27th Jul 2006, 00:09

120$ for a oil and filter change?!?!? Where in the &%#@ have you been going to get that done.

6th Aug 2006, 20:54

I have an '02 VW Jetta TDI and it's been an excellent car. Frankly, I think notes like the one above are written by people working for the competitors. I have over 100,000 miles on my TDI with almost no repairs. I've never gotten under 43 mpg, and I've averaged over 50 mpg on long trips. Every car maker should offer small diesels.

23rd Oct 2006, 18:30

I have a 2001 TDI and unlike the thread starter I have had only glow plug replacements and a dirty MAF. Oil changes are $66.00 at a Euro car repair shop. Maintanence is more expensive compared to a typical Asian compact car, but the frequency of service is spread farther apart. For me 7,500 miles before I go in for oil change. This car is a truly spectacular machine that if regularly maintained can last 1/2 million miles.

8th Mar 2007, 23:06

$20 for air filter-do you call that expensive? And you paid $900 for your brakes? Are you crazy? Unless you changed all 4 rotors, 4 pads and 4 calipers, but that is so rare! Just do math; pads are about $40 a set=$80, rotors are not more than $70 each=$280; so $360. I am not sure of caliper price, but if you did not change them, you paid about $540 for labor? That is like 2 hours (or even less)=$150.

8th Mar 2007, 23:12

And I know why you changed your rotors at 70000km, cause you did not change your brake pads. Pads wear out faster than rotors. want to keep rotors in good shape -change the pads more often. they are cheap! Now I know why people say-"it's so unreliable" :somebody just ripped you off!! I feel sorry for you guys!

5th Jun 2008, 14:59

I have a 2002 Jetta TDI with 210,000 miles. It's been a great car. I did have the spring come out from under both seats (and they can't be reinstalled) but the car is great. Just now replaced my brake rotors and pads for the first time at 210,000 ($500) and that was the mechanics price. Had 2 timings belts replaced at 100,000 and 200,000 and they are kind of expensive, about $800 each time. Oil changes I do myself $8 for the filter and $25 for the synthetic oil. No other maintenence issues yet. I hope it runs for the 1/2 million miles as I am still getting 46-52 MPG. What a great car!

16th Oct 2008, 10:19

I have a 2005 New Jetta 1.9 turbo diesel. Emissions workshop signal given and engine light on. Took to a dealer where they ran electrical checks, and after a $340.00 bill, they told me I needed to replace the turbo charger. Like the car, but @ 63K miles am not impressed with this news. I am driving with a light and signal.

Left marker light has a mind of its own. Sometimes works, other times not so.

Another light is on in the dash. Mentioned during the above service, but when notified of 4 hours checking the emissions, I elected to have this light on as well.

Good mileage 44-48 mpg. Hope it lasts. Back-up is 1988 Camry V6 with 215K miles that gets 28mpg and 1 quart oil between changes.

14th Jan 2010, 14:25

I bought my 2002 Jetta TDI new in 2002. I have 135K miles and have had no major issues with it. Went for a checkup at a VW dealer at 131K and still had plenty left on my brakes... they have never been changed.

I live in CO at 10K feet above sea level, and drive over the continental divide every day to get to work. As long as I have good tires and plug it in (engine warmer) on cold nights, it is good to go!

I have been using B20 or B100 biodiesel (not veggie waste oil) since about 23K miles, which seems to keep the fuel filter cleaner. However, I do use regular diesel every once in a while (and when gas prices went up biodiesel was WAY too expensive, so I switched back for a while). Just follow the maintenance schedule and everything seems to run perfectly!

Hoping to get as many miles as the bio-fuel European VW's. Also, I MADE SURE my car was manufactured in Germany... could be a big difference between German and Mexican VW's.

1st Mar 2010, 19:15

My 2002 TDI has been a decent car with the best mileage of any car that I have ever owned.

Prior to moving to a small town in Colorado, I had the timing belt changed, 75,000 miles. I replaced the brakes myself last year.

The only dislike is the rattling noise that comes from something in the area of behind the glovebox. It happens only when it's real cold or real hot.

Last week the injection pump started leaking, it is currently in the shop. With towing this is going to run nearly $2000.

For me the jury is still out, how long will it take for another major problem?

15th Mar 2010, 20:32

I have a 2002 GLS TDI I bought used with 98,000 miles on it, and now I have 180,000 miles on her. I do all my own maintenance, and purchased the VAG-COM to help me do adjustments.

The car is great except for a few design flaws which can be corrected.

1. You need to make a scrubber tube to remove the oil and water vapor from the crankcase vent system into the intake. Along with this, you need to dial down the EGR valve.

2. If you have a sunroof, you need to take the time and replace the drain lines so they continue through the outlet areas in the door post. If you do not and they leak, the floor board areas will fill with water. You need to also clamp them at the top.

3. You need to cut out the glow plug harness and install separate little caps on each plug. This makes it easy for trouble shooting and cleaning the connections.

Once these areas are retrofitted the car will hold up for a long time. Don't know why the manufacture didn't take care of these issues, as they have a fairly good product.

5th Aug 2010, 21:19

I too am a BIG fan of the 2002/2003 TDI Jettas. Had one of each; both 5-speeds. My current one is the 2002 (the 2003 was written off in a fairly bad crash I unfortunately had a few years ago... I walked away).

Generally speaking the 2002/3 TDI Jettas in manual were excellent for people like myself who log a lot of miles on the highway. The GLS model with the heated leather seats, sunroof and higher end stereo was just great. Like any car, you have to keep up with the service, and where I find a huge disconnect is with VW dealers: the cars are great, but the dealers are usually not very good and really expensive (causing a lot of owners to incorrectly avoid or delay service).

With 2002-2006 TDI Jettas, fortunately you can actually do a lot of the regular upkeep yourself, especially if you get a digital multimeter for those check engine lights.

My current TDI is at 159,000Km and counting.

Really the only thing I will be addressing soon is the strut mounts. They tend to go from anywhere around 130,000 to 150,000Km.

I've been a diesel convert for a little while now, and generally speaking, a GOOD TDI (turbo diesel engine of any make) should:

1. Start on its first try every morning.

2. Have a SMOOTH power delivery all the way to about 4,000rpms.

As long as your TDI (or other diesel product) does these two things, you should keep it.

To the guy who got charged $120 for an oil change:

Check your receipt...

If they did the oil change (usually $70) plus a cabin filter change, engine air filter change, greased up the hinges and washed it for you, then $120 is actually fair.

16th Aug 2010, 17:07

I just bought a MY 2002 TDI with 145,000. Needed a timing belt and a valve job. Did the work myself. So far, I love the car.

7th Sep 2010, 08:44


I recently had a 95 Honda accord which I loved! I had it for a year and parts and fixes were fairly cheap. But unfortunately I have a bent frame and I was told it's time to find a new car.

So I fell in love with the 01/02 Jetta. Probably looking to buy anywhere from 80k to 100k, hoping to last me at least 2 or 3 years, but am hearing this car to be expensive.

Can somebody please tell me is this car worth it? Is it really much more expensive than a Honda? If so about how much? Does it depend where you go? Are you limited to where you can go? I need as much accurate information as possible as I am only 22 years old and want to make a good choice.

28th Oct 2010, 20:57

To whom said that German manufactured cars are better than Mexican, that is wrong, all cars are assembled under the same specifications.

25th Apr 2012, 14:58

I don't believe there is such thing as a "Mexican" car. I think he means German cars are better than American made cars.