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Time to unpimp ze auto!
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I am looking for a used TDI New Beetle, and have owned a manual TDI Golf in the past. Lately I've seen quite a few automatic TDIs for sale, and was wondering if there are any pros and cons when buying a used automatic vs. manual TDI. I know driving stick improved the already-great fuel efficiency. Buying a used stick though could be trouble if the person before you was a crappy driver. Information gladly appreciated!
 

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to be blunt: automatics are failure prone and have more expensive/frequent upkeep.

See the post by micheleroze in the sticky above
 

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Probably MIA
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Buying a used stick though could be trouble if the person before you was a crappy driver.
True, but buying an automatic equipped TDI is guaranteed trouble. The 4 speed 01M used in the 98-03 models is a certified pile of fail that fails early, often, and is VERY expensive to replace. A new one is about $4k from the dealer. Besides that its not very fun to drive, and the way it shifts is annoying as heck. I just swapped mine out for a 5 speed manual after 160k...but that last 15k was really limping it along. Most fail between 100-150k.

The 6 speed DSG in the 04-06 models is better overall, but not without its issues. The DMF's in them have an even shorter life than the manual DMF's, and you don't have the SMF replacement option like a manual. The mechatronics units are known and expensive failure points. And they require expensive fluid changes every 40k miles. Replacement cost is about $6500 the last I heard.

Since you have driven a stick before...I would say "stick" it out and wait until you find a manual-equipped car to buy. You'll be much happier. Besides, if the previous person was hard on the clutch/trans, it would be fairly obvious on a test drive...and much cheaper to fix than any automatic.
 

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I have a 2006 TDI with the 6 speed and its great. I love to drive a manual, and I have owned 2 other beetles with manuals, but the DSG gearbox is amazing. Its very livable and if you want to be in charge of shifting it you can. Yes its not quite like a manual, its faster, and its worth the extra up keep. And that's coming from someone who loves a manual. Plus, I think you could get better MPG in with the DSG if you ride it easy.
 

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I have a 2006 TDI with the 6 speed and its great. I love to drive a manual, and I have owned 2 other beetles with manuals, but the DSG gearbox is amazing. Its very livable and if you want to be in charge of shifting it you can. Yes its not quite like a manual, its faster, and its worth the extra up keep. And that's coming from someone who loves a manual. Plus, I think you could get better MPG in with the DSG if you ride it easy.
But you don't see a lot of DSGs cropping up, and not for the cheap price of the 01M Autos....
 

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This chick drives a stick
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Not many TDI's came with DSG's...2005 and 2006 only right?

I HAD a TDI with an autotragic as it has so nicely been renamed. And it is just that, tragic. The 01M I think overall is a decent transmission....for 2.0's and maybe 1.8Ts, but the torque in the TDI I think is what kills it so prematurely.

I HAD 150K on my autotragic. Almost immediately and VERY quickly...it died. Had to swap in a 5-spd. I LOVE my 5-spd. I would not want to go back to an automatic EVERY. MPG has increased by almost 7mpg, and that's not including long trips yet! :) The power is a lot more usable with the 5-spd than it is the automatic.

Now here is a thought to consider....buy an automatic TDI....save for a swap. You can contact JimBote on the TDIclub and he can do a 5-spd swap for about $2,500 parts AND labor! He'll even find the parts for you! Now you could always get a better or new clutch/flywheel/etc and that would be a little extra to his starting price, but you get the idea. Then just wait for the autotragic to crap out, or come close to crapping out and swap it!

I love my TDI now that it's a 5 spd. I have the larger injector nozzles, the automatics come with the larger fuel pump already, and then toss in the power of a 5 spd, trust me, you'll be the envy of other 5 spd TDI-ers. I've heard everyone tell me they are jealous because they want the 11mm fuel pump...that comes standard on the autotragics. :)

But it's up to you. I enjoyed my TDI as an automatic, but I LOVE my TDI as a 5 spd. :)
 

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2004 was the first year the DSG was offered in the VW linup.. in the new beetle TDI mated to the PD 100HP Engine.

04-06 New Beetles with PDs are, to my understanding, DSGs. If not they're the japanese 5-speed tiptronic automatic.

if you must get an auto, 04+ is what you want.

Manuals last forever.
 

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Time to unpimp ze auto!
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234 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Now here is a thought to consider....buy an automatic TDI....save for a swap. You can contact JimBote on the TDIclub and he can do a 5-spd swap for about $2,500 parts AND labor! He'll even find the parts for you! Now you could always get a better or new clutch/flywheel/etc and that would be a little extra to his starting price, but you get the idea. Then just wait for the autotragic to crap out, or come close to crapping out and swap it!

I love my TDI now that it's a 5 spd. I have the larger injector nozzles, the automatics come with the larger fuel pump already, and then toss in the power of a 5 spd, trust me, you'll be the envy of other 5 spd TDI-ers. I've heard everyone tell me they are jealous because they want the 11mm fuel pump...that comes standard on the autotragics. :)

But it's up to you. I enjoyed my TDI as an automatic, but I LOVE my TDI as a 5 spd. :)
You know, there is a Yellow 2006 TDI in auto that's been lurking around Craigslist for the past two months. They want too much for it, but it's got low miles and I keep taking a gander. It's at a stealership but it's at a stealership I've previously purchased from, over 10 years ago. Perhaps they'll haggle with me a bit. I'm still waiting on my student loan disbursement before I can seriously go car shopping.
 
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