- Do It Yourself Auto Repair
Simple VW TDI Car Maintenance for Turbos and Fuel Injectors
You are reading this because you own the VW TDI diesel car with 45 MPG. The 2005+ engines are very well built and with basic maintenance can last well past 250K. Diesel engines have to be better built than any gas engine due to the incredible PSI internally they create. The fuel injectors operate at near 26000 PSI, and their turbo does not have bearings.
To keep these two items in top shape because replacing is dire. The fuel injectors are several hundred for one (there are four) and the turbo, should it blow, is an easy $4000 (parts and labor). The fuel injectors can become clogged or not spray the pattern when new and when it happens, you will know it by how it runs. Likewise, if you suddenly have a ton of black smoke pouring out the rear end, your turbo has died. Usually, with periodic maintenance, both can last for the life of the car.
The VW diesel engines love the highway. Love high speeds like on the autobahn. It helps clean them out from soot. Usually, the cars already use cleaner diesel, so the soot issue is no longer a real concern. But again, it can be where the EGR is concerned.
The turbocharger design on Volkswagen TDI engines does not use bearings. Rather, the turbocharger shaft floats on a small film of oil that coats the inner race of the solid brass bearing. A particle in that film will function as a piece of sandpaper and grind away the surface of the shaft and bearings. When this occurs, the gold plating begins to show and may be grooved. As time moves on, eventually the shaft will wobble and the turbo fan will impact the walls of the turbo, bending the blades or pitting the surface, which should be super smooth. The cheapest remedy is simply to change your oil and filter no later than every 10,000 miles. Changing every 5000 miles may required if dusty conditions exist. This is the prime reason to keep the engine with clean oil. Remember, the turbo has no bearings.
If you suspect the injectors are clogging, use Diesel Purge ($8). This will clean any soot that has gathered on injectors over the years. The process takes around 30 minutes and directly enters the fuel injectors from the can. To do so on 2004+ models, to the following:
- Disable the fuel pump in the gas tank by removing the fuse for it.
- Locate the black fuel filter on the left side. There are four rubber hoses.Two come from the fuel tank and two connect to the fuel rod that supplies the it to the injectors. Disconnect the two from the fuel filter that connect the fuel rod.
- Insert to plastic tubing pieces into each end of the rubber hose and then insert the other ends into the can.
- Place the can in a secure place or have someone hold it with gloves.
- Start engine and run the engine for a few minutes at 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000, 3500, 4000 RPM. The can will get hot. Allow the engine to idle and continue it again. Make sure you watch how much cleaner is left.
- When done, reconnect the two lines to the fuel filter.
That is it. If they were clogged at all, you should better idling and performance.