VW Passat 2000 GLX V6 "Lag"

angelaelserangelaelser Member Posts: 5
edited April 2014 in Volkswagen
I recently purchased a GLX V6 4Motion and have been frustrated with the delay in acceleration. It seems to "stumble" on takeoff. I test drove the 4 cylinder *ignore* and upgraded to the V6 because I didn't like the "lag" on takeoff. Now my V6 is doing the same thing! It has about 3500 miles on it and I started noticing the lag around 2500 miles. I've been to the dealer 2x so far. I'm getting the run around. First they said, "it just needs to be broken in (5000 to 10000 more miles)", but also admitted that another customer had the same complaint just that week. Now they say that WV is aware of the problem and they MAY consider replacing the "chip". I'm afraid I've got a lemon. Any one out there with the same issues? I'd love to hear how you're resolving it.


  • car_nut1car_nut1 Member Posts: 66
    I have the car w/o 4-MO; same problem. Dealer told me not a problem, chip is programmed to emulate 5-speed manual. Lag is as if you were raising foot off of the "clutch". Does this make sense? Not really.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Hard to say with these computer driven cars...really, it could be a gazillion things. Perhaps you could call the VW zone office and ask if there is a problem and a fix for it. All we can do is guess.

    Get the "lemon" idea out of your head. This is negative thinking. There is no such thing as a "lemon", only a car that has something wrong with it that needs to be fixed. Your car has some 15,000 parts in it, and if all 15,000 were defective, then I might believe the term "lemon". But if it's only one or two things, that's hardly reason to condemn the car. Give it a chance, work wtih the dealer, keep a record of all visits.
  • angelaelserangelaelser Member Posts: 5
    Well, we're back from the dealer, fixed the AC and Manager drove it for 2 days trying to duplicate the "lag". Although the repair ticket says "unable to duplicate", the manager said he has "other" notes in the computer and that VW is aware that it is a problem that requires reprogramming. He also drives the same car and says that his is "worse" but that mine is "right up there". Here's what I don't get. If it IS a problem, and he knows it and other customers have the same complaint, why didn't he just say so the first time I brought it in? I'm starting to smell a rat and can't get this guy to come up with the same story 2x. And why does the repair ticket say "unable to duplicate" when he was able to duplicate it. When I asked him to revise the ticket, he dismissed my concerns by saying that he had "other" notes in the computer. Hmmmmm. Fast forward this story past the warranty period and I'm stuck with a dangerous car. The inconsistent acceleration is especially troublesome in reverse...you can't tell how fast it's going to take off...I live in a metro area where parking is tight and streets are crowded. It's just a matter of time before the car gets away from me and I back over something or someone.

    Any ideas?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Member Posts: 64,481
    Okay, call the dealer and get the number for the VW Zone Office. Tell them you are having a problem that the dealer cannot resolve and that you would like an appointment with a factory tech or you would like technical information sent to the dealer ASAP so that this can be corrected. If VW is working on a fix for it, get all the info you can on that. If you have good records and TSB # and a phone log, you shouldn't get frozen out of warranty, and if worse comes to worse, you can swap the car on a Lemon Law (presuming you qualify in all the particulars, which you need to research).

    good luck with it and keep us posted. Anyone else dealing with this?

  • ivanov2ivanov2 Member Posts: 1
    I also have the lag problem from a dead stop. It is intermittent and appears to happen if you quickly let go of the brake and step hard on the gas, like in trying for that left turn in front of the semi (kidding). First I thought the transmission is not engaging, but then realized the engine does not rev. Seems to me this should be fixed regardless of the warranty. VW, can you spell "RECALL"??!!
  • angelaelserangelaelser Member Posts: 5
    The dealership is dismissive with me, but not with my husband (mechanical engineerd who builds engines for fun and is now working on his doctorate in medicine!) I'm going to call the Zone Office and see what comes of it. I'll keep posting progress here.

    Again, for me it's a safety issue. I can not predict the speed at which the car is going to travel from take off. Or as another reader said, "trying for that left turn in front of a semi" can be a bit tricky.
  • acmebrand1acmebrand1 Member Posts: 1
    Nice to see that I'm not the only one.... The lag on my GLX 4 motion is quite sporadic and quite similar to ivanov2. Mostly happens from a dead stop when a quick acceleration is needed. Been to WV twice so far with "unable to duplicate" being the answer... but now a new problem has developed. Is anyone having problems with a rough idle either at a warm start, or sitting in traffic? The car (with 2700 miles on it) stalled 3 times in 65 degree weather after being stuck pretty much at a park for about 30 in. No dummy lights ever come on... and problem seems to disappear if you turn the car off for a few minutes. Goes in on Monday.... we'll see what happens...
  • sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    Anyone experience this in the front wheel drive V6 models?
  • alamo1alamo1 Member Posts: 1
    2001.0 (pre-chrome) Passat GLX V6 front wheel drive. Yes, I've been suffering the "lag," stumble, hesitation, and unpredictable throttle response. I've got 7,000 miles and it's been getting progressively worse. I have not been in for service yet, because I've been burned so many times by that whole "unable to duplicate" phenomenon. I have also experienced the unpredictable throttle response in reverse. These problems are much worse immediately after a cold-start.

    I have also had problems with the automatic transmission failing to downshift to 1rst after a brief stop. When I hit the throttle, it starts in 2nd and abruptly (often harshly) shifts to 1rst. Not what I consider appropriate for the premium price tag.

    Does anyone know of any TB's on these issues? I hesitate to go in for repair on intermittent problems unless they are well documented.

    Have fun, drive safely, and arrive alive!
  • angelaelserangelaelser Member Posts: 5
    My 2000 Passat with 3500 miles stumbles on takeoff. A potentially dangerous defect, as acceleration speeds are unpredictable. I urge everyone with this problem to contact VW Customer Care at 800-822-8987 to make a report. 8-10pm CST. If enough of us speak directly to VW perhaps we can get the problem resolved more quickly. I've had it with "unable to duplicate" comments from the dealership.

    Thanks to everyone for your comments and shared concerns regarding this intermittent issue.
  • anselmo1anselmo1 Member Posts: 163
    After ready all the comments from Passat owners regarding lag, I am glad that I own a "lag free" Accord and a "lag free" Camry. Has anyone reported this to the NHSTA's hotline?
  • sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    Thanks for the responses. I was getting very close to buying a GLX FWD. The Passat isn't out, but I need to figure out if I want the GLS w/1.8T? the 1.8T drove well, it felt very light and peppy. They wanted $30,200...It is a decent deal, but this sounds like a problem that needs solving. Do you think it happened with the computer upgrade that added the 20 HP to the V6?

    Here are my test drive results. Flooring it, the car didn't necessarily lag, but it was slow from 1500-3000 RPM's and then it would take off? From 0-30 was lethargic, and then it would rocket to 50 before you know it? But it was not even, I had to floor it to get it going, and then it would go so fast you have to come off the gas quickly? I am going to pass for now.
  • passvariantpassvariant Member Posts: 2
    I'm sure many of you wouldn't be happy with this answer, but there is a fix for this, but it involves an after market program for the TCM (transmission control module).

    Myself not ever being happy with my cars 'out of the box' don't see this as a big deal, because I'm goint to screw around with them anyway's, but for those of you that consider your car an appliance... it may be a pain. This problem only occurs on the 2k and newer DBW (drive by wire... yes your car has no throttle cable, just a couple of sensors on the pedal, and a motor that controls the throttle body). And it is a programming problem, not a mechanical one. There is an aftermarket 'tuner, that was dissatisfied with how the VW and Audi Tiptronics were programmed, and had re-written the program to allow faster shifting, and a more positive response. Addionally, it also removes this more that annoying behavior for those that have it, and some others, like letting the torque converter slip while on an incline, as to make it smoother than actually down shifting. If you have felt this (or seen your tach jump 600-800 RPM, but not felt a shift) while in auto mode, pop it over to TIP mode and be supprised that you are still in 5th.

    Anyways, The company is Garrett Integrated Automotive Company (GIAC). Here are some links for you to get some info:



    ...and cooke, what did you expect... it's a turbo!!! and there has been no increase in the 30V V6's power. The 20 hp you are thinking of is in the 1.8T

  • angelaelserangelaelser Member Posts: 5
    If we monkey with the TCM does it negate the warranty? I love to car otherwise! Thank you so much for your input and helpful links. I'll check into them.
  • passvariantpassvariant Member Posts: 2
    There is also come driving technique that can help you. You have to remember that this is a 5 speed automatic... there arent too many out there. What this means is that (compared to a 4 sp) first gear is very short. Now to keep emissions down and milage up, VW has programmed the tranny to get out of first as soon a possible under a light throttle. So, what I ended up doing to solve this annoyance (before I reprogrammed the TCM), was to feather the throttle for the first 1 or two carlengths, and then step into the accelerator much more. This helped quite a bit. Additionally you could just use the manumatic mode to hold first longer too. This works equally as well, if not better. VW got stuck trying to passify the appliance drivers with a drive train that was intended for a more sporting croud. Not that any auto came be considered that sporting, but none the less it is a Porche tranny.

    And yes it does mess with the warranty... but it is on the dealers head to prove that the modification directly caused the failure. So, at the very least it is a hastle 'IF THEY FIND IT'.
  • pkraddpkradd Member Posts: 358
    I have a 2001.5 Passat, 4 Cylinder Tiptronic. I've noticed the lag on ocassion particularly if I'm stopped and turning across a street in front of on coming traffic. Scary I'd say. I'll keep posted on these forums. I'm going to try manual shifting next time as suggested to see if I can avoid it. But, it needs to be addressed by VW. Trolls "gloating" here are, well, immature. I've had a '95 and '98 Camry and they were nowhere as good as my Passat in any way whatsoever.
  • sbcookesbcooke Member Posts: 2,297
    I saw a 2000 Passat Wagon on the lot wit a V6, it had 174 hp listed on the sticker? Maybe it was a 1999/2000? That is why I thought there might have been a chip upgrade.

    The driving performance I was referring to was the V6 and not the turbo, it seemed to have little or no power at low RPM's. A chip upgrade sounds in order, shame on VW for making owners do it themselves.
  • mikeg61mikeg61 Member Posts: 28
    I have a 2001.5 GLS V-6 Wagon with the Tiptronic. I would highly recommend driving it in manual shift mode around town. The drive by wire system employed with this transmission shifts too rapidly when upshifting, and likes to stay in 2nd unless you are completely stopped. It appears to be a way to try and optimize fuel economy, but it's annoying as hell.

    As an example, if you manual shift and hold it in 3rd at 40mph, the engine is turning about 2,700 rpm. If you move the shift lever back from manual mode to automatic, it will shift up to 5th almost immediately.

    The automatic works OK when getting on the highway and on most 2-lanes, but around town, I would strongly suggest that you manual shift it. Having just gotten rid of an automatic Subaru Outback, I can say that the VW transmission works fine, but the programming needs a little help.
  • burgh1burgh1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2 week-old AWD wagon. I didn't notice any problems the first week. It drove smoothly. This week, I'm experiencing what sounds like the lag problem noted here. Specifically, there are 2 symptoms. The worst occurs occasionally when the car is barely moving and I try to accelerate. The engine surges until I let up on the gas and press again. This was particularly alarming today, when I started to roll slightly backwards into an intersection (just a few feet) as the engine surged to 4500 rpm.

    The dealer said to bring the car in immediately and offered a loaner while they look it over tomorrow. I talked to a tech person who did indeed mention the throttle program being the cause and said the program "learns" over a 5-mile stretch of driving. If one accelerates briskly and then is in stop and go traffic, it is more likely to exhibit surges. He stated that turning on the ignition (without starting the engine), pressing the pedal to the floor, and then turning off the ignition resets the learning mechanism and should stop the problem. I found no effect.

    He also mentioned that the computer also aggresively disengages the throttle (if I understood this) whenever the brake is pressed. So, if one goes too quickly from the brake to gas, it is more likely to surge unpredictably. This seems to be true.

    I also experience the "thud" of the car downshifting to 1st at the last moment. Are there any successful fix experiences besides the aftermarket one suggested?
  • telainetelaine Member Posts: 29
    I bought my 2001.5 Passat GLX automatic a month ago. Yesterday as I was driving home from work, I heard a thud and then the ABS indicator light, MIL indicator light, anti-slip regulation light and brake light came on. These indicator lights were beeping and flashing , but I drove it to the dealership and left it there. When I came to a complete stop and then hit the gas, I noticed that it seemed to "lag" or something. I'm QUITE frustrated, because this is a new car. I'm hoping the problem is fixable and will not be a recurring problem. Prior to this, I noticed no real lag. I'm hoping I won't be sorry I purchased the Passat. Before yesterday evening, I was absolutely thrilled with my new Passat. Any experience with this or advice?
  • bpesakoffbpesakoff Member Posts: 1
    I am the unhappy owner of a 1995 Passat GLX VR6 Wagon. I have had reasonable performance from the car until this year, when the "LAG" attacked me too! On cold starts, the car's idle surges between 750-2500 rpm, and when the car is warmed up, the idle seems to stick at 1500 rpm at stand still when the AC is running.
    When the car is cold, the lag is more like a lurch!! and occaisionally the engine light comes on and gives a "mass air flow sensor" error signal. Upon replacing the mass air flow sensor, the lag and lurch were not eliminated so we put the old one back in. Dealership services have included 1. replacing mass air flow sensor, 2.replacing aux. H20 pump 3.replacing starter coil (per witnessed arcing) 4.replacing 5.unreplacing mass air flow sensor 6.hours upon hours of time not being able to find out what the real problem is!!

    I would love any suggestions or comments from similar situations....
  • pjcragepjcrage Member Posts: 15
    I own a 99 Passat GLX and have been generally happy with the vehicle thus far. Nevertheless, remember that you are buying a Volkswagen and although this car is luxurious in its own way, expect less than luxurious service from VW dealers. I had two warranty claims and had to beg, then argue to get them fixed after months of hassle. I loathe the idea of bringing it in for service of any kind. I considered the Infinity I30 and Lexus ES300 but opted to save a few dollars without giving up a lot of vehicle. But in retrospect I paid for what I got. My friends that own Infinitys and Lexus' enjoy the service calls (as much as you can) and, admittedly, pay for it. But if you are busy and want to be treated like a customer should be for having spent $30K plus the cost of ongoing service, stay away from VW.
  • robertinpdxrobertinpdx Member Posts: 1
    Interesting comments about the lag in the VR6. I just bought a Jetta Wagon this week. I didn't want an automatic, but of course, there wasn't much in the Portland area to choose from with this car. I am noticing this lag and thought it was just because of the auto. and the car needed to be broken in. Now, I'm getting concerned reading these messages. I never trust dealers explanations. Interestingly, we also have a brand new Audi A-4 1.8 and there has been somewhat of a lag with that manual trans. I thought it was just the turbo lag and it seems to be self adjusting in that car.
  • rajanosrajanos Member Posts: 1
    I just came back after test-driving a GLS V6 Tiptronic Passat with the intention of duplicating this problem. I felt like I could duplicate it, but I m not sure. Maybe I am imagining it because what I read here was on my mind all the time. Anyway I have a few questions before I drop 30K plus on a Tiptronic Passat:
    The lag problem applies to driving VW Passats with Tiptronic transmission in auto mode? There is no lag driving it in manual mode? There is no lag driving a manual VW Passat?
    Compared to my 1997 Honda Civic EX coupe, there seems to be less road and engine noise. However I need to note that I have Uniroyal Nailguard tires on my Honda and the Passat I test drove had Michelein. I do not know how much the tires affect road noise. I have used Firestone and Uniroyal tires on my Honda and both produce a lot of road noise especially when driving on concrete roads.
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Member Posts: 563
    Yes that "lag" you were referring to is the turbo lag. The turbo won't kick in till around 1850rpm and it will give you full torque ALL THE WAY till 5000rpm. That explains why it takes a while to get power but when you get power, YOU GET POWER and I (an owner of an Audi A4 1.8T) sometimes even need to let the gas go when it hits 3500rpm because of too much power coming out at once.

    I got the manual tranny but after reading your posts about the VW auto tranny lag, I think that's just a problem with the shifting module computer. It may shift slower than you want, but the computer is doing calculations on whether or not to shift and how soon. I had auto transmission on my Accord and it too took a little bit to shift to 2nd if I wanted it to. That's why I got the manual tranny in the A4 this time.

    By the way, the A4 doesn't cost as much as some of you think. My A4 with the Convenience pkg (sunroof + autodimming mirrors inside and out + Homelink), Cold Weather Pkg (heated seats, heated door locks, etc), Bose, standard headlight cleaning system and heated windshield washer fluid nozzels, 4yr-50k warranty and scheduled maintenance incl, is $26.7k + tax/title/registration. And that's already a 2001.5 model bought 3.5 months ago. Not trying to be a brat here but trying to say the A4 is another option. By the way, no idling roughness or computer going weird problems (touch wood) in 4800 miles of ownership.
  • whitewolfwhitewolf Member Posts: 13
    I have been looking at both the Audi A 4 and the Passat these are some real horror storys about the passat. Now I'll have to take all these problems into consideration. Maybe I'll just wait for the 2002 a-4. Anyway LaukOdg where did you buy your A-4???? Here they run about 28K with less than half of the accessories you purchased
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Member Posts: 563
    I'm in Chicago and I bought it from Schaumburg Audi. MSRP for the car is $29,040, and invoice is $26,100. I forgot to mention it's a 5-speed, so that would cut $1200 of Tiptronic trans option off the price you have in your mind, if you are thinking Tiptronics. Where are you from, Whitewolf? I frequently involve myself in the Audi discussion boards and I could give you a rough estimate of how much % over invoice you should expect to pay. Generally it's about 3-5%, and you can say mine is an exception because I was paying 2.5% over invoice.
  • whitewolfwhitewolf Member Posts: 13
    I live in Colorado Springs, CO. and the price I was quoted was for an A-4 with the cold weather pkg and Bose. Thats it. It may well be worth the price of an airplane ticket to save some money. Did you buy off the lot or order??? I imagine they have a much better lot selection in Chicago than here. Did you test drive the tiptronic I was wondering if the lag mentioned in the VW horror stories is similar in the tiptronic version of Audi. I test drove the manual and I agree the power is unexpected and awsome when the turbo kicks in.
    I understand that the 2002 A-4 will be slightly larger although I have yet to see one. Do you have any info on the 2002???
  • lauk0dglauk0dg Member Posts: 563
    Well the one that I have got the Convenience pkg ($500) and it's Metallic Silver ($400) in addition to what you were quoted for. Nah it won't worth you to buy a plane tix here and ship it over to CO. I picked mine out from the lot, and should I order it, I would drop the Bose and add Xenon and ESP. I just don't want to wait 4 months for an order.

    Unfortunately I didn't drive the Tiptronic, as I already made up my mind to get a manual tranny.

    Well the 2002 A4 has a 2001.5 Passat front end and an A6 rear end (the best way to describe it I guess). It will have stiffer suspension, bigger wheels, rear seat heater option, and bigger V6 engine (3.0L makes 222hp). I have also yet to see one but I'm not too excited about it. I like the classy current A4 bodystyle much better.

    If you want to join our discussion over at the A4 boards, do a search and we frequently have this kind of discussions. I just don't want to talk about an A4 here and this board is about a VW.
  • arcgatorarcgator Member Posts: 4
    i have heard many instances about german cars and their ability to change based on your driving style. this seems valid with people i have spoke to about audi's and bmw's. apparently the computer responds to your wife puttin' to work. audiworld post have validated this as well as my seemingly knowledgeable bmw friends. the car can decrease performance to increase economy, if so you choose. there is an actual post on audiworld where an owner describes the process. when test driving used cars, you can feel a difference in the same models. the owner's manuals stress staying away from the cruise control switch for the first couple thousand miles, and to put the car through its paces when driving. not hauling butt and sliding around corners, but allowing for some high and low revs through the gears. is this valid. this discussion may validate so. remember it is supposed to be based on an average, so if you purchased a used low mile car then it may be the previous owners fault. scary?!
  • alcanalcan Member Posts: 2,550
    Not scary, and certainly not exclusively German. Many newer vehicles (and some older ones from the last 10 years or so) have adaptive electronics which will modify fuel delivery, timing advance, and shift points based on learned inputs from throttle position sensor, mass air flow sensor, engine RPM, coolant temp, etc. Been around at least 10 years. Old technology. My '96 Buick has it.
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