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Old 05-10-2011, 06:04 AM   #31 (permalink)
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S2000 - '03 Honda S2000
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:21 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I hardly ever log in here any more but I got the email and I'm in the market for a new car; I'm getting right shoulder surgery and I'm going to need an auto. I love the idea of a TDI; I heard they can easily burn 10% used motor oil in a tank of diesel. Can you get these for under $5k?

Great suggestions, sorry if this is a hijack.

FWIW I live in the DC area and I buy exclusively from craigslist.
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Old 05-12-2011, 02:17 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Here's 2 cents about my VW current/recent experiences:

1. That timing belt is critical. If you buy a Jetta/Golf and they can't show you a receipt where the belt, belt tensoner, and idler pulley were all replaced then spend the money & do it again. Even if it costs $6-800.00. Much cheaper than hunting down a serviceable motor when something breaks. Spoken from sad personal experience....
2. I own and drive a 2002 manual trans Jetta. My daily commute is primarily rural where anything over 60mph is unusual. Two lanes mostly where every opportunity to pass must be taken. So, while I'm not SpeedRacer, I'm not Granny either. The car always, always gets 45+ mpg. And when I keep my foot out of it I can get it up into the low 60's.
3. The car has 256000 miles on it. It doesn't show. And before the above referenced sad day, the original engine was strong, willing and used about 1 quart of oil between 6-7000 mile changes. I was looking forward to bragging about the 300K motor, but....
3. VW built a funky automatic transmission for the Golf/Jetta, called 01M. High mileage cars can be expected to have trans problems that'll set you back at least $2500. My wife drives an 01 TDI Jetta automatic so, again, I'm speaking from experience. But we were warned so it wasn't a surprise. If memory serves they put it in 99.5 to 03 cars.
4. I know of 2 sites that cater to the TDI enthusiast. Both can teach you something and there are "Cars for Sale" pages that might help you find a car. www tdiclub com and www myturbodiesel com. Some members have posted useful troubleshooting & how-to documents.
5. I really like my car. Even looking for another for my son. Stickshift though....

Good luck shopping.

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