Happy Tuesday everyone. As you read this, my area is getting ready for a big snow storm. For the southern USA, this has been a crazy cold winter. We even seen temps as low as 8F. I know that some of you folks are cracking up right now. But for me that is record cold. With such cold weather, we have seen a huge run of issues with VW diesels. So today is a little about diesels and a mini Shop Shots, all in one. I have always had mixed thoughts on VW diesels.
Like I said you are getting a mini Shop Shots today. This is a picture of the inside of the high pressure fuel pump HPFP on a TDI Jetta. While this is not a cold weather problem, we have had a run of them at my dealer. For those that think this is due to gas, I assure you none of the last 5 or 6 had gas. The metal bits in the fuel are from the gut of the pump. We have even seen a Passat TDI and a Touareg TDI with fuel system failures. These repairs run from $4000,-$8000. VW has been covering most of them so that is good for customers **DISCLAIMER** I am not saying that VW is, or will cover this repair for you, or anyone you now.
Moving on to real cold issues with the Common Rail TDI. I posted this on Facebook last week. This is an updated charge cooler, intake pipe and some tubing. The issue is moisture freezing inside the cooler. This can prevent the TDI from starting. It can also go as far as causing major engine damage. We a Jetta at the shop now that we suspect having a bent connecting rod. It seems a small bit of ice can get up to the engine and cause the damage. Based on conversations, this is not the first one out there. I will be sure to post a picture of the damage when the engine is a part
There is one more issue I have seen that seems to plague the TDI in cold weather. That is turbo charger failure on the Common Rail TDI Passat. We had a car towed in with a glow plug light, check engine light, and no power. The faults were something related the car not having any power. (duh, it had no power) I did some checking and everything electrical checked out. Finally I removed the intake pipe and found that the compressor wheel was completely seized. It should turn freely, heck when spinning at top speed, some turbos can spin up to 100,000RPM. I do not have any pictures of that yet. I should be making the repair on Thursday.
After reading this, you must think I hate the VW TDI. That is just not true. I think the diesels are great. They have good MPG, tons of power, and are super clean. But there is no denying they are having some serious issues. The one good thing I can say is, VW has been great in taking care of TDI owners.