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Mon Oct 16, 2006
Over the past week or so, Pete and I have been doing some troubleshooting on a 1998 Beetle TDI. The check engine light had been on, intermittently, for quite some time and the car had recently started suffering from a severe lack of power, as if the turbocharger was never kicking in. I'd like to do a post later, with more details about that whole process - but for now, the short version of the story is that we ended up finding that the wastegate actuator was faulty so Pete ordered a new one and installed it this past weekend. It made a world of difference and the car seemed to be running like it should again. Pete test drove the car a little bit, then it went back home, to Rhode Island (that's a decent drive from southern NH) - there were no problems. The next morning, the car suddenly died on the highway and we don't really know much more than that. All we know is that the car is "dead" and won't start - so Pete's heading down there tonight to tow it back here. At the moment, we're a little bit afraid that the timing belt may have broken (I think it was past due for one), which would almost certainly mean some amount of internal engine damage. A worst case scenario will be that we end up having to do a motor swap - but I'm hoping it ends up being something less serious. The car should arrive back to my house late tonight, so watch this space if you're curious about the Beetle's fate.

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Date: 11/12/06, 00:23:12 PST
From: pudleduk
Comments: My wastegate actuator just blew. Where did you locate a replacement? I'm coming up blank and the dealer doesn't sell this part seperate. Awesome blog, I'm hooked!

Date: 11/12/06, 14:53:44 PST
From: max
Comments: There are a couple places we found that sell them. http://www.pdrdiesel.com/VWActuator.htm and http://www.tdiparts.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=530 The one at pdrdiesel.com says 1999-2003, but will also work for 1998 Beetles - basically, any TDI with the ALH engine. They are expensive for what they are; however, it's better than paying for a whole new turbo and exhaust manifold.
A1 parts for sale:
intake air preheater hose
Item: Intake air pre-heat hose (from exhaust manifold shroud to air box), for Scirocco 2 (1982+)
Condition: New

A2 parts for sale:
A2 GTI dual round grill, with inner lights
Item: GTI dual-round grille with inner lights, bulbs, and lower trim strip
Condition: Used, lower trim strip is weathered.

parcel shelf strap
Item: Parcel shelf strap, 3 available
Condition: New
$3.50 ea.

A2 valve guides, 8 valve
Item: 8 (eight) valve guides, German, standard size, for 8 valve head
Condition: New

wheel cylinder
Item: Wheel cylinder (for rear drums, obviously), 2 available.
Condition: New
$12 ea.

A3 parts for sale:
parcel shelf strap
Item: Parcel shelf strap, 3 available
Condition: New
$3.50 ea.

A4 parts for sale:
ALH water pump
Item: OEM Water pump, ALH engines
Condition: Used, 130,000 miles