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Hi

I own a '99 Jetta TDI that has 240k miles.

Recently temperatures have been quite low in my town (around 5F) and I've had problems with what I think could be my turbo not working under low temperatures.

I can still drive my car but I have very low power and have a hard time reaching 60 mph.

Still, after driving a while, the engine enventually gets warm and if I shut it down and restart, the turbo works again. I also don't have any problem when its around 20F outside.

If anyone knows what could be my problem and what has to be done that would be very helpful.

Thanks
 

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Is the fuel jelling due to the cold? The warm temps could be loosening something up. The turbo actuator could be sticking due to the cold. Look through the FAQ here, there's a writeup on how to fix low power and limp mode. You are getting both.
 

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You are getting limp mode. Maybe the fuel pickup in the fuel tank is getting clogged or the fuel filter is gelling?
 

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Hey CanadaDude - not sure if this applies. When I had my '99 New Beetle into the dealer for 100k maintenance fall '08 they reported that the turbo was not producing any boost over 3k rpm. They wanted to sandblast the air intake (saying that crap builds up on it and reduces airflow) and replace the... um...oxygen sensor? Estimate $750 USD.

About a week later, I drove from central Pennsylvania to Knoxville, TN - ten hours or so through the Appalachian Mountains. It was awful - very much like what you described. Could barely maintain decent speed on expressways when climbing hills. I did not have the work done, so I have no idea if the dealership was correct or trying to make money.

This past November, I bought a 2010 TDI Jetta SportWagen (which is fabulous!). The '99 New Beetle is at a bodyshop, getting a door ding repaired. After that, it is headed for the best recommended local non-dealer VW expert shop - I will ask them about the turbo questions.

Since I experienced something similar to you, but without the cold factor, I just thought I would post this to see if any of the TDI gurus here had any advice.

Good Luck!

harry
 

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There is no oxygen sensor on your TDI. The intake could be clogged and the MAF could be bad. The best thing to do is to measure the MAF output, check for codes, and remove the intake rubber elbow and see if teh intake is clogged with carbon. There's also an article here which guides you through troubleshooting low power.
 
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