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How bad are the autos?


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My standard answer to anyone asking me about buying a Jetta is the only thing good about it is the TDI with the manual transmission, the mileage and low cost of driving makes it worth dealing with all the dumb electrical issues and other oddities.  The rest of the car is a POS, if it were a gasser or an auto then it's not worth the trouble. 

 

That being said how bad are the older (ALH?) TDI autos?  I'm considering dumping the Jetta and finding something with a bit more space for the boys and hauling stuff to the lake in the summer.  Either a Jetta Wagon or a Passat.  As we all know the manual versions of these vehicles are hard to find and come at a premium.  99% of my driving is on the highway at 60 or 70 mph with the cruise set, not a lot of shifting or running through gears.  Stock performance is good enough for me, I'm not concerned with hot rodding the TDI, just getting there with decent mileage.

 

Sooo, what are the ins and outs of the auto?  Is it a waste of time even considering it?  Am I destined to have crappy mileage or be stranded on the side of the road with a nuclear transmission?  Will the crappy auto make me just hate the only part of the car that used to be good?

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i have the perfect suv for you, 97 expedition twin turbo 5 speed 4bt cummins 


That would absolutely be the perfect rig for me and I would love to have it but I’m pretty sure it’s not in the budget. The wife has applied to grad school, things are gonna get really tight, I’ll probably be turning tricks in the shop to put gas in the boat this summer lol.


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53 minutes ago, Woodenhead said:

 

 

  Stock performance is good enough for me, I'm not concerned with hot rodding the TDI, just getting there with decent mileage.

 

 

 

      WHAT?????  😲  With a "little" guy like you and the family in it, stock will never get up to freeway speeds and you will have to push it up any hills......😬 and isn't "stock" a dirty word????🙄

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1 hour ago, skyking said:

I still wouldn't do it Mike. I'd pay the premium to get a reliable transmission. Once you get up in the late 2009-10, the DSG is okay. Anything older than that and you'd be best off buying one with a blown tranny and getting it rebuilt. 

Everything I've read is the OM1's were junk.  I put 40K on a DSG and it was awesome but VW bought it back before it ever had any issues.  I havent heard a lot of bad about the DSG's.  

 

There are a few newer Passat's and Sportwagon's in the area.

 

https://seattle.craigslist.org/search/cto?auto_cylinders=2&auto_fuel_type=2&auto_transmission=2

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I've heard at a similar cost - yes, but I have no experience with them.  

 

I'd pass - it's like putting lipstick on a pig.  (Not that I've never done that before...  😂)

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Thought about buying 12-14 sport wagon???  Bought mine and wife’s for 7200 with 85k on it and 8800 with 72k on it respectively. Love the DSG and servicing them is Easy (have to have vag com)

 

By the time you get an older version and Beef up the trans..... you may just be right there pricing wise. 
 

I get 38-39 consistently for mileage. 

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All good info, thanks fellas. So looking for an older VW auto is almost definitely going to be a disappointment money pit. I’ll probably stick with the Jetta until there’s more $$ in the budget for a larger car. I’ve got a couple years till the boys really don’t fit. Plus there’s always roof racks and hitch carriers. 
 

 

Dan, there’s about 45lbs less of me now than there was last time you saw me. Still whittling away at that by the day. So the old stock Jetta can still get my carcass up to highway speeds. On the other hand the boys are growing about as fast as I’m shrinking so the net loss in gross tonnage is minimal.   

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14 hours ago, skyking said:

I still wouldn't do it Mike. I'd pay the premium to get a reliable transmission. Once you get up in the late 2009-10, the DSG is okay. Anything older than that and you'd be best off buying one with a blown tranny and getting it rebuilt. 

Most shop won't rebuild the VW autos, just buy a new one, I have seen them in the $1,500-$1,900 range brand new.

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I’ve been impressed with my 06 dsg Jetta I’ve put 100k on it currently sitting at 280 k going strong great little commuter. My 05 Passat seems to have the older version auto not sure how I like it, only driven the car around 500 miles it’s okay for a beater not sure I would take it on a long trip 

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  • 11 months later...
Posted (edited)

So would this beauty have a DSG

On 1/14/2020 at 7:02 AM, skyking said:

Here's a blog post about the yearly dsg's

https://www.shopdap.com/blog/post/the-vw-and-audi-dsg-transmission-reliability-longevity-and-more.html

 

it's really just like everything else, it doesn't pay to be on the front edge of things.


So from what I’m reading there, an ‘05 Passat such as this beauty

 

2005 Volkswagen Passat TDI wagon GLS

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/cto/d/seattle-2005-volkswagen-passat-tdi/7252324961.html

would have a DSG tranny. If the mechatronix unit was updated then that would fix the inherent problems those had? 

Edited by Woodenhead
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