Buying a Fixed TDI? Things to Check!

BostoVolkswagen is auctioning bought-back TDIs to dealers for fix and resale. There are quite a few available (3,400 on last time we checked) and they appear to be selling well. Many TDI fans see this is their last chance to snag a nearly-new TDI, as VW says they won’t be importing any in the future. If you’re in the market, here are a few things you may find helpful to know, and some things to look for and negotiate when making a purchase.


All formerly bought-back TDIs offered by VW must be fixed before resale. Since dealers are completing fixes on cars, most TDIs you’ll find for sale will be at VW dealers. Some may be wholesaled after the fix, and some customers may trade in fixed cars to independent dealers, so you may find one at a non-VW dealer. Anything is possible, but it’s unlikely you’ll find a car that hasn’t had the fix completed. Be sure to ask for documentation that the fix was completed, especially if purchasing from a non-VW car dealer or a private party.



Fixed vehicles are eligible for an extended warranty, shown above for the “Gen 1” vehicles. Gen 2 (’12-14 Passat) and Gen 3 (all ’15 2.0L TDIs) are similar. Good news is that you get a minimum of 4 years/48,000 miles warranty, more if the car has low miles. Emissions equipment included is pretty comprehensive, including the turbocharger and high pressure fuel pump. This means that most issues you might face with the fuel, boost, and emissions system are covered. Great news!

In addition, VW dealers are offering 2 years/unlimited mileage warranties on most TDIs that are sold as Certified Pre-Owned cars. Check with the selling dealer to make sure your car qualifies. If it does, with the 2 year bumper-to-bumper warranty and the emissions warranty, any additional extended warranty may be redundant. When comparison shopping between VW and non-VW dealers, keep in mind that the warranty has significant value.

Vehicle History and Component Replacements

First, all bought back vehicles will show a title process through Auburn, MI on Carfax. That’s because of the buyback process and doesn’t mean the car had an owner in Michigan. But that history will also give you an idea of when the car was bought back, and more important, how long it’s been sitting in a storage lot.

If the car’s been in storage for a while, you may want to negotiate replacing (or compensation for) parts that don’t cope well with extended sitting.

When VW allowed dealers to sell 2015 cars that had been sitting on their lots for 18 or more months, they authorized dealers to replace the following items:

  • brakes
  • battery
  • tires
  • wipers

They also flushed and refilled the adblue tank, changed oil, and flushed brake fluid. If you’re purchasing a car that’s already several years old and has also been sitting for several months, a year, or more, you may want to check the tire’s age, look at the brake rotors for rust, and have the dealer test the battery for cold cranking power. Tires have a manufacture date stamped in the sidewall. The one pictured was made in the 6th week of 2017, or in mid-February. If the car’s been sitting the tires may be dry-rotted, or flat spotted and won’t smooth out with use.


Dealers we’ve talked to are enthusiastic about having TDIs on their lots again. We think it’s great that these cars have a new lease on life. Happy shopping!






  1. I bought a 2015 CPO Sportwagen TDI. This replaced the 2009 I sold back to VW. To date, fantastic! Everything is incrementally better than the 2009 even after the emissions fix. I am averaging 51.1 MPG on mixed driving without the AC going. The CPO warranty is terrific! 2 years unlimited mileage after the original warranty runs out which will be in a couple of weeks. Also the entire emissions system is warranted to 120K. I needed to fill AdBlue once in the 12,000 miles I have driven the car (seemed like 3-4 gals every 7,500 miles, we will see about that). The 2015 oil change is a real pain but if you have jack stands or ramps it can be done at home. Everything else is about the same for routine maintenance. Since these will be the last TDIs you can buy relatively new I would not hesitate to buy one. I pay 15% above the gas price per gallon for diesel but my mileage is 100% better than a gas wagon and it is way more fun to drive – Typical precise steering and medium firm ride.


  2. I have a 2006.5 Jetta TDI with 130K miles and:
    1) a failing cam (of course),
    2) mileage falling from 37mpg down to about 32 (from cam?)
    3) slipping clutch,
    4) leaking turbo (or hopefully just valve cover gasket) in the backside. But only 1 qt per 5K miles so no big deal.
    I am thinking of upgrading since the cost of the repairs exceeds the value of the car itself.
    I wish I knew which newer model to buy, vs buying another 2006 with the repairs already done. Other than many hours or research, is there a quick guide of comparisons, or other helpful comments like the one above?….


  3. I was looking for a deal on a Sport Wagen and ended up taking home a 2015 TDi SE Passat w/ 6spd after the previous owner exercised his diesel-gate buy-back option. Only 4,200 miles! As soon as I shook the salesman’s hand, another customer who expressed interest in the car finally showed up after a 1.5 hour drive to pick it up after a week of not returning phone calls The customer was crushed to know that she missed her chance by an hour. Oh well!

    Two years on and having just completed my 40k service, this car runs like a champ and I’m utterly spoiled by the fuel range. I can make it to Memphis on one tank from Detroit! When I took a sales demo for a spin during my recent service, I was convinced that something was wrong with the fuel mileage in the TSi Tiguan. And despite my local dealer asking to buy it back every time I’m in for service, I’m never getting rid of this car.

    A big thanks to ID Parts for making the cost of ownership easy to deal with.


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