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Old 06-11-2021, 03:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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ALH TDI Experiences?

Thinking of getting a new car. I want something used with 50+ MPG capability. Iíve looked into 2003 Golfs quite a bit and while Iím not fully into their looks I do like their MPG numbers quite a bit. Iíve heard owners estimate everywhere from 40-70 MPG. Iíd like to know what any of you guys are getting or have gotten on average, and during the winter.

Howís the maintenance? Iíve heard these are expensive to maintain. I daily my civic and while it doesnít get the MPG I want, itís definitely going to keep on kicking forever. Iíd not want a car that needs to be babied.

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Old 06-12-2021, 10:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have a 13 with 100K which isn't an ALH so it may not be represented as similar. After the software neuter, we now get about 46 instead of 50 mpg, it regens constantly. Typical European maintenance schedule, which is very expensive when done by Vw, not so bad for DIY. So far other than oil changes once a year and mandated recalls it's not worked on. One fault on the late '12 and early 13s was the fuel pump, after neuter its the EGR and DPF which are suprisingly related. Suspension issues in salted road states, where wheel parts rust off. 200K for the clutch is common, 150K for the brake pads also.
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Old 06-14-2021, 06:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I had a 2001 Jetta TDi with the ALH. I put 170K on it, wish I still had it. I did replace the turbo and the intake needs to be cleaned every 60k or so when you do the timing belt. I didn't have any maintence problems outside of that.

It's not toyota type maintence, where you just change the oil and put gas in it. BUT IMHO the ALH was most reliable Tdi. Don't get a BEW 2004 and up . Terrible. I had 2004 wagon, nothing but trouble, some had serious camshaft issues.

I usually got an honest 42 around town with the 2001 and I didn't hypermile, I drove it hard. On the highways at 70-75 it would get 47-48 mpg. Good torque, only 90 hp, but feels faster because of the torque.

as far as miliage in cold weather, it doesn't get very cold here. which made me think about another point. The heater is marginal, even in the mild climate in Georgia. The engine is so efficent, that it won't produce enough heat to keep the cabin warm at idle. so, if you have short, city commutes, it will never warm up. If you have longer highway commutes, it won't be a problem.
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Last edited by Vwbeamer; 06-14-2021 at 07:00 AM.. Reason: added info about heater
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Old 06-15-2021, 06:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Gaptooth (retired) - '00 Honda Insight
Team Honda
Gen-1 Insights
90 day: 54.26 mpg (US)

Such Fit - '07 Honda Fit Sport
90 day: 41.27 mpg (US)

Connect - '15 Ford Transit Connect XL
90 day: 21.26 mpg (US)

K-sight - '00 Honda K-sight
Team Honda
90 day: 46.5 mpg (US)

Aerocivic - '92 Honda Civic CX
90 day: 64.49 mpg (US)
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Depending on which year of Civic, you may be able to meet your economy goals with regearing.

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