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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title suggests, I’m curious the highest mileage experienced or known by all you vortex readers.

Our, we bought it new, 2009 Wolfsburg Jetta has almost 180k on the original chains and I’m curious how much longer we can go with it. I change oil every 10k, and it’s never had any oil but the factory suggested Castrol Synthetic. I also check and top up if necessary once a month. When it needs it, it’s never been more that 1/2 qt.

I was told by a VW service advisor years ago that the tensioners are very sensitive to oil pressure so keeping oil at the operating level will serve the engine, and thereby you, well.

We currently have an oil leak at the upper timing chain cover and a coolant leak at the water pump assembly so we are trying to decide it we want to put $1200 in it. Granted, I think we have likely exceeded the normal life of the average chain set.

But, I’m curious what you all have seen.

Thanks everyone.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Will if you want to check the timing chain for stretch use a scan tool see what value you have.


And you never had the chain tensioner undated for the early TSI engine?
Well yeah I know. I’m just curious what is the highest mileage is.

And no, the engine has never been apart for anything besides several intake cleanings and a rear main seal at about 75k miles.

I also wouldn’t consider it early at a 2009.


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For the TSI in a MK5 in the NAR yea that's early.

Tensioner was not updated till about 2012
Either way, it’s never been updated and we’ve got almost 180k, so my question still stands.

I’m curious about what some of the higher mileages are before the chains/tensioners failed or still running.


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Yes, 2009 is an early TSI.

I had the timing chain tensioner on my 2009 GLI pro-actively replaced a couple years ago, at about 100,000 miles. I'd checked the chain using VCDS, and it hadn't stretched significantly; but having the first-version tensioner had really had me worried.

It's not just the chains stretching; it's also that the early-version tensioners kept failing. VW did several updates after about 2012, as GTI's said.

So I think knowing what the very-highest mileage is for an original chain (and tensioner) may not be very useful, if you go by probability. A failed chain or tensioner will destroy your engine...
 

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Just wanted to add for what it's worth... I have a 2005.5 Jetta MK5 FSI 6-speed and it's 203k with originals. Getting the full, 195k and 210k service in mid-February. Also he, Jet is getting a full exterior/interior makeover. He is a rare MK5 Jetta as he has some MK6 features, one of 2 made in Australia, one of 4 worldwide, apparently. I'm yet to find out more information on that. Only at the beginning of my 'Jet' learning curve. He goes though, fast and he leaves most vehicles stationary at take-off.
 

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Just wanted to add for what it's worth... I have a 2005.5 Jetta MK5 FSI 6-speed and it's 203k with originals. Getting the full, 195k and 210k service in mid-February. Also he, Jet is getting a full exterior/interior makeover. He is a rare MK5 Jetta as he has some MK6 features, one of 2 made in Australia, one of 4 worldwide, apparently. I'm yet to find out more information on that. Only at the beginning of my 'Jet' learning curve. He goes though, fast and he leaves most vehicles stationary at take-off.
What MK6 on a early MK5 are you talking about? If you go to the dealer you should be able to have them print for you the complete PR code that spells out what options features the car was built with, this list will be pages long. Much more info than the PR label in the owners manual or trunk floor contains.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
What MK6 on a early MK5 are you talking about? If you go to the dealer you should be able to have them print for you the complete PR code that spells out what options features the car was built with, this list will be pages long. Much more info than the PR label in the owners manual or trunk floor contains.
I was wondering the same thing. 2005.5 is the first year for MkV so it would seem strange to have MkVI features on a car 4.5 years prior to the MkVI launch.


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, 2009 is an early TSI.

I had the timing chain tensioner on my 2009 GLI pro-actively replaced a couple years ago, at about 100,000 miles. I'd checked the chain using VCDS, and it hadn't stretched significantly; but having the first-version tensioner had really had me worried.

It's not just the chains stretching; it's also that the early-version tensioners kept failing. VW did several updates after about 2012, as GTI's said.

So I think knowing what the very-highest mileage is for an original chain (and tensioner) may not be very useful, if you go by probability. A failed chain or tensioner will destroy your engine...
I kind of agree, it was mainly for curiosity sake. The chains/tensioners are getting significantly louder over the years so I’m sure I’m just spinning the wheel. That’s why I’m struggling to keep putting money in it. At some point I’m gonna have to do the chains, before they let go, and I’m not sure I want to keep going.

This morning most of the coolant is on the ground after she parked it last night. So it’s definitely decision time.

Of course the worst time in history to replace it.


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it’s definitely decision time.
Of course, as always, the decision whether to sell an older car, or to put major repairs into it, shouldn't depend on the Blue Book value of it. Rather, it should depend on how much the car is worth to you. Part of that is what kind of shape it's in, in general.

For what it's worth, I paid $735 three years ago to have the timing chain tensioner replaced.

And I just paid about $3,000 for a rear main seal replacement, and some other repairs.

Yes, I think my 2009 GLI is worth that to me...
 

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What MK6 on a early MK5 are you talking about? If you go to the dealer you should be able to have them print for you the complete PR code that spells out what options features the car was built with, this list will be pages long. Much more info than the PR label in the owners manual or trunk floor contains.

I did not know you could get the PR code list, cool - thank you.

I'm glad you're questioning the MK6 features, it's information I was told and struggle to name an actual feature that might differ. I'm a very uneducated VW owner, I'm on a steep learning curve at the moment. Just decided to keep the Jetta and not buy a new one. I'm restoring him and would like to get more out of the engine.

I am going to 'Google' the PR code now.

Can you tell me what the 'Rabbit' edition is please? The same bloke said it's a rabbit. I have not found any information in the manual about the car being a 'rabbit' edition. And, what is the difference?

Cheers, thank you.
 

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I did not know you could get the PR code list, cool - thank you.

I'm glad you're questioning the MK6 features, it's information I was told and struggle to name an actual feature that might differ. I'm a very uneducated VW owner, I'm on a steep learning curve at the moment. Just decided to keep the Jetta and not buy a new one. I'm restoring him and would like to get more out of the engine.

I am going to 'Google' the PR code now.

Can you tell me what the 'Rabbit' edition is please? The same bloke said it's a rabbit. I have not found any information in the manual about the car being a 'rabbit' edition. And, what is the difference?

Cheers, thank you.
In the NAR the Mk5 VW Golf was known as the VW Rabbit, I have no idea why a '05.5 Jetta would be called the "Rabbit Edition"

Perhaps you can start a new post with some pictures of this Jetta.
 

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I have an 09 TSI GTI, I made it to 165k on the original tensioner. It was fully extended and the safety band was backed off when I had gone in to do the chains. If I had lost any oil pressure, oil change etc, it would have jumped time.

I highly recommend getting your chains done ASAP. My 165k and especially your 180k is an ABNORMALLY long period on the original tensioners without jumping.
 
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Unreal, really?! I'm down a garden path, not cool. Will do. Cheers
I'm curious, too, as to what this "Rabbit Edition" might be. As GTI's wrote, "Rabbit" is what the Mk5 Golf was known as, here (and only here) in North America. Because -- as you may or may not know -- that's what the initial Mk1 Golf was known here. Stupid, but it is what it is. All the other generations of Golf were known as "Golf." I don't see the connection to a Jetta...

Photos, please...?
 

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I have an 09 TSI GTI, I made it to 165k on the original tensioner. It was fully extended and the safety band was backed off when I had gone in to do the chains. If I had lost any oil pressure, oil change etc, it would have jumped time.

I highly recommend getting your chains done ASAP. My 165k and especially your 180k is an ABNORMALLY long period on the original tensioners without jumping.
You did not by chance check the chain stretch at that point in time to see what value you got?
 

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I'm curious, too, as to what this "Rabbit Edition" might be. As GTI's wrote, "Rabbit" is what the Mk5 Golf was known as, here (and only here) in North America. Because -- as you may or may not know -- that's what the initial Mk1 Golf was known here. Stupid, but it is what it is. All the other generations of Golf were known as "Golf." I don't see the connection to a Jetta...

Photos, please...?

The one "Rabbit Edition" I recall is the 2019 GTI
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, we decided to fix the water pump/leak issue and hold off on the chains. I’m feeling lucky!

Seriously though if she doesn’t find a replacement in a few weeks, we’ll address the chains and upper cover leak and keep it.


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