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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,927
    Hmmm...dunno about that. Seems to me that it would be easy enough to pop off the door panel and unplug that module and see how the car behaves with it deactivated for a few days.

    Or you can ask the dealer who pays if he's wrong?

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  • Guys,
    I'm still stationed in Seoul, Korea and still own the 2003 VW Passat GLS 1.8T. Recently, I've noticed an extra vibration and a low humming sound when I turn the steering wheel at low speeds. It's okay in the morning, but as the car warms up and when I try to steer the car at speeds less than 5 mph (in the parking lot especially), I've noticed occasional humming sound accompanied by a little extra vibration in the steering column.
    Additionally, I've noticed sporadic rapid ticking sounds (akin to fast water trickling sound, but more distinct) coming from the middle ventilation vent. I've initially thought it was some kind of water leakage, but could it be somekind of lifter or ignition coil sounds?
    The car currently has 49K miles on it and am ordering parts to replace the timing belt and water pump, but am not sure what else need to be addressed on this car.

    Thank you for your advice.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • Appreciate any insight/suggestions.

    The other day "brake" warning on my dashboard display started flashing for quite some time, together with the ABS warning signal coming on and "see service manual" messages. Stayed on the entire time I drove. The next day, nada. None of them came on.

    In the previous few weeks, for one or two seconds, about once a week, they came on annd then stopped. Car braking handled normally.

    Think it could just be the sensor? Will take it in to the shop for a diagnostic and repair but would like a bit of an idea of what I'm heading into. Love the car but at 114k miles, something needs fixing every month and it driving me nuts.
  • xyzzy1954xyzzy1954 Posts: 11
    For what it's worth my 99 Passat exhibited the same symptoms, although my tachometer also stopped working in tandem with what you describe. It started out intermittent, but eventually the behavior became 100% consistent.

    Ultimately, it was the ABS controller that needed to be replaced. Somehow it was electrically affecting the other displays, as replacing the ABS controller fixed the other symptoms.

    The dealer originally wanted $750 for parts and labor, but agreed to fixing it with 1 yr warranty for $500.

    These cars get very expensive after 80K or so.

    Good luck.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: Humming, vibration, ticking? Any or all of these MIGHT be signs of deterioration/failure of the CV joints. Not normal for a V-dub with 49k, but being 8 years old, you should check the CV boots for failure. If they're cracked or torn, the joints may be been contaminated with grit and water, causing the joints to fail. If you are a DIYer, it's not a difficult job...you can obtain both joints on line (Rock Auto, Autohaus AZ, etc.) for less than $175-200. Check all the prior posts for instructions and tips. One other question...why are you replacing your TB at 49K? ALWAYS good to be cautious with the V-dub TBs, but I'm thinking 75-80k, not 49. One other thing...you probably already are aware of this...be ABSOLUTELY sure that you (or your oil change guy/gal) is using only, I repeat...ONLY, 502.00 spec VW-approved oil, e.g, Mobil 1 0W-40) in that 1.8T, or you could have major probs down the road! Good luck...VW Dawg
  • VWDawg,
    Thank you for your advice.
    1. Timing Belt: As far as the TB, I'm being cautious because the car is 8 years old and although the mileage is relatively low, there has been alot of short drives (numerous 2-3 mile trips). Besides, I'm trying to take advantage of cheaper online parts and leverage the cheaper labor charge in Korea.
    2. Humming and vibration: It's coming from the steering column when I'm turning at very slow speed in the parking lot, and it almost always happens after the car warms up. Still think the the CV joints?
    3. Ticking: The sound comes from the center ventilation duct and almost sounds like a more muffled pebbles (small rocks) being slowly being poured into a plastic can or water trickling sound. It has no rhyme or reason to it. It usually happens after hard accelerations.
    4. Motor Oil: The previous owner used Royal Purple synthetic and for the past three years that I've owned the car, I've used Mobil 1 0W-40 synthetic.
    No engine problem so far, but I'll keep my finger crossed.

    Thank you again for your note.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • I have a 2006 VW Passat Sedan 2.0T. My radiator fan keeps running endlessly after my car is turned off. It had drained the battery. I have since got a charge in the battery and now the car is sitting idle with the charge taken off. I have looked endlessly for manuals on where to locate the relay to see if that needs to be replaced (no luck). I am looking for a solution so i dont have to unhook the battery every time I stop somewhere. I dont mind taking it to the shop, but they have already quoted me a couple of hundred dollars for what I see is a easy fix. Just trying to see the option of locating and replacing the relay myself (if that is the problem). Is there any help for this issue?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,927
    The fan is allowed to run for up to 15 minutes after the engine is shut off. So anything under 15 minutes is normal, and if your battery can't handle that, then the battery or charging systems is substandard.

    if it runs longer than 15 minutes---what I'm seeing in the database is that there is an engine temperature sensor located in the upper coolant lines (diagram is a bit vague), which should be tested, and there is also a Cooling Fan Control Module, which is integral with the cooling fan itself and must be replaced as a unit. Diagnosing that is probably something you can't do without proper equipment and instructions.

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  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: Nothing wrong with being conservative here, especially if lower labor and parts costs are available. I just changed the TB on my '02 1.8T Passat at 92k...obviously taking a chance there. Do you use a good independent shop that might be able to inspect the existing belt for crackling or fraying? In any case, at 49k, and if the car is otherwise in good shape, for your peace of mind maybe just go ahead and get it done.
    Humming, vibration and ticking...tough to comment without actuallly hearing the noises, but still think it could be CVs or something else in the front suspension. Get it up on the hoist and inspect thoroughly. Good to hear that the prior owner used Royal P, and that you have continued with Mobil 1. I seriously doubt you will have engine probs under that scenario, but check the prior posts concerning new info on VW finally getting their act together on warranties against sludge & other oil related issues. vwdawg
  • gpc46gpc46 Posts: 5
    Can anyone tell me when the timing belt should be replaced on a 2008 Diesel Passat, I have spoken to Volkswagen but they just tell me to talk to my dealer
  • splofficersplofficer Posts: 4
    edited April 2011
    The fan runs well after 15 minutes. It keeps running til the battery runs out. Also everytime I reconnect the battery, the fan starts up without starting the car. So, is there a way to test the engine temperature sensor and the fan to see what the problem is?? I went to autozone, and they said that they'll only run the scan if the engine light is on. No indication lights are on at all. Should I replace the Engine Temp sensor? And is there any type of diagram to direct me on a Passat? And also, could there also be a problem with the relay?? Thanks for everything!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,927
    I don't think there is a relay. I think the fan control module acts as a relay if I'm reading the diagrams correctly. I'm sure there is a way to test the sensor but without a scanner and all those VW doo-hickies they use, I have no idea how you'd do it.

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  • VWDawg,
    1. Timing Belt: I've just received all the necessary parts from 1st VW Parts.com and I'll proceed with the TB change. I'm actually taking the car to a VW Service Center in Seoul and they've quoted me around $300 for labor, but we'll see.
    2. CV Boot: I think you're right on with the CV Boot, because I've been noticing some thick black grease in the undercarriage just below the lower door jambs. Considering that the humming and slight vibration occurs once the car has been driven for a while, I think you're absolutely correct. I'll ask the VW Service center to take a look at the CV Boot and replace if needed. I guess they'll have to repack the grease as well.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: $300 plus parts sounds like a good deal, and most importantly, you'll get that peace of mind you're looking for. Just a word on "replacing the CV boot". Conventional wisdom is...don't bother, just replace the entire half-shaft. If the boot is bad, the joint is probably contaminated already, and given time, the joint will fail. Furthermore, the labor involved in disassembling the joint, replacing the boot and reassembling costs more than just throwing in a new shaft (parts cost, Cardone or similar...$80-$100 per side). You'll then have a new shaft, and additional "peace of mind". 8) vwdawg
  • VWDawg,
    I'm due to transfer in two months and I've wanted to get everything done here whether I'm selling the car or shipping it back to the States.
    1. Getting the TB thing done.
    2. Brake pads replaced.
    3. Oil, oil filter, and air filter changed.
    4. CV Boot replaced: Even if there's no sign of contamination, do you recommend the shaft replacement as well?

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,927
    If you have to take the shaft out to replace the boot, you may find that buying a rebuilt axle kit costs little more than paying someone to take everything apart just to replace the boot. So you have to balance the two costs and decide. It rather depends on the difficulty of removing the boot. Sometimes just plugging in a complete rebuilt axle is the quickest and easiest way to go. They are surprisingly inexpensive, like $75 bucks apiece here in the states.

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  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: It all sounds good. Just to clarify, if you find a torn or cracked CV boot, it's cheaper to just put in a complete new half shaft. A new shaft is cheap, INCLUDES a new boot, the installation time if minimal, and you don't have the significant cost of the labor involved in changing the boot (and ending up with a potentially contaminated joint even after replacing the boot). Good luck. vwdawg
  • Mr. Shiftrigth and VWDawg,
    Thank you for your continued support and the latest advice. I'll call the VW Service Center and ask them about replacing the half-shaft. Do you also recommend replacing the other CV Boot while I'm at it?

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • VWDawg,
    If I can't get the VW-Korea Service Center to replace the half shaft, I might be forced to live with it until I bring the car back to the States. I've just discovered that it'll cost $2800 to ship my car, so it looks like I'll be shipping it in another two months.
    Thank you again.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • I am a new proud owner of a 2006 VW Passat 2.0T. I just had it go through a Diagnostic scan. Found out that its a problem inside the motor itself, so therefore, the driver side cooling fan (300w/360mm - 4pin) must be replaced. What tools would I need to replace it, and would it consist of taking the front end apart? I am looking for for help. Dont want to come out of pocket over 150 for labor. Also, I see that there are two fans that can fit. I see that a 1k0-959-455-FJ can fit, and also a 1k0-959-455-DT can fit. Would there be any reason to choose one over the other? And should I go with Siemens, Behr, or Gates for this type of fan, or would it matter? Just wondering. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!!
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: Replacing the shaft is relatively easy...can't imagine that the service center (or try another import shop in your area?) wouldn't be able to do it for a good price. $2,800 to ship it back to the States? That's a lot of dough. Have you considered the option of selling it there and just picking up a low mileage V-dub over here? Seems to me you would come out ahead. On the other hand, if you REALLY love that car...8) vwdawg
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    spl: Perhaps Shiftright or Shipo might have some specific instructions for you, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer and plan to do this and other work yourself, just pick up a Haynes manual or similar for your Passat. While not as thorough as a complete Edmunds manual, it will usually give clear enough instructions so that the average DIY guy or gal can successfully do repairs of simple to moderate complexity. vwdawg
  • VWDawg,
    The VW shop told me that it'll cost over $1000 to replace a half-shaft and around $150 to replace the CV boot. They've found a "very small tear" in the boot and found no other problem except the power steering fluid at the minimum level. They've added some power steering fluid and told me to drive it as is.
    As far as shipping the car, I'd figured that it's paid off and I'm not disciplined enough to save the proceeds from the sale and the unexecuted shipping cost to apply it toward another car. Besides, I've put in too much money into the car recently that I'll never recover (Michelin tires ($600), new brake pads ($200), timing belt/water pump ($1000)). I've replaced the tranmission module when it was flooded along with the front passenger compartment at a tune of $1500. I feel like I've addressed all the trouble spots on the car and have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 45,927
    The half-shaft quote is outrageous---sounds like he doesn't want to do it. Oh well then, replace the boot.

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  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: I agree with Shiftright...why would that shop embarrass themselves with that ridiculous price quote? Especially considering that the time and complexity involved with a boot replace is actually GREATER than just throwing in a new shaft. Since you're shipping your baby home in a couple of months, and the tear is allegedly very small, I think I would just leave it as is. When it gets back stateside, just bring it in to a good independent shop and have them replace the whole shaft for maybe $300- $400. My main concern would be that even if you replace that boot, the joint may already be contaminated and you'll end up replacing the shaft anyway. Just a thought... good luck and BTW...THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY! vwdawg
  • Dear VWDawg and Shiftright,
    Thank you for your advice and I'll take them onboard. The car is running like a dream since the latest maintenance, albeit occasional minor vibration from the steering column.
    VWDawg, thank you for your kind words concerning my service. I've served little over 21 years and hearing encouraging words never gets old. Thank you. Truly appreciate it.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • I was just wondering if you have figured out what the ticking is that you mentioned coming from your center ventilation duct. I have an 04 Passat 1.8T 4 Motion Wagon (206K miles) with a similar problem. I hear a lot of gurgling coming from the center of the dashboard. From reading through several forums it seems like it should just be an issue of needing to bleed air out of the coolant system but I'm not convinced that is the issue. My heat stopped working around 140K and it turned out to be a clogged heater core, my dealer unclogged it and flushed the coolant system which got the heat working great again but I still hear the gurgling. I also had my oil cooler fail at 160K which leaked oil into the coolant system. Several parts were replaced and the car was flushed again to clean out all of the oil, yet the gurgling still persists. I suppose it's possible that my dealer doesn't know how to properly bleed air out of the coolant system, but they have done several other major repairs to my vehicle with competence. I'm not sure what else to think here, plus the problem has persisted for over 60K miles without any other side effects that I'm aware of.
  • bcass1bcass1 Posts: 2
    Hello everyone,

    I'm a potential first time VW owner, and I've begun looking at used Passats from 2002-2004. Just recently, I found this forum, and I hope to learn a bit more about the car mechanically from other owners. I thank everyone for their collective efforts in providing other owners and potential owners like myself, with their experiences.

    Recently, I found a 2002 VW Passat GLS wagon at an independent used car lot. The car had 95,000 miles on it, and was in immaculate cosmetic condition. It had a clean carfax history (two owners, no accidents, all maintenance appeared to be performed at VW dealers). After looking at the vehicle thoroughly and test driving it, I had it inspected by the local VW dealer. I was ready to purchase the car that day pending the outcome of the inspection. When I got the report from the dealer service tech, I was disappointed and unsettled. The following notes are from their inspection of the vehicle (with approximate costs to fix):

    1. front brake pads 5 mm, rear brake pads 8mm
    2. engine leaking oil from valve cover and cam seal ($580)
    3. oil cooler leaking oil into coolant ($617)
    4. hood strut broken ($130)
    5. transmission oil pan leaking ($290)
    6. lower engine cover missing ($360)
    7. right front under liner broken ($130)
    8. coolant flush coolant dirty ($160)
    9. coolant reservoir contaminated ($180)
    10. timing belt has cracks (1,250)
    11. battery not holding charge ($250)
    12. air bag system has faults and transmission has electrical faults


    Obviously, some of these issues are more urgent than others, and some, like the timing belt crack, are just general maintenance. However, I was still dismayed by this report, and choose not to purchase the vehicle. They were asking $5,995, which I thought was a good price, however, considering the amount of work that the car would have needed, I decided to move on and continue looking.

    My questions for the forum:
    1. Did I make the right decision? I feel that I did, however, I don't have experience with VW.
    2. Are some of these problems common? According to the technician, they aren't, other than the cracking of the timing belt, which is general maintenance (I was also expecting this anyways, since I didn't find any records on carfax of the timing belt ever being replaced)
    3. what are some of the common problem areas I should be aware of when looking for Passats? So far, it seems the timing belt/water pump is the major service, along with the CV boot, and turbo sludge. Is there any other common issues I should be aware of? Any recommendations and/or advice for a potential buyer?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post, and I look forward to your comments.

    Best,
    Brian
  • campermancamperman Posts: 53
    Brian. what you see as required repairs are not unusual. That timing belt is a must because should it break you are into thousands to possibly replace the engine. CV, tie rod ends, ball joints are common. I believe that car has 6 rods on each side and they are not cheap to replace. Gaskets? Expensive things to replace. Sensors - I get sick thinking about what I spent.
    You will also find that the finishing such as dash, door trim, shifter etc is thin plastic junk. I had problems with the seating material and finish there also.
    Absolutely, you made the best decision you could make. The best place for that car is on the dealers lot. Maybe I am prejudiced because the Passat I had was nothing but a major, major expense. There was always something broken and NOTHING was cheap. Advice: Golf appears to be OK. Passat-let someone else keep those problems.
    Mark
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