23rd Mar 2008, 22:16

I have a '99 jetta TDI and after reading the above comments I have to agree that I would not buy another VW product. Yes, I do get 47 to 53 MPG but at what cost when all the repairs are factored in. My wife's car is a '96 Toyota Camry that just goes and goes with no problems, a very dependable car, and I believe if I figured out all the costs with the TDI, the Camry would win the economy race!!

10th Apr 2008, 10:04

I own a 2002 golf TDI with 230,000Km on it.

So far I have changed 4 glow plugs and the timing belt at every 100,000km.

So far that is all.

But recently my check engine light came on and I feel this is turbo problem.

On cold days I loose power then the light comes on. It will come off when the car heats up or the engine is turned off.

Any suggestions?


3rd Jun 2008, 00:23

Man! I just bought one of these vehicles, if you know more about getting ready with parts and what to do to make them last longer or where to get this weak parts cheap, please let me know.



9th Jul 2008, 13:14

I bought a 2000 VW Jetta TDI new, and I disagree with most of these comments. I am a satisfied customer and have little complaints. This car has been an amazing car to drive. Yes, I have replaced parts over the years, but with any vehicle comes maintenance. My Jetta has been with me as I've traveled across the country. It's been driven in harsh weather conditions. It's kept me safe in accidents. My advice to all of you is to find an import mechanic that you can trust. I stopped taking my Jetta to the VW dealership a year after I bought it. I found a trustworthy, honest foreign car mechanic I can rely on.

With that said, the only complaint I have these days is the gas prices on diesels. $4.70/gallon!! But the gas mileage is worth it, I guess.

22nd Aug 2008, 02:08

I own a 2003 Golf TDI brought new, now has 195,000 miles on it. All cars require scheduled maintenance, this is a hands on car, I have replaced the timing belt/water pump twice as scheduled myself, glow plugs, filters, oil, MAF sensor etc. get the required tools and test equipment including a good service manual and you will be able to maintain this car with minimum expense. In closing I'll say this is still my favorite car, it runs as good as it did when brought new and will be looking forward to another 200,000 enjoyable miles!

6th Sep 2008, 14:15

Regarding everybody's turbo problem, what are you guys using for motor oil? In my wife's 2006 Jetta TDI, full synthetic 5w30 is standard from the factory. The VW dealer mechanic said going to synthetic oil has done wonders to reduce turbo problems. And the full synthetic oil is good for 10,000 miles! The wife's Jetta is at 75,000 miles with no problems, YET (other than a tank full of bad diesel from a Hess Station, which clogged the fuel filter within 3 miles of leaving the gas station). Any thoughts?

I just picked up my second MK4 Jetta, a year 2000, and I'll be running full synthetic oil in it.

Regarding the mass air flow sensor, you can buy lifetime guaranteed aftermarkets for about $195 from the big chain auto parts stores.

Of course, on my recently purchased 2000 Jetta there were 3 bad glow plugs, a bad MAF sensor, a rotted exhaust pipe, a broken glove box, AND a broken center console, which I understand is ANOTHER typical Jetta failure item. I also haven't seen any complaints of bad connections on the air bag system, which I've seen on three VW's. (I expected all of these problems which was why I got it cheap).

I firmly agree with the view that Jetta TDI's are HANDS ON CARS, and if you know the typical problems and are willing to do the work yourself, the great fuel mileage will more than pay for the maintenance requirements over the life of the car. Let's face it, most gas engines are not to be relied upon for after about 130K miles, and many here agree TDI's are good for at least twice if not three times that.

I avoid taking our Jettas to the dealer for repair, they are outrageously expensive. I did a TDI timing belt change (including all the rollers and a water pump for $350 in parts, the dealer wanted $1350 to do the job!). For difficulty, I'd rate that repair job a 7.5 out of 10.

The Part Place - Recycled Bugs in Auburn Hills, Michigan is a great source for aftermarket parts at prices far cheaper than the dealer.

The Bentley Repair Manuals are excellent for those willing to do their own work. It will run you $90.

Also, I picked up the VAG-COM VW Diagnostic software/cable (Windows compatible) from www.Ross-Tech.com and it has worked great for troubleshooting/repair when combined with the Bentley repair manual. The software is compatible with all VW's, Audis and probably other cars. Updates to the software are free. The diagnostics goes FAR BEYOND the engine (electrical, airbags, and much more). Software and cable will run you $230.

It's great that people are sharing their experiences here. I hope my input helps. I only came here to see what people were saying about fixing that cheap glove box hinge!

18th Sep 2008, 11:41

As a person who sells the used parts for these cars I would not recommend them to anyone. The amount of failures that we see in TDI engines and turbos, not to mention the automatic transmissions is scary. The exhaust manifolds on all these cars are bad for cracking which in turn sucks a lot of dirt and grit into the turbo causing early failure. The keyway on the crank was not designed with enough strength and has a nasty habit of snapping and taking the rest of the engine with it. Once the engine goes it spews oil into the turbo and takes that out to.

The cup holders are very prone to failure along with the glove box and console that others have mentioned. Another thing to watch for are your window regulators. The clips that hold the cables in place are prone to failure.

The cost of maintenance on this car are not worth the money saved in gas, especially if you live in a colder climate.

4th Feb 2009, 19:14

I own a 2000 VW Jetta TDI with 254,000 miles on it. Still get 50 MPG if I stay at 60 MPH or less.

My glove box is broken, but I live with it (still closes).

I want to replace glow plugs but don't know how many I need. With glow plug failure you get the check engine light and you will have some problems starting (about 1 min.)

I am trying to find an import car repair shop since I am fed up with the dealer prices.

Good lucks folks!

I saw the concept car (Jetta TDI) that gets 60 MPG and hope I can get one.

3rd Apr 2009, 11:57

I just bought a 2000 Jetta for a ridiculously low price because many of the listed problems existed. All of the plastic parts (glove box, center armrest, cup holders, even the mirror, a rear taillight and floor mats) were purchased from a local foreign parts recycler for $100.00. Easy to install - I did it myself, and I'm extremely impatient. Many junk yards have all this stuff now.

I'm still working with the "engine light" problem. Diagnostic says "glowplugs". Plugs were replaced less than 10,000 miles ago, relay also - so I'm purchasing the harness to see if that works.

What's the next step?