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Volkswagen Passat 2005 and earlier



  • victorvictor Posts: 1
    I bought a 2003 4Motion GLX wagon and am thinking of selling it and then leasing a 2004 GLS 1.8T 2wd with a manual transmission. While my wife and I really like the car, it's hard to drive it to work and especially around town with an Escort sitting in front of our house due to the relatively poor gas mileage. The diesel option really intrigues me, and should Volkswagen decide to bring a manual transmission/TDI pairing to the US, I could then terminate the lease and purchase that vehicle outright.

    In the winter time, I drive in snowy conditions fairly frequently, but only when I'm headed up to go skiing. My experience has shown that there are only a few days per year that require chains, so surely the inconvenience is outweighed by the lower vehicle cost and the relatively better gas mileage. On a side note, it raised my eyebrows to see that Volkswagen's website states that the tire/wheel combination on my GLX is now compatible with tire chains, whereas my owner's manual prohibits their usage. I've seen many posts in the Town Hall forums whose general tone on the subject suggests that FWD Passats do just fine in slippery conditions. Does anyone have an opinion on the ESP option?

    My only concern is that of selling the current vehicle. Kelly Blue tells me my car is worth $28.5K, but with all of the dealer incentives, it seems that I'd be hard pressed to get this kind of compensation, and certainly not from the dealer. Is there any reason to believe that the dealer will offer me a reasonable price? I have no problem selling to a private party, on the other hand.

    Thanks, I'd appreciate hearing about others' experiences.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    To put it directly: ESP should not even be debated, it should be thought of as Super ABS and as a must have feature!
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    This was my first winter with ESP, and man, it was great. I got through a harsh midwestern winter with front-wheel drive and no snow tires, and never lost control for a split second, even when other cars in front of me were slipping and sliding. I wouldn't be without it.
    That's just me. For actual research go to :
    See, for example, the University of Iowa study that's linked to in the left column.
    This is a feature that (unlike ABS) can greatly reduce your risk of losing control even when you have to maneuver fast. Given that VW makes it available for so little extra (unlike Toyota, which makes you pay thousands over the base price), I agree with Mark: don't even consider passing it up.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    As I said on other boards, people should not confuse ESC with traction control. ESC evolved from anti lock brakes, and is much more sophisticated. Sensors monitor everything from steering wheel position and tire speed to centrifugal forces your car undergoes while cornering. It will control your course with micro chip speed and put you back into full control.
    Toyota found that ESC reduced single vehicle crashes by 35% and head on crashes by 30%. Mercedes reported a 29% drop in single vehicle accidents, crashes of all types reduced 15%. In some cases it will sense an impending rollover and deploy the side curtain airbags before the vehicle can flip, or preempt the roll over by braking individual wheels to keep the car right-side-up.
    In brief, ESC is probably the most revolutionary safety development in the last 5 years, and congratulations to VW for being one of the first to offer it in a mainstream sedan at a reasonable price.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    . . .it is my assumption that ESC is a "generic" name for the feature Audi, Bosch, Chrysler, Mercedes and VW call ESP?

    Here is a URL on intelligent stability and handling systems -- also listed are the Brand Names different companies use for what is essentially the same technology:

    Some names for intelligent stability and handling systems that you may recognize are:

    · Active Handling
    · AdvanceTrac™
    · Dynamic Stability Control
    · Electronic Stability Program or ESP
    · StabiliTrac
    · Traxxar™
  • goto_dengogoto_dengo Posts: 1
    I'm falling in love with the Passat, but VW's rep for always being in the shop has got me spooked--I'm a little over an hour from the nearest dealer. Would I be crazy to buy under those circumstances?
  • meandeanmeandean Posts: 13
    I, too, am about 45 minutes to an hour from 2 VW dealerships -- I own 2 Passats (2000 GLS and 2004 GLX). While I'd prefer that the dealerships were closer, the distance to them has not been an issue or a problem.

    BTW, if you can buy from a dealership that also sells/services higher end vehicles, the service tends to be better (i.e. one of the two dealerships I purchased from sells Audi, Porshe, SAAB, BMW, and exotics; the other sells BMW and Volvo)
  • arjay1arjay1 Posts: 172
    My guess is that you will absolutely loose your shirt if trying to sell or trade a 2003 GLX. Your figure of $28,500 looks very high to me. According to Edmunds your car lists for about $23,500 trade or $25,000 to sell outright. The full dealer retail is only about $27,500. I can't imagine where taking a $5,000 to $8,000 loss would be financially prudent. Regardless of gas prices, I would drive the car for a while longer.
  • mbros2kmbros2k Posts: 71
    Don't be afraid to buy a new VW. They are great cars and drive like no others, especially for the price. The Passat has had good reliability for several years except for the coil problem which VW promptly addressed. Most new cars have a few small problems, which can usually be fixed when bringing the car in for maintenance. Too many people expect perfection or even miracles. Brakes don't last 60k miles, clutches don't usually last 100k miles, batteries die all the time. Hell, I have to return half the stuff I buy at home.

    Yes, we should expect reliable cars, but there is much more to it. VWs are fine cars that provide great enjoyment. Don't be fearful of what might happen or you'll end up buying a car that you're bored with in a few months.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Never had a clutch wear out (nor has anybody in my family - a dozen cars with clutches), and that includes some vehicles over 200k miles. Also just replaced my front brakes for the first time @ 165,000 miles. It depends on how you drive. My father has a 2000 Passat with 120,000 miles. Original brakes and clutch. Anticipating stopping, and shifting smoothly make a huge difference.
  • mbros2kmbros2k Posts: 71
    Sure Dudleyr...and if you always drive downhill you can get over 100 mpg. And tires wear for 100k if you drive on ice and never make a turn...
  • georgekgeorgek Posts: 50
    Passats have very long-lived front brakes if you drive with a little common sense. Dudleyr is right - everyday driving to and from work I encounter lights that are about to change to red, or even ones that have turned lellow, and I beging slowing down a hundred yards or so before where I will have to stop while on either side other drivers are still accelerating, hoping to gain a one or two car advantage, then standing on their brakes just before the light. My 2000 1.8 with tip still has the original front discs and pads that passed state inspection yesterday; the rear ones were replaced and just under 100K miles.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    Yes my rears did not last nearly as long as my fronts either. First set went at 95k, second set at about 155k (they were sears not oem).

    It also helps having a manual tranny. No creep to contend with, brakes can cool better when stopped (as they don't need to be applied), and more control with engine braking.

    You don't need to go downhill to get 100 mpg, just get a Lupo! : ^ )
  • superflytntsuperflytnt Posts: 10
    wondering what you all think about these specks. want to know if Auto/triptronic is problematic for these models.

    This 1.8 turbo Volkswagen Passat (4) door sedan is loaded and in excellent condition!

    ONLY 36k MILES!!

    Features: Automatic with Triptronic transmission, Air Conditioning, Cruise Control, Power Door Locks W/Keyless Entry, Power Steering, Power Brakes, PremiumAudio System, Bucket Seats, Power Windows, Alarm System, Lighted Entry System, Digital Clock, Power Door Locks, Remote Trunk Release, Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel, Center Console, Daytime Running Lights, Intermittent Wipers, Rear Window Defroster, Tachometer, Trip Computer.

    Price is $13500 OBO
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    You don't mention what year the Passat is?
  • superflytntsuperflytnt Posts: 10
    the passat is a 2001. i am hoping its the 2001.5, but it isnt listed that way.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    Avoid the Tiptronic -- this "advice" is apparently only for pre 2003 models. See "tip lag."
  • superflytntsuperflytnt Posts: 10
    dont know where to look for tip lag. how much lag are we talking here?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    One Mississippi, two mississippi, three mi. . . .whoosh take off.

    Range 1.5 to 4 seconds. My personal experience was MOSTLY in the low range of lag. The articles and petition I have read cite that it is "dangerous" -- I found it to be annoying as can be, but hardly dangerous.

    Usually I find tip lag embarrassing, cause you try to start out from a rolling stop perhaps as you enter an intersection on GREEN and the light turns yellow, so you press down on the accelerator to scoot through the intersection and the car P - A - U - S - E - S and you compensate by flooring the acclerator and just about that moment the transmission "makes up its mind" and the car lurches and lunges forward depending on the torque curve of your engine.

    Happening, for me, in first a $72,000 Audi A8 and $40,000 A6 2.8 and two over $50K A6 4.2's was enough to make me believe it was NOT my driving habits, but the sofware in the tip. Then I drove a Mercedes and it could be made to do the same thing.

    I gave up -- went back to stick shift -- the performance, fun, safety and economy all came back, and they charge less for the manual equipped versions, to boot!
  • jason1635jason1635 Posts: 8
    I had been think about getting a new engine management chip in my 1.8T 2004 passat. I have read it adds 40 hp, similar torque. Just wondering if this is a good idea. Any of you out there preformed a similar mod? If so what can I expect, cost, performance, gas mileage, etc. Any particular recommended brands, (GIAC,UPSOLUTE,etc) Are additional modification neccessary (air filter DV upgrades, etc)
    Thanks for your recommendations in advance. This is a great car, but would love to add a little performance upgrade. Thanks, jason
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    The procedure for me is to get some estimates - I've got two so far, and I'm suspicious of the lowball one. Me question is, basically, whether I should be suspicious. Here are some details:

    One estimate is from a respected local body shop. In making the estimate, the guy used an amazing software program with every detail of the Passat body shown. By contrast, the other estimate is from one of the paintless-dent-removal places that follow storms and will be in town for a few months. That guy just eyeballed my car, saw which panels had damage, and gave me a much lower estimate.

    One difference: the body shop charged a little ($30) extra to re-rustproof the underside of the spots where they remove dents--necessary, they say, and surely worth $30. The PDR guy said it isn't necessary.

    Another difference: I don't think the PDR guy realizes what's underneath the surface in a Passat. Consider the trunk: he'll have to remove that piece (whatever it's called) that's so nicely attached under the trunk. The roof is nice and thick, the hood has a heat shield. My guess is that the body shop figured in the labor necessary to take these off and replace them, while the PDR guy didn't.

    So my question: obviously, I'd rather go with the cheaper one; but obviously, I'd like my car to come out good as new. I'm afraid that removing the headliner etc. -- if done carelessly or quickly-- could lead to rattles or squeaks (the car is totally free of these so far) or other problems. Aside from the rustproofing question.

    Should I be worried about this? Or should I go with the cheaper guy - will he do just as good a job for less?

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    PDR is an art. Someone with experience and talent can do amazing work w/o breaking the paint. The PDR person that goes where the storms go would be my choice IF they are working with a local shop. Usually a few of the out of town guy's work with locals and the local guy will obtain a cut and will guarantee the work. In this manner you obtain experience and peace of mind.
    No matter who you choose, the person who does the actual PDR will be better if they only do PDR and have done it for some time. Do not let some one PDR who is on learning curve. See their work before and after before choosing if possible.
    Price is not an indicator of quality with PDR. Price may be lower simply due to less time needed by a pro.
    After hailstorm and then PDR 95% of the dents were completely gone. A couple of the dents were not possible to remove due to location.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Posts: 5,343
    There is but one con: the possibility that you "MAY" have a warranty issue -- or come across a "mod unfriendly" dealer.

    The issue is not that chipping per se voids the warranty, but that if anything that is covered by the warranty is found to have failed because of "something" aftermarket, well they may determine that the cost of the broken whatever is no longer covered by the warranty.

    I have chipped and I have not had an issue -- with the 1.8T engine (in an Audi product, but they are the same engine).

    Now, it is possible to have your 1.8T chipped by software alone, via the port that allows the VW computer to talk with the engine managment chip. At least two companies provide such computer port programming -- and they also allow you to have the program for free for a certain trial period of time and they can give you a procedure to make the program permanent should you like. I don't think there is any price break for simply changing the programming vs chaning the chip other than the labor and down time differences. Chipping will be between $500 and $700 and will be the single most impressive upgrade of power and torque, although I think your numbers are a bit off.

    Conservatively, the 1.8T engine will gain (trypically) from 15 to 30 HP with a stage 1 (the mildest) chip, but will often gain as much as 50% in torque (although this torque peak will come at a slightly higher engine RPM than the standard max torque number.)

    My 180HP 1.8T chipped to 195 HP but added significant torque 80 pound feet. The acceleration of the car was totally transformed. 0 - REDLINE rpms in 1st and 2nd gear happened so quickly that the rev limiter would kick in seemingly "instantaneously" when I would floor the car in these gears -- third gear too was quite strong.

    I also changed the air filter and switched to 100% syn oil -- others I have known go further and replace the exhaust system, the fuel injectors and/or the tubo's themselves. The first biggest jump, however, comes from the chip alone.

    The chip programming is the way I would go -- again there are at least two vendors that allow the software to be updated without touching the actual chip hardware at all.

    Zoom zoom indeed!
  • feilofeilo Posts: 128
    I echo everything that markcincinci so eloquently posted about chipping (as this is called). I have been running with a chip from Wetteraurer for over a year and ~30K miles, and its a real joy. No impact on fuel consumption (one of the few things in life that is literally something for nothing). It does help that you have a mod-friendly dealer; I'd say go for it. If you need any more details, please holler.
  • atltdiatltdi Posts: 3
    Just traded my 2001.5 1.8T wagon (5 speed) in for a 2004 TDI Wagon with Tiptronic.... I LUVVVVV it! I've had it for about two weeks...incredible fuel mileage!!!!...The increased torque makes it much stronger off the line than the 1.8T. It's not as quiet as the 1.8 at idle, but who cares. I averaged 40.1 MPG on the highway on my last trip and the Diesel fuel is 40 cents cheaper by the gallon and my neighbrhood gas station.

    Get yours quick!
  • jason1635jason1635 Posts: 8
    thanks for the advice guys. i will wait until my 5K service and then chip with a GIAC 91 octane chip at a local volks shop. Will let you know the results. Shops here in hawaii are charging $710-$750 for this service, seems a little high compared to the mainland, but not a lot of options. The price of paradise...
  • How come I can not find a Passat TDI wagon listed in or Did you buy it outside USA? I do see Jetta TDI wagon though. Does TDI wagon come with AWD too, I mean, 4 motion? Thank you.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
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