[Vwdiesel] A new member in the family!

Lee Hillsgrove hillsgrove at tds.net
Mon Mar 11 21:02:49 EST 2002


Congrats on your Dad's new to him TDI!

>  97 Passat TDI, 74K miles, looks nearly new, drives great, radio sucks.
>It's a nice dark medium, metallic green.

  One thing the early Passats were known for was instrument panel failure.
When the IP dies, the odometer reading goes with it, so the odo may or may
not be accurate, depending on if the correct tally was reloaded if it has in
fact been replaced....

 Check these threads out:



 The voltage regulator in the instrument panel is sensitive to low voltage
and will fry the panel if your battery is weak. Apparently new panels are
not available, either. Be forewarned.

>There are a couple of minor issues.  At lower speeds, with just the
>bit of throttle, it lightly surges/bucks.

 I searched for references to this exact combination of symptoms but wasn't
completely successful. Some degree of surge at low speeds and light throttle
when the engine is cold is "normal" for the TDI. It may be aggrivated by
diesel fuel with a low cetane rating. You could try hitting it with a double
dose of cetane boost to see if it makes a difference.
 Beyond that, if it surges at all temperatures, I'd check the mass air flow
sensor. You should be able to check the output of the sensor with a
voltmeter. It should increase in a roughly linear fashion with engine rpm.
These are not cheap but can be cleaned - carefully - with alcohol if fouled
with contaminants. Don't attempt to disassemble the sensor from the tube
it's in!
 A sticky EGR valve could cause a surge, too. Take the opportunity to pop
the intake hose off of the intake and inspect the sludge buildup inside the
manifold. You may be unpleasantly surprised at what you find.

 My '98 Jetta TDI bucks or surges lightly at small throttle inputs when
cold. I can guarantee it's not EGR related.  :-))  It's not noticeable
enough for me to be concerned about it and it goes away after a mile or two.

 Time used reading up at Fred's TDI forum would be well spent and is highly
recommended, much like obtaining a proper Bentley manual, except it's free!
There is a Yahoo based VW-TDI mailing list as well.

 A software program and cable called VAG-COM is very useful. It's about
$200. I'm going to get it as soon as I can scrape up the $.

 I see no problem with posting questions/comments about the TDI here, for
that matter.

 Happy Clattering!


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