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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • Changed the tensioner on 2000 VW Passat GLX 2.8L. Can't get the car to start. Several times I thought it would start, but then it fails. Any gotchas come to mind? :surprise:
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    TIming belt tensioner? Something out of alignment? Off by a tooth on the belt, maybe?
  • Did you ever fix your problem? i broke the same part on my shifter and i was wondering how you fixed it. thanks.
  • I picked up a new Passat a couple of month ago and, if the gages do not lie, has been averaging about 13 mpg. I drive mostly in the city and has been using a mixture of 89 and 91 octane gas. The gage that shows the current mpg is all over the place, so it's hard to figure out what I am getting when driving. But the gage that shows average mpg shows about 13 mpg since I have picked up the car. The car currently has about 2000 miles on it and I was wondering if anybody has experienced a similar problem.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Why don't you fill the tank, record your mileage on the odometer, drive it awhile, and the refill. Record the amount of fuel you put in the tank and the mileage again. Divide the miles by the gallons and you'll get an accurate rendition of your fuel efficiency (MPGs).
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    Which engine do you have ?
    I think any of them requires 91+ so why are you adding 89?

    How much do you idle?

  • 2004 Passat awd, V6. I just got back from my Auto repair and was told the one side - flex pipe was rusted thru. He called VW and they wanted $1100 for the part????? He welded somethibng else in. I suspect it was solid pipe about 10 inches long. The car has 70,000 miles.

    Is this a common problem on this model at this mileage?

    Does anybody have an idea of what he has done? Is my assumption correct?

    Will the joint eventually fail because it can't flex?

    Does anyone have or know where I can find an exhaust diagram and parts breakdown for this car?

    Have a great New Year!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,374
    Sent the diagram to you via your e-mail.

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  • I want to get some feedback on the maintanence costs of the 2010 Passat Wagon. I am in the market for a new or new used car. Right now I am considering either a brand new 2010 Passat wagon or a 2008 Mercedes R350 (31,000 miles). THe Passat is on clearance and is going for a great price of $27,519. THe Mercedes is going for $28,999. I have always loved the look of the Volkswagon products but I want to get some feedback on the reliability and the maintanence costs. Current VW owners please provide me with some feedback. My husband would rather have me buy a new car instead of getting a used Mercedes.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    Have you driven the R350? It is big & heavy, with a large turning radius, and, IMO, not that great visibility.

    I'll let current owners comment on the reliability of their VW wagons, but neither is likely to come without issues. The difference with the VW is that you'll have the full warranty to start with.


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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,374
    If you want a German car, you want as much warranty as you can pack into it, IMO, new or used.

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  • We just traded my wife's 2007 Passat in on a 2008 R350. The Passat started to crap the bed in the last 5,000 miles of 47,000
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,374
    I have some friends with a Passat over 100K and it's been (generally) a very good car for them---however, it is eating oil at a pretty good clip now. I can't say that their repair and maintenance costs have been burdensome but the car definitely shows it age.

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  • Don't do it. Don't buy that Passat garbage can. Run, don't walk.
  • OH Photodad so sorry to hear about the death of your Passat. My 03' is the love of my car life. She is my fourth automobile ever; and upon purchase I swore to follow EVERY service necessary to suck the life out of this vehicle (to the best of my abilities). I usually check out online forums; and but the hell out of my certified VW mechanics about what is needed to put the kind of years and milage on her that I want. I bought her summer of 02' and we just passed 92K. Now it was drilled into my head at 80k START SAVING for the timing belt. Once it goes; well you're dead in the water. I finally just had the job done this week and feel like the weight of the Earth is off my shoulders. I was raised by a GM man but had a father into Kraut cars and learned one thing. If you take care of them; you'll get what you want out of them. I will NEVER go any other way again. I've driven American, Japanese, and now German. LOVE IT! VW for life :0) Or at least another 92K.
    A little surprised by the CV joints comment; really? Oh and the water leak was common and quite easy to fix. Any of the guys at the dealership could have walked out and cut the tips bigger at the end of the water drainage tubes that by design were just too small. Oh and were you going to garages that had Audi or VW mechanics? (other than the dealers?) Just curious. I would not take my baby to someone who didn't know how to properly service her. Audi and VW's are severely over engineered (which is fine and I'm quite thankful), so it takes a certified tech to know your car. Just sayn.
  • I have a 2002 sationwagon, 120,000 miles.

    Few questions for all of you who know WAY MORE about cars than me:

    1. My engine light went on- they say- air compressor needs to be fixed... I am wondering if it is worth putting another repair into this car that has been in steady need of one little thing after another.

    How many miles can I expect to drive this thing?

    2. Also, I never replaced the timing belt.. guess I should do that if I keep the car. Yes?

    3. There are about three small patches of body rust-- any tips on how to tackle this myself and save the expense of paint jobs?

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    YOu are about 15,000 miles past the recommended cahnge interval. If the belt breaks, you will face thousnads in repairs; possibly more than the vehicle is worth on the market.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,024
    I'll add to that and say that often, the belt looks fine - it's not one of those components like tires where you can see exactly how much life it has left. It may last another 30,000 miles. It may break tomorrow and, as altair4 mentioned, cause all sorts of other damage in the process. This is one maintenance item that you really don't want to let go, regardless of what you intend to do with the vehicle.


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  • emunchemunch Posts: 1
    Yogamam, My Passat 2000 has more than 200k miles on it and it keeps on running. I've never had any major problems with it but I also do all of the recommended service. My service costs have gone down considerably since I left my local dealer at around 80k mile. Had a disappointing experience where they said I needed major repair and had a second opinion from another VW dealer that said nothing was wrong with the car. Your Passat will be good to you if you're good to it.
  • Yogamama. I may be able to give you a wee bit of advice on the body work. I just finished working on my wife's 1998 Golf which needed $1.500 body work (a quote). If the rust is surface only and not gone through you might be able to grind out the spots. If it is deeper you could do as I did. I have a Dremel tool with some grinding bits and cut off wheels with which I cut out the rusted pieces. In this case I also had some Bondo and fibreglas left over from another project. I used that to rebuild the bottom of the car door and the fenders. It was a bit messy but once it dries you can then grind or sand it down and feather it out with sandpaper and elbow grease to match the surrounding area. Then make a visit to an auto supply store where they can mix matching paint in a spray bomb for you and get a good primer. The auto store can also recommend the various grades of sandpaper you will need to get a nice smooth finish. GEt a good paint mask for your face also. Use masking tape and newspaper to cover the area you do not want to paint. Practise painting a bit on some scrap wood or cardboard before painting the car. It's better to put on 2-3 light coats than a heavy coat. I bought a cheap spray can to practise with also so I didn't waste the good stuff. My total costs were $25. If I had to purchase everything including the Dremel tool I would have laid out $250. Still a significant savings for a days work. Even she was happy with the job and that was the really hard part.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello All: 2006 Golf, 2.0. OK, I have had complete faith in this rig since my son purchased it about two years ago with 36k miles. Suddenly, it's starting to remind me of my '02 Passat 1.8T, and let's just say...that's NOT a good thing. Problem #1: A couple of months ago, all of the dash lights, including the instrument cluster (!), bonked out. No problema during the day, but it sucks having to use a small flashlight in the car at night! I checked EVERY fuse...all OK. Pulled the headlight switch and reostat out of the apparent problem there, either (there is NO juice flowing IN to the reostat. I was wondering if I could fix this by running a line from a power source into the line side of the reostat...might that power the instrument lights (my mechanic DID run a test and advised the lights ARE functional...there's just no power getting there). Comments, anyone? Problem #2: A few weeks ago, the interior lights quit working when the driver door is opened (they do work with the other doors), and now the door does the automatic "self locking" even when the door has been opened (I instantly realized that I better not leave the key in the car!). I'm thinking microswitch... anyone had this problem, and can the microswitch be replaced separately without replacing the entire latch, or can the microswitch be repaired somehow? Problem #3: Airbag light came on...knowing V--dubs, this repair sounds very pricey. Any advice out there? This Golf has only 68k miles...I'm very disappointed...I've had other rigs that run to 150-175 with no such problems, and not happy that I should even have to deal with this crap. Thanks for any advice...vwdawg
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello, altair and others: Would like to ask a question on behalf of a good friend who owns a 2001 Passat VR6 with around 110k. Odor of burning oil in engine compartment...assumed bad valve cover gasket...had checked by his mechanic. Mechanic could not find problem with that, but said perhaps leaking "camshaft seals" (?). I'm not familiar with this issue, but can anyone comment from personal experience, is it a common occurrence with the VR6 at this mileage, and what's the approx cost to fix? Thnx...vwdawg
  • FWIW,

    I (1999 Passat GLX) have had burning oil smell on two different occasions, and replacing the valve cover gaskets solved it both times.

    Good Luck!
  • Had the same problem with a 2000 Passat. 2 gaskets replaced which cost less than $50 and $800 for labour.
    I took the car to VW specialists and was advised it was a common occurance. Because they specialize in VW I imagine they would see more than the average mechanic. But, this is a small city of 70,000 people with 10 times as many Golf and Jettas around as Passats.
  • I just got my Audi A6 (sister of the Passat) out of the shop. VW dealer wanted $2,000 to repair the oil leaks. I took it to local shop with VW/Audi mechanics. They found the cam shaft seals leaking and several "plugs" leaking. When they finished, the oil leak and smell were gone. The cost was $1,250. The A6 was 1999 with 95,000 miles. I would figure I have had the leaks for about 10,000 miles. One related problem was that about 5,000 miles ago I replaced the seals around the spark plugs. They leaked and filled the spark plug holes with oil and finally grounded out several of the plugs.

    I 1999 I paid $42,000 for the A6. Since that time I estimate I have spent $20,000 on maintenance. My wife loves the car and won't let me sell it. The dealer doesn't want to sell us another A6 because they are making a killing on maintenance.

    I have a 2005 Passat Station Wagon TDI with 115,000 miles. I love it. Other than routing maintenance I haven't spent much on the car at all. I hope it lasts for another 200,000 miles.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 57,374
    you know, your expenses pretty much fit into my rule of thumb for older German luxury cars out of warranty. It costs about $150 a month to keep them ship-shape.

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  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    camperman: Thanks for info. When you say "gaskets", do you mean "camshaft gaskets" (seals?)? With an $800 labor bill, I'm assuming you're NOT talking about valve cover gaskets, right? Thanks, vwdawg
  • vw dawg. There was an oil smell and the items that were replaced were
    1) Bank 1 Camshaft chain adjuster gasket kit
    2) Bank 1 V/C gasket ; total cost was $802.97.
    I have no idea what those things are other than it solved the burning oil smell in the car but left me burning inside at myself for buying that money pit in the first place.
    A quick story. I got everything fixed and parked the car so nothing else could break. I sold the car a few month ago and 3 weeks later I took my motorhome to the mechanic for servicing. The mechanic said " I have something to show you." it was a list of either 11 or 13 items (I can't remember which) on the VW that showed up on the scanner. The purchaser used the same mechanic I used for car repairs.
  • 2000 Passat GLX, 140K miles. Battery drains over course of a week or so. Dealer diagnosed as a bad front passenger side power window motor/module. Wants $750 to replace ($500 parts, $250 labor).

    Does this diagnosis seem reasonable?
    Is this something I can do myself (moderate mechanical skills)?
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