Old Style Passat TDI - Problem areas?

I am thinking about looking for a good old style Passat TDI (not sure what years they were produced-- I think about 96 or 97) but I really
don't know much about them. The last VW I owned was a 1977 Scirocco and I loved that car but it was a very simple vehicle and I have heard quite a few horror stories about more modern VWs.
First off, I assume the diesels are much more durable and dependable than the gasoline cars. I have owned a few Mercedes diesels and 200,000 miles on a well maintained MB diesel really doesn't scare me. Is this the same for the VW diesel? With a little luck I would expect at least 350Kmi with major issues. (no serious oil burning etc.) Is this reasonable for that vintage TDI?
How about the tubochargers themselves? Are they generally dependable?
What about the rest of the car? Any special trouble spots to be aware of? (e.g., blower motors, steering racks, etc?) electrical gremlins?
Any problems with corrossion and if so where do I check?
What type of fuel economy are people getting with the older TDIs?
How difficult or expensive is it to replace a timing belt and how often does it need to be done? Is the TDI an "interference" engine?
Thaks in advance,
Mike
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If it scares you get a Honda...

Yes.
They're a Garret research and don't give have prblems.

Normal stuff. In 100k on my 96 passat tdi wagon I only had one ignition switch go bad.

VW for the most part has that solved.

45 MPG average for over 100k miles.

Easy on that car/engine, 80K I think. It took me less then 2 hours.

Definetly
Thaks in advance,

Now the rest of the story. They are highly desired cars and you'll have problems finding one reasonably priced. Not to mention they are ten years old. I got $15K honest trade for my 96 wagon in march on 99 whenI got my 99.5 jetta tdi. Get on over to www.tdiclub.com
Joe Romas
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Keep one thing in mind - diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline. That was not the case in times past, but it is now. One more thing, reliability is not VW's strong suit.
Good luck.
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Gasolene is roughly 20% higher than diesel here.
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Right now in my area (South-east Virginia) gasoline is more expensive. We are averaging about $3.05/gallon for gas and $2.75/gal diesel. We have an '05 Passat TDI and have had no problems at all (13000 miles).
Cecil

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- Check out tdiclub.com
I have a 1995 Passat VR6 with 180k miles. I have had plenty of problems and some are not specific to the engine:
- heater core failure this winter (terrible job to fix and common/certainty with the cars) - Wheel bearings fail every ~50k-80k. - Door handles - I have worked on all four. They either require tedious rebuilding and tweaking or to purchase expensive new unless you are good at finding junkyard parts. I have had to work on both the inside and outside door handles. - My exhaust just got a hole in the original center muffler... not too bad for being in Wisconsin and 11 years - Upper strut bearings have been replaced. - Auxiliary cooling pump (~$130 part) - I do not know if the TDI's have these. - Wires to one of the rear doors broke and caused the window to cycle erratically. - Rear trunk lock no longer works - Just last night, I had to repair the heater blower switch. Free repair unless you count my time. - Headlight plastic has gone dull - not so transparent anymore. - I have replaced a lot of the plastic in the engine compartment.. but this may be different on the TDI engine. The thermostat housing is plastic and the plastic creeps over time and leaks (on the VR6). I also replaced air hoses that wore or rotted. - ABS no longer works, I just cut the wire to the warning light. This feature is over-rated IMHO
-btw, this all occurred on a well-maintained, garaged car. Generally I am disappointed with how much trouble the car has been. I do not recommend VW except to people who really know what they are getting into and who are good mechanics. - or to those who want a deisel because there is no other choice.
good wrote:

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