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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    No service required unless you have a leak!

    There are some things that you should buy at a dealer and some where it doesn't pay (unless convenience is worth it or where there's some knowledge of the part involved, so that you get the right one).


  • This is good news for me since the car is running very well and I took it few days ago to a garage ans it looks in great shape . Many thanks to Mr Shiftright. This is a great site
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    Hi Ed,

    If you can find a small shop that specializes in VW, you will be better off than with the dealers. I have worked with 4 dealers for recalls, etc., and that is because the first 3 closed up and left me finding a new dealer to perform warranty work. For regular maint, I go to a shop full of VW lovers (and mostly mechanics who gave up on the dealers!). The guy who runs the shop (Brian) told me "never" let anyone touch the tranny. It is a lifetime part that will work as long as my TDi engine will run (and both of those will outlast the body and frame being attacked each winter with road salt!).

    The VWs are picky and expensive to maintain, but that is the price for superior engineering and ride.
  • Thank you so much mrjette, as a matter of fact my mechanic is very experienced and he owns two VW he said to me exactly what you said and I'm so glad because my Passat is fantastic and very dependable even I pay more for gas 91 oct. Thanks again this is a great site . Have a great day
  • Same problem happened to me today with our 2006 Passat...fuel door won't open and neither will truck using the release buttons in the driver side door...can't find fuse info in owner's manual...any ideas?
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    Have you checked fuses? Basic, but if the fuse is blown the release won't work. And the fuse may be the only connection between those two functions.
  • While driving my '99 Passat on the freeway (70 mph) the acceleration cut out for a few seconds - almost like when cruise control stops accelerating (but cruise control was off) - even though I was still pushing the gas pedal. This happened 6 times for a few seconds each time, and then didn't happen again for the last 15 minutes of the trip.
    Any ideas what could cause this? Is it safe to keep driving long distance to see if it happens again?
  • I just finished paying $3800 to replace the engine in my 2002 Passat. Perhaps not a wise gamble but the price of used cars in this class drove me to risk it. The used engine is working fine so far with a brand new timing belt, tensioner, etc.

    I was very disappointed that the timing belt failed on the original engine at 83K miles. The recommended maintenance interval on the belt is 105K miles. I was considering replacing it early when it failed killing the engine. :mad:

    My questions:

    Do I have any recourse with VW since the timing belt failed so early?
    Should (or is) there a time limit on the timing belt replacement?

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    yes there is also a time limit on the belt. It varies by manufacturer, but usually 4 to 6 years.


  • I had a 2003 Passat. The timing belt broke and, like yours, destroyed the engine. VW dealer gave me the option of two different engines they had. Prices were $3500 - 5500. I didn't opt for either because they were only going to guarantee the work for 3-6 months. I didn't want to risk that -- sold it to a junk dealer. No more VWs for me -- service is just too expensive. It was my fault -- my manual said the timing belt was to be replaced at 60K miles. I had over 70K miles. Service dept. "recommended" the replacement. It was never a "you better, or else." Still my fault.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 44,416
    ah, too bad...but sometimes bailing out is the wisest course.


  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    my 03 1.8T Passat shows any time limit on the timing belt. 105K period.
    Replaced at 95K. Car has 153K and still running.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello All: If one reviews the long history of forum posts on VW timing belts (many of them quite tragic), it becomes apparent that the 105,000 spec for the belt change represents a major gamble. Similar to the potentially catastrophic issue of not using 502.00 VW-approved synthetic oil in the 1.8T, there are thousands of VW (and Audi) owners driving around with engines ready to blow due to not changing the TB well in advance of the VW spec, or using conventional or non-approved synth oil. Knowing that "blown belt = blown engine", most knowledgeable owners are doing the belt change anywhere from 10-15,000 BEFORE the recommended mileage. It's a wise investment. Happy holidays to all! vwdawg
  • VWDawg. I agree with your post regarding early change of timing belts. What I cannot understand is why anyone would own a car such as the Passat knowing full well that it's only a matter of time before disaster strikes. I had one for several years and worried every day I would be stranded and faced with that problem or many others as it turned out. I got rid of the thing as soon as I could once my problems started. Of all the cars I have owned starting with a Studebaker way back when, the Passat was absolutely the most troubling and worrysome car I ever owned. It spent more time in the garage than on the road and cost more to maintain than other cars. I'll never own another. VW has been building these garbage cans for the past 12 years and people still do not learn.
  • vwgrrrlvwgrrrl Posts: 19
    edited December 2011
    I've had my '04 Passat GLS 1.8T for about 62,000 miles now. Yes, the recommended maintenance for the timing belt is 105,000 miles but if you're under in mileage, as I am, the dealer goes by Age instead of mileage and is recommending it be changed now at 7 years old. I read somewhere that it isn't usually the timing belt that goes but rather the parts that make it work like the tensioner and/or roller. But if you're replacing those parts, you replace the timing belt too, of course. They also recommend that you change the water pump and thermostat since these parts are near the timing belt and hard to get to. I'm still driving around with my original timing belt but I've yet to change it because the dealer is a rip off and even the local garage wants an arm and a leg. The dealer hasn't physically looked at the timing belt or the surrounding parts and is merely going by Age. I'm just wondering if I can hang in there for another 10,000-20,000 miles before having to replace the TB or better yet, getting into a new car which is ultimately what I want to do. Any thoughts?
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 843
    I think you are driving on borrowed time.
    When you do TB ask to be shown how it looks like in the middle of the process. You will understand why it costs so much.
    The whole front of the car is removed to get access. It is not so nice feature of North-South (aka longitiudal) engine placement and VW implementation.

  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    Granted, modern auto engines are more complicated than
    the old flathead I6's and V8's. However, do some research on the maintenance schedules for the Passat's competitors. For example, the maintenance schedule for the Sonata recommends TB inspection at 60K and every 15K thereafter. Does that mean that Sonata owners are driving on borrowed time before disaster strikes after 60K? No, it means that modern engines need to be periodically inspected and maintained to prevent disaster. Remember way back when we had to change the oil every 3K and get lube jobs on the old cars to prevent problems?
  • I am aware of the oil change frequencies and most cars for years have required the 3,000 change. If the only problem I had was oil changes I would have been happy. But my Passat always had multiple problems, expensive problems and as I said before, it was the worst vehicle I had ever owned. The electrical was always failing, the plastics were junk, seals and gaskets were terrible, brakes were garbage, sensors were always going and not cheap and seat covers were falling apart. Before I sold it I had everything fixed and I parked it so that no one could drive it until a buyer came along. I sold it and the new owner dealt with the same mechanic who serviced my other vehicles. I went to see him 2 weeks later and he had the Passat in several days before with 11 new items showing up on monitor, none of which had shown before. My best advice for anyone is to leave the VW's in the showroom.
  • I recently purchased the 2006 Passat and had the same problem for the first 2 months. I switched to high octane gas and have not had any more issues.
  • path4path4 Posts: 24
    alternator, the thing that gives engine electricity to light up sparks. Many years ago I had the same problem with my 93 honda accord. The problem wouldn't show when I took it to mechanics. Finally an experienced mechanic heard a noise without driving it and immediately identified the problem.
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