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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey! I'm a new member to the forum from Calgary Canada! I am looking at buying a 2001 VW NB (manual) TDI and am looking to get people's opinions on if the vehicle is reliable.

It has 230,000 km on it and they have proof that the timing belt/chain was completed recently. My question is cost s of repair, are they good for hwy driving as we live outside Calgary and its 95% hwy driving that we do with very little in city. I heard that the automatics have many issues so I've kept my eyes out for manuals. And we want TDI because diesel is super cheap and because we normally do a lot of distance trips and I've heard that the VW TDI get amazing economy on Hwy.

Let me know your thoughts and if there is anything I should look at or listen for when I look over/test drive the car this weekend!

Thanks a billion y'all! Just so you know I'm going from a 1991 Chevy lumina APV (mini-van) which has been amazing but I bought it off a 80 year old lady and the seals are all leaking and it's starting to burn oil and it needs a lot of things so I'm going to just take my losses and move on.. Even though the van only has 180,000 km.

Let me know thanks y'all!
 

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Hey! I'm a new member to the forum from Calgary Canada! I am looking at buying a 2001 VW NB (manual) TDI and am looking to get people's opinions on if the vehicle is reliable.
We have a 2000 Beetle TDI (wife's DD), a 2002 Jetta TDI wagon (my DD) and our daughter has a 2001 Golf TDI (her DD). You might say we like them! IMO, the ALH/manual is about the most reliable powertrain combo VW made. The Beetle has 287,000 miles, the Jetta over 250,000 and the Golf over 200,000. Many ALH's have gone 300-500,000 miles.

It has 230,000 km on it and they have proof that the timing belt/chain was completed recently.
I would make sure they changed the rollers, tensioner, water pump, etc as well. This kit has everything required for 100,000 miles. I think the factory parts call for a new belt at 60,000miles.

My question is cost s of repair, are they good for hwy driving as we live outside Calgary and its 95% hwy driving that we do with very little in city. I heard that the automatics have many issues so I've kept my eyes out for manuals.
I wouldn't call them high maintenance, but they probably need more than a Honda or Toyota. You do have to keep on top of them and you MUST find a good TDI mechanic or do the work yourself if you can. Note I didn't say the dealer or foreign car mechanic or VW specialist, you will need a competent TDI mechanic to keep it going. I suggest you check out the TDIClub, there is lots of info there. Yes they are good highway cars and I would suggest to stay away from the autos as well.

And we want TDI because diesel is super cheap and because we normally do a lot of distance trips and I've heard that the VW TDI get amazing economy on Hwy.
You should get 45 MPG or so on the highway and not a lot less in town. Some get higher, some lower, depends on how you drive, etc.

Let me know your thoughts and if there is anything I should look at or listen for when I look over/test drive the car this weekend!
Do check out the TDI Club before you buy. That is fairly low miles, but most VWs of that age may need suspension work, interior (headliner, door panels, etc), possibly AC compressor, fans, etc. It is also common for the foam to blow out from the heater/AC blend doors. One more thing, if the clutch is original it may need changing soon. The original Dual Mass flywheels usually go about 150,000 mile or so. Listen for clunking, that is usually a sign the flywheel is starting to go. Some change to solid flywheels (I have one in my Jetta) but went with a new Dual Mass in the Beetle as they were much cheaper. I paid less than $200 for a new Luk flywheel kit with a new flywheel, pressure plate, disc & release bearing. If I have to replace it again in 100,000 miles I can live with that.

If the car has been well cared for then it is probably not too bad, if not there will probably be a dozen small items that need attention. Good luck, I'm sure you will enjoy it when you find the right one.
 

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I have to agree, there isn't a much better combo than the ALH TDI and a 5 spd. Mine has 163k miles on it and runs great. I had to replace the injection pump but it wasn't all that difficult. I second everything Bobbie said, especially about finding a good TDI mechanic. Don't ever take it to a VW dealer unless it's for something other than the engine :goodjob:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So, this weekend I bought a 2001 VW beetle TDI with 167k km on it. Runs beautifully and has lots of pick up n go. Buddy had both summer and winter tires and rims (Calgary Alberta defs need the winters) and got it at a steal of 3500 because his sister needed the money for school more than a car sitting in the driveway. :-D

Timing belt, tires, brakes, suspension was replaced and it's running so smooth I swear it's brand new. It's surprisingly quiet for a diesel as I had always thought they were noisey but it's been wonderful so far! :-D

Woohoo! Excited to be apart of the beetle scene and I will post a picture of the car if I can figure it out! See y'all on the roads!
 
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