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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • tsf7tsf7 Posts: 31
    Just wanted to report a happy 100k Passat owner here. I've had it since 31k miles, purchased just about two years ago. The only repair I've made is a new CV axle at 91k miles; otherwise, it hasn't had a single mechanical problem!

    I have taken good care of it, religiously maintained it with the good stuff (Mobil 1, the huge Mann oil filters, ect), and it has responded well. I changed the oil on Saturday, and it still doesnt use a drop! Moreover, the oil was remarkably clean and clear -- a sign that the engine is still in great shape. If anything, my gas mileage has improved -- I now average over 32 mpg (80/20 highway/city driving), and love every minute of it with the five-speed!

    I am also very impressed with how well the interior has held up. I have black leather, and it seriously looks only a couple years old -- I drove to lunch with a friend the other day, and he could not believe I was about to turn 100k. No wear marks, fading, or anything going on with the seats, dash, ect. Doors still shut with that nice, heavy thud, and there are no squeaks, rattles, shimmys, or any other annoyances whatsoever.

    I may be lucky, but I just wanted to remind everyone that these cars can last as long as "more reliable" brands, while being a lot more fun to drive. I drove my father-in-law's Camry for a few days last month (similar year and mileage), and it felt nowhere near as solid as the Passat at the same age -- it had a persistent squeak, the 4-cylinder engine sounded raspy (not to mention underpowered) going up a long hill (I climb 4000 feet over an 8000 ft pass going to and from work every day), and it had a noticeable shimmy above 70 mph. I'm glad I didn't give into his attempts to get me into a Toyota! The Passat has also been stellar compared to the '01 Acura TL it replaced (2 transmissions, electrical problems in 57k miles), despite the fact that we thought we were scaling down and buying something "cheaper" when we bought the Passat. :P I hope it lasts another 100k miles -- I have no reason to even think about getting rid of it now!
  • passat6passat6 Posts: 3
    I am currently having the same problem. Months ago they were supposedly ordering a part b/c they (VW Dealer Mechanic) said that the light itself was malfunctioning. I am beginning to regret purchasing this car!
  • passat6passat6 Posts: 3
    Where can I learn how to change the oil and spark plugs? I just got a message on my 2006 Passat that the left headlight is out. How can I learn to change it myself with reliable parts?
  • flyswbflyswb Posts: 1
    You should call a dealership on this. The catalytic converters are covered up to 80k miles. Mine is giving me problems now and wouldn't you know I have 87k miles on the car!
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    My '03 Passat 1.8T is rolling merrily along at 81,000K - but I've never changed the timing belt/ water pump. The question: I have a long trip coming up between now and the 85K service. Do I dare wait until 85K to do the timing belt, or am I pushing my luck?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You're at double the miles I have on my car. So I'm guessing a lot of your miles are highway driven. You might be fine. I don't know what I would do in your case. Have you had any of the inspections done on it? How long will your trip be, and where will you be going?

    In my case, with a lot of urban miles, I'm getting it done at 60K.
  • feilofeilo Posts: 128
    I have a '03 1.8T and I did my TB at 90K with mostly highway miles. Suggest you don't go beyond 100K ...
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    altair, that's right - almost all highway. That's why the brakes rotors are still good. (Only had to replace rear pads so far, and that was at 80K. And an 02 sensor.) So I was planning on doign the timing belt at 85K. I could ask somebody to inspect it, though - good idea. But it sounds conceivable that it will be fine until 85.

    The trip will be about 1,000 miles roundtrip - taking I 80 to southern Michigan (to see my brother, not much to do as a tourist!) So i'd get back home at about, oh, 82-83k miles.
  • jpmnovajpmnova Posts: 15
    I have an '01 Passat 1.8T and I recently did my timing belt at 92K (mostly all highway driving). From what I understand, it's difficult to know when these things might go out. I also know someone with a 2000 1.8T who didn't do his until 150,000!! It's a tough call, and an expensive job.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    I'll put it to you this way - I own a 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T and a 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T. The factory waterpump on the 1.8T has a plastic impeller. I had the timing belt/water pump replaced on the Jetta at 73,000 miles, and on the Passat at 68,000 miles. When the mechanic removed the waterpump on both cars, the plastic impeller was on the verge of disintegrating.

    Both waterpumps were replaced by the improved aftermarket model with a metal impeller (which is how the waterpump should have been designed right from the get go)...

    I would HIGHLY recommend having those items changed ASAP - Consequences from a failed waterpump range from engine overheating (best case scenario) to timing belt failure from a seized (or jammed) waterpump (worst case scenario to the tune of at least a $5,000 engine replacement) - especially since the waterpump is driven by the timing belt...

  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    I also know someone with a 2000 1.8T who didn't do his until 150,000!! It's a tough call, and an expensive job.

    The 1.8T Passats up to early 2001 have an aluminum waterpump driven by an accessory belt - so a 92K timing belt change is a reasonable interval - as the timing belts for these models are of fairly robust construction.

    The 2001.5 through 2005 Passat 1.8T engines have an internal waterpump with a plastic impeller that is driven directly from the timing belt. Earlier waterpump changes are critical on these engines as the plastic impeller has a tendency to disintegrate after 65,000 miles - causing all kinds of havoc up to timing belt failure, bent valves, and a new engine...
  • I just changed my timing belt and other parts in the area. Everything seems to be on all right. I will turn the key and it will crank but will not start. Is my timing so far off that it will not start? Or another problem?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Is my timing so far off that it will not start?"

    Pretty good bet. Did you line up the timing marks?

    Best Regards,
  • So I'm guessing i need to line up to top dead center again?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    To be quite honest, I don't actually know as I've not done one of those motors before and I don't have a shop manual for it. Over the years I've seen several different methods of aligning timing marks and so guessing as to which method is used would be pointless. Do you have a manual? If not, call your local dealership and ask the folks in their service department, they should be willing to tell you how to set the engine up prior to putting the belt on, and if they don't, call another one.

    Hope this helps. ;-)

    Best Regards,
  • tommy8stommy8s Posts: 8
    We have a 2002 Passat with water in the rear footwells. Dealer repaired it at no charge a few years ago. Now transmission is "malfunctioning" no pick up, a "THUNK" noise occasionally. And the service engine/check engine light is on. Car has 24,400 miles, out of warranty and dealer has no clue. By change are some of the electrical components located there?
  • tommy8stommy8s Posts: 8
    24,400 miles, out of warranty. no pick up and a "THUNK" and shudder occasionally. Dealer does not know. VW no help. Any suggestions?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    The transmission control module is located under one of the front seats, in a well in the floor.
  • I too have a 2001.5 glx passat that has a myriad of problems ranging from sensors going bad with 20k, to a full short that fried my leather seats to a blister at 80k, radio (factory died within 10k), and amp.

    Most recently I noticed a vibration and brought it to a vw certified mechanic. It was the second VW he had seen within a month (the other was a 98) that was having the FUEL LINE vibrate to the point of a loud rattle. On the other car he replaced the charcoal filter, fuel pump, and something lasted all of 2 days before it started. With mine, the dealer suggested the charcoal filter, which he did ($200) and it lasted 1 hours. Don't think its a Passat issue as much as a filter/ethanol issue. Would love to find an answer. The dealer is clueless. No engine light, and the car runs fine otherwise.
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