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Volkswagen Phaeton



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    bobbusbkrbobbusbkr Member Posts: 4
    2004 V8 60,000 miles. I've had a few quirky problems [tire pressure system] but overall a wonderful vehicle.

    Wellesley MA Volkswagen has taken care of my car and done a 100% flawless job. I believe having a highly skilled dealership servicing these vehicles is the key to a happy relationship between car & driver.

    Best of luck to all.

    Bob Lucido
    Winthrop, MA
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    markhalpernmarkhalpern Member Posts: 11
    Dear wab3tx,

    After reading your horror story, I feel ashamed to complain about my own used 2004 Phaeton. My car's only problem is with the TPMS, which has been worked on by three different VW dealerships, two of which claimed to have Phaeton-trained technicians, but without success. Clearly there is something basically wrong with the design/manufacture of the car's TPMS (at least of the 2004 model; I don't know if later models have the same problem).

    And it's extremely unlikely that VW will do anything for owners of the 2004 Phaeton unless forced to; there are too few of us, and we're widely scattered, so we can be ignored. Our first step, I think, is to form a Phaeton Owners Association, so that our voice carries a little more weight with VW. I've addressed a couple of inquiries to VW of America, requesting some support in forming such an association, and have gotten nothing but a run-around -- they offer me a phone number where no one answers the phone, nor answers voice mail, and so on. One thing that would help greatly is to have the sponsorship of a VW dealer; does anyone know of one that might be willing to help us? Does anyone have any ideas on how to bring some pressure to bear on VW of America?

    Mark Halpern
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    wimpy4wimpy4 Member Posts: 14
    Volkswagen Phaeton 04/05/06 Club of Southern California is planning on having a presence at this show in the form of at least four cars. Fees benefit Navy MWR. This is a two day show and we are planning on being there on Saturday, September 26th only. Fees total $40 for one day and you can display your car in a group of other Phaetons. The Festival itself is a huge entertainment. The Club is very informal - no dues - all owners welcome.

    My Edmund's setting should allow you to E-mail me if interested in participating. Thanks, Joe
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    markhalpernmarkhalpern Member Posts: 11
    Please send me full details about the Phaeton Club of Southern California. Either post it here, or send it to me direct at markhalpern@iname.com. Thanks.
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    euroauto43euroauto43 Member Posts: 1
    im james from europeanautomotive, ive owned a 04 phaeton for a year now. i will tel you its the best and nicest touring sedan ive ever owned. ive owned 2 bmw 750il"s at once his 88 hers 91. since i work on them for a living i still drive a 00 740il but my phatbox will run circles around it the finest car ive ever owned and will buy a w12 06 model next. james
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    phaetonhoustonphaetonhouston Member Posts: 1

    See this tread, and I've posted key info below:


    I received my OEM sensor replacement from TireRack and had it installed on the rear passenger tire yesterday at lunch. Going against the directions, I pushed the 'New Spec. Pressures' when the tires were warm immediately after the sensor was replaced. All I did was ask the tire tech to inflate the tire to the lbs. the rear axle had in memory. I didn't even check the other tire pressures. With 2 or 3 resets I was getting system faults. On about the 4th reset, I parked the car at work with the system still in learning mode. I drove to a meeting, parked the car, then started the car to drive back to the office, with the system in learning mode the whole time. Finally, on my way home after work the system chimed and all tires registered 'OK' !!!!!

    So, after spending a $107 for sensors, stems, and shipping and $17 to have the wheel sensor installed and tire balanced, my system was back to normal.

    I called the dealership to talk with the tech., but he was out sick, so I talked with the service writer. The minute I started telling the story (nicely), he asked if I could tell the story to the Service Manager. Within seconds the Service Manager was on the line and very apologetic. To make a long story short he said that they would make sure they take care of me in the future.

    What I'd like to pass on from my particular experience for those of you who still want to maintain the TPMS system on your car:

    1. Be patient.

    2. If one particular sensor on your car seems to start creating erratic warning messages, make sure you make a note of it if you have to end up replacing that one sensor later. (My car gave a warning at one tire initially, then gave sporadic warnings, and finally just said system fault consistently. Once that a system fault registers on your car there's no way to isolate the faulty sensor easily)

    3. Know that one sensor can cause the entire TPMS system to act failed. I read that here on Vortex and it was so true for me. Having a Vag-com did no good for me when 4 out 5 sensors were indicating that they had a transmitting problem.

    4. When all seems lost after the TPMS registers a 'System Fault' press the 'New Spec. Pressures' button and keep going through learning new pressures mode to see if you can get some of the system to work so that you can isolate a faulty sensor if that's the problem.

    5. A 'System Fault' is a very generic warning. I had a system fault for a faulty sensor and it came back when I was trying to get the new sensor working with the TPMS system. Again, follow #3 and set the system to learn new pressures repeatedly to see if some part of the system is working.

    6. Be patient.

    I feel the above advice works if you have a sensor problem based on my experience. If you have a controller issue, that would probably be easier to diagnose, but I can't talk about that from experience. That would be Michael's arena.

    If you appear to have a sensor problem, a dealership may be tempted to replace all 5 sensors to rule out having repeat problems with the system. Now that I've learned from this experience, I'm hoping that if additional sensors fail I'll be able to quickly diagnose and replace them.

    Lastly, as far as I know, my sensor failed due to transmitting problems or some other problem with the sensors themselves and not due to the battery. The sensor should have shown at least 20 months of battery life in it when it failed.

    I hope this helps folks in diagnosing their TPMS problems.

    Thanks for all the help Michael and others.
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    bill38914bill38914 Member Posts: 1
    Hello James from Europeanautomotive,
    I assume that you are happy with your car because it has been fault free or.. you just know how to fix it!

    In any case I'd be interested in talking to you about buying it when you get your 06 12cyl.
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    markhalpernmarkhalpern Member Posts: 11
    Fellow Phaeton owners,

    I've now had my Tyredog after-market TPMS for several weeks, and it works. And I can recommend Autosport as a place to buy it; when I reported a problem with one of the sensors (probably my fault) they immediatedly sent me another one; when I still had a problem, the sent me a whole new Tyredog system. There are several features the system offers that I haven't tested yet, such as warnings when the pressure in any tire falls below a value you set, but the basic feature of reporting the current pressure of each tire works well.

    Question: have any of you had a 80,000 mile service on your Phaeton? Mine will be coming up shortly, and I'd like to know how much that major service cost you. If anyone wants to get in touch with me directly rather than through a posting here, my e-mail address can be found on my web site, www.rules-of-the-game.com.

    Mark Halpern
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    psychoanniepsychoannie Member Posts: 2
    I must have ghosts in my car and they are evil spirits. Two weeks ago I was told I needed a complete transmission fluid change. That was $1800 (no kidding). Now, less than 500 miles later, I need a new transmission. That is $8500. I have an extended warranty from a service provider (good until 2013) however, they will only pay for a replacement (not a rebuilt-just a replacement) transmission...I only have to pay $3,000. I called VW because they acknowledged there are "issues" with the transmission (as well as electrical etc) and that they are now on their 3rd edition of transmission fluid. So they paid for half of the $1800. However, 3 weeks later and now a new transmission--well; they just can't figure out how that can happen. MORALE: Don't ever buy a Phaeton--EVER: Don't ever buy extended warranty insurance, and DON'T EVER EXPECT FOREIGN CARS TO BE BETTER THAN AMERICAN--that claim is no longer valid. Is any attorney out there looking for a class action suit. there are what 3200 PHAETON owners (plus Toureg) and we have all shared the same problems...And don't even think about PHAETON ADVOCACY liaisions....they just pass on the bad news.
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    dkc72dkc72 Member Posts: 1

    Your post is so similar to my experience it's unreal. Although, I guess I'm lucky, my 2006 Phaeton has only been in the shop for 92 days in 33 months.

    Have you been able to get any satisfaction? Volkswagen has the worst customer service of any company that I am familiar with. They keep telling me that my experience is unusual and that while the company should do something, they just don't have any program in place to help owners with these problems.
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    bobbusbkr1bobbusbkr1 Member Posts: 1
    I feel badly hearing about all the Phaeton related problems owners are experiencing. I own a 2004 V8 Phaeton with 75,000 Mi. and have only experienced a couple of minor issues which were immediately corrected by Wellesley VW in Wellesley, MA. In fact I have found the VW service quality to be far above that I received from Infiniti. I did replace both front door window assembleys which continue to rattle when the doors are closed after entering the vehicle; and, the tire pressure sensors are a bit persnickety but having driven Jaguars, Rolls Royce s and Ferrari's in the past, I find these idiosyncrasies to be part of the exotic/unique vehicle genre. I wish you all the best with your Phaetons and if you have a 12 cylinder you would like to sell or trade for my V8, please contact me at bobbusbkr@comcast.net. :)
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    wab3txwab3tx Member Posts: 5

    Nope, no satisfaction from VW, when I made my last payment, I told the young lady on the phone (very, very sympathetic young lady, of course, that doesn't help me) that we had not driven our Phaeton in months due to continuous drip from transmission pan and small oil leak from rear seal of engine .... BOTH of which which "taken care of twice" in the last year of warranty.

    We have NOT driven our 2004 W12 Phaeton SINCE JUNE 2009, when the transmission and oil started leaking again, when they started again, I tried to work with the dealer which had been servicing it, they told me I had to start paying despite the fact that they had JUST "taken care of it" twice in the last year.

    I called 7 lawyers, only 1 was willing to look at it, he has sent letters with no results. So, our black beauty just resides in the garage.

    I "could" drive her, but I do not want to have to deal with an $8,500 bill for a new transmission despite the fact that I have aftermarket insurance, which has not even become valid yet, because when I started the aftermarket policy, I had to drive the Phaeton 1,500 miles before the policy would pay for a covered repair.

    I am willingly open to joining others to make a group claim for these repeating problems.

    ... finally, to the other member who wants to trade his V8 for a W12, I could not in good conscience do that to you ..........

    If anybody wants to give a group action a try, please write to me .... wab3tx @ gmail.com

    Bill B
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    wab3txwab3tx Member Posts: 5
    to: Mark H and everyone else, if forming a Phaeton Satisfied or DisSatisfied Owners' Club will get us something more than being ignored, let's go for it .... wab3tx @ gmail.com
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    wimpy4wimpy4 Member Posts: 14
    Has anyone gotten the 2004 analog version of Onstar changed to digital? Getting the runaround.
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    hal2payhal2pay Member Posts: 1
    I have an '04 Phaeton and I think the TPMS is a real trouble spot on the Phaetons. I've had all five sensors replaced as well as the control module, and right now it seems to work well. If you have nitrogen in your tires, I'm told that the system does not function well with nitrogen because of the difference in the change in pressure relative to the change in temperature. Put plain air in and see what happens. (Of course, it's 79% nitrogen, anyway). I'm also told that newer models may not have this problem.
    On what may or may not be a related issue: I'm now getting an error message that says "Defective Wheel on Board". Anyone know anything about this?
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    markhalpernmarkhalpern Member Posts: 11

    Yes, there's no doubt that the TPMS in the '04 Phaeton has a systemic problem. I've gone to great trouble, as you have, to try to get it working in my car, and finally gave up out of weariness. But you seem to have had better luck -- please tell me where you got it fixed, and whether VW made any contribution to the cost.

    My tires are filled with plain air, and I've never seen the error message you're getting; another small complaint I have about VW is that huge as the Owner's Manual is (they're not exaggerating in calling it "Owner's Literature"), it still doesn't cover every symbol and message the car can generate.

    Looking forward to your reply.

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    ndjoendjoe Member Posts: 2
    Bill, I am in Houston, too. I'm about to buy a 2004 Phaeton and I'm scared to death. The thought of paying $1,000+ a month for service scres the heck out of me.

    Do you, or anybody else, have some words of wisdom for me?

    When I test drive the car, I lose all apprehensions. What a car! I just don't want it to become a burden.

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    ndjoendjoe Member Posts: 2
    Mark, I'm guessing that byu now you've had the 80,000 mile service. Would you mind enlightening me?

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    themorn2112themorn2112 Member Posts: 1
    I am considering buying a Phaeton in the near future. Reading some of the horror stories on this forum is really putting some serious fears in me. For my 2 cents worth, looking from some other forums, A suggestion would be to service your (collective) Phaetons with an Audi certified Mechanic, the Rational being that the Phaeton components and functions are more closely related to Audi vs VW.
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