You should, however, get the TDI. Then you can burn biodiesel and have almost no bad emissions!
  • natescapenatescape Posts: 176
    Is BAD for a TDI. BAD, I say. ;)

    You will save money up front, but will have to replace your injectors, etc., fairly quickly. Jet fuel lacks the lubricity the engine needs.

    I would be curious as to how a jet fuel/biodiesel mix would work... hmmm.
This discussion has been closed.