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Old 01-18-2009, 12:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question 97-99.0 VW Golf / Jetta Diesel, good cars?

We just sold the integra and are looking at getting a family freindly 4-door.

We'd like to try our luck with in inexpensive 97-99.0 Jetta or Golf diesel. We'd be looking for a 5 speed, loaded with sunroof and A/C pref. What kind of fuel economy and reliability can we expect from a car like this?

The reason I chose these specific models is due to build quality. From the 99.5 model on, VW's quality control went down..that's not to say they're all bad, just quite a few of them are. I heard that you can't beat the reliability of the 97-99.0's..is this true? Plus, they're more in our price range.

How are they really, for road noise?

We live in Snowy, Canada..so its good that they start easy in frigid temps!

Ken

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Old 01-18-2009, 01:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canhonkey View Post
We just sold the integra and are looking at getting a family freindly 4-door.

We'd like to try our luck with in inexpensive 97-99.0 Jetta or Golf diesel. We'd be looking for a 5 speed, loaded with sunroof and A/C pref. What kind of fuel economy and reliability can we expect from a car like this?

The reason I chose these specific models is due to build quality. From the 99.5 model on, VW's quality control went down..that's not to say they're all bad, just quite a few of them are. I heard that you can't beat the reliability of the 97-99.0's..is this true? Plus, they're more in our price range.

How are they really, for road noise?

We live in Snowy, Canada..so its good that they start easy in frigid temps!
Ken
I've a 2000, I hadn't heard about a general decline in the build quality, but I moved from a 86 Tempo to a 2000 Jetta TDI.

Mine has been a problem to start in VERY cold weather (-25C with winds, or colder). I'm suspecting an issue with my alternator, in my case. Since moving to Edmonton, I've resorted to swapping a second battery in, on those cold mornings. It's cheaper than replacing the alternator!

I have to take any quirks with my car, with a grain of salt too -- it has 272k kilometres on the odometer, and I'm the second owner (from 186k onward). All my previous cars -died- at mileages before I bought this one.

Tasdrouille owned a 99. If he doesn't chime in on your questions, drop him a note.

And if you hadn't come across TDIclub, you should make sure to visit that website (Fred's TDI Page. TDIClub.com. VW TDI Enthusiast Community). It's one of the main resources I used when researching my present car.
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Old 01-22-2009, 10:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Question what to look for?

I just heard of mainly electrical issues and Turbo issues. Also the heater cores tend to go in them? Are these true then?

I'm just wondering what I should be looking for on one of these used Turbo diesels with 250-300 000 kms...you know..potential issues...
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Old 01-22-2009, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The 97-early 99 are A3 bodies, 99.5+ are A4.

The A4 have VGT type turbo, so in order to avoid the vanes jamming in soot from FE minded driving, you have to jump on the go pedal every once in a while to exercise your turbo. Else you'll eventually need to have the turbo disasembled and cleaned. It's a 5-6 hours job + some hardware to replace.

The A3 have wastegated turbos, those can be hapilly lugged for extended periods of time.

The A4 turbo is supposedly more efficient, but the car is heavier and bigger so it's pretty much a tie for FE.

Electrical issues are a non issue on a 200k+ miles car. All factory problems will have surfaced out and have been fixed by the previous owner(s).

The A4 is much more refined than the A3, it's quieter inside. The A4 also have glavanized body panels. A3 are pretty much all rusted around here nowadays, you'd have to get one from the south and have it rustproofed.

Whatever choice you make, just make sure you can get all the maintenance history. When you have found one, make an appointment with a TDI guru to have it inspected. Head over to TDIclub.com, there's an Ontario subforum, look for member wingnut. He's in Whitby.
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Old 05-11-2011, 12:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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[QUOTE=tasdrouille;84530]The 97-early 99 are A3 bodies, 99.5+ are A4.

The A4 have VGT type turbo, so in order to avoid the vanes jamming in soot from FE minded driving, you have to jump on the go pedal every once in a while to exercise your turbo. Else you'll eventually need to have the turbo disasembled and cleaned. It's a 5-6 hours job + some hardware to replace.

The A3 have wastegated turbos, those can be hapilly lugged for extended periods of time.

The A4 turbo is supposedly more efficient, but the car is heavier and bigger so it's pretty much a tie for FE.

Electrical issues are a non issue on a 200k+ miles car. All factory problems will have surfaced out and have been fixed by the previous owner(s).

The A4 is much more refined than the A3, it's quieter inside. The A4 also have glavanized body panels. A3 are pretty much all rusted around here nowadays, you'd have to get one from the south and have it rustproofed.

Great info, I did not know that of the wastegated & the VGT in the 99.5 model change, cool! Also the Galvanized panels. I was looking at a mid 80's car fron Michigan, it was pretty much toast!

One could keep a Galv car on the road for a long time than if one was to oil it w some waste veggie oil a few times a year.

Dave
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Old 01-24-2013, 10:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I work on cummins isx engines with holsets turbos with the vgt on the turbos they get out of time all the time. its eazy to retime them but got to have a computer with a program. that could cost so money for the program.

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