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Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

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Kara503
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Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by Kara503 » Tue Jun 05, 2018 2:40 pm

Gas is getting expensive.... I just recently picked up a 2003 Jetta TDI. 5 Speed sedan, ALH model engine, 250k miles. I have it apart right now to change all of the timing components as well as clean the EGR and intake manifold.

Questions for anyone with experience- What are some things to look out for?
Anyone do any tuning? I have heard from a buddy that the exhaust is quite restrictive.
Any way to tune the injection timing without VAG-COM after I am done with the timing belt replace?

Some initial thoughts on the car-
Having never driven a diesel stick, I'm blown away by the torque. I can get up my driveway from a stop without needing to give it any gas to prevent a stall! I also forgot how much I missed the sound of a diesel engine. My dad owns a really nice '97 E300 TD that I drove for a few months, and I could never get over how great it sounded. It makes me happy that the Volvo 5 cylinders can sound so similar sometimes! :)
On the bad side, my lord, the seats are like a park bench compared to Volvo seats. I have an 850 parts car, and once I get the Jetta further along mechanically, my first priority is going to be to try a seat swap!!



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June
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by June » Tue Jun 05, 2018 3:17 pm

You know Matthew has a VW site like MVS. If you don't get a good answer here, than try posting there. June


My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned

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Kara503
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by Kara503 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:46 pm

Oh wow, I had no idea!! I will do that. Thanks June!

By the way, I envy your history of Volvo ownership. I see your posts and you seem really passionate about your car :D If you don't mind me asking-

-Do you have a favorite? Why or why not?
-How has Volvo changed over the years in your eyes?
-Why have you bought so many of them/ what do you like the most about them?
-What do you not like about them?

Volvo as a brand has a current perception and you can buy parts for an 80s or 90s vintage of car online, but there is so much you can't get out of a tech workbook or a DIY tutorial.



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June
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by June » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:19 pm

Kara503 wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 5:46 pm
Oh wow, I had no idea!! I will do that. Thanks June!

By the way, I envy your history of Volvo ownership. I see your posts and you seem really passionate about your car :D If you don't mind me asking-

-Do you have a favorite? Why or why not?
-How has Volvo changed over the years in your eyes?
-Why have you bought so many of them/ what do you like the most about them?
-What do you not like about them?

Volvo as a brand has a current perception and you can buy parts for an 80s or 90s vintage of car online, but there is so much you can't get out of a tech workbook or a DIY tutorial.
Okay, this is going to be long to answer so many questions properly.

To start off with understand I grew up in a world where moms drove Volvo and dads Buick, Cadillac, or Lincoln Mercury. German cars with the exception of the Mercedes 600 Grosser were complete jokes as well as all Japanese cars. High end American cars are what the successful man drove. Rolls Royce and the 600 simply were viewed as ostentatious. Volvo was the safe, reliable extremely well built car to keep your family safe, ie the perfect wives car. I am speaking of pre 1990 upper middle class and above families in the town I grew up in.

I started my car ownership with a 1964 Mercury Montclair Marauder that was as close to a 64 Thunderbird as I could find for sale. The car was 20 years old an broke constantly, so I bought a 1978 Grand Marquis coupe from the Mercury dealer with no mileage at 7 years old. It burned oil, leaked oil, developed a humming rear end among other things over a year and a half of ownership. So I took it to Buick and traded it for a brand new 1986 Buick Park Avenue Coupe thinking a new car would be better. It was not... so in 1989 I took the Buick over to Volvo and bought the 1989 740 GLT new. Which is what my parents wanted me to do to begin with.

It was the unreliable American cars that got me into Volvos to begin with. Being young safety is not thought of as a priority in a car.
Note that two Volvo cars have saved me from death or serious injuries.
Once I had a taste of Volvo ownership I never have looked back. That's 29 years now. Perhaps you might understand now my love of Volvo cars.

Both S80 T6 cars have been my favorite cars. Though most on here have a dim view of the T6 it is unwarranted in my opinion. Really I feel it is the most well rounded model with tons of useable power. Also the last car design before Ford, so the most modern real Volvo design that can be bought. The 89 740 has a warm place in my heart, the only Volvo I didn't like was the 850, just rode too hard and had gremlins.

I have stuck with Volvo because one after another they have been good, and Volvo has always been first rate with their warranty for anything that had trouble. Note the 850 and the V70 Cross country are the only Volvos to need the warranty. Also there is the safety factor as well. No matter what companies like Subaru advertise, Volvo is the "safe car".

The only thing I don't like about Volvo is more people don't drive them! What's not to like? Reliable, safe, well built, well put together. Personally I don't mind Volvo cars tend not to be gas meister cars. Really I haven't bought them for gas mileage. Though the newer drive e engine gets impressive mileage.

Really it seems to me Volvo has kept their core values over the years. Yes since Geely has owned them the cars have been jumping leaps and bounds into the modern age, but keeping with the safety, and unpretentious luxury. I would have had four or five more had AWD not been forced on the T6 V8 packages. Or had the 2.9 T6 with the GM transmission been in continuous production.

Did you get the answer about the VW over at Matthews VW site? I still cringe at the thought that Matthew drives a VW now rather than a Volvo. I just can't help myself but feel everyone should have a Volvo! Abscate also has a Beetle with the rare Volvo seat hood ornament. 🙃 June
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Last edited by June on Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.


My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned

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Kara503
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by Kara503 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:52 pm

Thanks so much for the answer!! Its very interesting to hear your perspective :) Have you ever wanted to trade in your s80? What made you choose the s80 over an s60?
Not much over on MVWS unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be very active. I'm sure once I begin driving the TDI regularly if I come across any issues I will have a better idea of what to search the forums for though. It is just too bad I can't get a newer diesel Volvo in the US. What I wouldn't do for a P2 D5 v70!
I agree though, more people should drive one! Especially in an area where Subarus are king and people seem scared to not have AWD for the one day a year we have snow, 10+ year old Volvos are extremely undervalued for the build quality and what you are getting.



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June
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by June » Mon Jun 11, 2018 9:21 pm

I had the 98 V70 Cross country which had endless transmission and AWD trouble. My dealer was well aware of my experience. So in 2001 when I was ready to trade the 98 in all the 5 cylinder model's transmissions for 01 were having trouble. So my salesperson insisted I order a S80 over a FWD V70 as the S80 was not affected by the bum 5 cylinder transmissions. So I ordered a 2002 S80 T6 Executive in Nordic blue. It simply was love at first drive, not to mention site!

Yes I wanted to trade, but AWD became standard in 07 with V8 and again with the return of the T6 all the way to 2018. After the 1998 V70 Cross country I NEVER want AWD again!!! My 2004 S80 was not picked out by me. My 2002 rolled in a field early one morning totalling it, also making me fearful of driving momentarily. So Mike arranged the 2004 I still drive. I miss the premium stereo, hid headlights, pollution monitoring ac, and the electronic suspension my 02 had. I thought I would order the next like usual, only Volvo screwed the pooch by discontinuing my car. I am not sure I would want diesel, I would have to drive one in a Volvo.

What attracts you to diesel? Oh the S60 is too small for me. The 70, 80, and 90 series cars fit me better. I am afraid the hour glass turns to pear shape with kids and age! :lol: :lol: june


My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned

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Kara503
Posts: 80
Joined: Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:07 pm
Year and Model: 1996 850 Plat R-Swap
Location: Oregon
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by Kara503 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:35 pm

pollution monitoring A/C? Electronic suspension?? Sounds interesting!! I have been thinking about an s80 T6 as a project as the twin turbo design really interests me. I'll have to find a used one and pick it up after my other projects are out of the way.

My family occasionally makes biodiesel, and I like the ability to run off of it from time to time. It smells pretty good and is very low cost! The torque of a diesel car is also really nice, as well as the mileage, and I think the sound (Of the engine itself, not of a crazy smoke spewing loud exhaust like some people have on their trucks) is very nice.



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June
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by June » Tue Jun 12, 2018 6:06 pm

Kara503 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:35 pm
pollution monitoring A/C? Electronic suspension?? Sounds interesting!! I have been thinking about an s80 T6 as a project as the twin turbo design really interests me. I'll have to find a used one and pick it up after my other projects are out of the way.

My family occasionally makes biodiesel, and I like the ability to run off of it from time to time. It smells pretty good and is very low cost! The torque of a diesel car is also really nice, as well as the mileage, and I think the sound (Of the engine itself, not of a crazy smoke spewing loud exhaust like some people have on their trucks) is very nice.
If you see a S80 T6 2002 through 2005 on a lot, give it a test drive. You may be surprised at the power. Note 1/3 of the power disappears without premium fuel.

I took photos of some of the better options in my 2004 manual. My 2002 had all but back up assistant. Also the 801 stereo system is worth it and likely will be present on a highly optioned car. On my 2002 the 4 c suspension had a soft and sport option. It was a great option new. I really liked the soft mode on the interstate. The optional headlights are also really worth looking for as they really light the world up and come on automatically separate of the stupid daytime running lights. Anyway the amount of buttons in front of the shifter is a easy way to tell if a car online has some of these options. The headlights look different than the halogen ones behind the glass. The recirculating button will have two LEDs rather than one for the interior air quality monitoring system. All the nice safety features like WIPPS, AIR CURTAIN, SIPPS, and DTSC are standard on T6. June
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My Volvo cars owned
1989 740 GLT ordered
1994 850 4door standard shift ordered
1996 960 ordered
1998 S90 ordered totalled after 3 weeks
1998 V70 GT dealer stock car
2002 S80 T6 ordered totalled
2004 S80 T6 dealer stock car and current car owned

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mrbrian200
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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by mrbrian200 » Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:23 pm

June wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 8:19 pm
The only thing I don't like about Volvo is more people don't drive them! What's not to like? Reliable, safe, well built, well put together.
Limited production capability. They're actually somewhat difficult to find outside of a major city where Volvo hasn't had a major dealer presence for at least 10 or 15 years.
I live in the South Bend IN area. I had to look in Chicago and Indianapolis (both ~100 miles away) for an S60. Most people won't go that far to look at cars.

When a good one goes for sale they go quick. Couple weeks ago I drove past a Ford dealer in Warsaw, IN which is an isolated small city with a population of 13,000. They had a super pretty later Orange Flame C30R out by the highway in their 'showcase' position. Drove past a couple days later intending to stop and snap a picture. It was S-O-L-D!

Now with Geely fronting some serious cash to expand Volvo's production capabilities with new assembly plants I expect more people to be buying/driving Volvos in the coming years.



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Re: Anyone have any experience owning a VW TDI?

Post by 93Regina » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:24 pm

mrbrian200 wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 8:23 pm
They're actually somewhat difficult to find outside of a major city where Volvo hasn't had a major dealer presence for at least 10 or 15 years....
Most rural folks have little interest, since

1. Maintenance Costs - They perceive parts/labor cost more...

2. Maintenance Repair - It might have to be towed to a dealership. In fact, a repair shop had to tow one to get another key, some 130 one way miles.

There are rural shops with high dollar Snap-On equipment, but unless the fault is ID'ed via this equipment....tow job, or drive it to dealership. Mitchel and Snap-On have good reference material, but it takes a seasoned mechanic to do it right, which are few/far between. I know of one independent older mechanic who has skills across many vehicle lines, but most mechanics are the traditional ones, Ford, Chevy, Buick, Jeep, etc. There's the rub, along with Volvo specific tools, when required. Just like with a rebuilt transmission, for redblock autos, the local shop will not touch them...he has good skills on the transmissions he does repair.

With my red-blocks, I do all the maintenance....when I rebuilt a B23F engine, I had to get parts for machine shop to do head work. Most all of my parts are ordered online....either local auto stores want to much, or they don't carry them.



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