21st Dec 2006, 12:05

I own a 2001 VW TDI,Here is a quick thing to check before bringing your car in for another MAS. Check the turbo charger hose if torn it will cause similar symptoms "loss of power, power jumping, so on..." This fix will cost you 80.00 and can easily be fixed.

8th Jan 2007, 07:23

I own a 2002 Jetta TDI GLS automatic with 167,000 miles on it. At 107,000 miles the transmission went totally out at the tune of $4,800. The interior is peeling, and is hard to clean. The factory stereo & CD changer was replaced under warranty at 30k, but still won't play CD's in the winter until the trunk warns up. The engine has run great all this time, never replaced the MAF sensor or glow plugs. Hit a few jack rabbits over time that has torn up the front plastics and blown away the lower grates in the bumper. As others have said, with the repairs (trans cost), I lost all my savings of having a diesel. Car drives and handles nice, and I will probably drive it into the ground, hopefully to the tune of 300-400k miles.

17th Jan 2007, 18:24


I just got a 2001 Beetle 1.9l TDI. My question is how hard is it to change the timing belt on a TDI? Never did one. I am a ASE master... and own a 1984 jetta diesel and have changed the belt on it. (from a broke one) I see the 100K kits... What special tools are needed.



18th Jan 2007, 14:32

I bought a 2001 VW Golf GL TDI 5-speed brand new, and over 280,000 miles, I've had very few problems with it. No window, cupholder, ashtray, or peeling problems, nor any problems at all that I can blame on the car or its design. I had a seat belt retractor on the driver's seat go bad, the A/C compressor clutch was going bad and was replaced, and I did replace my MAF once, although it was more of a preventive measure than because of a failure of the original part. My timing belt changes, including the rollers, cost around $500 or less depending on where I take it.

I'm still on my original front brake pads, and second set of rear pads. Strange, I know. Still have original shocks, struts, turbo, injection pump, clutch, and just about everything else. The car still runs like new, doesn't smoke or use any oil, still gets 48 MPG, and while I could probably use new shocks/struts, it still handles all right.

That said, anyone who gets a TDI needs to read up on them, join a group such as www.tdiclub.com for research and support, and be prepared to do something more than just drive it and put fuel (not gas!) in it like you might do with a Toyota. An example is the wiring harness problems mentioned before. Some coolant bottles had a small leak in the sensor, and coolant would fill the wiring harness, causing several thousands of dollars worth of damage. Research would show that to be a weak point, and shows you how to prevent it by making a weep hole near the connector. Takes about 5 minutes and is free, but you have to know about it.

I'm very satisfied with my Golf, and I'm going to try and see just how far it will go.

22nd Jan 2007, 12:08

Yes! My girlfriend's 2001 Jetta GL is constantly burning out tail-lights, head-lights, and brake-lights. It is ridiculous! The "oh jesus" handles glide back to place ever so smoothly because of some mechanism they paid for, but they can't pay to solder the head-lights correctly? Bologne!

Other problems: If you slightly touch the key in the ignition with your knee, the car will shut off because the mechanism is worn out.

The red temperature light came on this winter, so she took it back to Carmax (where she bought a warranty) and the entire cooling system was replaced because the coolant level was low. The Jetta uses some kind of special coolant which doesn't need replacing for the life of the car.

Of course, the interior is peeling.

Door latch replaced under warranty.

12th Mar 2007, 08:13

Purchased a 2000 1.9 TDI new. Since that purchase:

- slight shimmy in shifter at about 2200RPM in 4th gear

- head lights, tail lights and brake all lights failed, but at different times.

- passenger door window mechanism failed (plastic clips broke) replacement "kit" had steel clips

- radio failed and now has very poor reception

- front cup holder broke

- rear cup holder does not work - and it's seldom used

- both heated exterior mirrors are burned out

- air flow sensor replaced (x's 2)

- fuel system failed

- glow plugs failed

- glove box door - right side hinge (thick plastic) broke

- "check engine" light seems to come on every 18 months or so, (it's been on now for nearly a year) yet fuel mileage does not change and no other noticeable issues.

- the muffler and hanger bracket are welded together (one piece) and the weld broke - had to put in a "normal" hanger.

- the dash idiot lights (check engine, glow plugs etc.) stopped activating when the key is turned on. Engine will turn over, but will not start. Power windows not working. Everything else works.

Has approx. 170,000km and to date nearly all the money saved from better fuel mileage has been spent on the additional cost of the diesel engine and various repairs, not to mention the cost of my "wait" time and aggravation. When I start looking to replace it in 2008, it has a very poor/weak business case to purchase another one.

Ontario, Canada.

12th Apr 2007, 22:44

I have two TDI Jettas, one MKIII, early 1999 model, and one MKIV 2000 model. I purchased both with over 200,000 miles on the odometers. I have not had negative issues with either car. Maybe all the bugs have been worked out of them by the previous owners. I did speak with the previous owners, and they spoke very highly of their old cars. They did have them routinely maintained.

I do my own maintenance. I am in Atlanta, GA if needed in this area. I have done my own timing belts, struts, filter changes, and enjoy working on these cars. I have invested in some of the tooling necessary to perform these services. If I can't, usually can recommend someone who can do the work. edantzer@comcast.net.

I do believe that these VWs will outlast most other cars, but they do require some specialized attention to detail. I have been able to get 43 MPG out of my automatic 2000 model, and 48 from the 99 with some conservative driving habits.

3rd Nov 2007, 20:28

Very useful advice. I have a early 2005 jetta TDI with 57K miles and have had little problems with it. It gets great fuel economy about 49mph. I am having problems with my headlights. Both lights just stayed off one night. I checked all the fuses and saw no problems with any of the other components. If anyone has an idea on where to look next I would like to hear from them.

9th Jan 2008, 22:47

I have the same headlight problem with a 2002 1.8 turbo Jetta. Got into car tongiht and headlights refused to turn on...Y??? Who knows these is among the myriad of other problems. I will NEVER purchase a VW again.