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Advice needed for buying TDI

Rev-head Jan 22, 2006

  1. Rev-head

    Rev-head Active Member

    Right......after having a car that does 17-20 mpg i am considering buying a TDI .......Havent got big budget at the moment so something at a good price

    So i need to be educated in the way of the TDI Engine

    Probably will be A4 model
    What should i look for when buying older model A4
    What are the tell tail problems that occur with higher mileage engines
    and any other pointers would be much appreciated


  2. they run forever so mileage isnt a problem, just make sure its been regulaly serviced etc...
    just as an example mine has done 146k and still runs and looks like new.
  3. S4_dan

    S4_dan Fire up the Quattro! VCDS Map User

    Mine has done 176k and runds like new!

    except i bought mine before the cambelt was due and unlucky enough, the belt snapped 400miles over the due service! cost me less than 2k for a full engine rebuild so im very happy with it now.

    Check for usual, bodywork, service history, mot ,tax etc.

    Make sure has full service history whether dealer or not.

    make sure cam / timing belt upto date. check for dents and rust spots, or paint blemishes. ensure gearbox smooth and performance is good (test a few cars of same spec if poss!)

    but overall you cant go much wrong with a high miler diesel, providing its been looked after!
  4. tubtub

    tubtub Member

    You haven't said which engine you're considering but I find the 1.9L (I've a '97 110 Saloon and a '00 115 Avant) provides an excellent balance of power and economy.
    My Saloon has done 188,000 miles with no engine problems of any kind - unfortunately the Avant has needed a head gasket and currently smokes very heavily when idling. It has done only 77,000 miles...
    The front suspension arms have a tendency to creak; apparently its wear in the ball joints and there was a recall a few years back on this. Replacing the arms is the cure - there are eight of them but not all should need doing.
    Starter motors can also give problems, gradually taking longer and longer to start the car; the only cure is to replace them. Otherwise they superb cars which these days are becoming very cheap to buy.
    Mileages on secondhand TDIs tend to be high (my Saloon had '96,000 at three years old) but they are galvanised so rust shouldn't be a problem, are comfortable for two (there is limited leg room in the back) and economical.
  5. Griffter

    Griffter New Member

    I've just bought a 130k mile 1997 1.9 TDi quattro. It's an expensive car for the year and miles, but there seems to be a strong following and they've got a good reputation for robustness and longevity. You pay more for a diesel than an equivalent petrol, but you should make up for that with running costs and resale.

    Checks are the same as for any car.

    Specific to a TDi, you want to make sure it starts easily without clouds of smoke, pulls strongly and isn't over-noisy (it's diesel though remember...). Assuming the engine is sound, injectors and turbo can still wear with mileage, but if the car drives well and doesn't smoke the signs are good.

    Suspension can be problematic. The drop links (connecting front forward lower suspension arms to anti-roll bar) on my car have gone leading to knocking when ONE wheel goes over a bump. Other suspension noises could be worn bushes or ball joints. Parts are expensive from VAG, but much cheaper from specialists.

    Make sure all the electrics work, particularly the multi-function computer and climate / aircon system.

    Good luck.

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