VW Golf TDI: black cloud of smoke, huge noise in engine, won't go over 50mph

My VW Golf TDI 2000 has 236,000 miles on it. The other day my husband jumped on the accelerator to merge onto the freeway, and it let out a huge black cloud of smoke. Wow, we thought. Weird. Impressive. Uh oh. Then we realized it was making HUGE diesel engine noises, which just got louder by the next day. Windows down, you can’t hear yourself think. It also won’t accelerate past 50 mph. We’ve spent soooooo much money and time fixing this car. Would love to know what might be wrong this time. Just moved, no trusted mechanics who we can call. Might we have to donate it to public radio and just be done with it? Or something my husband can repair with the manual? Thanks so much!

Have you opened the hood and checked the fluid levels (oil, antifreeze, etc)?

Don’t drive it. Even a short drive can make a really bad situation into a really really bad situation.

Dealers are not always the best place to have your work done.  They are usually rather expensive and are no better (or worse) than the average independent mechanic. 

 I suspect a lot of the money spent so far did not need to be spent, but I certainly could be wrong. I have seen a lot of situations where the mechanic does not really know diesels and tries to fake their way through it ending up with a far more expensive job than it should have been. 

 I suggest stopping by:  


  They have the TDI experts there and at no charge. 

Good Luck

TDI’s are famous for clogging their intake ports with carbon if the vehicle is driven very lightly for most of its driving. You need someone to remove the intake, and clean out all the carbon.

If you are really unlucky, your stomp on the pedal dislodged a chunk of carbon, and it damaged the turbo, or the engine. If you’re lucky, it plugged up the motor so that it isn’t running right, but can be fixed.


Thanks everyone! Incredibly helpful. Will work on it this weekend!

TDi’s are a different animal alltogether…You need to poist this question in the TDi forum…Look it up on the net…Those guys know the Tdi and its variants INSIDE AND OUT…YOu WILL get an answer there for certain. They are all Diesel heads…and they know their stuff esp with all the common failures these cars have.

I just sold my Tdi that I converted to be able to run on WVO…I installed a Greasecar kit in the car…1500 miles to the fillup…of both tanks…

GO HERE AND POST YOUR QUESTION…I GUARANTEE YOU…they will solve your problem…Duh…someone already told you about it…I have to start actually reading the responses huh? lol