11th May 2008, 01:32

Looking to buy.

I'm looking at a 2001 TDI with about 120000 K's or 75000 Miles. I have read some of the previous comments about carbon build up, being the main crutch of this vehicle, as well as the starting in cold weather. I'm in Winnipeg, Manitoba which may be the coldest place in the civilized world from December-March. How big of concerns are these and should I reconsider purchasing the vehicle b/c of it? Thanks.

13th Jun 2008, 19:05

There is an additive that you can add to oil changes that will keep your turbo diesel emission system CLEAN. It's called SEA FOAM and can be bought at any reputable auto store. I started adding it (4.0 ounces) per oil change and it keeps the system clean.

At 125,000 miles, I had a turbo impeller go bad, replaced, and a complete inspection done on the EGR valve. My mechanic works on these turbos all the time, and shook his head when looking at my system. He said it looked like I had 12,00 miles on it. He asked what oil I used and I said Castrol turbo oil. Oh, a small amount of Sea Foam also. Walking away, he commented to me to keep using it. He said I was looking at 350,000 miles out of this vehicle. Pretty cool huh?

23rd Jul 2008, 23:28

For those in Northern climates, I have an oil pan heater that is glued to the bottom of the oil pan. It gives off heat in the equivalent of a 200 watt bulb. I believe most auto parts stores handle them in "cold areas" (I live in North Dakota). It works well and is not costly. Be sure that the oil pan is sanded clean before the heat transfer glue is applied. It is flat and about 4x6" square. You can run the electrical wire out through the grill or wherever you like. If you heat the oil pan, the whole engine gets warmed. Cost is around $35. It makes for easy starting.

Someone wondered about starting a TDI in cold weather. Turn the key to start position immediately after the glow plug light goes off. Also, if it is real cold, you might cycle the glow plug on two or three times before turning the key to the start position. This gives a little more warmth to things inside the cylinder head and enhances starting (like when it is 15 or 20 degrees below zero.

13th Oct 2008, 00:19

2001 Jetta TDI 340,000 kms.

Still a great handling and riding car. Still very easy on fuel. Still starts fine in cold Maritime Canada weather.

It is true that the TDI will not warm up while sitting still in winter.

There are a few things, such as both engine and coolant glow plugs, that *may* need to be changed/checked to ensure good starting and reasonable warm up in winter.

Do not wait after the glow plug light goes out... start it right up.

Most web sites still have nothing good to say about the dealers though.

I do most maintenance myself, with help from www.TDIClub.com; it truly is a great resource, even if to only educate yourself before heading to a VW dealer.

10th Dec 2009, 23:06

I just bought a 2003 Jetta TDI two months ago. Although the owner's manual suggests changing the belts at 160,000kms, cracks were noticed upon inspection at 150,000, at which point the mechanics said I was at 50,000 in 'borrowed time'. Compared with '04 Kia Sorento, the Jetta cost $400 more. The EGR was clogged and required cleaning. Waste gasket needed replacing. The heat switch for the seats were broken. The oil pan had a leak. The mass air flow required replacing. Tensions. High beam switch was dysfunctional. In total - $2000 and rising.

Cold winter starts are a pain and not only require several things to plug in (oil pan heater, battery warmer), but have negative effects on the EGR system and turbo. I love driving this car, but I'm not sure it's up to the northern Alberta challenge.

PS: VW mechanics are nice, but their verbal estimates differ greatly from their invoices. Demand a written estimate before work commences.

11th Jan 2011, 19:33

I am about to purchase a VW diesel Jetta, my brother has one and I love it. What I'm looking at is a used car 2000-2005, and possibly higher mileage. I would be putting a coolant heater on it, but what else should I be looking for? What are some common problems?