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Looking at VW TDI #4106144 05/25/16 11:13 AM
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loneryder Offline OP
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99 Golf tdi 5sp with 186000 miles. Timing Belt and fuel filter recently changed. Is this engine any good? Have heard lots of bad stuff about certain VW engines. What can you guys tell me about this motor?

Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106148 05/25/16 11:18 AM
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edyvw Offline
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Originally Posted By: loneryder
99 Golf tdi 5sp with 186000 miles. Timing Belt and fuel filter recently changed. Is this engine any good? Have heard lots of bad stuff about certain VW engines. What can you guys tell me about this motor?

Great engine. Saw them with more then 500K.
If engine was well maintained get it.
Use ONLY 5W40 oil that meets VW 505.01 spec. (Valvoline 5W40 MST, Pentosin SUper Pento II, Motul X-Clean).


15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 5W30 EP+OEM filter).
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106155 05/25/16 11:25 AM
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sasilverbullet Offline
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I've owned two cars with that engine, a Jetta and a Bug.


My beef is they nickel and dime you and they were in the shop a LOT. You also need to make sure you have access to someone that knows what they're doing with those engines. A timing belt change will set you back $1200 at least, and the belts still sometimes break, causing engine rebuilds.


My advise, stay away...


03 Porsche 911 Liqui Moly Leichtlauf High Tech 5w-40 & Ceratec & Mahle filter
14 Honda Accord 4dr EX-L 4cyl-M1 5W-30 & WIX
02 Chevy 5.7L van-GTX HM 10W-40 & WIX
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: sasilverbullet] #4106165 05/25/16 11:35 AM
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edyvw Offline
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Originally Posted By: sasilverbullet
I've owned two cars with that engine, a Jetta and a Bug.


My beef is they nickel and dime you and they were in the shop a LOT. You also need to make sure you have access to someone that knows what they're doing with those engines. A timing belt change will set you back $1200 at least, and the belts still sometimes break, causing engine rebuilds.


My advise, stay away...

Yes you need someone who knows what they doing, like on any Euro engine.
Had two Skoda's with 1.9TDi and 3 VW's, in most configurations (from 90hp to 130hp) and only thing that was changed was timing belt, regularly (twice EGR on one Skoda and one VW).
I am not sure what is with tdi engines in the U.S. but in Europe they have reputation to be bulletproof.


15' Toyota Sienna AWD (Mobil1 5W30 EP+OEM filter).
11' VW Tiguan 2.0T (Castrol 0W40+MANN filter)
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106177 05/25/16 11:51 AM
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bowlofturtle Offline
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I've seen about 4-5 with 350k+ on them. Sadly the interior on MK4 dont hold up much at all.

If i'm correct that year is the ALH motor and not the pump dusse motor, much more simple motor. You need a scantool to finish up a timing belt. So someone who is a TDI mechanic should only be working on your car in general.


My toys
-05 Infiniti G35x 140k
-03 Suzuki SV650N 8.5k
Maintaining
-16 Jetta 1.4T 20k
-98 Nissan Maxima 160k
-09 Toyota Camry V6 96k

Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106178 05/25/16 11:51 AM
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ls1mike Offline
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I have owned lots of cars. I don't comment on them usually, but I will on this thing.
We had a 2002 Jetta TDI auto purchased new. Most miserable car I have had the displeasure of owning.
Serviced at local dealer for anything but oil changes. I did all the oil changes with the proper 505.01.

Lets see in the 80,000 miles we owned it...
1 automatic transmission replacement.
1 set of injectors
2 injector wiring harnesses
4 neutral park safety switches
1 set of front wheel bearings
Carbon build up in the EGR Cooler/Intake. Which is pricey or you can clean it yourself like I did.
Various other electrical problems.

The choice is yours. By now most to that stuff has most likely been fixed so it maybe good.


Mike
00 Trans Am WS6 5.7 LS1
17 Silverado 3500HD 6.0
14 Caprice PPV 6.0
15 Malibu LTZ Turbo
12 Passport TT
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106194 05/25/16 12:05 PM
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supton Online Content
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It's a 17 year old car. It's GOING to nickle and dime you. It just will. Especially as a VW.

That motor is good but it's not unheard of for them to eat cam followers (lifters? followers? that part) at these miles. And the timing belt must be done with absolute precision. If VW says a bolt needs replacing--they're not kidding. This is an interference motor and if the belt breaks, it bends valves. Period. Reman heads start at like $1,500 and then you redo the timing belt job (price off the top of my head).

Glowplug harnesses are kinda hit and miss; as long as you don't mind replacing them it should not be a problem. If it is 99.5 or later (I forget if Golf did that half year thing) then the areas behind the front finder liner, next to the rockers, is a known dirt trap, and will rot the rockers starting there. The car is very good at resisting rust underneath, but not this area, due to dirt. Likewise, 99.5+, the rear axle slowly bends over time, leading to a toe-in condition which causes rapid feathering if frequent tire rotation is not done.

I forget now; at some point VW used 60k belts and then went to 90k belts--but in order to go 90k you must use all the 90k parts. It is possible to use 60k parts (and it's possible to use cheap parts that won't go the distance--see above).

Clutches and turbos do die on these. Upgraded clutches are common, and recommended, so as to allow bigger and better turbos. Injectors don't last forever either; many swap nozzles for more power. "Chipping" is common too, as more fuel really wakes up these motors.

In the USA mechanics (especially dealers) used to be clueless about these cars. Canada was better off. Usually the first advice from TDI owners to prospective buyers was to figure out who their local TDI guru's were.

On the flip side, it's a common chassis with rabid followers and decent parts support. If it's a decent car and you have a few grand set aside for repairs it can be a great ride, if you like turbodiesels. If you want something that never breaks (and is dirt cheap to repair at a mechanic if it does), then run away. Far away.

Last edited by supton; 05/25/16 12:06 PM.

2011 Toyota Camry, base, 2.5L/6MT, 187k, hers
2010 Toyota Tundra DC, 4.6L/6AT, 153k, ours
1999 Toyota Camry LE, 2.2L/4AT, 209k, his
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106215 05/25/16 12:39 PM
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spavel6 Offline
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I love my TDIs of that era. As you see by my signature, I have one that is around 415k miles.

I'd say take the plunge if you are willing to get your own hands dirty and do some wrenching. The parts are cheap, and internet support is very strong with this generation. Practically anything that could break is documented.

DON'T get one with an auto transmission though. As previous posters have said, they don't last long. The 5-speed should reliably return 45mpg+ and work well.


2003 VW Jetta Wagon TDI 198k M1 5W40 TDT
2001 VW GTI VR6 250k T6 5W40
2001 VW Passat Wagon V6 4motion 110k PP 5W30
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106219 05/25/16 12:42 PM
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Mr Nice Offline
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I would stay away if you can't DIY repairs.

Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: bowlofturtle] #4106255 05/25/16 01:13 PM
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asand1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: bowlofturtle
You need a scantool to finish up a timing belt. So someone who is a TDI mechanic should only be working on your car in general.


I worked at a VW dealer and we never used the VAGCOM for a TB replacement. Last time I did a TB on my parents 03, I didn't even crack cam and pump pulleys loose. Just double checked belts markings and slammed the belt on with a new water pump, idlers, and tensioner.


2004 GMC Yukon SLuT
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106284 05/25/16 01:34 PM
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sr17 Offline
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I have 2 TDI's - the 1999-2003 ALH's type engine is fabulous.
Pretty much everything has been mentioned already - stay away from the automatic transmission! Do the timing belt on time and expect plenty of little electrical gremlins.
I still say these are very reliable cars (the stuff that goes wrong is mostly not of the character that leaves you stranded, fun to drive and if you drive a lot, fuel economy makes it all worth it.
I use M1 TDT or Rotella T6 5W40 - it is well documented that these oils work just as well, or better at protecting the cams on these engines (especially on my 2005 BEW)compared to the overpriced factory recommended stuff.


2005 VW Jetta TDI - 222,000 km, M1 TDT
2000 VW Golf TDI - 354,000 km, Shell T6
1991 GMC Sierra 2500 5.7L 4 WD
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: edyvw] #4106301 05/25/16 01:46 PM
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Nick1994 Offline
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The ALH is a good engine, it's the rest of the car around it that is junk. Run away as fast as you can and don't look back. My 2004 TDI was the biggest piece of junk.

Originally Posted By: edyvw
Originally Posted By: loneryder
99 Golf tdi 5sp with 186000 miles. Timing Belt and fuel filter recently changed. Is this engine any good? Have heard lots of bad stuff about certain VW engines. What can you guys tell me about this motor?

Great engine. Saw them with more then 500K.
If engine was well maintained get it.
Use ONLY 5W40 oil that meets VW 505.01 spec. (Valvoline 5W40 MST, Pentosin SUper Pento II, Motul X-Clean).
The ALH does NOT need 505.01 oil. That's the BEW engine (04'+)


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 101k STP Synthetic HM 10w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 234k Mobil Super HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 149k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106303 05/25/16 01:47 PM
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Chris Meutsch Offline
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My sister-in-law didn't have the TDI but a normal Golf of the 2000 flavor. It burned a [censored] of oil and had 3 alternators and batteries in the 3 years she leased it.
Just personal experience.


2005 Honda CR-V EX, 275k
Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106313 05/25/16 01:58 PM
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loneryder Offline OP
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Thanks for all the comments, good and bad. It's a car that I would tow with my motor home and use for local errands. Probably wouldn't put a lot of miles on it. I can do maintenance and simple repairs on it. I'm going to check it out at a local yocal dealer. He has a shop and about 5 cars right now. I may be able to get it for about $2700. I don't know what I could find for that $ if I was looking for reliability.

Re: Looking at VW TDI [Re: loneryder] #4106326 05/25/16 02:12 PM
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Bandito440 Offline
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For a car of that era, I'd be looking at a Corolla or Prizm.

You'll need either good DIY skills or a relationship with a VW shop to own this car. I'd consider it as a commuter, but wouldn't be taking it on the road with me.


'14 Grand Cherokee EcoDiesel
Rotella T6 5w-40 & OEM filter
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