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Repair Costs for the Volkswagen (VW) Jetta Diesel TDI

Updated on July 6, 2012
A 2006 model. This remained the same from 2006-10.
A 2006 model. This remained the same from 2006-10.
The amazing 4-cyl. diesel engine with very little exhaust trace
The amazing 4-cyl. diesel engine with very little exhaust trace

This information will be helpful for those thinking of getting a used VW Jetta TDI diesel or having to estimate repairs costs for the few key issues about this car. The VW diesel engine is an advanced engine and so well built when maintained can easily reach 300K miles. There are many and the best thing about this direct fuel injection engine from the 2005+ models remains the fuel mileage: always 30 MPG in the city and 45 or more on the highway. Far superior to Japanese cars. Ah, leave it to the Germans.

Like any car, they have a few weak links. The timing belt must be changed around 80-100K miles. The belt and tensioner and water pump will often come to $240+ in parts. Labor is one hour or so. While critical, the mechanic should also inspect the cam for worn sections like rounded edges and cam sections including lifters that are no longer flat. Any obvious worn sections indicate that a Cam kit must be bought, usually around $700. Simply not repairing it when the belt is changed is stupid. Of course, if it truly is OK, great. The cause of the cam wear is the owners fault. The correct oil for these cars is 5w40 505.10 spec. even though VW will tell you it is 5w30.Savvy owners of the TDI know this. You can also use 5w40 with API rating of CJ-4 or CI-4. Depending on the wear, the total cost could be as high as $1350 in parts, if you need cam bearings, followers etc. But the basic Cam kit is usually $700. The last weak point is the flywheel within the transmission. With time and miles, they could become loose creating a rattle noise when the car idles in neutral. You can ignore this for a time, but it will simply get worse and if it really gets loose could rip your tranny up. Getting to the flywheel to replace or tighten is a chore and can run anywhere from $700-900. The last weak point is the engine's EGR Cooler for the turbo which over time and miles may need replacing, this runs around $260 in parts.

If you needed to do all of these repairs, in parts alone, it is $2300, or around there. Labor is still needed to be added. You should know that the 2005-6 models used a much harder to find BRM code engine, should you need an engine head or engine. For some reason, VW used this engine only during these years. A new BRM engine head will cost $2500 min. A used BRM engine with 100K on it sells for $2800-3500. It may take some time to find one.

These are the MUST items a buyer must ask the seller about and have them provide proof the repairs were done before you buy the car. Most 2006 models still run around $10-11,000, even with miles of 140-180,000. So, avoid these additional costs by making sure they were done and find out when, in terms of miles, they were made. If they were done, you are set for at least another 100K miles. Granted, something could wear out (wheel bearings, fuel pump) but it won't be these critical items.

BTW, these cars have three fuel pumps, if one fails, the others continue on. In fact, as long as you have one, the car will run, albeit, with less power.


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    • profile image

      ssss 2 years ago

      nice article

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 4 years ago

      It depends on the skill of the mechanic and whether issues are encountered.

    • profile image

      Marko 4 years ago

      One hour in labor to change timing belt properly? Don't think so, try 4 to 6 .

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      Yes, I bought one with 170K, highway miles, an 06, for 8K. All of the items noted in the hub were done and proven to me. I talked with the former owner. The car is amazingly "like new". This is the kind of used car you want!

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 6 years ago from India

      I think that as per the latest trend, consumer will be interested to. Uy a new fresh car imstead of going for repair, so that these type of analysis can be avoided. You have provided god details about the repair cost. Thanks for sharing:)