Are VW diesel engines reliable (2013 Passat)?

Today I went to a VW dealership (here in SoCal) and saw a 2013 Passat TDI SE 2.0 that I liked. I've never owned a diesel car before and don't know anything about them except that they take diesel fuel (and the engine sounds different).

I *think* it seemed to be a good deal--it only had 34,000 miles. The price was just under $12,000, out-the-door w/taxes & tag for $13,400.

I'd of course check the Kelly Blue Book value, but is this a reliable car? The salesman explained the whole fuel mileage scandal, and said that VW had to buy back all those cars from consumers, and now those cars are being offered for sale for good prices.

11 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    They are good engines, as long as the TDI emissions update has been performed. IF it has been performed, it comes with a 10 year warranty. If it has not been performed, then you should NOT purchase the vehicle. There was a one year period in which the updates included repairing all "Check Engine" related repairs at no cost. But, that has expired. If you plan on purchasing a 2009+ TDI, without modifications performed WITH an engine light on. Dont do it...VW tech.

  • Jason
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    I wouldn't buy a late model diesel. They plug themselves up.

  • 2 months ago

    Most VW unreliability comes from shonky electrical parts.

    Their diesel engines are usually pretty reliable but the whole of Volkswagen Audi Group (including SEAT and Skoda) has had a run of diesel engines in the 1.8 to 2.0 range which have suffered serious failures just outside of the warranty period. So far, VAG has mostly refused to offer any help at all to affected vehicle owners, leaving them with bills typically in excess of £8k on relatively new vehicles.

    For that reason alone, I wouldn’t keep any VAG diesel car even if I got it for free: I’d immediately sell it for something better.

  • zipper
    Lv 6
    3 months ago

    VW makes good sound diesel engines, just use grade one or A diesel fuel not grade two or less, to much trash in the fuel for the injectors to handle. That is the biggest problem with Auto Diesels people try to use the cheaper fuel and it does not work.  AND DO NOT PUT GAS IN ANY DIESEL: YOU WILL BE RISKING A HOME MADE BOMB!

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  • Anonymous
    3 months ago

    I would buy diesel again, no problem. It is boring as it never breaks down. You also do not have fuel gas thieves will steal in the middle of the night.

    I got used to diesel. So long as you have a good battery there is very little to go wrong. That is why farmers have diesel tractors. I put a MILLION miles on my VWRabbit diesel and it was still running when I SOLD IT FOR $1600(I bought for $1600)

    Diesel is the lesser fuel and it used to be way cheaper than gasoline...now it is near the same price everywhere. I got 75MPG at best and 62 average in city. Never was a problem. No one tried to siphon out diesel out of the tank. Jets fly on diesel/kerosene so it is a fuel that will be around for a long time. Farm equipment run on diesel. Commercial transport trucks run on diesel. Military tanks run on diesel. California cannot bar older diesel cars from running in their state. Dieselgate has been dealt with like Pintogate.

    Never worry about the fuel change. When the weather gets too cold, they change the fuel at the pumps...it is still called diesel though its composition may be mainly Kerosene. Kerosene will never jell in the fuel lines...not even in Antarctica...where -40 is common.

    . My cars predated Dieselgate by15 years. The cars use timing belts that should be changed every 60,000 miles.(just to be safe from breakage) as the motor is an INTERFERENCE MOTOR so big damage happens if the belt breaks. But it shouldn't if you change the belt religiously.

    You personally cannot sports tune a diesel. Timing is set at the shop and that is it. It is reliable transportation. Not a "screamer off the lights", just gets you there. Mind you I did not have the turbo, and that stuffs your head into the headrest when you step on it. But I was trying for economy driving.

    . Grade 2 diesel(whatever that is) is not something to be concerned about. The pumps at the gas stations keep good fuel for the cars. Million dollar trucks are not going to be happy if a station sells them bad fuel.

    Adding gasoline to diesel to prevent jelling is not a concern because the station would have changed over to winter fuel which is more Kerosene(which does not jell) Kerosene has slightly less "bang for the buck", but not enough to notice. Diesel and kerosene WILL MIX TOGETHER so no worries there.

    No different than going from REGULAR GAS TO ULTRA PREMIUM GAS...AS IT IS STILL GASOLINE. Mixes just fine.

    Just that you will only be using DIESEL.  Here it is the pump handles that are Yellow.

    Also, not EVERY station sells Diesel. So you memorize the stations that do. You will tend to go to the same station all the time anyways if you are driving in the same town.

    Do pop your hood at least once every 2 weeks and check the oil level with the dipstick.  Also your coolant level and that the alternator V belt is good BEFORE YOU START THE CAR.  It is called a pre trip inspection.  Then you know everything is good under the hood to drive with confidence. All long distance truck drivers do that every morning...and they inspect the tires by eye.  Break downs cost them money in lost time.  Easy check should take you all of 3 minutes.

  • 3 months ago

    If you are aware of the dieselgate , scandal the VW diesel is pretty reliable, I have just bought a new Passat for my wife

  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    3 months ago

    A legitimate dealership in California wouldn't be selling the car if it wasn't legal to title and license it in California. The listed price is about right for a car with such low mileage, but you need to know about owning and operating a vehicle with a diesel engine...

    First, it will cost more to maintain than the same car with a gasoline engine. Second, diesel fuel in the part of the country where I live costs like 50 to 75 cents per gallon more than unleaded gasoline. While a diesel engine DOES give you a bit better fuel economy, the operating cost per mile is offset by the more expensive fuel. You're not really saving anything by going with a diesel.

  • 3 months ago

    It's probably one of the VW diesels that were banned because of VW cheating on their emission software. Make sure it's legal to drive it in your State before you buy it. Go to your DMV and ask about titling it in your name.

    Source(s): Mitsubishi Master Tech
  • 3 months ago

    over here in uk .a VW car is a popular taxi ..a year ago i had a taxi pick me up to go to airport ..the car was like new .it was 6 years old ..when i ask he said 480.000 miles ..only ever been serviced ..mechanics not touched ...he was retiring it to his daughter ..says it all

  • 3 months ago

    I consider it a fool's chance; the United States in Congress assembled oversaw a multi-state case against Volkswagenwerk AG over powertrain computer firmware shenanigans. There's no guarantee that the Passat referred to will be accepted for emissions testing in California; I suspect a dictate of the Air Resources Board barring it.

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