2.0 TDI Sport - what to look out for?!?


Registered User
Hi guys,

Had a look at a A3 2.0 TDI sport today which had 65,000 miles on the clock and full service history.

The car itself is a near mint example inside/out. It looks all straight and true - only thing that I see negative about it is that the front numberplate is the dealer numberplate, and the rear is a plain one (suggesting that there is a chance it may have been rear ended) But there paintwork and panels all look original fit (no odd panel gaps. e.t.c.) so confused on this one.

My other concern is the mileage. is 65,000 miles a lot for an 05 plater?

I drive a 40,000 52 plate petrol car and the A3 I saw is newer but more mileage. I'm not ruling it out, as its a good price for it but the A3 will be a long term car for me so want minimum hassle.

It all looks good, but I don't have a clue on what to look out for mechanically in a diesel. I take it the main costly things are the clutch/gearbox and turbo.

Is there a way I can test the clutch on my test drive, also are there any telltale signs of the turbo going?

I did notice that it let out a small puff of black smoke but a mate told me this is usually normal on diesels - is this true?

Appreciate any help or advice.




Registered User
Sorry I can't answer all your questions but if you suspect it may have been in a rear end crash, get it HPI checked. That should show if it's been in a major accident.

Check the oil filler cap for any white residue. If there is, it could be a sign for water in the oil (possibly head gasket / head problems - have a search on here, seems to be a common fault).

Yes, it's normal for a little smoke out of the exhaust on a diesel.

The mileage is a bit high for it's age but that's not such a bad thing IMO.


Registered User
You can tes the clutch by selecting top gear at relatively low speeds and trying to accelerate. Rising revs and no speed increase will show it is slipping. Alternatively, trying setting off in 1st gear with handbrake on / or foot on brakes. If clutch is good, it should be easy to get to stalling point.



Registered User
Thanks for that loftusrich, will try that out.

davemk - the car is HPI clear so nothing in here to prove this. Thanks for this.

Anyone know of any other things to look out for in a TDI?


Registered User
If there's no other signs of crash damage, the rear numberplate could just have been replaced due to wear and tear, especially if a jetwash has been repeatedly used (water gets between the perspex and the backing, making it look grotty).

2.0tdi's can have a very healthy appetite for oil, but that's a difficuly one to broach.
You can ask, but they're hardly likely to admit it.
I bet the guy who bought mine (SP05 KCZ) was told it was top notch.


winning the school run grand prix
If you can, get someone else to drive it whilst you're outside - get them to accelerate hard and watch for blue smoke. Black smoke/soot is fine - TDi's just do that. Blue smoke is a sign the turbo could be on it's way out as it's burning oil!

At 65,000 miles the current owner has probably sold because he doesn't want to pay for the cambelt to be done. Factor into the cost that in 10-15,000 miles you'll need to pay £400-500 for that to be done.


Registered User
Thanks for the responses.

Well I was really interested in this car, however when I went to see it once again, I found some signs of a poorly repaired accident damaged car!

Luckily it was sunny this time round and I was looking at the rear quarter panel closely, I saw some streaks in the body under the paint, suggesting that the area was sanded down (possibly filler involved here) and painted over. There was also obvious overspray on one of the doors of the car.

Shame other than this was a nice car but after seeing this - well wouldn't touch it with a barge pole! :mad: