HMC Exclusive: 2003 VW Golf TDI With Many, Many Miles

Golf, end of winter ii

First of all, I’d like to apologize to you all for the lack of updates. I’d like to get more stories out, more often. I will try my best to do that. Also, I’d like to apologize to Jerry for not getting this story out earlier.

Jerry Baustian sent me a very interesting story about his 2003 VW Golf Mk4 TDI. Instead of paraphrasing it, I thought I’d let his e-mail speak for itself:

The engine computer records distance in kilometers, then the instrument cluster converts the data to miles in the odometer. The instrument cluster cannot convert 7 digit numbers though, so before I hit the one-million-kilometer point my friend Eric Merker at Midwest Motorworks in Hudson, Wisconsin, rolled back the odometer exactly 400,000 miles. This was on November 5, 2016 — from 612,443 to 212,443. Eric had to obtain special software and promise the source that it would not be used for any fraudulent purposes. Besides service records from Midwest Motorworks, I also have corroborating records from Chad Erickson at South Central Imports in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The current odometer reading is 263,508 so the actual mileage is 663,508.

The next time the odometer reaches 600,000 the actual mileage will be 1,000,000. This assumes that the Golf does not get wrecked and that I continue to drive it 50k-60k miles a year, so probably in 2023 or maybe 2022.”

It appears the metric and imperial systems won’t ever be friends. Whether it be crashing a Mars orbiter, or making it hard to track a VW past a million miles, the US system of measuring things just doesn’t play nice with anyone. Or maybe it’s that nobody puts seven digits in their damn instrument clusters. Seriously, would that break the bank?  Jerry is very serious about his quest for a million miles. So serious, in fact,  he had a screenshot of the ECU mileage taken.

 “I had a visit with my mechanic today and asked him for a screenshot of the ECU mileage. It should be an accurate measure of distance traveled since the actual odometer was rolled back (as explained in my previous email).
  I purchased this Golf TDI new in August 2003 for use as a courier vehicle. I worked as a courier from summer 2003 to summer 2008, then at a couple other jobs until 2011, and then steadily as a courier since summer 2011. I put about 62,000 miles on it in the last 12 months.”
jerry baustian mileage
Jerry also has some great maintenance tips for us:
“1) I always use a full-synthetic 5w40 motor oil, changing oil and filter about every 10k miles.
2) I replace the timing belt, water pump, and other associated parts about every 90k-100k miles as specified in the owners manual.
3) I change out the gearbox oil about every 100k-150k miles; I flush the brake fluid about every two or three years.
4) I use upgraded suspension parts when available, like the Audi TT control arm bushings instead of the OE ones — they last about three times longer.
5) I upgraded the fuel filtration system, using a 2-micron Caterpillar filter instead of the OE 10-micron fuel filter. This is probably the reason why my original injection pump has lasted so long.
6) The turbo and injector nozzles have been upgraded, and I have a custom engine tune for about 50% more horsepower and torque than stock.”
My lifetime fuel mileage is just over 41 MPG, but in the last year it’s averaged about 44 MPG.
 Jerry, we are watching here at HMC. We hope you hit your goal of a million and hope that you don’t have any future ODO snafus. Thanks for sharing your story with us.
Jerry enters the hall-of-fame at #32.


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