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Costs for replacing intake manifold in 2002 VW Golf TDI

I’ve recently started having trouble starting up my car as well as accelerating in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd gears. I’ve gone to a good mechanic, and received a quote of around $670 to replace my intake manifold and clean the engine. The intake manifold - since it’s a diesel engine - seems to have been really clogged, and basic cleaning wasn’t possible. I just wanted to see if other folks agreed with the $675 bill - it came as quite a surprise, and wanted to check with people who are much wiser than I am in these matters. Thanks in advance for the help and advice!

I cannot give you an accurate assessment, but $675 to get a Volkswagen to run properly is not expensive. IN OTHER WORDS, THIS FIGURE SHOULD NOT COME AS A SURPISE TO YOU!!! If it does, you should give up driving a VW.

Most VW owners when they complain about repair bills are talking $1000-$2000 or so.

How many miles are on the car and what is its maintenance history?

There’s not enough info provided to make much of a guess as to what the problem is but the odds of it being a clogged intake are very slim or near zero. The odds of this intake needing to be replaced are equally slim.

VWs are no more trouble prone or expensive to repair than anything else out there.

  1. Just called one of my local VW dealers for you: they quoted $923.11 plus tax for your repair.
    2)I cannot give a technical opinion as to whether that manifold needed to be changed or not, but if it solved your problem and you have already paid them…well, then consider this as a sunk cost, and move on with life.

Just wanted to thank everyone who responded. Thank you so much - a bit of wisdom and perspective from those who know in the community is always appreciated! This car has been well-maintained, but it’s at 58,000 miles now - and like Docnick said, perhaps I just gotta accept that my VW needs a little more care at this point in its life.

Thanks again to everyone. You all rock.

You don’t need to replace your clogged intake manifold. It can be cleaned. Here is a “How To” The post says that cleaning is much cheaper than replacement.

VW TDI’s are notorious for clogging the intakes due to a defective design. They can be cleaned if not clogged, but once at that point, it is best to replace them. I do not recall the exact problem, but I do remember there is too much oil entering the intake and sludging.

Wonder why this clogged intake is only killing performance in 1 through 3 gears…

Wonder why this clogged intake is only killing performance in 1 through 3 gears…

I would guess that the driver is only pushing it in the first three gears.

There seems to be a ongoing discussion about the cause of the problem. The most popular thought is that without regular full pressure acceleration to clear it out, it will clog. Of course that does not explain why mine was nearly totally clean at 80,000 miles when I drive like a little old lady, and not the one from Pasadena.

You may want to check out the TDI club. (TDI.COM) Spring is a good time for GTG (get to get-togethers) where TDI owners meet to help out each other with such chores.

My thinking, right or wrong, is that since this car apparently has a manual transmission the clutch could be slipping a bit. Once at speed the mass of the car takes over some and with the higher gearing the slip goes away.
A clogged intake should kill power in the higher gears also.

Assuming this car does legitimately have a clogged intake I’d blame it on driving habits and conditions. This car is 9 years old and has a measly 58k miles on it. This means it sees very sparse use at only about 6+k miles a year.
Assuming once again, if the intake is clogged that is no reason to install a new one. Clean it out even if involves a trip to the auto machine shop vat and motor on.