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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I know I risking alienation from everyone here, but for the life of me I can't find the VNT assembly. I've looked at picture after picture, pulled off the engine cover and felt around for anything resembling a rod with threads on it. The only thing I can find in the supposed area is a hard steel line (maybe fuel or something?). Am I missing something? Do I need to uninstall something? Or am I looking in the wrong place?
I used this FAQ to try and find it: http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/a4/VNT-wastegate-adjust.htm

I can't feel anything that resembles the rod or even the actuator. I swear I'm mechanically inclined, but this one has me scratching my head. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Oh, and the reason I'm looking for this is because my fuel consumption has been incredibly high and I can't hear my turbo lately and I'm doing whatever I can for now since I don't have a Vag-Com or really any other specialty tools to test anything.
 

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Can you get under the car (in this weather) ??? Much easier seeing it from the bottom than trying to find it from on top of the engine... Once you take off the belly pan (skid plate), look at where the exhaust goes into the turbo... there's a 90 degree turn right there, and you can see the two "halves" of the turbo... The VNT actuator and rod are there below and between the two halves...

Yuri
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'll see what I can do to get under it tomorrow. I hope that's the problem and some PB Blaster works. I'm tired of getting under 25 mpg. Thanks for the help. I'll get under her and see what I can find.

And another question I thought of while I was in there. Most of the rubber braided(?) vacuum hoses running around the engine bay were coming apart. It seemed to just be the outer protective cover and not the actual hose, but it seems they are looking pretty rough.
 

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Do you have a Check Engine light??? Although turbo clogging is never good, there are lots of other things that can interfere with proper running of the car...

Yes, those vacuum hoses do deteriorate after a while - and your car's over 11 years old now...

Has the intake manifold been cleaned any time in the recent past?? That will lower your power output and increase your fuel consumption... Ditto for a malfunctioning Mass Air Flow sensor... Much more rare is a clogged "catalytic" converter... And when (and how) was the timing belt system changed last ??

So many questions... so little time... such lousy weather...

Yuri
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I hear you about the weather.

The sad story is that I got this car from a decent enough guy, but after running it through the normal things when I buy a car(change oil, filters, etc) I realized that he didn't take care of it as well as his reciepts and word-of-mouth said he did. Anyway, he did change the timing belt at around 140k (It has 165k now). As far as I know, the intake manifold and EGR cooler haven't been touched. I didn't know that was possible until I ran across this site months after I bought the car, so I didn't know to ask. I'm planning on doing it myself, but the weather just isn't working my way.

I know it can be a multitude of things, but I'm just trying to cross out all the things I can while it's still my daily driver. I'm going to need warmer weather and diagnostic tools to be able to cover everything, but I'm just trying to do what I can with what I have. I wish there was a VAG-COM owner's site so I could find someone near me with one. Maybe that would shed a little more light on it than I'm currently doing.
 

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I just bought about 3 metres of the vacuum tubing and replaced the lot, it was very cheap and easy enough to do. I just did mine section by section as well as the cleaning of the manifold and cleaning the turbo. It certainly cured all my limp mode woes. I found that some of it was actually perished inside where you don't see it.:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm actually planning on doing the same.

As for the turbo saga, I decided that since I couldn't access the VNT without getting underneath, I would just take it out and romp on it for a bit as suggested in the FAQ. Well, after about 5 minutes, I heard the turbo. It's been working well since the other day and I have seen progress in the fuel consumption department. So all is well with that. Let's hope that it continues working.

I guess the moral of the story is not to grandma it all the time. I guess 8 months of shifting under 2000 rpm everytime made it not work somehow. We'll see what happens in the future. Thanks for everyone's help.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
A quick question:

What size is the vacuum hose on the TDI? On the site I've been buying my parts from, I've noticed they sell sizes from 3 and 3.5 to 6mm. What should I use? And where do you guys but parts from? I know everyone is different, but I'm not sure what sites out there are trustworthy. Thanks.
 

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3.5mm will work. It's generally 3 or 4 mm. Silicone isn't the best for some lines because they're exposed to oil but it's what I use because it's cheap and won't crack like the OEM does. It also seems to have more rub resistance. The OEM has braiding to show where it's rubbing but it also hides cracks.
 
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