[Vwdiesel] 2001 Jetta TDI: Timing belts and Turbo

pmdolan at sasktel.net pmdolan at sasktel.net
Tue May 1 06:25:53 PDT 2018

Excllent reply,
To Donald:  You have two ways to go:  find a respected independent 
(number of sites plus here to help you find one near you) or learn to 
do it yourself.   If you choose the latter, what has been recommended 
has all of the information needed, but if you have no experience on the 
tools, there are a million tricks of the trade to learn.   See if you 
can find a Mark IV enthusiast with tools, manuals, VCDS and EXPERIENCE 
to help you with your first few jobs.  Learning on your DD should 
start with the simple stuff, and decoking and timing belt change are 
NOT entry level. 

On Sat, 28 Apr 2018 23:32:53 -0600, James Hansen  wrote:

       Welcome to the club. 
What you describe probably has all to do with boost, not enough or too 
much, and one or the other will cause limp mode, ie, the ECU engine 
control unit sees a potentially harmful to the motor condition, and 
reduces power (boost pressure and fuel) to peanuts. And yeah, in the 
mountains, limp mode pretty much describes it. Your car should normally 
hold it's speed through pretty much most inclines, might have to drop a 
gear on the really steep, but it should just go. These cars have a 
great deal of information available through the obd2 port, and having 
access to a good scantool is important, and sometimes essential. I 
strongly suggest VCDS as the way to go, it costs, but it is the best. 
Uwe Ross of Ross-tech is the developer and seller. It seriously works 
as good or better than factory software. Friend with the newest snap on 
(runs a shop class at the high school) doesn't have access to 
everything in my wife's car that he should (13 passat)according to him 
either. that's a chunk of change. Tools, have never been cheaper it 
seems. You need very few sockets, and very few flat wrenches, some 
allen keys, some torx, and screwdrivers, and you're pretty much off. If 
you bought just a wrench bag of metric flat wrenches that's less that 
40, a small socket set for the same, you should be into it for under 
200. the software is more, as is the shop manual. that's the pricey 
stuff these days. If you look at Fred's TDI site, there is a list of 
VCDS owners that are willing to help out for beer or such. but, 
knowledge is power, books are cheap. You want the Robert Bentley 
service manual. You could get by with internet writeups, some good ones 
over at myturbodiesel, join the site, pays the donation, you gets 
access to the writeups that are "how To" change injectors, timing belt, 
injectors, etc.... But really, you pay for the tools with the first 
major job you do with in saved labour. but do it right, or it's easily 
the most expensive service work you will ever do. lol.... 

You gotta want to love it. There's lots to learn, procedural stuff to 
figure out, methodology to learn... not necessarily easy. 
If that idea scares you off, start on small stuff, work your way up. 
No place out of the bustle to work, that's hard. I lived in apartments 
a few years going to skool, it sucks working in the parking lot. It 
sucks worse working in the street. Some cinderblocks for jackstands, 
and a cheap floor jack and you're away. promise me you will never go 
under a car with no jackstand, spare tire, cinderblock, something that 
can bear the weight of the car. It's important. 

So, advice time for what it's worth. 
Find a good writeup on tbelt change. even join the myturbodiesel site, 
and read. 
If you decide to go to a shop, it's cheap tuition. 
If you aren't scared off.... 
Locate someone with VCDS near you to set the final timing (torsion) You 
get the metalnerd timing kit for your car. fleabay. 
Buy just the wrenches you need at the local pawnshop. buck a wrench, 10 
13, 15,16 18 22 24mm. .50 for 10 13 15 a socket. cheap 3/8" swing 
handle. flat and phillips screwdriver. 
Vice grip
small ball peen hammer
crescent wrench
farmer plier
Metric allen wrenches
scraper (pocket knife)
I think that's about it for necessary, I don't know why I have a shop 
full of the stuff. 

This list is sponsored by some really good parts suppliers, IDparts.com 
I'm way the heck and gone in Canada and I get stuff from them cause 
it's either cheaper or better, sometimes both. 

go nuts, and have fun. 

-----Original Message-----
From: Vwdiesel [mailto:vwdiesel-bounces at vwfans.com] On Behalf Of Donald Edgar
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2018 8:41 PM
To: vwdiesel at vwfans.com
Subject: [Vwdiesel] 2001 Jetta TDI: Timing belts and Turbo

Hi there,

This forum was recommended to me by a co-worker. I have a 2001 Jetta TDI
that I bought from some friends a year and change ago. Since then I've
driven it quite a bit, including a third of the way across the states. 

Currently, it is due for a new timing belt, which the mechanic quoted at
around $800. Additionally, when driving it through the mountain passes of
the Rockies, the car would lose most of its acceleration and I could only
do about 35-45 uphill with the pedal to the floor (the cars behind me on
the single lane were not happy about that). The check engine light came on,
and googling it came up with an issue with the turbo. This only happened
around 8000' - 9000' elevation while trying to go at highway speeds. Once
the car made it down to about 5000' feet, the engine light went out and
hasn't come on since. 

I love the car, and would love to keep it (passenger diesels and manual
transmissions are seemingly hard to come by). Sadly, I know next to nothing
about cars, but am willing to learn... in your opinion, is this something I
could learn to do myself or is it something I really should take it to a
mechanic to do? Additionally, is it even worth it to have a mechanic work
on it at this point? Compounding my problems, I don't have a garage (street
parking) and I don't own any real tools, so I imagine there would be a
significant upfront investment, in addition to the parts. 

Thanks for any advice you can offer!
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