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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • quizzomanquizzoman Posts: 1
    Hey - My experience might be similiar to the fast paced rattle you are hearing. At about 100K on my 2000 1.8t Passat I started noticing a low-engine rattle that would come and go. It sounded like a tinging noise almost like the engine was loosing oil, but the oil was fine. I really started bothering me in places like drive through food places where I could hear the engine loud and clear while idling. When I would hear the noise I could push the throttle to about 2.5k and the noise would stop. Eventually, it got so bad that the low oil pressure light started coming one, which gave me a clue to what was up.

    Come to find out that the common sludge problem with the Passat was affecting my car. I ended up pulling the oil pan to find that sludge had completely filled the oil pickup screen for the oil pump. Which explaines why oil wasn't getting to the engine correctly. After replacing the oil pump the car is running better than ever.

    However, this process did involve a lot of work. For the oil pan to be removed the engine needs to be hoited on the half frame about 6 to 12 inched, but not totally removed. This is very dooable with the tools and a hoist. I might still have instructions on how to do it.

    If you have any questions or want the instructions or pics I took e-mail me at

    Good luck...
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Come to find out that the common sludge problem with the Passat was affecting my car. I ended up pulling the oil pan to find that sludge had completely filled the oil pickup screen for the oil pump. Which explaines why oil wasn't getting to the engine correctly. After replacing the oil pump the car is running better than ever.

    Has oil consumption increased at all? Sometimes valve guides can fail without lubrication, as can the the bearing surfaces and piston rings can wear. It pays to be very aware of what is going on with your vehicle, it sounds like you might have caught it when it was just an oil pump vs a new motor.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You know what would be great is if you would put together a CarSpace guide. You can include your pictures there and it will be available to anyone anytime.

    And welcome! :)
  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    I posted the original "A Few Bumps in the Road" post and here's a follow up:

    I got the car back from the mechanic this evening and he also had to replace the timing belt again because the timing tensioner hydraulic :confuse: leaked all the hydraulic fluid out which caused my timing belt to become loose. Thankfully we caught it before it jumped. Back to the cam shaft tensioner and the rattle: I asked him about the sludge and he assured me that my car is sludge free and that's due to my religious Mobil 1 oil changes that I give it as well as the 2-3 minute idle rule after "spirited" driving. I'm still mystified that all this is going on at only 113k miles, but all I can figure is that this is the consequence of my former mechanic not replacing the timing tensioner pulley when he replaced the timing belt and water pump. Thankfully my new mechanic is certified by VW (he is a tech at a dealer :blush: ) so he knows my VW better than my former mechanic. I should be good to go now. The whole job cost just under $1k. Add that to the cooling system failure I experienced in February, that's already $1,500 this year alone in repairs. Hopefully it will be the last of them. :sick:
  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    Another thing I noticed when merging on the highway this morning was that the turbo charger isn't boosting like it should. I can clearly hear the whine when it actuates but I don't feel the thrust I used to feel when accelerating. I spoke to my mechanic about this issue today and he is going to look at it. I suggested maybe a loose/busted vacuum hose because the engine seems to be producing a little "white noise" similar to the sound of a vacuum hose gasping for air.

    My question is this: At what mileage is typical to warrant a turbo charger rebuild? I've heard the K3/K4 is capable of being rebuilt but I am unsure of the mileage. Also, if estimated cost could be included, I'd appreciate that information as well.
  • waid10waid10 Posts: 21
    I have a 2001 Passat. I went to a local Autozone to get new wiper blades. I bought some mid level Rain-X blades. The guy at Autozone tried for 30 minutes to fit the new wiper blades onto my car but could not find a connector that would make them fit. He said that their (Autozone's) selection of blades fit about 98% of cars, but they have had trouble with Volkswagen in the past. He said that I will have to take the car to a VW dealer to get new blades. The closest VW dealer is over an hour away. Plus, I just can't believe that I can't get new blades at an auto parts store. Anyone else have experience with this issue?

  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    I've never had problems putting blades on my car (01.5 Passat). Maybe you should consider taking it to another auto parts store. I've always been able to snap the old ones off and put the new ones on in less than a minute in the Wal Mart parking lot. I usually buy the Michelin brand wipers. They seem to perform very satisfactorily, and they are very reasonably priced. Can you maybe post some pictures of what your wiper arms look like? :confuse:
  • pinhigh1pinhigh1 Posts: 3
    Help! The timing belt just snapped on my 2001 Passat 1.8T while driving on interstate 70mph / 2500-3000 rpm. Has 109k miles. VW dealer est is $2K if no damage to head; $4500 worst case. Edmund's estimates my trade value at $5K in a private sale before this issue. Have no idea of $$ value for scrap. Can should this car be repaired? Any / all input welcomed!
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Had it been changed previously? If it had been changed at the interval and still failed, I would expect some support from the manufacturer, especially if the service had been done at a dealer.
    You might also want to cross shop the price of a new/rebuilt motor/head from an independent VW place.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    then you have changed the belt 4k miles ago, haven't you?

    If you have aero wipers then you need to buy set

  • pinhigh1pinhigh1 Posts: 3
    Thanks for suggestion.

    No hadn't yet been changed. A few K miles over the recommended change date...figures.

    Dealer indicates $2000 to $4500 to fix depending on level of damage, which they can't tell till they remove the head. But likely towards upper end. Used engines going for $$$ these days as well. And if I trade I've likely lost $4 to 5K in trade value. Ugly.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    That's why so many people recommend actually changing out the TB early on the Passat. The damage is devastating if it goes out on you. I think in order to better evaluate your situation, you need to reveal whether you can afford to take on a car payment for new/new-to-you wheels. Also, what is the condition of the rest of the car?
  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    I would suggest finding an independant mechanic who works on VW's to repair your car. The dealer is going to screw you bad with labor and not even give a reacharound. It's still going to be expensive though. If the car is in good condition other than the engine, it might be worth reparing. Ask around--surely someone know someone who can work on your car. At 109k, you don't have to worry about warranties, etc. If you live in Houston area, I can recommend a VW-certified mechanic.
  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    I am interested in changing my OEM antenna on my 01.5 Passat to a shark fin antenna. I wanted to know if anyone could tell me where I can find a multifunctional shark fin antenna that will catch AM/FM + Satellite. I heard the BMW 7-series uses a multifunctional antenna, and possibly the Touareg as well as some Audis. If anyone can help me with this, I'd appreciate it. I know it would probably be a lot of trouble to set it up, but I still want to know if it can be done, and how.

    One more thing--if there isn't a multifunctional shark fin available that I'm looking for, will the 06 Passat antenna fit on mine?
  • iowavwiowavw Posts: 2
    Please let us know if you have fixed this problem. We own a 1996 Passat GlX Wagon and have the exact same problem. We have already spent 200 on what the mechanic thought was the problem with the starter and haven't gotten anywhere. Our new mechanic thinks it may have to do with the security electrics. What do you know?
  • djkcpadjkcpa Posts: 4
    I noticed today the antenna mast on my Passat is broken. It's hanging at about a 90 degree angle. I just got it back from an oil change yesterday so I'm thinking it could have happened there.

    Anyway, has anyone changed one of these? If so, would you let me know what's involved in replacing it? Does the mast just attach to the base? It doesn't look like it should be too hard to do, but with VW's you never know. It looks like you can get the part for around $15 online. I'm sure the VW dealer would charge at least $100 for the part and installation so any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance. :)
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    Just unscrew the broken one and screw in the new one. If you search the Internet, you will find a great variety of alternate styles.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    For 1998-2005 Passat 1.8T owners:

    I just had the timing belt service done on my wife's 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T at 66,000 miles. I decided to have this done early based on the fact that when I had the timing belt service done on my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta at 73,000 miles, the plastic impeller on the waterpump was on the verge of disintegrating when it was removed. The same thing happened when they removed the waterpump from my wife's Passat.

    In preparation for the timing belt service (which was done at a private VW mechanic), I ordered the complete timing belt change kit from - which includes the timing belt, two sepentine belts, aftermarket water pump (with the metal impeller), tensioners, and thermostat.

    My mechanic recommended timing belt changes every 65,000 miles with the plastic waterpump (due to its tendency to disintegrate and possibly jam the pump - which may result in timing belt damage). With the metal waterpump, they recommend changing the belt at 90,000 miles.

    This next section is for 1998-early 2003 1.8T Passat owners (prior to VW's 2004 Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) concerning sludge)

    If conventional oil has been used in your engine for any length of time and your timing belt hasn't failed as of yet - I would highly recommend taking the car to your mechanic and have him check two items:

    1) Remove the engine's oil pan, and check the screen inside the oil pump pickup for any signs of sludge.

    2) Check the camshaft chain guide in the cylinder head for excessive wear. The chain guide is usually made of high-temp plastic and will usually last as long as it is properly lubricated.

    My mechanic has rebuilt many engines with damage caused by the oil pump pickup screen being clogged with sludge - thus starving the oil pump and the rest of the engine - and leading to a chain-reaction of events leading to excessive wear of the plastic camshaft chain guide in the cylinder head, which results in the camshaft seizing, and ultimately causing the timing belt to break.

    By the time the timing belt breaks, nine times out of ten the damage has already been done prior to the timing belt breaking.

    After the oil pickup screen and the cylinder head camshaft chain guide have been checked and/or cleaned/replaced, I would make sure that VW 502.00 spec synthetic oil is used and changed every 3500 (city driving) or 5000 miles. DO NOT DRIVE THE CAR beyond the 5000 mile interval between oil changes - NO EXCEPTIONS.

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Nice post. ;-)

    There is one sentence that I might be inclined to change. Instead of saying, "...I would make sure that VW 502.00 spec synthetic oil is used and changed every 3500 (city driving) or 5000 miles."

    I would instead say, "...I would make sure that you use an oil that is certified to meet the VW 502.00 synthetic oil spec (or better -- i.e. 503.01) and changed every 3500 (city driving) or 5000 miles."

    Best Regards,
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    I would instead say, "...I would make sure that you use an oil that is certified to meet the VW 502.00 synthetic oil spec (or better -- i.e. 503.01) and changed every 3500 (city driving) or 5000 miles."

    Thanks for the assist, Shipo - I knew there was an update to the 502.00 spec, the actual number escaped me at the time I posted... :shades:
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