VW Jetta MKIV/MK4: Advice for 2005 TDI Purchase? |Volkswagen Bora
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Thread: Advice for 2005 TDI Purchase?

  1. #1

    Default Advice for 2005 TDI Purchase?

    I have the opportunity to purchase a 2005 TDI Wagon in excellent cosmetic condition, single owner, well maintained, for what seems like a very good price (<$4000). I am a newbie when it comes to VW's and diesel to boot, and I am hoping for some advice on what to expect from this model.

    It has 120k miles, and the only reported issue is that twice, on very hot days, it lost power going up steep hills and was hard to get into gear (sounds like it got into gear, but was very slow and low powered). Wondering if that is associated with clutch, cam shaft, transmission, or. I also noted a diesel smell in the cabin just after starting when the fan was on but went away (is that normal?).

    So, along with those two known issues, I'm wondering what issues to expect. What kind of life (miles) does this car have? What are it's known issues? Which are fixable and which are an ongoing nuisance (hard to diagnose/fix). How expensive will it be to maintain this car? Am I foolish for considering a 12yo Jetta, or is the prognosis positive.

    Hoping all you Jetta-ites, particularly those familiar with MKIV and TDI, can offer some advice. I have a few weeks to decide, and the owner is fine with allowing me to take it to a mechanic for checking things out.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer. Peter

  2. #2

    Default Re: Advice for 2005 TDI Purchase?

    IF the timing belt was never done, stay away from it, and if it was
    it's almost due again at 120,000, 40k more it's due the 2nd time.

    Diesel smell in the cabin means there is a fuel leak or exhaust leak, more
    then likely it's exhaust.

    Overheating low power is a BIG issue if it's a manual, it has noting to do with the transmission.

    Overheating, if a DSG, it will send the car into low power mode, if it gets worse the DSG clutches
    will not engage. Need to see why the DSG is overheating, or the engine is which increases the

    My 2013, I have 230,000 miles on it, they'll go 500k+ if taken care of. I know a guy
    who went 215,000 on a timing belt, was a 2012. I am at 230,000 on my original timing
    and serpentine belt.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Advice for 2005 TDI Purchase?

    Hi PowerslavePA,

    Thank you so much for your comments about the TDI I am looking at. A bit more information may be in order... along with a couple associated questions if you don't mind taking a few more moments:

    The timing belt has been changed once. I take it that this is an approximately $1k job, correct. So once again in 40k miles?

    If the diesel smell in the cabin is a leak in the exhaust system, does that mean there is a large range of potential repair actions that might be needed? Also a wide range of cost? If I move forward and take the car to a mechanic, I will ask them to look at that and give me an estimate.

    The car is in fact a manual, so per your statement "Overheating low power is a BIG issue" is pertinent. I get that it has noting to do with the transmission. As you described, it seems like it does go into a low power mode. You write: "if it gets worse the DSG clutches will not engage". How much work is it for a mechanic to see why the DSG is overheating, or the engine is which increases the temps? I will ask the mechanic beforehand if this is something they can effectively diagnose.

    Regarding your mileage and expected mileage, are those numbers true for a 2005 as well? It would be great to get 250k-500k miles. I will look into addressing these major problems, unless you think they are deal killers. Are there other predictable issues I might expect?

    Thanks, Peter

  4. #4

    Default Re: Advice for 2005 TDI Purchase?

    You say the car is a MANUAL, so no DSG. A DSG is basically a manual shifted automatically.
    If you have a manual, a clutch pedal on the floor, you should have that overheating issue looked
    at by a VW dealer or certified mechanic.

    An exhaust leak can be anywhere, the worst would be the header pipe, or exhaust manifold.

    Timing belts can be done as low as $650 if you find the right place. There is a place in PA
    that does them $650 to $700, the later model CR engines for $800.

    Diesels can go a million miles if well maintained. This is when you get a car that just
    keeps on going. Turbos fail, fuel pumps fail, but some people can get a car that just
    keeps on running. Mine is a 2013, with 230,000 miles on it, all original...

    2005s are going for $2000-3800 around these parts. Wagons are more, so it may be a deal.
    I'd have that overheating low power thing looked at. You don't want to spend $4000
    on a car, then another $1000 to replace a turbo...

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