Are you currently struggling to find an affordable car that you want? A reporter would like to talk to you about your experience with car shopping; please reach out to [email protected] for more information.

Volkswagen Passat Fuse and Electrical Problems



  • lolosgirllolosgirl Member Posts: 1
    The other day when the front passenger door was closed, a light under the door panel dropped out hanging on the wires, so I just tucked it back in thinking nothing about it. Then I try to start the car and it wouldnt, red little light on the door lock for the alarm was blinking really fast. Being that I dont have a key control, I went to the trunk and tried to "disactivate" the alarm. That didnt work. I locked and unlocked from the passenger, from the driver, with the key and sometimes manually from inside then close the door. The flicking light stopped and then I was able to turn the car on, but when I did then the little red light started blinking again. But this time the car was on and running and I ignored the red light blinking. Then I started hearing a very light clicking/beeping near the fuse area on the drivers side and the door lock and window symbols on the door panels were flickering like it has trouble staying on. Now my interior lights are not working. Could it be a fuse? I have read on here that some people have similar problems and it might be a CCM? I dont know much about cars, but I also dont want to take it to a dealer that would charge too much.$99 just to diagnose! I hope my scenerio makes sense, I just wrote it like I saw it happen. Thanks
  • elsitaelsita Member Posts: 2
    JC. I have a V6 GLX 2003. Just so you know, I had to jumpstart my Passat a week ago. The remote lost all its memory except for the driver's door. Cost me $154 to reset it at the dealership. I did follow the manual to reset it but didn't work. The battery went shut because I had not driven it in about a week. Be aware of 2 such things that could affect your remote. The headquartes washed their hands claiming my warranty had expired a year ago. Service said it should not have happened...
  • bronsonbbronsonb Member Posts: 170
    Well, as an 03, unless you had a REALLY long extended warranty, it has long since expired, so I have to side with the manufacturer, even if it is an odd occurrence. I've never had that happen to me, and I've had to jump start my Passat a number of times. And I can't say I've heard of it happening to anyone else. Were both remotes zapped by this? I know some cars, like my Ford, allow you to program a new remote fairly easily, and I can even program a new key provided I already have two that are coded properly.

    There is a program available called VAG COM that allows anyone with a laptop and a special cable to hook into the car's computer port and monitor and program a good many features. I bet remote control programming is one of them. Although it's all water under the bridge for you now, if it happens again, try doing a search for "VAG COM locator" on Google, and see if you can find someone in your area who has that software. I located someone close to my house who was able to reset my throttle body and save me several hundred dollars in dealer charges.

    Hope this doesn't happen to you again.
  • tonyclark0523tonyclark0523 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Passat TDI with 155,000 miles. About a month ago, I noticed a few electrical problems: the interior lights blink on and off when driving, the cruise control no longer works, the power windows and sunroof don't always open/close, and the tachometer sometimes "bounces" i.e. when cruising it goes up/down sporatically.

    What do I do? Any suggestions?
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    The first thing I would check is whether water has intruded into the passenger cabin and gotten the comfort control module wet. It's located under the carpet in one of the front footwells (I don't recall which one). There was a recall on that issue.
  • nighthawk7nighthawk7 Member Posts: 1
    My wife had a similar problem. Turns out there is a problem acknowledged by VW.
    Her car is a 2003 Passat Wagon V6 4Motion. If not for the recall we would have had to replace 8 modules and the carpet out of our pocket. Our son has asthma and it is critical for no mold in the car. I don't know if I can post it here or not. I copied it into a PDF file to give to Edmunds but they can't receive attachments and told me to post it here. I have not been able to find this recall anywhere on the net. It was sent to us by VW as we are the original owners.
    VW Recall for Heat shield and water Damage.pdf
    Let me know if the file doesn't come through.">
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJMember Posts: 3,516
    What you will need to do is upload the PDF to a web server (most ISPs allot web space for their customers for such use), then provide a link to the file.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • ldenisepldenisep Member Posts: 2
    2003 Passat GLX 4 Motion

    Problems started about a year ago.
    Wet Driver's Floor after rain

    Took to a VW dealership and they cleaned out the moonroof drains. As soon as it rained, the floors were wet again washing away that $175.

    Took it back to VW dealership and told them the car still was leaking water somewhere and that everytime it rains the drivers side floors are wet, we aren't talking damp, we are talking several inches of water standing in my floor. Naturally I had to vacuum it out, which took several times because everytime I do so, a few minutes later, there will be yet another puddle, especially in the back, so it usually takes three or four attempts to get it all out. Well, they state that they can't tell what's going on with no water in there when they get it! Are you kidding me? So anyway, a third trip back and they say they still can't find the problem.

    Well, over time I have been having electrical issues, such as cruise control, moon roof controls, trunk pull, key control, etc. all work sporadically, and the alarm goes off randomly and will not shut off. To the point that something was draining my battery down every night and I would have to be boosted off daily even with a new battery in place. All of the above issues are more pronounce after a heavy rain.

    So I was blaming it all on a leak, however, also going on in almost the same amount of time, more like 9 or 10 months, I have been losing coolant from the reservoir. During the winter months I was replacing the coolant on a weekly basis but in the summer months I have been just replacing with water instead as the vw coolant is extremely expensive plus I assumed it would be ok during the moderate weather. I can't find where this fluid is going. But as of today I am having to add at least 1/2 gallon for every trip out of the house whether it is 1 mile or 10...pretty much every few miles I am adding water now. I had just put water in it today, and no sooner than I could get out of the driveway the STOP light comes on saying to add coolant! I give up! I filled it back up and did a little bit of driving, mostly just 30's and 40's, only stopped for a couple of seconds at a redlight, and soon there is steam coming out of the vents up by the windshield and from under the hood up around the firewall mostly on the driver's side. And even though I am only putting water in it, it kinda smells like coolant. When it starts getting warm like that you will hear a gurgling type sound from under the dash.

    Any ideas? I took out the battery casing and cleaned out the drains there which weren't completely blocked by any means. Now I'm back to no power windows, locks, blah blah blah.

    I'm thinking possibly heater core? But I was thinking most cars have water in the passenger side floor in that case. This is my first VW so I wasn't sure if things were 'backwards' or I truly love my Passat! It runs absolutely great (motorwise) and I really don't want to get rid of it but this is starting to get to me and I just don't trust the VW dealerships anymore.

    Is there anyone out there in Cyberworld who can help a girl out???
    And thanks in advance!

    PS. The Pollen Filter Recall issue was supposedly already the same dealership that I refuse to trust!
  • nforkersnforkers Member Posts: 1
    my daughter was just told that her 2003 passat wagon must have been in a flood (it was not) and that she needs three computer modules replaced for $2500. Can you send the pdf on the vw recall for heat shield and water damage.
    thanks so much
  • sd73sd73 Member Posts: 5
    $400... my mechanic of the last 4 years showed me everything - simply put, I guess the drivers side door is the brain of the car... and my brain had a serious problem! Hope yours is/was less!
  • susanr2010susanr2010 Member Posts: 1
    I may know your problem/solution. We have a 2002 VW Passat, and had a great deal of flooding in the driver's side floor this spring (up to 2+ inches at a time). It was a great mystery and I spent a lot of time dry vac'ing it out, but it wouldn't stop and I could smell the mold beginning to form.

    We learned of a guy who specializes in repairing water leaks/issues in cars. He came to our house for a free inspection, and determined that because we have a sun roof, it was clogged up due to dust and small debris that can clog the four rubber hoses that normally should allow water to run through the sunroof and empty at the tire wells.

    To test this, he simply opened the sunroof, poured a cup of water down each corner of the well in the sunroof (on the metal), and looked at the tire wells to see if the water was freely pouring through (with the front doors open). It wasn't - it was just a trickle coming out near the tires. At the driver's door there is a small black rubber hose that ends there, and if it gets clogged it won't work properly and water backs up into the floor of the car. He said he sees this ALL THE TIME with cars and it's a simple fix. For some reason the ends of these rubber tubes, where the water and silty debris is meant to run out, are tapered, instead of having a larger opening. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the ends of the hoses so the opening was larger than the small slit it originally had (poor design). Then he poured the water down that corner of the sunroof again, and the water poured freely through the hose, to the water well, bringing a bunch of black gunk with it. He then did it for the other 3 hoses - The rear ones are harder to get to - He had to take the trunk lining out.

    HE CHARGED US ONLY $75 AND THE CAR HAS BEEN DRY EVER SINCE. Had I not found this guy, I'm sure we would have spent thousands at the VW dealer trying to determine the problem. This company is called Water Doctors, and I believe they are in several states. We are in North Carolina. I'll bet this is your issue! Good luck!!!
  • ldenisepldenisep Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the input but I have already had these drains cleaned and the ends taken off...and I've also cleaned out under the battery....still no luck...I had another 6 inches or so of water in the driver's side floor after this last rain.
    The alarm finally gave out but the windows, locks, gas release, mirrors, lights, and trunk buttons don't work anymore....
    I guess I am going to have to get another car and take my losses on this piece of crap. I called VW but they didn't even want to talk about helping with these issues. I will definitely never buy another one. Everyone told me how great VW is and how they work with you on issues....NOT :lemon:
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    Okay, let's get a little more useful information.
    Answer each of these questions:
    1) When exactly does this water collect? Obviously in the rain, but in the rain just sitting, or while the car is in motion?
    2) Has the windshield ever been replaced?
    3) Has the car ever been in an accident?
    4) Does the car sit any any particular angle that makes this worse?
    5) Does it have to be a heavy downpour to get the water pooling?

    If it collects while standing still, then it's simply a matter of running a low volume water hose around these areas:

    Around the door to check the door seals.
    Around the sunroof to check the drain tubes.
    Around the base of the windshield to see if the water is entering via the HVAC.
    Around the rest of the windshield to check it for integrity.

    There is the possibility that the A/C condensate drain is clogged. Does running the air conditioning have any impact on the water situation?

    There is also the possibility that one of the sunroof drain tubes has become disconnected, allowing the water in the car, via the A pillar.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    I found this on another forum (which shall remain nameless):

    Here is my top-ten list of possible causes on Passat water ingress issue in the order of the most likely to the least likely IMHO:

    1) Water leaks into underneath the A pillar and get into the rear footwell due to disconnected or clogged sunroof drain tube.
    2) Bad window regulator/assembly carrier seals in rear door caused water seeping through the door seal.
    3) Leakage through degraded or improper installed outer foam gasket of the pollen filter housing.
    4) Leaves clog 2 drain holes under battery tray, makes the water backing up and leaking through the firewall.
    5) Clogged door drain holes.
    6) Leakage through the bad rubber seal for hood cable.
    7) Leakage through the degraded ECU box gasket.
    8) Bad roof antenna gasket.
    9) Leaving your sunroof open in the rain.
    10) Accidentally disconnecting the drain tubes for the sunroof in the A-pillar while following the Bentley recommended procedure for cleaning out the sunroof drains with a piece of throttle cable.
  • vwowner3673vwowner3673 Member Posts: 1
    edited May 2010
    Anyone else w/ a 2000 VW Passat having this problem? Now ALL of my window regulators are broke.

    Does anyone have an idea of good online dealer where I can purchase these for a lower cost? I'm afraid that if I take my car to the VW dealership, they will charge me too much. I do understand that their regulator might be better quality, but at this point, it's an older car that I'm hoping to get rid of in about a year or two.
  • neighbors81neighbors81 Member Posts: 3
    I recently bought a 2000 Passat GLX Sedan. It's been running fine, but I tried to unlock it (I don't have the remote) a couple of days ago, and the key wouldn't budge. Since I couldn't start the car due to the alarm system, I got it towed to the garage. They're thinking up to $800 to fix it. Has anyone else had this kind of problem?
  • jett4jett4 Member Posts: 3
    Sounds like it would be cheaper just to buy a keyed remote through a dealership. You are going to need one regardless. ($250)
  • neighbors81neighbors81 Member Posts: 3
    Is there any way to clean inside the headlight housing on a 2000 Passat? It's very cloudy.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    Are you sure the problem is on the inside? Passat headlights have a track record of clouding, but on the outside. 3M sells a kit to polish the exterior of the headlights and the results are pretty good (not as great as having new headlight units, but far better than not touching them). atured_Products/Headlight/

    I used this kit on my '03 Passat and it made a big difference. Not bad for under $20.
  • neighbors81neighbors81 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks. I'll give it a try.
  • bohica6969bohica6969 Member Posts: 1
    HI Folks,
    today my wipers/heaterblower and sunroof all stopped working I thought fuse but on examining them found them all to be sound but I replaiced them anyway and things still will not work. Is there 1 relay that works all this equipement and if so where is it and what number is the darn (not the word I want to use lol) thing.

    many thanks in advance for any help.

    Paul K.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469



  • fm2fm2 Member Posts: 1
    Same water problem here. Two inches deep once after a car wash. It was the rubber boot where the hood latch cable enters the interior from the engine compartment. The boot had worked itself out. I just popped it back in and added some silicone around so it wouldn't happen again. No more water.

    Solution: open hood, remove rubber molding and the entire plastic bulkhead cover exposing battery, a/c stems, wiper motors etc.

    The rubber boot is on the driver's side near the windshield, just follow the hard black hood latch cable.

    If the boot is split just shove it back in and silicone the ....... out of it.
  • pdxpassatpdxpassat Member Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Passat that has the electrical bug.

    Major issues:

    Windows will all roll down by themselves.

    Alarm no longer works.

    Heater/AC quit working.

    Interior lights quit working.

    Windows, when not rolling down by them selves, will only work intermittently. I have to repeatedly push the window control and it will eventually move but only a short distance (not all the way up or down). Seems to be shorting almost.

    Driver rear window will only roll down when the car gets a mind of its own and rolls all the windows down.

    Driver side door lock control quit working.

    Clicking noise from driver side and trunk constantly unlocking. I have stopped the clicking by pulling the fuse for the locks and this stops the trunk from popping by itself.

    I did some research online causing me to pull the CCM. It is is great shape. Dry as a bone. No water looks to ever have leaked to floor boards. No corrosion. Wires look great.

    I know about the possibility of, when new, one could roll all windows down with drivers door lock. Could that lock mechanism be causing many of these problems. That lock no longer works. The cylinder just spins freely? Could it all be broken and causing the whole electrical system to short out?
  • anfieldflaanfieldfla Member Posts: 1
    Hey guys I know this is unrelated but ive got an 06 passat that appears not to have a AUX port. but if you press the cd button twice it will show AUX mode. Ive checked in the middle console and its not there, there are however two cords in my glove box that are labeled "R" and "L", im guessing right and left speakers. its a male cord with three or four prongs on the end. What do i do so i can make my music play from my Mp3?
  • 123donna456123donna456 Member Posts: 1
    my car is having a lot of the same electrical and water problems that have been mentioned by others...I don't know anything about cars, but went out and looked under the hood. I noticed a pool of water under my battery, so I am assuming the drain under the battery is clogged since I read something like that in someone else's post. What is a CCM???? and if I take the battery out, can I clean out the drain myself or do I need to take it in for that?
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    Actually, there are two drains in that area; one under the battery and another under ther brake booster. However, there was a recall on this by VW - you might want to call them and see if your car qualified for it.

    But if you DIY it, yeah, pull out the battery and you should find a rubber grommet installed in a hole in the sheet metal. Clear that area of debris/dirt/leaves to get the water to drain. Then remove the grommet. Same under the brake booster.

    The CCM is the Comfort Control Module. It handles a lot of electrical stuff onboard - power windows, sunroof, maybe locks, I can't remember. The CCM is located in a recessed section of the floor under the driver's feet, under the carpet.
  • 82spy2882spy28 Member Posts: 1
    im having problems with my alarm it does not shuts off and i can not start my car does anybody knows what to do? :cry:
  • kseeksee Member Posts: 2
  • kseeksee Member Posts: 2
    My 2003 passat has died. Only 95,000 miles. I heard something running in it yesterday when it was off and today the whole thing is Dead. Help, I afraid that it will cost a mint on monday when I bring it to the dealer.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    You'll need to post more info. What did it sound like? How long did it run? Did you check under the hood? What engine do you have? Thanks.
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    Hi !

    My rear light started acting up (well it should be called 'acting down' as they were not operational from time to time). It seems that my light switch broke and after replacing it everything is back to normal.

  • tammykatammyka Member Posts: 1
    Hi There,

    My husband just bought a 2002 VW Passat W8 in May of this year and a month later was experiencing deep puddles of water in the back driver's side seat. We lived in Seattle at the time, so it rained often. Shortly thereafter, he began haviing electrical issues with the car, such as the trunk not opening, and the automatic door locks not working.

    He bought an extended warranty from the dealership in Oregon where he bought it, and just brought it into a VW here in Minnesota for the 60K miles routine maintenance. He asked then to check out the electrical issue as well since it was already in the shop. The mechanics just told him that it would cost $4000 to repair the electricacl system since water had flooded and corroded the system. He said the the extended warranty would not cover this repair since it wasn't a common or acknowledged problem.

    Could you send the pdf for the recall again or a link so that we have proof that this is a common enough problem that a recall has taken place? I would really appreciate your assistance and would be forever grateful. This car really was my husband's dream car, and now he calls it "Christine" (from Stephen King's movie) because it's been nothing but trouble since he purchased it. Thanks so much.

  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469

    Do you mean the light switch on the dash or the switch on the brake pedal, under the dash? Just curious. My brake light switch went bad once, but it kept the brake lights on all the time, even when the car was off. I had to pull the fuse to stop it from killing the battery before I could get it fixed.
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    The switch along the knob in the dash.
    It started a few months ago with lights not turning off after turning the switch and burnt plastic smell.
    I ended up replacing (or rather paying mechanic to do this) the whole switch in the dash.

  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    edited September 2010
    VW issued recall to fix moonroof drainage piping. Somebody got bridght idea that leaving the pipe open will probably splatter too much so they made the ends much narrower so water would trickle drop by drop.
    Well this design is prone to clogging and when it clogs water gets into the car and expensive electronics is on the floor under the driver's and passenger's seats.
    For more water fun there are drains under the battery, which when blocked allow water to enter the passenger side through cabin air filter opening.

    I think you can try to call VW and ask them for recall notices to be sent to you.


    PS This is recall for plenum - battery/cabin filter
    NHTSA recall link
  • leon27leon27 Member Posts: 1
    I have a "new" to me 95 Passat. Tonight the interior dome lights, the power locks, the sun roof won't work. The clock resets to 12:00 every time you start the car. Could not find any fuses that we bad. Help?
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    had its clock reset itself when battery was weak. Check battery.

  • folbfolb Member Posts: 54
    Have a 95 Passat VR6, Got from a guy who got from another guy that got it from the owner. Know nothing about the car. Battery goes dead after sitting for a week or two. Not tagged. Daughter getting ready to drive and want it reliable. Slow draw somewhere? Any ideas where to check first? Heard I can disconnect the ground to the battery and use a test light on each fuse? Also saw a TSB on the radio drawing too much. Solution for that? Thaanks , Jeff
  • homeallhomeall Member Posts: 5
    I would start with the obvious. If the battery is over three years old it probably does not hold a charge that well anymore. If the battery is good try connecting an ammeter in series with the positive battery terminal with everything on the car turned off. It should read no more than 1 microamp and only because of the car's dashboard display. If the ammeter reads more than this then there is a draw somewhere. The next step is to try and isolate the source of the draw. How? With the ammeter still in place, pull the fuses one by one and reinstalling the fuse if it does not stop the draw. Once you locate the fuse that stops the draw, you have found the circuit where the draw is coming from. The next step now is to locate the component in that circuit that is causing it. If you cannot locate by visual inspection, do the same thing as you did with the fuses. Disconnect each component until you find the one that stops the draw.
  • allyjo095allyjo095 Member Posts: 1
    My car shuts off at random. It could be stopped at a red light or at a stop sign or driving 30 mph. I have no idea what is going on. Now i don't want to sound stupid, but I'm a 22 year old girl who knows nothing about cars. So i cant really tell you much other then that it stops when it feels like it, and I have to restart it again. It has never stopped when i was going over like 45mph though if that helps. I hope you can help me before I go to a mechanic and they screw me over for all my money. WHATS WRONG?? HELP??
  • folbfolb Member Posts: 54
    Do you get any warning lites? What engine?
  • wayne40wayne40 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem on my 1997 Passat TDI. Any responses yet?
  • finvr6finvr6 Member Posts: 1
    i had same problem in my similar car and solution was an 15 amps fuse number 21
    if i remember it right,try that!
  • mdpughmdpugh Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2003 Passat W8. Today, I am experiencing electrical problems. My remote key does not open the doors or the trunk (the battery was just changed). My gas gauge does not register the amount of gas in the tank (Just filled it). On my dashboard, the top spot that shows radio/cd/tape deck info is now blank. As I was driving today the dashboard lit up and everything was reset (clock, trip odometer). I cannot adjust the mirrors and the controls on the steering wheel (radio and cruise control) do not work. I have a little over 117,000 miles on the vehicle.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    So all this went south immediately after the battery was changed? I mean, on the first start after the new battery was put in? Not days later?
  • mdpughmdpugh Member Posts: 3
    I tried replacing fuse 21 and that didnt fix the problem. I encountered another problem - when I started the car, the radio came on in "safe" mode and then got a reading of 1000. My book says to enter the code on my radio card - the radio card is blank - no numbers. Is there another code I can use to get my radio to work?
  • oldclunkeroldclunker Member Posts: 1
    My son has a 1997 VW Passat. The battery was changed and a new interstate battery installed. We cannot get the battery to stop draining. Within a few hours the battery is dead. I have noticed a "pump" running just on the right hand side of the motor (looking at motor) at the top and just below a circular electrical connection about the size of a tennis ball. IF you unplug the 5 amp fuse located just in front of the windsheild washer reservoir, the "pump" shuts off. I can disconnect the battery and it cuts off and stays off. If you unplug and replace the 5 amp fuse the pump continues to run. How long is the pump supposed to run and would it hurt to unplug the 5 amp fuse to keep the battery from draining? Thanks
  • folbfolb Member Posts: 54
    When the battery dies or you disconnect the battery, the radio will go into safe mode. You have to remove the radio and get the serial number and call or go by a VW dealer to get the code to install to get it to work. Haven't found my electrical issue yet with the battery drain. I wouldn't disconnect the fuse. It obviously has a purpose. There must be something else wrong.
  • folbfolb Member Posts: 54
    Until you find the problem, I wouldn't unplug the fuse. It has a purpose. Remove the neg. battery cable each time you stop the car. Pain but works.
Sign In or Register to comment.