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Few questions about a 98 jetta I just picked up. First, how much vibration should the engine have? I know that diesels have more vibration but I can really feel the shaking in the seat. Second, I changed the oil, I read the checklist but don't understand why the oil is still black. Third, the engine is really dirty. There was oil all over the bottom of the car, any tips for cleaning the engine bay?
 
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Maybe your motor mount is bad? Its normal for the oil to be black, even a tiny bit of old oil is enough to color the oil black so dont worry about it.

Soap degreaser and water.
 

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Black oil is normal. There's a little oil left over when you do an oil change which is dirty and has soot in it. Diesel oil is designed to hold soot and will work just fine, the black color is normal for these engines. Some other engines may be able to drain a lot more of the oil engines out when you do an oil change and those might have cleaner oil but not on the tdi.
 

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There's a list of how tos at the top of the forum, take a look through the new buyer's checklist.

I suggest removing the battery and covering the alternator and maybe the starter when washing the engine.

Don't use simple green on aluminum, it won't cause your engine to blow up but it will accelerate corrosion so make sure to follow up with soap and water. Keep degreaser off the alternator, wash it off if it gets into it. I also suggest following up with compressed air all around the electrical components. This engine bay is pretty water resistant but some engines are very sensitive to water, so these tips apply only to this engine!
 
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Don't forget to change all the vacuum lines and especially the vacuum line inside the ECU, the line inside the ecu will fail sooner or later and make you think the ecu is bad. These will put the car into limp mode and make you feel like you've suddenly lost power.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yikes, the VW motor mounts are really expensive, over $300. Does anyone have experience with the non VW motor mounts?
 

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No, but they should work fine. I think a set of generic motor mounts should be under $150. I wouldn't buy a generic timing belt tensioner or an untested camshaft but a motor mount should be okay.
 
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