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Hey all! I've been having problems with the turbo in my beetle and it's getting worse so I need to figure out what's going on. Here's the story:

I bought this car from my dad who had everything looked over and fixed. When I got it, it was in great shape (besides little things that were broken cosmetically). After a while, I noticed the car would lose power when accelerating. At first it would only lose power after driven on the highway for about 5 minutes. Just about a month ago, it changed and the power would come and go. I put on the cruise-control and it was like being in a rocking chair that would go back and forth. Also when it changed to this, I noticed lots of black smoke when it DID have power coming from the exhaust. Also, the black dust/soot is coming in through the A/C when I have it on. It's bad enough that my socks had a bunch of black on them. Definitely not good to breathe that in. Just yesterday it switched back to the other problem when it would lose power after driving it for a while and the black smoke went away also. There are two codes that autozone found but I didn't think to get a printout.

The first code was for a Glow Plug Heater Circuit. The second one has been changing. Once when I went in, they said it was a bad speed sensor on the transmission, then I went a second time and it was something totally different. So I'm not sure what that one is, but I can get it checked again and get a print-out so we know for sure.

Both my dad and I always put a bottle of Iso-Heet with every fill up. I also drive it regularly. Not too gentle, but not too rough either. Any help would be appreciated. I don't have too many tools or testers so what I can do is limited. Thanks!
 

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Check out the low power checklist in the FAQ.

The first thing you'll need is to get the codes. It sounds like it could be an exhaust leak in the engine bay that is coming in through the cabin intake. If your socks are black it's got to be really bad and not working well. Check for soot stains around the engine bay and under the car. Check for intake manifold clogging, fuel restriction, injection pump codes, and all the vacuum lines.

Iso-Heet isn't helping so I wouldn't bother using it anymore.

The black smoke when you do have power could be from severe carbon buildup burning off or oil buildup burning off.
 

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How long did your dad have it? What's the relevant service history of it? Normally when you get limp mode, turning the car off and back on will reset power.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How long did your dad have it? What's the relevant service history of it? Normally when you get limp mode, turning the car off and back on will reset power.
My Dad has had it since he got it new in 1999. The only service that Im aware of without looking back through the receipts is him having the glow plugs replaced. That didn't fix the problem. Right before I got it, he actually had everything fixed and cleaned and had it in great condition. It actually ran better than new then except for this limp mode.

It doesn't reset if I turn it off and back on, unless I let it sit for a while. I was reading this FAQ and it looks like the MAF sensor could be bad which would make sense. For the price of one, I might just replace it and see what it fixes. http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/multi/low-power-fix-TDI.htm

I also got the engine codes checked and this time, there was only one instead of two. P0350 Glow Plug/Heater Circuit A

That has been on there since I got it. There is an airbag light on, but I doubt that would cause these problems :p

Sorry for replying so late. I am having some issues with the Wifi right now because I live at a campground and their internet stinks. Hopefully I will be able to get on more often. Thanks for all the help guys!
 

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Excessive black smoke on a day to day car isn't good though, it means you're getting to much fuel which can be bad for the piston rings and also it's wasted power.
 

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I am curious if you found a solution to this issues?

I have posted here before about the issues I've had with my vehicle; an 03 TDI New Beetle.
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f5/2-issues-startup-8227/
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/forum/f5/my-introduction-8697/

But I too am now experiencing what seems to be the same type of issue.

What I noticed is that as I get the engine under load, on a steep incline or under hard acceleration I have a build-up of power like I expect and then it goes away, then comes back with black smoke out the back. I describe it as surging.

I have experienced limp mode in the past, this is not limp mode but the loss of power is kind of similar, but it comes back.

When I first noticed this issue I would also hear what sounded like heavy air movement under the hood.

I am getting it looked at this week coming.

I suspect its a hose or a hole in the exhaust although I do have smoke from the exhaust as well. But when I looked at my engine bay recently it was VERY black. I am concerned about too much fuel usage as well. My car has never been quite as efficient as I would expect. I do mostly stop-and-go travel in the city. But I try to drive it like I stole it to keep things from getting clogged. Apparently this has not helped.

Thanks guys!
 

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So the shop found that there was a loose hose clamp that was causing a lot of air to escape.

My wastegate was stuck, so they freed that up and ran some diesel purge through.

Seemed good while I was driving it, only a short time so far.

So I'm happy.
 
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