Most modern German vehicles are fitted with a turbocharged direct injection (TDI) engine, hence why most VW and Audi repairs require attention from a specialist mechanic. TDI engines are heralded for their ability to deliver superior combustion, power boost, and CO2 reduction. Unfortunately, these engines are also known to struggle in cold-weather operation. Since Seattle isn’t known for heavy snowfall, this isn’t something you likely have to worry about. TDI engine maintenance on your end, though, is still necessary if you drive a vehicle fitted with one of these bad boys.
Precautions to Take for Winter Driving
Diesel fluids behave differently than gasoline under temperature changes. When the mercury in the thermometer dips, the diesel fuel’s viscosity increases, causing it to thicken. Hardened diesel is often referred to as “gel.” Gel is very sludge-like in nature and cannot be pumped, causing the engine to die.
One way to prevent the formation of gel is to invest in an auxiliary heater. This keeps the engine warm and prevents the engine’s viscosity from rising.
Aside from the engine, you should also check the battery and be sure it’s fully charged. Batteries run less efficiently in cold weather. On top of that, oil also hardens under low temperatures, thus requiring the battery to work harder to get the engine to crank.
Finally, most TDI engines come with a small heating device known as a glow plug. The plug provides enough heat for the fuel to ignite when there is insufficient heat in the air. To make use of the glow plug, put the key in the ignition and turn it to start the electronics but not the engine. The dashboard should indicate that the glow plug is in use. Wait for about 10 seconds before fully turning the ignition.
Engine Problems? Let Us Take a Look
TDI engines differ from diesel engines in American cars. This is why you should bring your German vehicle to Buttera Motors if the car is frequently struggling to start. Get in touch with us for more tips on how to keep your vehicle in shape throughout winter. TDI engine maintenance is just one of the many VW and Audi services we provide.
Expert Maintenance for VW & Audi TDI Engines
VW and Audi service in Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Kenmore, Redmond & Woodinville
Edited by Justin Vorhees