School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Models manufactured from 1999 to 2004

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School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby kevin286 on Nov Wed 20, 2013 8:10 pm

Hey all, I'm moving soon and will see daily back and forth driving now :( Can I pick your brains for a second and get your opinions?
Have been considering a 98/99 - 05 ish year TDI ( I guess this is referred to as mk4?), Jetta, Passat, Golf, not too picky, either of those will do fine.

From reading it sounds like these like to have an airbag and CEL light come on for mysterious/finicky reasons. Other than that, any things I need to look out for? Little differences between the years where a x year would be better or worse than y year? Certain items that mean "Stay the freak away from", or "this diesel is about to explode", :confused: stuff like that?

For those that don't know me, I'm familiar with auto's in general, just not this one in particular so no need to suggest things like, "Check that it's got enough headlight fluid" or "Request that they repack the muffler bearings". :laughing:

If it matters; not looking to mod/tweak/pimp/slam/stance/rice/stretch/poke or otherwise adjust the vehicle from stock. Just need it to reliably get me from point a to b without fail. It's going to be the wife's daily so… no go fast bits on this one.
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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby kompressorgolf on Nov Wed 20, 2013 11:25 pm

Low miles, have a mechanic check it out before buying, if that means taking it home to your garage to check things like, massive carbon buildup in the intake, oily decrepit looking turbo, or check shaft play, go manual trans, should run decently quiet even for a diesel, oil change/service records, get a block heater. splice it into a coolant line, no stick on pan bs.
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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby kevin286 on Nov Thu 21, 2013 10:54 am

@kompressorgolf Copy, check turbo, intake, stay away from automatic, oil changes.
Anything special about the oil? I've read on some years a super special VW oil was required?
I'll be in Tucson, so I'll probably not put on a block heater :D
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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby paintballguy424 on Nov Thu 21, 2013 12:33 pm

Oil must meet spec such as 505.01 502 507 etc specified by Volkswagen. Basically it's a synthetic base with the proper additive package (SAPS)Mobil one 0w-40 and castrol edge 0w-40 both meet spec and are commonly available. Castrol professional or slx is usually what the dealership carry and can be bought through a distributor or online. Amsoil redline and other oils meet specs but are not certified by vw as the process is expensive.


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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby TDI in MT on Nov Fri 22, 2013 4:38 pm

I have an '03 Golf TDI, I've had it since March. From what I've heard those with the "ALH" diesel are the best. That's what I have. They're indestructible. No electric fuel pumps, it has a rotary mechanical pump mounted on the block. However, being a diesel, they take time to warm up in the winter even if it's garaged. Block heaters aren't an option since there's no freeze plug hole. What some do is buy a heater from frostheater.com. I haven't, waiting to see how this winter goes. I did get a "winter front" for mine from IDParts.com though. Extra credit if it has heated seats - they are not easily retrofitted.

But, if it has an automatic transmission, it's probably the infamous 01m, which I also have. VW sold them as "lubed for life" which in the real world means "lubed for the life of the warranty". Consequently many owners believed VW and never changed the ATF or filter. The previous owner sent mine to the dealer for trans work, they replaced the valve body and torque converter .... at 80,000 miles! Mine has some funky shifting which a rebuilt valve body may (or may not) fix if I ever feel the need to spend more money. The only permanent cure for the 01m is a 5-speed swap, which can be done. If the car has the auto, take it for a long test drive in the city, on the interstate & points in between. In the 10-15 minutes I took mine for a test, it wasn't long or varied enough to find the funky shifting. (The VCDS program however, fixed some of it. What remains is likely a mechanical or electrical problem that doesn't always show up.)

The bodies are rock solid. Again, from what I've read, the 00-03 cars are the best.

Bottom line, if it's an ALH with a manual, expect to have it to 300 to 500,000 miles.
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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby kevin286 on Feb Sun 02, 2014 2:03 pm

So… clutch replacement difficult, without pulling engine or putting the car on a lift?
My wish list for find a manual 00-03 with less than 200 hasn't been working out to well for me. Seems like no one is selling the manuals until they get quite a bit higher milage. Good ( the cars hold up and people don't want to get rid) Bad ( hard time finding one).
There's an 00 in San Diego (about 6hrs from me) that listed as needing a clutch. Having not dug into these before research shows that these OEM are a dual mass clutch setup and it's popular to switch to a single mass when replacing as the seal on the dual mass can fail.
I've never done a clutch replacement on a front wheel drive. I'd be doing this in the driveway.
Looks like I'd be into about 500 bucks for flywheel, clutch, PP, new bolts & the special tools before it's all done.
What'da'ya think crowd? Even worth considering or one of you with experience replacing these say "f that, those things r a major PITA".
http://sandiego.craigslist.org/nsd/cto/4314889219.html
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School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby MT-Getto on Feb Sun 02, 2014 6:04 pm

I've always found transverse clutches easier to pull both the motor and trans. Pull front off and roll assy out on a jack.

Looks clean and price seems right. Mpg seems low for a 5spd.
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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby kevin286 on Feb Sun 02, 2014 9:55 pm

@ghetto yeah, i was thinking mpg a little low too. With the whiteline & konis never know what other "performance" bits have been done. I'll give a shout and see what's what.
thanks
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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby benno3231 on Feb Sun 02, 2014 11:00 pm

I'd get a mk3 or B4 tdi. They might be easier to find
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Re: School me on TDI MK4 - Looking to purchase

Postby TDI in MT on Feb Mon 03, 2014 10:14 pm

Kevin

MPG is low for that car, unless he's putting his foot into it all the time. "Normal" driving should be in the 45-55 mpg range.

Has it had a "tune" done to it? Like a Malone stage 1 or 2 tune. I'm sure he'd mention it if it did, but with all the other work that's been done, it's possible a tune was in the mix too. http://www.malonetuning.com/

Plan on having to remove the intake manifold & cleaning it. I just did mine (113k on it) and it was at least 50% plugged.
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