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Hi - I am a total novice and just bought a 2011 JSW TDI. I love the car but unfortunately I did not find this forum until after I bought. I may be taking some long trips later but right now only mostly drive about 5-10 miles a day on city streets. I've noticed the MPG mileage computer on the dash is dropping significantly and I have already had the car go through 2 DPF regen cycles within 300 miles of driving and I found this quote on this site: "Very short trips in general are not optimal for any engine because moisture in the engine and exhaust won't have time to fully evaporate." Also the car is not recommended for inhabitants of the the Channel Islands. Well, Miami Beach is not the Channel Islands but it is a pretty confined area.

My question is this: Can mostly short trip driving permanently ruin your mileage and damage your engine or will mileage improve as soon as you take longer trips?

Thanks very much.
 

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Welcome to the forum Henry. welcometomyturbodies

Well you haven't stated what mpg its showing on the MFD/MFI.

As for taking back to the stealer for 2 DPF regen cycles I wouldn't think that is necessary as you can do your own. Just give it a cruise at 70mph up an interstate for 10 miles that will burn the soot of the DPF, burn the water thats accumulated in the exhaust system and remove any moisture in the engine. Obviously the longer you can do this the better.

I only do 70% local running not about 40mph so I give it a blast up the motorway once a week just to clean it out. I've read topics on VW forums where a user had a new Golf and 3 days later the DPF light came on. He was only doing short local trips. Now this is the same for petrol or diesel engines continual short trips does the engine no good in the long term. Its more so with petrol not so much with fuel injected motors but the longer the fuel enrichment is on the more petrol gets into the engine oil and therefore reduces its lubricating properties. ;)

Diesel particulate filter DPF FAQ

The Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF)
 

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Not permanently. The system will regenerate after a self clean cycle but in theory, many short trips will shorten the lifespan of the DPF. In practice, many people have reported no ill effects because they take it on the freeway too.
 

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Thanks very much guys. My city mileage seems pretty poor if I'm reading it correctly (it's possible I'm not). About 23 MPG currently. I'm off to the interstate now to soothe my JSW TDI's sensitive constitution. Will report back later. Sorry to be so dumb about all this.
 

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Hi Henry,

I think I feel your pain. I'm still on my first tank of gas exactly 2 weeks after purchasing. I drive only 5 mi each way to work (across san franciso south-north) and my commute averages are around 24 mpg bc of stop and go traffic and hills (a killer). I have done a few 20min freeway stints down the peninsula, and my tank avg mpg is still 30 and change given the stellar hwy mileage.

But I've never seen the DPF light turn on yet, and I'm curious how you know your engine is going thru the cycle?...
 

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Hi Henry,

I think I feel your pain. I'm still on my first tank of gas exactly 2 weeks after purchasing. I drive only 5 mi each way to work (across san franciso south-north) and my commute averages are around 24 mpg bc of stop and go traffic and hills (a killer). I have done a few 20min freeway stints down the peninsula, and my tank avg mpg is still 30 and change given the stellar hwy mileage.

But I've never seen the DPF light turn on yet, and I'm curious how you know your engine is going thru the cycle?...
It's simple. It sounds like your engine is still running after you park and turn off the engine. Actually it's just the sound of the fan running to keep everything from melting while the burn cycle is going on.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Henry,

I think I feel your pain. I'm still on my first tank of gas exactly 2 weeks after purchasing. I drive only 5 mi each way to work (across san franciso south-north) and my commute averages are around 24 mpg bc of stop and go traffic and hills (a killer). I have done a few 20min freeway stints down the peninsula, and my tank avg mpg is still 30 and change given the stellar hwy mileage.

But I've never seen the DPF light turn on yet, and I'm curious how you know your engine is going thru the cycle?...
Thanks very much guys. My city mileage seems pretty poor if I'm reading it correctly (it's possible I'm not). About 23 MPG currently. I'm off to the interstate now to soothe my JSW TDI's sensitive constitution. Will report back later. Sorry to be so dumb about all this.
Update: Back from the interstate. My JSW TDI definitely seems happier. The display said 39 MPG avg foe the trip. Now I guess all I gotta do is drive 70 MPH down city streets.:thumbsup
 

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Can't you max it out on the interstate now and then? 70 mph seems to slow to blow any cob webs out of the engine.
 

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Can't you max it out on the interstate now and then? 70 mph seems to slow to blow any cob webs out of the engine.
How about if you did 70mph but dropped it down a gear to 5. Wouldn't that have the same effect of running the engine at a higher rpm, or am I missing something?
 

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Yes...I would definitely drop it a gear, speed of the car doesnt mean anything in this case...running it over 2000 rpm for an extended distance is all you're going for, you could even do your short trips at a higher RPM, by taking your DSG on manual control, just dont rev it too high (over 3000) especially when its cold. Henry B, also note that you're car is not "broken in" yet, make sure you read the break in suggestions in the FAQ's as well. Also "winter" diesel will not give you as high mileage in general as compared with "summer" diesel (I've noticed an average of 5-7mpg loss with winter diesel over summer)...that being said, I'm not sure what they use and when they use it down where you are. I did think based on other posts that the DSG trans had some intelligence as far as knowing when to leave the RPMs higher for optimal VNT cleaning and DPF warm up but maybe not. Good luck and enjoy your JSW. I'm loving my Golf more everyday! And don't worry, most of us including myself stepped into the TDI world not knowing much of anything, so you'll learn as you go...but my advice is to try and learn the best maintenance practices and follow them so you dont have to deal with expensive repairs that could have been avoided in the future! Also, not sure if you do this, but don't leave your TDI idling...ever. I usually start it and give it 15-30 seconds, drive it gently for the first couple of minutes. Warming up doesn't benefit a TDI at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks very much Mr Rooney and GolfTDI1. I really appreciate your suggestions and support. And thanks to chittychittybangbang for creating this I valuable forum. I have a feeling I'll be relying on you all a lot.
 

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If I could bump this one, I have a similar problem. I have an 09 Jetta TDI with 135k miles. The check engine popped on the other day and was throwing an EGR valve code and it would go on and off. I took it to two mechanics for an evaluation, one the VW dealer. The dealer says that the exhaust system is shot and the catalytic converter needs to be replaced. They want $6,500. Their service guy said that lots of short trips means that the system never gets hot enough. This HAS BEEN type of driving I have been doing the past couple years. When I first got it, I was putting 1,000 miles a week on it. Now, it's 200 or less, all low speed in town, for 2-3 yrs.

My first thought is that this guy is trying to get my to buy a new car (that was his first suggestion). When I said I may have him do the work, he said he would throw in a free detailing and "take care of me." They did the diag at no charge. In general, it seems like a legit diagnosis.

So, my question is if this really cooked to the point of having to be replaced? Can I just go out on the highway and rev up the RPMs and fix the problem? Reserve the car for longer trips only? (I have a second vehicle). Is there any way to really know if it is fixed? Just general thoughts on the whole issue would be appreciated.

No one told me that this kind of driving would kill the exhaust system when I got it. :)
 

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welcometomyturbodies

Bumping a thread that is 5+ years old, probably is not the best way to get your question out.

In short, yes: Short trips are not good for emissions . This is due to not reaching and maintaining operating temperatures. This applies to gas and diesel. More so for diesels.

I suggest pulling the actual code (VCDS) and posting this issue in your own thread in the right section (MK5?) Without the code, there is really no answer to what is wrong...
 
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