By on March 31, 2016

 

jetta tdi. image Volkswagen

Stephen writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I’ve toyed with the idea of turbocharging a 2.sl0w just for giggles and TORQUE, but the quest has to make some sense economically, or else the finance minister will not approve. Then it hit me: just how LOW in price have those older dirty diesels gone, anyway? You know, the ones with that lovely 236 pounds-feet of torque.

In other words, can I just get the torque without the spending abyss and busting my knuckles? Small data-set wise, four-cylinder manual Jettas with 64,000 miles average a diesel premium of only $675. At that consideration point, say 2010-ish Jetta, there is no economy for the project and I could jump right into the lovely torque.

So my question to you, on behalf of Torque Lovers Everywhere: is it time to pounce on diesel?

Sajeev answers:

Sounds like making a 2.sl0w go fast(er) is a terrible idea. You are better off starting with a better Volkswagen TDI project, or doing a motor swap into said older Jetta. I’d rather have a MkIV Jetta TDI (1999-2006) anyway, as I showed its beauty in detail, and its TDI is a superior-ish platform — at least compared to the 2.sl0w in terms of performance upgrades.

I’d wait longer if you’re interested in a newer, “2010-ish Jetta.” They have the real connection to the scandal, and older ones are too depreciated to care about public perception of the brand. We still don’t know the extent of the fallout (i.e. the numerous city/county/state/country level lawsuits for damages incurred, VW’s cost to fix current TDIs, etc.) and it’s impact on TDI resale value.

Perhaps there will be more used VWs pouring into the market, which means even more inventory and lower prices for diesel/torque junkies such as yourself. So wait several more months.

And while it won’t make MkIV Jettas any cheaper nor lower the barriers to entry of a LS4-FTW swap, that’s still what I’m bankin’ on, because if this can happen…

[Image: Volkswagen]

Send your queries to [email protected]com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

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76 Comments on “Piston Slap: Time To Pounce on a Jetta TDI?...”


  • avatar
    JimZ

    plus there’s still the possibility that once there are settlements (especially if buy-backs are part of them,) states could refuse registrations of known non-compliant vehicles. Be a shame to “pounce” on a TDI only to have it become a lawn ornament in a year.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      Jim Z ,
      If there are buybacks it becomes VW lawn ornament. And I doubt states will refuse to let the owners keep their cars , this is not a gray market MB. Even CArb has stated they may except the fact some of these cars can not be fixed and they are Ok with leaving them on the road ( w VW offsetting them some how)

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        If your house has been damaged by mine subsidence, the government can force you out of it, due to the hazards of remaining there.

      • 0 avatar
        notwhoithink

        No, “CARB” didn’t say any of those things that you mentioned. A single commissioner from CARB stated in a hearing that there is a chance that *none* of the affected TDIs could be made compliant. He also stated that there was some unease about “forcing” consumers to sell their vehicles back to VW because some owners might want to keep the cars. He hypothesized that IF they couldn’t be fixed and that IF consumers would not be forced to buy back the cars then VW would have to buy nitrogen emission credits. But her certainly didn’t express that CARB was OK with this situation. Regardless, this was just the comments of a single official, NOT the expression of the current line of thinking or negotiation from CARB.

        More to the point, CARB isn’t the only game in town. The EPA also gets a say in the disposition of the cars, and with the FTC filing suit earlier this week it looks like the Feds are making a pretty significant push for VW to offer full refunds, which should get all but the most truculent out of their polluting TDIs.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I have to agree with JimZ.

      The disposition of these TDIs is TBD. I think it’s very possible your local DOT or the Feds will decide to sweep them off the roads if/when VW balks at the cost of fixing them.

      Homes built on swampland are cheap for a reason; these cars are radioactive, IMO.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        There can’t be a way the gov would force these off the road…an more than forcing all older, non current EPS standard cars off the road.
        That would be placing blame and punishment upon the third, innocent party.

        I gotta think there will be some sort of fairness applied here.

        I am not completely sure what was being referred to above when stated the gov can force you outa your home for other dangers.
        I am not a lawyer and not sure of the case law here.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          “There can’t be a way the gov would force these off the road”

          That sounds like a dare. Be careful what you wish for…

          • 0 avatar
            redmondjp

            There most certainly is. Your state’s licensing agency just cross-references their database for the VINs of the cars that need the update – no update, then they don’t renew your registration. Even easier for those states that already track inspections for safety and/or emissions.

            Never say never . . .

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m truly anxious to see how this is handled. I expect the usual suspects to act like statist thugs and ban/steal private property, but am holding out hope for a reasonable solution.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            I cn see IF there had been an update and you failed to get your cr updated…perhaps.
            But not otherwise.

            But again…as 28 suggest, be careful here with the thought.
            These days everything has gone chaotic and what was left is now right.
            I soon will be forced to take what healthcare I am given and forced to eat ONLY gov approved foods and diets.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @TT

            A Brave New World.

  • avatar
    Luke42

    I once owned a 6 year old used Jetta with only 100k miles on it.

    I had calculated that, given my lifestyle at the time, I could make the payment on fuel savings.

    Alas, the car payment was a small fraction of the TCO. I paid almost $7k to maintain that car over the year I owned it, due to repeated gearbox failures andsome other malfs that were hard to track down (turbo overboost check engine lights while climbing mountains).

    My case may have been one of the worse out-of-warranty Volkswagen experiences, but my experience shows the variability in Volkswagen’s quality and the expense of their repairs.

    If you want to have a VW *and* drive it, I strongly recommend one that is still covered by the factory warranty.

    That adage about “lease German, buy Japanese” certainly matches my experience. The American cars I’ve owned (mostly Fords) have been fine to own, too.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      P.S. After seeing the incomplete engineering under the hood of my Jetta, I wasn’t surprised by the VW emissions scandal. The engineers didn’t finish the total lifecycle engineering for my Jetta, so why would they finish the emissions engineering on the next generation? SMH

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Skip the TDi and go TSi?

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        After the 3-day training that my mechanic friend just came back from where he learned a lot about the problems with direct gasoline injection, I am going to hold off owning a car equipped with this for as long as I can.

        Cars coming into dealerships for intake cleanings and engine teardowns (carbon clogging piston rings) with as few as 8K miles on them.

        I am more convinced than ever that we are shortly going to be in a situation like Japan where you are forced by emissions requirements to replace your engine every 50K miles because it can’t meet the requirements (or will require expensive regular maintenance to do so).

        The days of 200K+ trouble-free motoring miles from the 1990s Japanese cars are in our rear-view mirror IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Start hoarding the Camcords now!

          Additional: Volt and Toyota Hybrids will be a wise thing to get up on for repair/remarketing purposes.

        • 0 avatar
          tedward

          The introduction of di has turned out to be far more interesting than that of the modern ev, although the cvt runs it close.

          I just bought my first di car (the gti) after holding off for exactly those reasons. It took vw three generations to make truly significant changes that I felt might actually mitigate some of the di risk. Now that more manufacturers are entering that phase of the di roll out we’ll get to see where the line actually is where dI engines are trading performance for reliability on a output per liter basis. It’s kind of cool that this is unsettled as of yet.

    • 0 avatar
      NickS

      Luke, most any VW/Audi (or more generally German) car’s reliability depends very intimately on the care and service history. If the POs didn’t do a whole lot of stuff in that first 100K, the next owner would have to pay for all that in spades. If they also neglected basic maintenance, all bets are off. Doing a pre-purchase inspection and scrutinizing the service history are not optional on a VW or Audi.

      Then there is an issue of luck — if there was a zero-day design/production defect (like sludge, coil-pack, camshaft, HPFP, carbon deposit, etc) that VW can weasel out of, they definitely will. There is a very long track record there that speaks for itself.

      Also, as you point out, VW’s short factory warranties are an unquestioned indication of how little confidence they have in their own products. All this makes VWs very poor choices for most people these days. You get good driving dynamics off the bat, but there is a gread deal of extra overhead on the owner to give the TLC these cars need. If you can’t DIY, the cost of shop labor will add up to the cost of the car itself a few times over.

      If you do get past all that, they are great cars and can last a long time. In some cases folks here in the US have taken them to 300-400K.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @NickS: My Fords and Toyotas handle neglect just fine.

        I’ve spent a fair amount of time under the hood of all of the cars I’ve owned, and VW had by far the least attention to maintainability — that was the mechanic’s problem.

        Ford clearly considered the maintenenxe as part of the design, even in my ancient 1998 Ranger.

        Toyota has a very particular philosophy when it comes to maintenance: you swap entire sub assemblies, because that’s the easiest way to gaurantee consistency. It’s not cheap, but failures are less common.

        Volkswagen didn’t even try. Eben the oil filter (a high frequency maintenance item) was in an odd place, and everything else was just sort of stuffed in there. The engine compartment was so awkward that some VW etheusiasts even use a vacuum-powerwd pump to suck the engine oil out if the dipstick hole. I found that this method was, indeed, easier.

        During the time I owned it, I never had the time to disassemble the exhause system and remove the soot, replace the EGR, and find the reason for the turbo overboost CELs. VAG-COM didn’t provide any obvious answers on that one.

        But, I did get the timing belt replaced, along with several gearboxes over 1 year and 20km miles.

        For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you’re right that its the previous owner’s fault (rather than VAG’s and ZF’s fault for selling a faulty engine/gearbox combo). If that’s the case, then why can Toyota and Ford can make a cars that hold up previous owners, but not VW? If that’s the case, people should never buy used VWs, and always buy new (with warranty).

        Buy American or Japanese, lease German.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          Hey Luke, I don’t disagree with any of what you say. Ability to withstand neglect is non-existent with VWs. Yeah, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai somehow manage.

          I personally wouldn’t buy most used VWs out there (unless I have full history and research the platform extensively), and most certainly not a new one either. If VW offered 7 year warranties, I might change my mind.

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Depends on what state you live in, if your in a non testing state, you could just not do anything when some time this century VW announces what the fix will be, and live with the emissions issues if you so choose to. While I keep hearing about the market falling apart for TDI’s I have not really seen this in the marketplace. Also keep in mind if they VW offers to buyback the tdi’s which I do not think they will have to do, there is a fair amount of people who will keep the cars if there is no TDI replacements. When there were no TDI ‘s on the market in 07 and 08 TDI values went way up.
    My TDI wagon has been pretty good for the 4 years and 120,000 I have owned it and I have no idea what I would replace it with if I had to because there is not really anything that could replace it at it’s price.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “testing” has nothing to do with it! Why do people keep conflating emissions *certification* and emissions *inspection*? States that don’t test (or where the test is simply an OBD code scan) assume that a car that is functioning correctly is compliant. These VWs are *known to be non-compliant regardless of what they say.* all a state DMV would have to do is look up your VIN, ask for proof that your car has been fixed, and if not say “Sorry, can’t register it.”

      • 0 avatar
        seth1065

        Jim Z,
        I do not think the gov will go and take my car from me. It was purchased in good faith by me and the US Gov allowed it in to the country and I paid tax on it ( sales tax) , I am sure if you wanted to , you could get the fix and then unfix it w a chip, there are folks who rip out their emission stuff on TDI’s when they chip them, if you live in a non testing state they would have no idea you unfixed it or chipped it. Not saying that is right but people do it to TDi’s and other cars. With the odd relationship between states and the fed gov I doubt some states would even care what the Feds say, see some states that turned down obama care. I really think the gov’t has better things to worry about than a half a million VW’s and taking them form owners who did nothing wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          notwhoithink

          The government won’t take your car from you, but if they require VW to buy it back at full purchase price plus taxes, fees, interest, etc, then you wouldn’t have much of an argument to make.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “… all a state DMV would have to do …”

        I can think of many states that aren’t going to this unless the Feds absolutley force them to.

    • 0 avatar
      notwhoithink

      I’m curious how you haven’t seen the market for TDIs falling apart. They’ve lose 30-40% of their value in the past six months. That’s pretty much the definition of the market falling apart. Even the guy Stephen who originally wrote the letter to Sajeev noted that the prices were in the toilet. It’s the entire basis for his letter.

  • avatar
    Zeitgeist

    “if this can happen…”

    http://www.ronpatrickstuff.com

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      That guy has a deep sickness to his thinking – and I love it. “A threat to national security”? Where do they grow these bureaucrats? Pods?

      • 0 avatar
        PentastarPride

        Well, anything is a potential threat to national security. I’m sure the VW scandal is considered an example.

        Have you heard about the DHS raid of Lumber Liquidators and Gibson guitars because they sourced wood from a special species of a tree in Brazil?

        I thought we were supposed to be fighting terrorism, not waging war on benign trade and enterprise, relatively speaking. Brazilian wood or VW TDIs aren’t a threat to the public.

        Absolutely ridiculous.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          The lumber liquidator scandal that I am aware of had nothing to do with the wood, and everything to do with the cancer causing chemicals they were treating the wood with and then selling said treats wood to people who where installing it in their homes and wait for it, getting cancer.

          The sooner lumber luqiodator goes bk the better.

          Some regulation is ok. It helps to keep your don’t tread on me from treading on me.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          I dislike the use of the word “raid.” It’s not like guys in black tactical gear are rappelling down the company’s building while shouting “HUT! HUT! HUT!” then busting in through the windows.

          They walk in with the warrant or other court order, tell the person at the front desk why they’re there, and say they need to speak with certain people.

          • 0 avatar
            olddavid

            You have to admit the rocket car is off the chart lunacy, right? And how does he drive it while jet powered? In neutral? Not for long.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Diesel torque is overrated. TSI or bust.

    • 0 avatar
      heavy handle

      Exactly. Diesel doesn’t have more torque, it has less horsepower.

      Compare torque and HP numbers for a tdi and a GTI. They have the same displacement, the GTI has more torque, the GTI has more horsepower. In other words you can get the tdi experience by buying a GTI and never revving it past 2000.

    • 0 avatar
      TOTitan

      Torque from diesels is real. I owned a tdi which I traded in on a 16 tsi sportwagen as soon as dieselgate broke. The tdi made 40 more ft lbs and 30 less hp than the tsi. I also own a BMW 335d that has a twin turbo 3.0L diesel that is rated at 425 ft lbs at 1700 rpm but in reality makes closer to 475. Gas engines of similar size cant even come close.

      • 0 avatar
        heavy handle

        So what you are saying is that, if you compare a 2.0 TDI with a smaller gasoline turbo engine (tsi), the TDI makes more torque. But not if you compare it to a same-sized gasoline turbo (GTI). That’s what I was saying!

        I’m not sure what to make of this:
        “rated at 425 ft lbs at 1700 rpm but in reality makes closer to 475”

        How do we know that BMW’s gasoline engines aren’t also rated low? The official torque rating on BMW’s 3.0 gasoline turbo is 410 lb·ft, but I’m sure in reality it’s closer to a million…

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The torque is “real”, but it invariably translates into a car that is less quick than its gas equivalent.

        Higher peak torque does not produce quicker acceleration, but it provides the sensation of acceleration in a diesel because its torque curve is over a lower band of revs. In other words, you need to wind out the gas motor in order to extract its full potential, which is unlikely to happen in commuter traffic. However, the feeling doesn’t match the numbers.

        • 0 avatar
          pleiter

          Yes, SENSATION of acceleration is what I am after. In my commuter traffic. What some people have called ‘drivability’ in the past. Gasoline can be faster, but it seems as though gasoline thrashes at a NVH penalty whereas diesel (and big cube domestics)are relaxed in giving small carnival rides.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            That sensation is not too hard to get when I give an inch of gas pedal to the car that replaced my TDI, a GTI. Acceleration is so effortless, in fact, that it misses some of the fun. But there’s certainly no “thrashing” involved. Just a smooth rush, an ominous growl and suddenly I’m going faster.

            I still miss the TDI’s MPGs, but acceleration isn’t an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        nope. It’s *turbocharging* which gets you torque. The “diesel=torque” thing came about because diesels are immune to detonation and have been able to use high-pressure turbocharging for decades. compare a normally aspirated diesel to a normally aspirated gas engine, and the diesel loses. Compare a turbodiesel to a GTDI engine, and the diesel loses badly.

        consider that every single competitors 2.0 GTDI engine has more torque (peaking around the same RPM) and way, way more horsepower than VW’s 2.0 TDI.

        Every.
        Single.
        One.

        TDI: 150 hp, 236 lb-ft. All of the 2.0 GTDIs out there have at least 240 hp and 270 lb-ft.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          Jim, what is GTDI?

          Did you mean GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection)? Or maybe by GTDI you mean all those TSIs and TFSIs?

        • 0 avatar
          hybridkiller

          “consider that every single competitors 2.0 GTDI engine has more torque (peaking around the same RPM) and way, way more horsepower than VW’s 2.0 TDI.

          Every.
          Single.
          One.”

          Really? Cuz I’m not aware of any gassers (blown or NA) that make their peak torque @ 1750 rpm.

          I get that you hate diesels, and that’s fine. But don’t hate based on a faulty argument.

          Bonus question (non-rhetorical): Why does the 2.0 TDI make 236 lb/ft but only 150 hp, when most turbo 4 gassers usually make hp =/> torque? (hint: it’s a fundamental difference between diesels and gassers)

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Internet comments have led me to conclude that diesel fumes must make enthusiasts stupid.

    • 0 avatar
      jeanbaptiste

      This!

      I drove a coworkers ’10 tdi and yes it had torque but it didn’t seem like it wanted to accelerate any more than a 130 hp car gas car would. I kept driving it for HP and found myself disappointed.

      The torque allows him to drive like a granmpa at low RPM’s and keep up with traffic. That’s about all it was good for. Oh that and 42 MPG.

      Now the new TSI 2.0 GTI, that’s a motor i could get behind. Under-stated HP, great TQ and really good MPG. EngineringExplained got 42 MPG out of it. Fuelly is showing that average MPG is 30.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    How about Cruze diesel to be rolling in something really obscure? IIRC the Cruze diesel makes 240 lb. ft. of torque.

  • avatar
    johnhowington

    Delete the emissions and maybe it will be a nice vehicle. Keep it and suffer DPF/Cat/Piss issues.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    The Mk.III and Mk.IV were the worst ones IMO, Sajeev. I have no love for my ’97 Jetta, which is a garage ornament at the moment.

    • 0 avatar
      87 Morgan

      Could just be that you have a 20 year old car almost.

      I bought new in 98′ a TDI. Loved it. Had six great years of almost 50 mpg and close to 100k of use with no issues.

      I ordered mine special, planned ahead. Crank Windows and no sunroof. Tried to make sure I had only the things VW was good at, drivetrain, and non of things they seemed, at the time, incompetent at. Like power windows and other new fangled technology.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Mine isn’t a TDI; it’s a VR6. Even with new motor mounts and front suspension, it feels very overmotored, like the VR6 is going to just shoot forth from the front of the car one day…

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          Kyree, this was VW putting a monster in a light vehicle. The amount of torque givn the curb weight was unreal. They were fun to drivw and all that, but not the safest cars for younger drivers. I am sure you know what I am talking about. iIRC even the car talk guys had some issue with the engines on those jettas.

        • 0 avatar
          87 Morgan

          Yes, the Jeeta III VR6 had/has an amazing amount of torque steer. Your analogy that the engine is trying to jump out is quite a accurate.

          The VR6’s all came hard loaded, I believe sunroof as the only option. So, you may hat the car as the Windows stay up or down all the time.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    OP your overall valuation range on an MY10 is 7,8/5,7/3,6 (clean/avg/rough) with corresponding avg miles of 66/108/151 (clean/avg/rough). If we look at the average this history box is interesting:

    Jan 16 / Sept 15 / March 15
    Price: $6,078 / $7,509 / $9,702
    Odometer: 97,861 / 98,617 / 87,679

    Meaning while miles have only gone up from 87 to 108 on average, price has declined from 9702 to 5747 (or 49.8%) in only a year. Yikes.

    Manheim expects the aggregate April 2016 price of $5,747 to decline to $3,225 for March 2017 (or another 44.8%) in its little futures box. Double Yikes.

    The MMR suggested retail est for an MY10 in April 2016 is $9,675, which given the expected decline in actual value to $3,225, is a net loss to the customer of roughly 66%. This is the kind of thing that can bury you.

    If we look at individuals in the sample set:

    MY10 VW Jetta TDI

    Clean

    03/30/16 SEATTLE Regular $9,900 40,796 Above BLACK 4DT A Yes
    03/30/16 DALLAS Regular $7,500 74,867 Above RED 4DT A Yes
    03/25/16 FT LAUD Lease $7,000 76,920 Avg WHITE 4DT A Yes
    03/23/16 NJ Regular $5,800 83,089 Avg BLACK 4DT A Yes
    03/09/16 HRSNBURG Lease $5,700 88,991 Avg SILVER 4DT A Yes
    03/29/16 STATESVL Regular $6,500 90,765 Avg SLV 4DT A Yes
    03/09/16 SAN ANTO Lease $4,100 98,467 Below BLACK 4DT A No
    03/30/16 SEATTLE Regular $8,100 100,745 Above WHITE 4DT 6 No

    Avg to Rough

    03/24/16 SO CAL Regular $6,300 122,372 Avg WHITE 4DT A Yes
    03/17/16 ST PETE Regular $5,500 123,185 Avg WHITE 4DT A Yes
    03/10/16 PALM BCH Regular $4,400 129,038 Below RED 4DT 6 Yes
    03/25/16 PA Regular $5,000 129,896 Avg GREY 4DT P Yes
    03/24/16 CHICAGO Regular $4,600 133,352 Avg BLACK 4DT A Yes
    03/16/16 SAN ANTO Lease $4,400 143,060 Below RED 4DT A Yes
    03/24/16 DFW Regular $4,400 159,651 Below SILVER 4DT A Yes

    This MY09 TDI is listed retail for 9,8 with 104K

    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale
    /vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=15210&
    endYear=2017&modelCode1=JET&
    showcaseOwnerId=69738773
    &makeCode1=VOLKS&startYear=1981&
    firstRecord=0&searchRadius=25&
    showcaseListingId=424112526&trim1=JET%7CTDI
    &
    mmt=%5BVOLKS%5BJET%5BJET%257CTDI%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&
    listingId=420519342&Log=0

    This MY10 TDI is listed for 10,9 with 108K

    http://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale
    /vehicledetails.xhtml?zip=15210&endYear=2017&modelCode1=JET&showcaseOwnerId=69738773
    &makeCode1=VOLKS&startYear=1981&
    firstRecord=0&searchRadius=25&
    showcaseListingId=424112526&trim1=JET%7CTDI&
    mmt=%5BVOLKS%5BJET%5BJET%257CTDI%5D%5D%5B%5D%5D&
    listingId=420519342&Log=0

    I think I’m going to hurl.

    My advice: low ball the frack out of everyone if you really want one of these, otherwise wait until next year. Once the VW saga is straightened out, the price may stabilize wherever these remain legal. Another future factor not accounted for is if these are made illegal in places, those owners will have to unload them so you may be able to score a deal.

    Maybe Ruggles needs to chime on on why its OK for the buyer to lose 66%+ in a year buying overpriced radioactive floorplan?

  • avatar

    Warning: The car is great, the diesel wonderful, but….the only way I’d own one again is if I could dump everything south of the turbo. Malone Tune and Straight pipe, but this is an ethically dubious choice.

    If you live in a state where the Check Engine light is your pass/fail, know that the Diesel Particulate filters often crack around 70-100k, and that the replacement is a $2500 day (8 hours labor too) at dealer. Not only was it a fraud, it is a poorly engineered fraud. Out of warranty, VW won’t know your name, but there IS a TSB for it…so it isn’t like you are special. For the record, mine failed after 73k, or 3k out of Fed Emm Warranty…and VW picked up half, insuring that I will never buy a VW/Audi product new ever again….

    There is also a 120k warranty extension for the exhaust flapper valve. An *exposed* return spring rusts in road salt environs and the valve sticks. When I saw the spring under the car, open to the elements, I was floored…someone saved 1 cent by not putting it inside a housing of some sort, and/or didn’t specify a better quality steel.

    Some of the early cars had HPFP issues, but those are supposedly fixed.

    No, even fully depreciated and hammered, I’d avoid this one, and I really liked the car before it all went to hell.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    There are two kinds of TDIs in the world, methinks. Only one of them is directly involved in the TDI scandal. Any pre-2009 TDI, aka the MKIVs, had no software cheats. They met the pollution standards of the time, which were lower. There’s no federal charges against them, and no risk of buyouts or bans. The risk they pose to an owner are typical old-car risks. All are over 100k miles now, and most will be approaching twice that, since TDI owners love to drive those 45 mpg miles.

    Older TDI have probably dropped in value indirectly, as perception of the brand has soured. But they remain a viable choice for cheap/vintage/hobby car buyers. I wouldn’t condone their use in sunny, hot cities prone to smog problems, but for rural, cold-weather climes, I see no problem with them.

    Buying a newer, cheater TDI now would be a gambler’s choice, with very little upside potential.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      there are two TDI versions involved. The ones with “lean NOx” traps and no AdBlue, and the later ones with AdBlue. Both were cheating; the lean NOx trap wasn’t able to do the job, and the AdBlue-equipped cars were found to reduce/stop AdBlue dosing after the test cycle was complete.

      The cars with lean NOx traps are probably unfixable. The ones with AdBlue should be relatively easy to make compliant and I can’t figure out why VW hasn’t put forth an action for at least those cars.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        I doubt they are allowed to. If I was epa or carb I would absolutely tie approval of newer model certification to an eventual agreement on the older cars. Besides the fines, that is their leverage.

        This is one of the questions that only a look inside their negotiations will settle. The industry geek side of me is really looking forward to it.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “The ones with AdBlue should be relatively easy to make compliant and I can’t figure out why VW hasn’t put forth an action for at least those cars.”

        VW would lose leverage in the negotiations if it were to do what you are suggesting.

      • 0 avatar
        Wheatridger

        So what’s that breakdown? I stopped following TDI tech several years ago, but I believe that the large majority of US TDI sales were pre-urea models.

  • avatar
    tedward

    This is a really good submission. I’ve been getting this question a lot and I’ve been ducking a direct answer. Not bc I think registration will be a future problem, but bc it’s almost impossible to predict where resale will go in the future.

    Fwiw I’m 100% sure it climbs eventually. The problem is you’re looking down the barrel of future negative pr in the meantime. Unlike other current auto scandals this one is still getting some mainstream front page attention. A best case scenario is you buy one now cheap, vw removes a certain number from circulation, that removed number is sufficient to bring supply below demand. I won’t tell someone to spend based on a best case though.

    • 0 avatar
      pleiter

      Historically, TDI was a several k premium over equivalent VW gasoline; some of that was trim, consumer electronics, etc not the motor. It seemed like VW marketing was holding the motor hostage by making people buy all of the filigree as well as the motor. But when I observe a few comparatives where the TDI was a hundred bucks LESS than their gasoline counterpart, it signaled a threshold-crossing of some sort. Hence the question to Sajeev.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Sure, a car that won’t pass emissions without a huge reduction in performance, and may have issues getting registered, is a mad buy. Do it!!!!!!!!

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