Last post on Nov 17, 2013 at 8:38 AM
You are in the Volkswagen Jetta
What is this discussion about?
Volkswagen Jetta, Biodiesel, Diesel, Sedan
#4555 of 4777 Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before?
Sep 22, 2011 (5:47 am)
We are looking for a new wagon or an SUV. We have owned Hondas and Toyotas recently, but I am attracted by the Jetta TDI reviews I have seen. But I also have this impression that they are less reliable than the average car. But still it came as a shock when my mechanic (whom I trust) said that the one car he would not recommend to me would be the VW diesel line! According to him this car can be as expensive to repair as the Porsche.
Has this car been more trouble prone lately? Has VW fixed anything in 2011 or 2012 models that should make me consider it despite my mechanic's advice?
Thanks in advance.
#4556 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [mi2kshop]
Sep 22, 2011 (6:14 am)
It is possible your mechanic does not have the proper equipment to work on the VW TDI engines. He may not want to lose a customer. If you keep cars beyond the extended warranty having a mechanic you can trust is useful. I would say you should talk to a shop that repairs VW TDIs on a regular basis. If none exist in your area and you do not want to work on your car after the warranty period, maybe the VW TDI is not for you. My 70 year old neighbor has a 1999 Beetle TDI that he maintains. It has close to 200k miles on it. His wife will not drive any other of their vehicles. She loves driving that car. He has not had any major failures to date. The driving experience of the German vs Asian or Domestic is MUCH BETTER.
#4557 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [mi2kshop]
Sep 22, 2011 (6:57 am)
I think if you are concerned about the "FLEET" over all (numbers and percentages) of JSW TDI's, the good news and bad news are the (2011/2012) JSW TDI's are a very SMALL fleet indeed. (aka stay away from the VW Jetta TDI's)
So for example, one defect in a fleet of say 5,000 (JSW TDI's), will have far different numbers and percentages than say one defect in 200,000 each ( of Honda Accord/Toyota Camry) As you can see, that one defect can and has to happen many more times (10 TIMES more) in a Accord/Camry before numbers are even significant let alone labeled an issue, vs a JSW TDI.
Others are a series of coded messages from your mechanic. What he is really saying: he has neither the equipment, expertise and practical experiences to service a diesel. In effect, you will be now on your own (after the VW warranty periods) should you chose the diesel. If he were to service YOUR diesel, statistically (all things being equal) he can not come close to the level a service a specialist in TDI's can. I am sure he would hate to lose you as a customer. (aka stay WITH the Honda/Toyota)
So to answer your questions PRACTICALLY. VW's are really built to be repaired. This can be seen as a good thing OR a BAD thing. All but the diesel components are normal "CAR" repairs (a wheel and tire on a VW is a ...wheel and tire on a Honda/Toyota) Honda/Toyota's are really built to be appliance like, which oh by the way can be brought in to be fixed. Almost by necessity, I would seek out a specialist IN TDI's.
I just recently clicked off a major tune cycle for both (110,000/120,000 miles, 100,000 miles) a 2004 Honda Civic and a 2003 VW Jetta TDI. At LIKE MILES, you will probably not guess which needed more maintenance AND cost more and was procedurally and technically more complicated and took more time.
sidebar: I can be VERY specific but don't wish to bore the general thread if that is not of real interest.
#4558 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [gagrice]
Sep 22, 2011 (2:46 pm)
In my opinion, the TDI is not any more trouble-prone than any other vehicle.
Yes - it is DIFFERENT than a gasser. But the TDi actually has LESS things to fail.
NO ignition system (coil, sparkplug wires, sparkplugs....etc) These things simply do not exist on a diesel engine.
I have to agree with the other appender who suggested that perhaps your "trusted mechanic" is simply not familiar with the TDI engine and does not wish to lose a customer.
Also, do not forget that ONLY the engine is different... the rest of the vehicle is the same as any other VW. Same brakes, same suspension...etc Hence, your mechanic should be able to handle most of the "standard" maintenance duties.
My wife LOVES her Jetta TDI and prefers to drive it over my turbocharged Baja.
On long roadtrips, (over 4 hours) the 56 MPG is unmatched by any other vehicle sold in North America. It gets over 750 miles per tank of fuel.
....and dont let ANYONE tell you that diesel fuel is "hard to find" or "too expensive" I can tell you that diesel is sold at most refuling stations.
I have a spreadsheet totaling every drop of fuel ever pumped into my wife's TDI. The all-important COST PER MILE is $0.05 (over 125,000 miles)
My motorcycle barely matches the cost-per-mile of the TDI!!
#4559 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [bpeebles]
Sep 23, 2011 (10:48 am)
thought my 2009 TDI was perfect car...drive about 500 miles a week commuting....mostly highway.....just found out I need a new DPF(diesel particulate filter) and catalytic converter....$4000.00 estimate by dealer..yes THOUSAND.....called VW customer service and was told the DPF and catalytic converters are covered for 8yrs/80k miles....I was at 80,800...so sorry " nothing we can so" they did say they would send me a service voucher for $250.00...thanks.....also 90k a timing belt change is required maintanence*($1200-$1400 dealer estimate) so much for saving money driving a TDI... just be careful....I never missed a dealer servicing so I'm even more annoyed.....
#4560 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [bpeebles]
by MrShift@Edmunds HOST
Sep 23, 2011 (10:51 am)
I think it would be more accurate to say that a diesel car has OTHER things to fail rather than FEWER things to fail.
#4561 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [Mr_Shiftright]
Sep 23, 2011 (11:10 am)
recently had new glow plugs(750.00 dealer repair) and new door latch (450.00 dealer repair) can understand glow plugs after 80k.....so with the DPF and timing belt in a month or so I'm looking $6000.00 in repair costs for a car I bought less than 3 years ago for 25k . So much for VW Engineering.....thats above the expensive regular maintenance I had at the dealer.....
#4562 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [roccus]
Sep 23, 2011 (11:12 am)
If your state does not require smog check on diesels, maybe a different exhaust system that boosts power and better mileage. I think CA requires longer than 80k miles. That would ruin my day and give me unpleasant thoughts about VW. Have you always used high quality ULSD? Not all states are fully compliant on the ULSD mandate. The engine must have it.
#4563 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [gagrice]
Sep 23, 2011 (11:24 am)
yep...always high quality fuel ...NY metro area....won't pass emissions with check engine light...real dissappointed.....love the car...hate the unforseen expenses....does VW have to charge 4 grand for a poorly designed filter/catalytic converter? will the new one have to replaced in another 80K? really thought I would be driving it for years... doesn't seem to make sense putting that kind of money into it
#4564 of 4777 Re: Is the 2011/12 Jetta TDI Sportswagen more reliable than before? [roccus]
Sep 23, 2011 (12:06 pm)
I wonder if you would take a full $4k hit as a trade-in on a new one? Might be worth a try at a different dealer.