Re: TDI Maint vs gas engine? (spongebob_squarepants)
As you might suspect the diesel is different from the gas powered vehicles. Oil changes are recommended at 10,000 mile intervals using diesel specific oil. Most people use a fully synthetic 5w-30 or 5w-40 which meets the API CH-4 rating (I chose to also look for the ACEA B4-98 and VW 505.00 standard as well). As you will find, this is a special oil and is usually $5.00/quart minimum (mobil delvac-1, Amsoil series 3000, dealer only Castrol, etc). Oil filters range from $6.50 to $10.00 depending on where you buy and most autoparts houses don't stock them for the diesel (in my area at least). You have a fuel filter that has a recommended change interval of 20,000 miles and it costs between $35 and $45 depending on where you buy. Timing belts are required at 40,000 miles for the automatic transmission and 60,000 miles for the 5-speed (not certain about the 2002 model) and the cost for this service ranges from $350 - $650. Most people are requiring their intercoolers and intake manifolds to be cleaned at 60,000 mile intervals. The cost for this service will vary widely and I have no idea what people pay. Most people use fuel additive which adds a few cents to each fill up. Air filters seem to dirty much quicker on the diesel engine also due to its high rate of airflow. I change mine at 15,000 mile intervals (annually at least) and these can range anywhere from $9.00 to $21.00. I believe this is just about it.
In comparison, my last gasoline powered automobile received oil changes at 5000 miles with easily available synthetic oil and OEM filters. Spark plugs were changed at 100,000 miles (platinum tipped). I changed the air filter annually, fuel filter at 100,000 miles. I had to clean the Inlet Air Control valve once at 130,000 miles. The engine had a timing chain instead of a belt so it was never touched. This vehicle was a extremely low maintenance machine and it operated wonderfully with 180,000 miles on it right up to the point that my wife crashed it.
Naturally there are other items to think about but these items (brakes, CV boots, etc.) are common items which relate not to the engine type. The TDI is a wonderful car and great fun to drive but it is different.
I have learned that the TDI is rather expensive to operate and this is somewhat offset by the incredible fuel economy it delivers. However, don't expect it to be as inexpensive to own as a Nissan Sentra. http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif