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I am not a car person, so I do not know all the names and terms. I have worked on our truck (which is a chevy), but I am a little wary about working on the VW.

Right now I have 2 questions:

1st: When you replace a glow plug is there a way to clear out the engine check light? Last year we replaced one and the light never cleared. When we took it in to be inspected we were told by the dealer that all the glow plugs needed to be by the same manufacturer. Is that a load of crap? It kind of seemed it to me. They ended up changing them for the cost of the parts because I said I would pick it up, change them to match the ones we got at the auto store and bring it back. If this is true, when I change the one that needs changing now, should I just replace them all and will that clear the light out?

2nd: A little more tricky because I don't know all the names and terms, but it is currently very sluggish and wanting to stay in 1st gear much longer. It will be really slow to accelerate and then all of a sudden start zooming along. Is this a filter that needs changing or something that may be clogged?

Thanks :)
 

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1. True, they seem to have slightly different resistance or something like that but I've also heard people say they mixed-matched. To be honest I'm not sure but I've been told to always change them in sets. Also, if one is worn out, the others are close. The check engine light could be caused by a number of things. Your year can tell the difference between 1-4 plugs so any error codes will help isolate the problem to which plug. The wiring harness could also be worn, chafed, cracked, corroded, etc. Forget buying at dealer though, same plugs can be found much cheaper online. Here are some sourceS:

http://www.kermatdi.com/servlet/StoreFront
www.idparts.com
www.worldimpex.com

2. Automatic transmission? Take a look through this article : http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/multi/low-power-fix-TDI.htm
and check all the common causes of low power. Then go through the less common causes. Probably not fuel filter or air filter but worth checking.

welcometomyturbodies
 

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sort of sounds like low trans fluid...
I don't have an auto-trans in my tdi
but from what I know about American auto-transmissions, the engine will rev and then you will take off abruptly. This is because there isn't enough fluid present to make the torque converter work properly.

try checking the transmission fluid level.
on the older american cars, I know you have to check it while its running. but now I think they have an on and an off mark (hot and cold) on the dip stick.

sorry for not being certain
 

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If you changed the glow plugs last year, it's unlikely that you have a burned-out one now (unless you used Champion brand... stick with Bosch or Beru...) If you have a Check Engine light, it could be on for any number of reasons... the glow plug harness gets some corrosion in the contact area after a number of years (I just replaced the one in my 2003)... In any case, a glow-plug error will not go away by itself and needs to be cleared using a scanner...

Sorry, but I can't help you with the automatic, except to let you know that your vintage TDI came with an automatic (01M) that doesn't have a very good reputation for longevity... 120 - 160,000 miles seems to be the lifespan... the only known fixes are a 5-speed manual transmission conversion, and a VW-remanufactured automatic... (if your transmission does need fixing, don't let anyone rebuild it!!! It will cost even more than a real VW unit, and will not be as reliable... we've heard of too many horror stories...)

Please narrow down your location a bit... we may (or may not) be able to recommend someone close to you who has expertise with these cars...

All the best,

Yuri
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I actually have a manual transmission. It will be really sluggish and seem to need to be in 1st for a while then all of a sudden it will take off and I can shift normally. I played around with it a little and shifting to 2nd doesn't do anything. It says the same speed. It seems to be worse when it is cold. It was really rough when it was -15ish out and took a long time to get to normal. I actually noticed at one point I had the accelerator on the floor and I was only going 45 or 50 mph in 5th (and this is a car I have gotten a ticket for going 93 in without noticing it).

I am just going to change all the glow plugs like suggested. I seem to have to replace at least one a year, so if I do them all at once that should save me some time, I suppose.

Thanks,
Aimee

I am in Northern VT
 

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Do check the fluid level in your manual transmission!!! There's a 17-mm allen-headed plug on the FRONT of the transmission... (there's also an identical one on the bottom - that's for draining... do NOT open this one first !!!) When the car's level, the fluid should be just at the level of the bottom of that hole...

As for the lack of acceleration... Could be many things... bad MAFs (likely - again, the prices from the online vendors like boraparts, metalmanparts, idparts, kermatdi will be much better than your friendly local VW dealer), clogged intake manifold, malfunctioning boost control system or the actuator on the bottom of the turbo...

You do need a VCDS (new name for Vag-Com) scan to know more... There are a couple of lists of VCDS owners floating around the tdiclub and vwvortex...

Closest TDI-specialist shop to Northern Vermont that I know is in Waitsfield... Jason Chojnicki, Full Circle Automotive, 4631 Main St., Waitsfield, VT 05673, 802-496-9236

Good luck,

Yuri


PS: a cheap and sometimes informative test for the MAFs is to disconnect it... If the car runs better (or the same), you've found your problem... Oh, that will cause a check engine light as well...
 

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Sounds like you really need to get the car scanned. I would change the fuel filter,you mentioned it acts up when around 15 temp. worse when cold. It could be something that simple. A bad MAF or clogged intake. A good place to start is www.myturbodiesel.com FAQ
 

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I had a similar problem. 2001 Jetta TDI, automatic 213k miles. Low power until about 3500-ish rpm, at which point it would take off. It was difficult to merge into freeways, kinda low power. Error code: 17656 - Start of Injection Timing Regulation: Control Deviation P1248 - Intermittent. No problem starting, and plenty of power once the engine speed got up there (which might have taken 15-20 seconds). Recent belt change, but the problem occurred before it. MAF replaced, but the readings were still high.

I checked the case relief valve, which needed the retainer hammered back in. IP gear bolts had obviously been walking around. Timing was quite a bit off between commanded and actual. Moved IP timing pulley around a few times, checking with the laptop after each move. Once it was in-range (still slightly advanced), test drove it. Much better power, no check engine light.

The timing belt was recently changed by an "import auto repair" shop, who supposedly checked it with a PC after the job, and said that's as good as the power will get. Oddly enough, they had not tried to push a new injection pump. That would have been the sledgehammer approach, and would have fixed the problems - provided that the shop would have known how to set the timing in the pump...

I suspect the timing slowly moved around causing the low power. The shop most likely marked the old belt position and put the new belt in the same place. They had no idea what they were doing with the PC, but it did look good. The markings from bolts moving around should have been a clue that the timing needs to be checked, and the new belt not just put into the same place. Immediate error code after startup should have been another clue. I'd say the case pressure relief valve needing fixing might have been a little tricky to find.
I was happy to see the MAF readings came down to normal range.
 

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concerning your transmission issues the same problem happened to me two days ago after driving from Chicago to Colorado Springs (1100 miles one way). When I shifted into 1st and tried to accelerate jetta acted like I was trying to take off in the third gear. The same was with the 2nd gear (once it pauses for 2 sec in the first gear it takes off normally, then when I shift into 2nd there was the same type of pause then takes off normally again. Didn't notice any problems with other gears. Anyway my problem was gone the same day. I wonder if it had anything to do with barometric sensor. Maybe slow responding sensor since there was sudden change in altitude. 450-7000 feet. And I remember reading somewhere that every 1000 feet engine looses 3% of its power. Just wondering did you change altitude level when this problem happened?
 

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Did you ever find a resolution to the shifting/acceleration issue? I am having similar trouble with a 2003 New Beetle TDI Automatic with about 159,000 KM (just shy of 100,000 Miles).

Thanks in advance.
 
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