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Old 07-20-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
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Flat Tow VW Jetta

Is anyone out there towing a VW Jetta TDI (diesel)? VW says no way, but my shop thinks it'll be okay. It's a manual transmission. If you are I need to know how often/how far before you need to stop and get it up and running. It would certainly simplify our lives to take a car we already own. I've heard good things about the Blue Ox towing system too. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:23 PM   #2
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I think, now mind you I think, that the engine needs to be running to provide lubrication to the trans bearings, even in neutral.

We pulled a Jedda Diesel for years on a tow dolly with no problem and now we pull a Passat Diesel with a dolly.

I would heed VWs instructions.
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Old 07-20-2013, 05:32 PM   #3
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Don't think so.

I think this was discussed in another thread several weeks ago. Do a site search of 'TDI' and you'll probably find it.

If I remember right a very experienced VW tech said that the transmissions oil pump is driven off the input shaft. (Yeah, the stick has an oil pump)

As always there's going to be someone who claims they do it all the time with no problem. Who you gonna trust?

If you find a way to do it let us know.
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Old 07-22-2013, 07:26 PM   #4
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the key is lubrication. if manufacturer does not say ok, i wouldn't insist and risk damaging it. one time i saw a guy here posted he was towing lexus 470 with 4 down although manufacturer clearly indicates "no" in manuals, he claimed no problem... oh well, while admiring his brave, just like "calf is no fear of tiger", remember damaging is a gradual process; "don't see it" does not mean "no damage". when it reaches certain point it will tell...
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Old 07-22-2013, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranchgal View Post
Is anyone out there towing a VW Jetta TDI (diesel)? VW says no way, but my shop thinks it'll be okay. It's a manual transmission. If you are I need to know how often/how far before you need to stop and get it up and running. It would certainly simplify our lives to take a car we already own. I've heard good things about the Blue Ox towing system too. Thanks.
ranchgal,
The first thing I'd do is go to a VW tech at a dealership and get his/her opinion. They are the professionals, not us. I absolutely love VW TDI machines, Bugs, Jettas, Jetta Sport Wagons etc and, would love to flat tow one. I have talked directly with folks at campgrounds, RV parks, and out on the road who tow the late model TDI VWs and, each and every one of them had absolutely nothing harsh to say about towing them. Everyone of them actually went to a VW Tech (transmission tech that is) and consulted them.

While all these folks I talked with said that the techs they talked with, would not put it in writing, they ALL stated that there would be no damage to any of the stick transmissions in any VW TDI machine when flat towed. Many of these folks have towed more than one model/year of the TDI VWs and are still doing it without issues.

Now, you'll have to make the decision. If it weren't for the conditions we need when we're out on the road, I'd have a TDI behind our coach. At well over 42 mpg on a consecutive basis and, all the power for any grade in the U.S. you'll ever need, yep, I'd do it in a heartbeat. But, that's me. Good luck.
Scott
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Old 07-23-2013, 01:47 PM   #6
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We TOAD a 2002 VW Jetta TDi 5 speed manual shift transmission without any problems. And in 2008, the TDi was listed as 4 down toad'able. Our 2002 is a mid range series called the MK IV that ran from 99.5 through 2004 or 2005. Can't say anything about later series of VW products.
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #7
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Are there any restrictions on how far you can tow before stopping and letting the car run for a while? Thanks,
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Old 07-23-2013, 05:41 PM   #8
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Are there any restrictions on how far you can tow before stopping and letting the car run for a while? Thanks,
No restrictions on distances or stopping and running it.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:17 PM   #9
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I flat tow a 2010 TDI Jetta. Have a couple of thousand miles on it towing (60,000 on the engine), have not had any problems except a blip recently with the front wheels seaching after a sharp left turn. I don't think it has anything to do with the Jetta. I got the Jetta specifically to tow and have not been disappointed. I would not do it until it is out of warranty so you don't void anything but would not hestitate to tow it. Never start the car while on the road. I use the car battery for my blue ox patriot brakes and never have a problem.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:18 PM   #10
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In another recent thread here, it was discussed that there is a physical difference between the 5-speed manual and a 6-speed manual. I'm not so sure if that is the case or not.

Even though I know of several who are successfully towing VWs with both 5- and 6-speed manuals, I'm wondering if there is more of a chance of damaging a 6-speed than there is a 5-speed manual by flat towing?

I'd like to tow a new Golf TDI but don't want to buy one without first knowing that I won't do damage to it. The warranty issue is not much of a concern of mine as either way, if damage is done, the manufacturer will not cover it as VW does not endorse flat towing.

When I read this question and answer on justanswer.com, it makes me hesitate: click here

However, the above link is addressing a 2012 6-speed TDI Passat.

Again, I have witnessed many towing TDIs, both old and new, and not having any problems.

Roadmaster makes baseplate adapters for 2013 TDI Bugs, Golfs, Jettas, and Jetta Sportswagens.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:08 PM   #11
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Thumbs up Towing VW Jetta TDI

Here is the definitive answer, direct from Volkswagen Information Center:

Thank you for contacting the Volkswagen Information Center! We appreciate you being a part of the Volkswagen family.

Front-wheel drive VWs with a manual transmission can be towed with all four wheels on the ground. Keep in mind, however, that the vehicle would accumulate mileage while being towed. Also, the steering wheel would have to be unlocked so the car would follow the towing vehicle around turns.

Automatic transmission VWs and all-wheel drive VWs should only be towed with the front drive-wheels mounted on a special towing dolly, or on a flatbed trailer with all four wheels off of the road. Towing of an automatic transmission or all-wheel drive VW farther than 30 miles or faster than 30 mph with all four wheels on the road surface can damage transmission and drivetrain components.

For additional towing info, I encourage you to fully discuss your concerns with the service team at your local VW dealer. They are our resource to assess your towing needs and provide you with additional technical specifications regarding towing. If you need help locating a dealer in your area, here's a link to our dealer locate tool on the website: http://www.vw.com/portal/en/dealers.

Amazingly enough, this was the answer I wanted ... how often does that happen!!
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:32 PM   #12
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WooHoo!! You have made this Ranchgal very, very, happy.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:43 PM   #13
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I tow my 2000 TDI 5 speed Beetle and have no problems, transmission remains cool. (using IR remote thermometer) I turn key to on position, then off, leave in ignition and steering stays unlocked. Odometer doesn't register mileage.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:39 AM   #14
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Thank you, Ranchgal! I've been meaning to shoot off a letter to them too but haven't got around to it. I'm hope I'll get the same response.

I sent an email last year and they told me to definitely not to tow a 6-speed manual TDI. I kind of think they thought I was referring to a DSG 6-speed which is essentially an automatic but they call it a double-clutch manual.
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