How long TDI engine last??

Discussion in 'Volkswagen' started by kudadang, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. kudadang

    kudadang Member

    Hi guys.
    I thinking about buying used Jetta TDI.
    I found this Jetta at local.
    2003 113k miles on it at 9000 dollars.
    I gotta drive 5years with this which is 100k miles.
    And my wife worries that it has too much mileage on it.
    I heard diesel engine last longer than gas.
    So how long it can last if I well take care of it?
    I know it really depends on how I take care of.
    But give me some idea. ;)
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2009
  2. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    250-300K is attainable proper maintained
  3. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    if it's anything like the 2000 passat, I would run away...and very far. Those cars have problems like it's nobody's business.
  4. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    The Passats WERE problematic cars. Electrical gremlins galor, Plus a lot of hardware issues. The Golf/ Jetta didn't have nearly the problems of the B5's.
  5. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    300k miles is reasonable with proper maintenance. The question is, how was it maintained before you bought it? Also, automatic or manual? The automatic would not be a good choice for a high mileage car.
  6. JusBringIt

    JusBringIt Be Inspired

    not only problematic but also costly to fix.
  7. Blackbelt

    Blackbelt Well-Known Member

    That's for sure! They are basically an Audi, and Audi's cost a fortune to repair. They are nice cars but way too much aggravation as you discovered.
    To the OP, a good point was brought up. If that Jetta is an automatic, run away. The VW auto tranny is not known for longevity.
  8. npauli

    npauli Well-Known Member

    The impression I've got from reading elsewhere is that 200-300k miles can be done if you take care of it, but that it may take more effort than you'd expect to take care of it. I've heard the VW's are quirky, and that the dealers aren't as helpful as they could be. A little DIY know-how and some time on the TDI forums (I think should help.
  9. LeanBurn

    LeanBurn Well-Known Member

    The engine is not the problem, its everything else attached to it that is though, the EGR clogs up, the timingbelts are $$ to replace, the MAF can be problematic, injector issues. The years 2000-just recently the quality control and longevity of a great many parts took a back seat in the VW company. I would get a similar year Toyota/Honda and it will make it the same distance life if maintained correctly. If the timing belt goes on that car your engine is screwed, the head will be done at the very least and they are expensive to fix $2K if I remember.
  10. PaleMelanesian

    PaleMelanesian Beat the System Staff Member

    The same is true of Honda engines. Not sure about Toyota, but it's likely. Interference engines are more efficient.
  11. Maxx

    Maxx He who posts articles

    I have a lot of experience with those cars, and if you can do the work, go for it. Otherwise, don't bother - you'd be better served with a Civic.

    That being said, I did consider buying one that was for sale around here this winter with 200K+ miles...
  12. LeanBurn

    LeanBurn Well-Known Member

    Toyota Corolla has used chains since 1998.
  13. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I'd agree with pretty much everything said so far:
    • With proper maintenance VW TDIs routinely last well past 200k miles. 110k is nothing. We bought our TDI with 142k on it and I have no worries about its longevity.
    • The engine will last forever, but it's the accessories and related parts that you have to worry about: EGR and intake clogging up with soot, MAF sensor, injector pump ($2k+ to rebuild/replace) and so forth. In particular VW's MAF and O2 sensors are notorious for repeatedly failing and requiring premature.
    • One of the keys to taking care of a TDI is taking proper care of it, and there are some special things to know. TDIs require very special oil (the valve lifters create more heat than most, breaking down normal oils) that is NOT available at your neighborhood Jiffy Lube, and even dealers often screw this up. VWs (not just diesels) have very over-engineered cooling systems that require special coolant too. And you want to be very careful to avoid driving in ways that generate large amounts of soot, which will quickly clog up your intake and EGR system: that means it's OK to loaf along at 1000-1300 rpm, but if you stomp on the pedal at those revs you're asking for trouble. Whatever you can do to keep the revs in the 1500-2000 range will keep you away from the mechanic AND is also usually conducive to blowing away the EPA mileage figures.
    • The timing belt issue is NOT specific to VW. This is true of all interference engines driven by timing belts, including all Hondas and Subarus, among the most reliable vehicles on the planet. I just had the timing belt and water pump (always change them together) done on my Jetta, and it cost no more than on my previous Hondas and Subarus. IF you fail to change the belt on time and it snaps, that's exactly right that you're looking at bent valves and $2k+ in engine damage (I know, I had it happen to me on an Acura when I was young and ignorant). That said, it is NOT something you have to stay up at night worrying about AT ALL. If you change the belt at the prescribed intervals (80k IIRC) you will NOT have any problems with this.
    • VW dealers don't necessarily know how to take care of these cars. If you have the choice between an independent mechanic with TDI experience vs. a VW stealership you don't know anything about, go with the indy.
    • You NEED to go to Extremely active and knowledgeable forums about every TDI (and VW) topic under the sun, though there are a few overly vocal a-holes who are hostile to hypermilers. In particular this is THE place to find a reputable TDI mechanic, something you should do immediately if you buy this car. Also the FAQ on their site is encyclopedic and is a MUST READ for all new TDI owners.
  14. Maxx

    Maxx He who posts articles

    I disagree about the cost of a blown timing belt. A guy I worked with had that happen @ 89K miles (when the interval USED to be 90K). Dealership wanted about $6K to replace the head (due to the bent valves). We did it in his driveway for ~$1K worth of parts.

    On a similar note, a friend of mine had the T-belt let go on his Audi A4, and parts to do the valve job and t-belt related parts was about ~$500-700.

    +1 on
  15. MrGutWrench

    MrGutWrench Diesel Head

    Yeah, but when a valve hits a piston, there's often damage to valve guides and lifters often stick in the head. When this happens, there's no choice but to have the head rebuilt and they're tricky to do -- I wouldn't trust mine to any but a handful of specialist rebuilders. The head will be better than new but it's $$$. The good news is the there is rarely damage to the pistons and lower end. Of course, you will need a full belt rebuild kit (belt, tensioner, waterpump, rollers, and other parts) which is about $325.

    And 6K is ozone-land. A good TDI-specialist shop will do it for a bit more than $2K. And the "Dealership" will probably do the job wrong, too.
  16. bestmapman

    bestmapman Fighting untruth and misinformation

    The VW is a good car. I had a TDI for 50k miles and had no problems with it. There are a lot of stories about problems and the is full of this. That is the main reason I sold mine is the multitude of reported problems. My experience was good though. But you can't ignore the well documented problems.
  17. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Well-Known Member

    Heck, like lean burn said, it isn't the engines that kill vehicles. Spark motors now outlast the rest of the vehicle.

    All those(most) POS clunkers drove in with working engines.

    I gotta side with Justbringit- .You have no idea how it was maintained, and VWs of that era have QC problems,and they are expensive to repair, and it has a fair number of miles on it.

    If it isn't dirt cheap-$4500 or so-pass on it.It won't be $4500 because there are folks that love TDIs and it will probably sell for $9000 or so.
    You can buy a new Corolla for $14000-it is a better car with 85% the mpg potential.


  18. SentraSE-R

    SentraSE-R Pishtaco

    The bread and butter 1NZ-FE Toyota engine is not only a non-interference engine, it's DOHC is driven by a timing chain, not a timing belt. The only Toyota interference engines are the older 1.5 in the Tercel, the 2.4 in trucks, and the 1.8 in Camrys and Corollas.
  19. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I believe their 4.7 V8 is interference as well.

Share This Page