Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • I drive 100 highway miles per day and the shaking might happen just once during the trip. I had one occasion when I had two but this is rare. I drive in a slightly hilly area, but nothing very steep. I cannot for certain tell you if this happens going uphill or in a flat area. I do drive an automatic. I the past two days I haven't noticed any shaking. Thanks
  • Should I be doing this at the dealer (too expensive) vs any other mechanic?
  • I had mine done at a local car shop that specializes in foreign cars. Much cheaper than the dealer. Had all of the front suspension replaced right before that. Spent around $3000 for the suspension and the timing belt. 13 days later, someone rear ended me and totaled the car. Insurance company gave me nothing for the $3000 I had spent on all the repairs less than 2 weeks before. :mad: :cry:
  • bjssbjss Posts: 51
    Hi all - have a Burning Oil smell coming through vents, particularly strong when stopped and idling. Just had Valve cover gasket replaced (as apparently it was leaking). Now it must be something else leaking oil (none on floor, but must be hitting manifold). Plan to take back to dealer, however, any other thoughts on what it might be? Assuming dealer will say it's not the Valve cover gasket. 02, Passat wagon, 1.8T, 75K.
  • edu6edu6 Posts: 1
    The water comes from the engine compartment,take the cover panel close to the windshield,under the hood.Below the wiper motor there is a drain hole,has to be clean so water will not accumulate and filter inside the car.The space that you have to work is very small,but not impossible to reach,after the first time you will see how easy you can fix that problem.I understand it happens to many VW ,specially the ones are parked under trees.I hope this info can help you ,Ed
  • I've been told my enough people now that starters are easy to replace that I'm going to try it. I have a 2003 Passat 1.8T, I'm pretty sure I've located it, but haven't found any information online to verify it.

    Does anyone have a quick second to help me identify the starter and advise me on how to remove it? I'm pretty strapped right now, otherwise I'd go buy a Chilton's book.

  • I have a 2003 VW Passat with 66k miles on it. The last few days I noticed that the oil temperature gauge fluctuates a bit between 170 and 190. Earlier it always used to stay constant at 190 after the engine has been running for some time. Last few days I see that it goes to 190 and then keeps changes between 170 and 190.

    Is this something of concern and needs to be fixed immediately.Any helpful comments will be greatly appreciated.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    First, that's not the oil temperature gauge - it's the coolant temperature.

    Now, let's get a little more information to help you. What is the car doing when the gauge drops? Are you coasting down a hill? Are you at highway speeds and see it gradually drop?

    As I see it, you have two possibilities - 1) the temperature sensor for the gauge is bad (it happens on Passats). 2) the thermostat is bad.

    I have an '03. I started to notice that the temperature of the air from the heater was not the "melt your sneaker" hot anymore. Further, I noticed that this was occurring at highway speeds, but even worse if I coasted down a hill at highway speeds. Turned out my thermostat was sticking open ever so slightly.

    GIve more details of when and how this is occurring and I'll bet we can narrow it down for you.
  • Hi,

    Thanks . You're right. It is the coolant temperature gauge that fluctuates.Once the engine warms up it reaches 190 then goes down a bit to 170 and then stays between 170,180 - 190. It happens on both highway or local roads. We are in the Twin Cities and do not have much hilly roads up here. Earlier it always used to stay at 190 constant after running for a few minutes.

    I have not seen much of a difference in the temp. of the heated air but will pay more attention now that you mentioned. Does this require immediate attention.

    Thanks in advance for your help. Appreciate it.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    Mine does the same thing.
    It stays 190 but when coasting down hill it drops one notch. When I start using power again it climbs back.
    I got MIL (check engine light) and per Auto Zone it is cooling system efficiency problem.

    Do you think broken thermostat could do this?

  • I am not sure what the problem is. Could be the thermostat. I talked to the service guys at the local VW dealer who said it will not need immediate attention. What are you doing about this? Pls. let me know,


  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    bjss: I had same issue on my Jetta 2.0, but the problem turned out to be a leaky oil sender unit. Not sure it that would be the same with the 1.8, but take a look. I think the dealer may have done the wrong repair...a 1.8 with 75k should be not leaking through the valve cover, but I suppose it's possible. Good luck...vwdawg
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    This seems to be an old forum item, but I see Ed responded recently. My understanding re: water leaking into the floor area is that it's usually a plugged drain for the sunroof. Water will soak the into the floor carpeting and ruin the computer module which is mounted under the carpet. Ed, is this the same drain you are talking about? I'm not sure how the ABS was ruined, but I quess anything's possible with a VW. vw dawg
  • bjssbjss Posts: 51
    Thanks vwdawg - ended up taking it to an Independent VW shop for some additional work (rear brakes/rotors) and asked him to look at the Valve Cover Gasket. He showed me and it was clear the work was not done (cover was dirty with oil and fairly obvious it had not been removed). Work was done last Dec and I have only driven it 700 miles since then. If it was done, it clearly would be in much 'cleaner' shape.
    Took back to Dealer today to have them check the burning oil smell and possible leak...will not spring the independent shop on them until after I hear the verdict.
    BTW - while the car was on the lift (at independent shop), I noticed some Hydralic fluid leaking from the motor mounts - not excessive, but something to be handled within the next year. :mad:
  • bjssbjss Posts: 51
    Update - Dealer called, said it was a faulty Valve Cover Gasket...replacing with new today...avoided a potentially nasty situation :)
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469

    All I can tell you is that was the behavior of my car and the thermostat was found to be sticking open ever so slightly. Once it was replaced, I the Temp gauge behaved as it always did and the heat output of the HVAC returned to thermonuclear levels.

    Initially, I noticed the car's interior wasn't getting as warm as it used to on the same settings, same external ambient temperature range. Then I started noticing the gauge would slip a notch or so on long coasts downhill (we got lots of hills here in SW PA).

    The day I took it into get repaired, the ambient temp was -1 degree F. It was the first really cold day of the winter last year. I was very glad I had heated seats that day. The cabin just wouldn't warm up very much.

    Driving home from the dealer, the temp was 10 degrees F. I took my parka off after a couple of miles of driving.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    Thermostat is cheap enough fix (I think) that I will ask mechanic to do this.

    My temperature gauge used to dance before the sender unit was replaced during the recall. However it was different dance. It was going from 190 all the way to the left (cold) and then back to 190.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I looked at my spreadsheet of maintenance and repair reocrds - looks like the thermostat R&R cost $180 (thermostat, gasket & coolant) back in December of 2008 for my 2003 1.8T. The car had 58,011 miles on it at the time of repair. Good luck with yours.
  • Hey guys,

    I am a recent college grad with a 2003 1.8T AUTO Passat that I've had since high school. Frankly, I am in love with everything about the car...except reliability (of course). I have read most of these Edmunds pages to know there are many troubled Passats and came to the conclusion that I would just explain my car's situation and see what everyone's thoughts were.

    Had absolutely no problems until at 60,000 miles, dealer fixed an oil leak and replaced the cam tensioner seals and valve cover gaskets.

    Now at 72,000 miles. Recently went to the dealer for ignition coil recall. During the complimentary inspection they told me the FR/RT CV boot needed to be replaced as well as the serpentine belt. My car started to make a squealing noise in the dash when the heat is on and I figure that is why?

    I figure if I pay to have the serpentine belt replaced I might as well doing the timing belt/water pump kit as well. (Thanks edmunds forums!)

    KBB value of my car is $3700. CV boot + new tires + Timing belt + Water pump is maybe $1500 in Chicago.

    Should I do all these repairs and cross my fingers the car holds up or dump it while I'm ahead?

    The car handles like a dream and at I have yet to drive a car that rode as well or that I comfortably fit in (6'4" with no sunroof).

    If you think I should replace it, can anyone recommend a replacement car they've found is similar to the Passat?

    I'm tired of being worried to take my car long distances and face a large financial decision so any advice would be a huge benefit. Thanks.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,408
    You have no choice. You are already pushing your luck to the max with the timing belt on this engine. Personally I wouldn't drive it another 100 miles until this were done.


Sign In or Register to comment.