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Buying a VW TDI--Questions

Discussion in 'Volkswagen TDI Diesels' started by gandalf, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. gandalf

    gandalf Senior Member

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    I'm beginning to consider re-configuring my vehicle stable, buying a TDI, selling a car or two, moving one to the east coast. This would mean changing my daily driver to a VW TDI.

    Has anyone published a "definitive" guide to buying a TDI, what years to look for, what years to avoid, what features to look for and what to avoid? In essence, what makes a "primo" TDI? What scheduled maintenance items are a must, and which are suggested?

    I'm not setting a price point here intentionally. Doing so might affect and limit answers. That can be done later. Of course I want the best car for the least amount of money. That's a given. That translates that there must be a break point between age, features, condition, and money.

    What do y'all have to say?
     
  2. 79jasper

    79jasper Chickenhawk

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    Personally I would stick with the cr system. Then you have the manual or the DSG. The dsg is better than the older auto's, as it is essentially a electronically shifted manual.
    You can find low mile 14's for fairly cheap.
    I think we may get another. We had a 11 jetta, may go for a passat this go around.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk
     
  3. Oledirtypearl86

    Oledirtypearl86 Full Access Member

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    I agree with Jasper I have a 01 with the alh and a 5 spee and it has been a great car but last year and this year I have ad to start putting some money into it tat being said it's got 265k miles and my wife runs it about 150 miles a day on her commute
     
  4. gandalf

    gandalf Senior Member

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    Sounds good so far. I'm looking for likes and dislikes, subjective things, as well as hard facts. I'm hoping for for lots more, subjective as well as objective. I'll try to put the two areas together.

    I've hit one problem in my understanding, though: abbreviations. Rather than letting me guess, could you put things in terms a non-VW enthusiast will understand?

    ALH

    CR system

    DSG

    The last VW I owned was a '73 Camper.
     
  5. 79jasper

    79jasper Chickenhawk

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    Alh is a engine series. Similar to saying 6.9 idi, etc
    DSG Direct shift transmission.
    CR common rail. That's what all the new diesels are running. Way more power, more tune ability. Cummins started using it in 05? With the high output engines, 08 with the 6.4 for ford, all years duramaxs.

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  6. mu2bdriver

    mu2bdriver Full Access Member

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    I loved my 2003 Jetta ALH/5 speed combo. The only thing I would have loved more about it is if was a wagon or a B4S/B4V (late 1990s Passat). The thing drank anything I could feed it for 80k miles and maintenance was reasonable. The bodies are rotting away as they’re getting close to 20 years old and I don’t know enough about the newer PD/CR engines other than I know I have to give them pump fuel. I’ve driven in a post 2009 Jetta that had the emissions mod done and the torque was great, the ride was excellent, and overall the comforts of the vehicle were top shelf. I just can’t justify that to add a second vehicle to the driveway. Good luck in your search.


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  7. Thewespaul

    Thewespaul Supporting Vendor Supporting Member

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    I had a buddy that used to have a shop in town here and he had a first gen audi TT (2001ish?) and he had replaced the original 1.8t with a vw TDI that was stock other than some fueling and turbo upgrades. Still had awd and the original 6spd, off the line that thing would scoot, and the 40+ mpg was pretty sweet too. Personally I like the older TDIs with a manual, great mileage and other than the electrical systems its a pretty simple car.
     
  8. BrianX128

    BrianX128 Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I've got a '13, I think in 14 some of them started using def which most users on the vw facebook page I'm on despise. Might be in passat's not Jetta's though.

    I love mine, just 40k service intervals in the DSG trans require a trans flush / filter change as well as fuel filter, air filter, and cabin filter. All can be done in a few hours overall, the trans fluid change is just a big annoying as you gotta take the battery tray and stuff out to get to the filter. None of it is hard, just a bit time consuming.

    I'm getting 42-45 mpg stock, and this is the buyback year that was part of the emissions scandal stuff. Just check on vw's vin lookup for the buyback years to see when the car had the "fix" the closer to now the better, as you are covered for 4 years or 48k miles whichever happens first and for me 4 years will as my IDI's get 50% of the drive time for me.

    Also, I haven't owned the other years but mine has the sunroof and fancy sound system (it's the "premium" model) and the only gripe I have is the fancy stereo doesn't have a backup camera or show your gps on the screen but it's honestly worth it because this sound system is unreal.

    If you are buying it to get better mpg and be a reliable daily driver for simple commuting, I love mine for that.
     
  9. stealth13777

    stealth13777 Full Access Member

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    I can’t help on what to look for, but depending on price, the buyback cars are back out there and come with a warranty. I doubt most of us on here need a warranty, but it’s still nice to have. I’ve heard Passats are still out there to be had direct from VW
     
  10. ISELLTRUX

    ISELLTRUX Cars and SUV's Supporting Member

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    My daily drive to take my son to and from school went from 20 miles to 120...in a SUBURBAN:puke:. I am on the way to look a 2004 5-spd diesel Beetle w/150K. Wish me luck!
     
  11. Jimbanjer

    Jimbanjer Full Access Member

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    We had an 01 Jetta TDI with an automatic. It got 45-50 mpg and lasted 230,XXX before shifter solenoid went out.
     
  12. MICHAEL MICHAUD

    MICHAEL MICHAUD Full Access Member

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    I have a 2005 mk5 Jetta 1.9 brm 5 speed. I had to put a little love into it but Its great and I will drive it until I don't want to anymore. 45+ mpg. cheap and easy upgrades. Turbos, tunes, cams, just a good time.

    Bought it at 235k and put a larger turbo, deleted egr, cam, stage 2 clutch, stg 2 tune, straight pipe. It's fast and slow if that makes sense.
     
  13. ISELLTRUX

    ISELLTRUX Cars and SUV's Supporting Member

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    Well the one I looked today was T-rash. Gonna look at a 2002 5-spd Beetle w/348k. One owner. Meticulously maintained. $2500. We shall see tomorrow.
     
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  14. RetiringColt

    RetiringColt Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I really like my early build 99 golf. It's got the alh engine manual trans. I've modified it quite a bit so far. Still gets 52mpg consistently. It has 345k and runs strong. I've read that the later model tdi engine, BEU code I believe. Has oil pump problems. There is a balance shaft in the pump that fails and causes the drive chain to break.
     
  15. FordGuy100

    FordGuy100 Registered User

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    Torquey but doesn't make big hp, I know exactly what you mean and I just had my BEW tuned. Still a fun car to drive considering their fuel mileage.
     

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