Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    Your reply interested me since I'm in Western PA and recognize the dealer name. Just out of curiosity, what brand of gas were you buying when the misfires occurred? Did you see any impact on your fuel economy with the switch?

    I've got an '03 with 22,000 miles on it. Never had a misfire and it's only run on 93 AKI gas, mostly BP/Amoco Ultimate or Shell V Power.

    You won't hear a trace of knock as the knock sensors dial back the timing on 87.
  • w5gcxw5gcx Member Posts: 6
    I have a 2001 Passat GLS that has needed alignment every 3-6 mos or so. About 6 times in 3 1/2 years.

    This week they said I needed upper and lower control arms for $1100. I took it to a local shop and he greased everything and aligned it. It's better but I wonder if the dealer was right.

  • moonshinemoonshine Member Posts: 1
    Bought a brand new 2003 Passat V6 in 12/03. Only 17K miles on and already needs new rotors and brake pads - ON ALL 4 WHEELS. Dealer will replace rotors under warranty, but I have to pay for new brake pads and labor (about $500). No, I don't drive with my foot on the brake, nor do I have the brake applied going over speed bumps, etc. Anyone else with this problem so early?
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    has 32000 miles and still original brakes.

  • bronsonbbronsonb Member Posts: 170
    I had to have the read rotors replaced on my 2003 Passat wagon. The dealer covered the rotors under warranty, so labor was also covered. Because pads are a wear item, he offered to replace those if I paid the cost of the pads (about $90). Labor was covered as part of the rotor replacement.

    To me, it sounds like you got taken if the dealer charged you $500 for a set of pads. The labor should be covered under the warranty repair for the rotors as the pads have to be removed anyway to get the rotors off.

    You might want to follow up with the dealer as that price seems a bit steep to me.
  • laflaf Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001.5 Passat with the same problem. Just took it in to the dealer today. They are telling me I have a cam seal leaking. It is being fixed under extended warranty.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    My wife's Passat is approaching 30,000 miles and the brake pads and rotors are still in good condition.

    Brakes are one wearable item that will either last 75,000+ miles or less than 20,000 miles. Some drivers are extremely hard on their brakes (stopping virtually on a dime), and others are generally frugal with their brakes (allowing plenty of distance and time to come to a gradual stop). I've seen plenty of examples of both types of drivers on the road (I fall under the frugal b raking category).

    If you are hard on your brakes, your brakes will tend to wear out before 20K. If not, you can get at least 60,000 miles on the original brakes. This is a fact with any make and model of automobile on the market.

    The quickest way to spot a driver who is hard on their brakes is to look at the wheels (especially cars with alloy wheels). If the car looks like the driver just purchased it recently and the wheels are dark from brake dust - that's a dead giveaway.
  • chesserchesser Member Posts: 1
    Looking at a 2002 Passat wagon 1.8T. Beautiful, good history on Carfax (for what it's worth), great ride. But these maintenance horror stories have me worried. What's your honest opinion on this car?
  • ken2004ken2004 Member Posts: 1
    My VW passat couldn't started up suddenly last week. I check the battery and found it to be 12V, so I thought it is not because of battery. I took the car to Sunnyvale VW and have them look at it. They said it costs $120 just to check it. I authorized them to go ahead. The next morning they told me it is because of the battery, and to replace the battery cost $240, plus the $120, it would total $360 for replacing the battery. I said I can change it myself, and they told me they are not certain if it is because of the battery, might be something else. At the end I left the dealership with a $380 bill replacing the battery, swearing never to return to any VW dealers in my lifetime, and telling friends not to, also wondering if they are doing better than a MD. To me, they are blood suckers, at least the Sunnyvale VW is. Do people take their car to dealers all the time for any problems? Thanks for any comment.
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Have your personal mechanic check the car out thoroughly. Also, I would highly recommend buying an extended warranty. Good luck
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    YES!!! A complete rip-off. If it was only the battery that was dead they should not charge you $120.00 just to verify that. Also, I would never of let them replace my battery for $240.00. I would of sucked it up and gave them the $120.00 and had the car towed to an NTB (or similar) and you still would not of payed $360.00.

    Just to verify the cost of a battery for a VW, I would call an NTB, AutoZone etc and get a cost from them. If, in fact, they could replace your battery for less than $240. I would call the VW Dealer you went to and talk to the service manager. Or better yet, talk to the General manager or owner of the dealership and relay your story. Tell them that you feel completely taken advantage of and you they have lost your business. I am really not sure VW's require special batteries, but I highly doubt it.

    Good luck.
  • richardm4richardm4 Member Posts: 1
    Hi there, I saw you post about the long haul. I have 95K miles on my car and over the past year have put a lot of money into replacing the clutch, water pump, etc. But now the engine has burnt out due to oil sludge problems and I am having great difficulty getting VW to honor the warranty on the engine. I have had many similar quirky problems as you but I figured it's cheaper than new car payments. If I were you though, I would look into trading the vehicle. I don't think they will last. And it's certainly not worth the headache.
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    As far as your oil sludge issue: Do you have all your oil change receipts?
  • donnatelladonnatella Member Posts: 1
    Coolant migration!!
    Just got off the phone with the service advisor.
    $3840.00 to fix the problem. The
    1. coolant sensor
    2. throttle body
    3. engine harness
    4.engine control module
    I feel as if I am at the mercy of this vw service department and nothing is covered under warranty.
    I've never heard about coolant migration before.
    Any information would be greatly appreciated.
  • concrete1717concrete1717 Member Posts: 29
    An edmunds text search on "coolant migration" returns some comments by car owners on the issue.
    Among the comments is a link to some video about the topic, but the link was broken or bad.
  • tdi_tantdi_tan Member Posts: 60
    there is a TSB on it...however, it was for the Jetta/Golf-- back in 2001.

    Model: PASSAT
    Year: 2001
    Service Bulletin Number: 0404
    NHTSA Item Number: 10011567
    Summary Description:

    Not sure of complete details
  • profvhprofvh Member Posts: 31
    In response to the party asking about reliability,
    etc.: I have a 2002 Passat 1.8 wagon with 32,000
    miles. Very good car with few problems. Glove
    box latch and a headlight have been replaced.
    In 2 1/2 years I can't think of much else. Dealer
    checked brakes at 30,000 mile oil change. Said
    30% of linings still there and did not need to
    replace yet. This car does alot of heavy traffic
    driven in Houston. A very enjoyable car.
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    that VW brake pads are wired so you will get a message that pads need replacement (or maybe brake symbol blinking, I would need to check manual).
    It is for front pads only.

  • tdi_tantdi_tan Member Posts: 60
    but it's only a single pad that has the sensor
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    Have 'em "flash" the memory of the engine ECU. With regular, you won't hear knocking with todays' sophisticated engine management systems, unless you have some p___ poor gas. You will notice a lack of power during hard acceleration, esp. during the warm months, or fully loaded. My '02 has 80K, I use premium when it's at 90' or above.
    Once nursed it to 39.8mpg (1.8T-Tip, a/c off). Say HI to the Sarge.
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    Must be something wrong. I have 80K on my '02 and am just now replacing the rear pads. I do 65mi daily, mostly hiway. I have had some brake pulsation since about 23K, but the front pads are still almost an inch thick. Normally, brake rotors are not a "warrantable" item. The dealer must be "goodwilling" them to you. Still 'tho $500 sounds way high. I am pretty sure the brakes for the V-6 are larger/higher than my 1.8T.
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    Don't let the "cold" AC air blow on the windshield. During humid times, the air causes condensation on the glass. This can be quite heavy, sometimes the wipers are needed to clear the water on the outside of the glass. This can be aggrevated after a rain. The moisture in the car, on the mats and shoes can cause fogging. Whenever the defroster is on, only outside air should be used -no recirc.
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    That's the power steering fluid reservoir. The fluid will smell burned, even when it is new. Where is your owners' manual? The auto trans has no dipstick. The powere steering fluid is a special synthetic hydraulic fluid, not the variety you are likely to pick up at the corner store - see your dealer.
  • ashishsinghashishsingh Member Posts: 2
    Hi folks,

    I recently bought a VW Passat 2001 with 16k miles on it. Car is in great condition. THe dealer sold me an extended warranty on it for $2000 for 3 yrs/30k miles. I want to understand if I really need the extended warranty or should I opt out for it?

    Can you guys help me with this decision? The Car is in good condition. Therefore does it make sense to spend so much money on the extended warranty? Iam in 30day period so pls respond asap.
    Thanks alot.
  • cdurhamcdurham Member Posts: 1
    '01 with 16k? That's about 4,000 miles per year. An interesting find.

    Here is what I know about extended warranties:
    They are a great profit item for dealers.
    They are to all intents and purposes an insurance policy. Like any insurance policy, there will be paragraph after paragraph of conditions and exceptions designed to minimize the possibility of ever having to pay a claim.
    Extended warranties on used vehicles are more expensive and/or shorter term than what is offered on new cars because of the greater likelihood of a claim being filed. Note that like health insurance, many extended warranties will exempt 'pre-existing conditions'. Any recurrence of a problem that has been previously 'repaired' will be exempt from coverage.
    Extended warranties typically pay by reimbursement or prior approval. They don't just cut you a check that you can take to the repair guy of your choice. In other words, if you have work done without first obtaining approval, you *may* be reimbursed, but I wouldn't count on it. Save Your Receipts. Prior approval means calling the warranty company and getting them to authorize (agree to pay for) the repair up front. They will talk directly to the service department or garage, and someone there will tell you what was said. Thus, you may not know in advance of any exclusions or limitations. The warranty company could authorize two hours of labor on a job that 'happens' to take four hours, leaving you stuck with the difference.

    I would bypass the dealer markup on this item and buy directly from the source -- if, after researching, it still makes sense to get the warranty.

    At less than seven years and being such low mileage, this car should still be under several factory warranties. Of course, that is contingent on service history. If oil changes and other scheduled maintenance -- on time almost to the day or mile -- cannot be documented from new, the factory powertrain warranty is unlikely to be honored. The same likely applies to any extended warranty.

    I would:
    Do a Google and shop online for an extended warranty. Read the terms carefully before purchasing. Don't waste time on any company that doesn't disclose their terms up front. Look for a policy that refunds unused coverage on expiration of the term (beware of 'automatic' rollover) or sale of the car. They do exist.

    As with health insurance for a healthy person, it may make more sense to keep the premium money in the bank and do careful maintenance, thus avoiding the time and hassle of claim processing.

    By the way, you are fortunate to have 30 days to make such a decision -- is that for the warranty only, or the entire deal? Some places, as soon as you sign the papers, it's yours -- the only way to correct a mistake is to try to unload it on someone else.

  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Wow!! 16K mile son a 2001? That is extremely low miles. Did you run a Carfax on this auto? It sounds like a good rollback candidate.

    The price you paid on the extended warranty sounds fairly high. Is it a VW branded warranty? Contrary to the previous post, I would avoid most 3rd party extended warranties and stick to a VW warranty. I have heard too many stories about warranty companies going belly up and leaving the customer (You!) left with a worthless policy.

    If you don't mind me much did you pay for the '01 Passat?
  • ktalisektalise Member Posts: 3
    Hi everyone, wow i feel like this is a support group for us VW owners- I am freaking out this morning because last week my emissions workshop light came on and i ignored it until today when it started blinking. I need to take it in this evening but i am trying to avoid the VW dealership because they rape me of money! Does anyone have an idea of what kind of money i might be looking at spending to fix whatever "emissions' problem i may be having? ball park range is all i am looking for. also, i have had squeaky brakes myself pretty much since i got this 2001.5 passat! i was told to just drive fast and brake hard but so far that hasn't done anything for me.
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    computer thinks is broken.

  • ktalisektalise Member Posts: 3
    I am debating whether or not I should just take it to a different auto service shop rather than the VW dealer--I am reading past messages and it looks like I might be looking at spending almost $3,000! I am assuming this is not covered under the engine warranty?
  • ckieltckielt Member Posts: 11
    I called VW customer support last week to inquire about a factory extended warranty on a 2004 Passat I just bought last weekend and was told that VW does NOT sell warranties direct. Instead, I was referred to another company (name escpates me now but I have it written down at home)and was given only a phone number. The vendor does not have a web site. VW had no information on cost, terms or even whether all dealers would honor the warranty.
  • klh3klh3 Member Posts: 18
    I just purchased(signed all the paperwork today) an 05 Passat GLX Wagon 4motion and realized I'll probably drive 15-20K miles ayear so I purchased an extended warranty for $1600.00= 7/100K from VW.I saved $400 for a miss quote :) I felt that having all the bells and whistles it would be worth it.I think it comes out to:
    for the 3 extra years and 50000 miles over the standard warranty
    $533 yr,
    $44 mnth,
    $.32 a mile
    I pick the car up tommorrow and will inform all of my experience throughout my ownership.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    Depending on your mileage, it might be the O-2 sensor that's the culprit (VW's have two of them)..
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    You are speculating on what exactly is wrong with your Passat. You are also speculating on the cost. Not until you bring your car in will they tell you what the problem is and how much to fix it. Good luck.
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    I am not exactly sure what was stated with your phone call to VW. But, I am just guessing here, what VW meant by "VW does NOT sell warranties direct". I believe they are saying that you must go through the VW Dealer network in order to purchase an extended warranty for a VW. VW will not sell DIRECTLY to a consumer (you) without the owner going through a dealer. Since many VW Owners have bought an ext warranty from a dealer, I think VW may offer one. I might be wrong here but..........
  • ktalisektalise Member Posts: 3
    well i am waiting for VW to call me today to see what the problem was. I have about 44,500 miles on my passat- i will look into the O-2 sensors, thanks
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    If your car has only 44,500 miles on it, the likelyhood of needing new O-2 sensors is very low. I would have them tested anyway, to eliminate that possibility once and for all. New O-2 sensors cost in the $130 range (each). So at 44,500 miles, I don't think they're the culprit. If your car had around 130K+ miles, that's another story...
  • krzysskrzyss Member Posts: 849
    failed before 50000 miles. I think emissions warranty (fed mandated) is 50000. Check with VW and dealer.

  • harrywangharrywang Member Posts: 1
    Hi, just FYI, VW customer service sucks. Whatever you save upfront is money in your own pocket. Don't be nice with used car saleman. Be tough. They squeeze much more out of used cars than they do on new ones.

    And be sure to carefully inspect the cars before driving it home. Below are problems I ran into on my certified Passat. Hope everybody learn a lesson from mine.

    1. Engine light went on the very next day I got the car. Service guy cleared it but made no attempt to do root analysis.

    2. Engine light went on again a few days later. And finally they found some pipe was broken this time, replaced it. I still felt good about the car at that point. Big mistake for not thinking why it happened.

    3. Automatic transmission won't shift automatically in the morning. Sent in for inspection. Found nothing. Charged me almost $100. Told me to use tiptronics during cold day.

    4. One day accidentally found several collision traces under the hood at some hard-to-see corners. Felt cheated. CarFax showed the car was a clean one. No wonder the compartment was so clean when I purchased it from the dealer. No wonder the XX pipe broke. No wonder the passenger side air bag cover looks odd.

    5. Transmission problem persist. And finally one morning I couldn't even shift it out of parking position. When I finally managed to back the car out of parking lot, the handle just got completely stucked. Blocked tens of cars. Towed. Guess what the dealer found in the console? Coins! A quarter and several dimes. I swear it wasn't me who's stupid and skillful enough to throw coins into tranny console. Of course nobody except me want to pay for the repair. VW call it outside influrence and they blame me for force-shifting! Even worse, they don't want to pay any bill relevent to the tranmission this time. So I guess with $500 gone for nothing, the cold-day no-shift problem will just stay.

    Plus, the steering wheel now starts shaking when driving at high speed. I don't know what I did last summer. Spending $15000 on a piece of junk or money sucker?

    So be nice to yourself. Get yourself a new car if you can. Or at least think about buying one from private owners. It'll save you thousands for later repairs.
  • concrete1717concrete1717 Member Posts: 29
    discusses that inspection is made for "any significant structural damage". Unless the certified checklist they provided you contains more detail about that issue, that inspection point seems to be fairly vague. It would seem that even in the case of cars being certified by the seller, it would be prudent to have the vehicle inspected by an independent third party prior to sale. Assuming the collision damage was then noticed, the buyer could determine if the damage was significant.
  • emskware1emskware1 Member Posts: 1
    The same words came out of my mouth. My 2000 Passat with just under 18,000 miles has been at the dealership 3 times in the past 7 months because the engine light keeps going on with the EMISSIONS WORKSHOP light blinking. So far, I have been raped to the tune of $2200. According to the dealership, there are over 150 reasons why this warning will flash, and they will go about replacing all of them -- and making you pay up the whazoo -- until they're finished with you. I told them tonight (second time I've been there in 5 weeks) that if the light goes on one more time, I'm driving it to the nearest Acura dealer and trading it in. They've got a real scam going, and I'm sorry it's happening to you, too.
  • wileeebwileeeb Member Posts: 16
    Don't do it. I recently put together a spreadsheet to show the problems I've had since I first purchased my V-6 Passat in 1999. Whereas Toyota and Honda in the past were WONDERFUL at living up to their warranties, VW is beyond horrible!! HORRID!! For example, the first week I owned the car there was an oil leak. They told me it was not covered by warranty and I paid for that. I went in 20+ times to have the sun roof repaired. I have had to pay to have the muffler replaced, the rotors replaced, the CV boots replaced, the crack in the muffler replaced, headlights and brake lights replaced multiple times, subframe noises removed at costs of hundreds of dollars (I've never quite figured out what they meant), brakes bled, power steering leaks fixed and refixed, window regulator fixed and refixed, air conditioning fixed and refixed, brake lamps replaced. Whereas my Toyota never went in for a breakdown mntc until it had almost 200,000 miles, I have spent more than $5000 on VW repairs since I purchased it in 1999. Yes, with hindsight, when the axle fell off the car (covered by warranty and the water pump quit that was covered by warranty and the upholstery stripped away from the car on the inside and was covered by warranty after repeated discussions with VW corporate personnel that even if I do live in Nevada and it is a desert, no other car manufacturers have their upholstery stripping away inside)....I should have turned in the car years and years ago. Unfortunately, I bought it and after putting a lot of money into each repair I have been dumb enough to think...this time it's going to work....and sometimes it does...for a few months. The first four years I owned it, every single person in the Mntc shop knew my first name because the car required so much mntc. That is a BAD thing. I don't want service people to recognize me. Don't buy a VW unless you have a TON of EXTRA CASH for the extra mntc. Know why I think VW gets good write ups? They used to call me asking for feedback about the service calls. As soon as I started letting them know I was having to make repeat visits and having many problems, they never ever ever called again after my service visits. VW is only willing to hear "positive feedback." They are NOT willing to hear "constructive feedback" about systemic problems. This web site is MUCH MORE helpful than the VW technicians. Maybe it is because German technology is so advanced. Maybe American workers simply do not understand that level of detail. Right now I have a problem with a warning light. When it comes on, the car stalls. The VW dealer says they've never heard of it. Do I think I'm the first person to have this! But, do I think VW has a problem with technicians not willing to find out how to fix a car...yes!! If it's not easy and I can assure you German cars are not easy...they simply don't know what to do to fix the cars.
    I bought my son an Acura RSX when I bought my Passat. He has paid $40 in over and above mntc. I have paid $5000 in over and above mntc. He has a reliable car. I have a TOAD of a car!!
  • wileeebwileeeb Member Posts: 16
    (1) Had my oil changed on Sat. As I drove away, for the first time ever, as I went upwards onto a Right highway ramp, my 1999 V6 Passat stalled and the Anti Slip Regulation warning light came on, but the ABS light did not come on.
    (2) About four times since this weekend, as I've turned right (going up and on level ground), the car has stalled and the ASR light came on. The car only stalls for about 5 seconds, but when you are trying to merge into traffic (whether 25 miles or 65 miles...when you lose power, the people behind you don't realize you are stopping because there are no brake lights warning them). This is a SCARY new SAFETY problem for me!!
    Has anyone experienced this and/or have ideas on the best solution? I went and talked to the VW service reps right away and they said they have never heard of this. Given that I own a 1999 V6 Passat, I doubt very much if this is a "first time happening." I believe that they don't know what's going on. If I can avoid their guessing game that costs me when they change something that doesn't fix the problem, it would sure benefit my wallet.
  • nappyheadnappyhead Member Posts: 1
    I recently took my 2001 Passat into the Service Center and they informed that I need a Cam Adjuster repair that will set me back about $960.

    Does it usually cost this much for that kind of repair?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
  • nmpnmp Member Posts: 19
    I don't know what a Cam Adjustment is. If you can be more specific, that would help. However, t is not part of regular maintainece according to the manual. Therefore, it should be a warranty repair. I had my camshaft and seals replaced at 40K as oil was leaking onto the engine block. This was covered under the powertrain warranty on my 2001.5. On a 2001 Passat, you have the same 10 year powertrain should be covered under warranty unless there is neglect (i.e., poor work done by a prior mechanic etc).
  • ashishsinghashishsingh Member Posts: 2
    Thanks so much for the reply.

    I was able to return back the Extended warranty to the dealer.

    I will take my time to do some reasearch for my passat and then decide if I really need the warranty.

    Thanks for your views.

  • barbelbarbel Member Posts: 1
    I am about to purchase this vehicle with 28K on the odometer. It is in mint condition and I just love the way it drives and the comfort. Do any of you out there have good experiences with this car or am i about to buy a nightmare. The dealer from whom I want to purchase has a great reputation, the car is a lease return and there are no service records available.
    I grew up right near Wolfsburg in Germany and hope that they are still making a decent product.
    When on German websites, I do not see the many complaints I found here.
    Help would be appreciated.
  • djcdjc Member Posts: 10
    I also have a problem with the ABS module on my 2000 Passat. This problem appeared at around 80,000 miles - just after the Certified Warranty expired. The instrument cluster rotates messages such as 'System Failure' and 'STOP!'. The ABS light remains on as well. This problem occurs every minute the car is on. Because of the problem the trip computers and temperature don't show in the display.

    I'm told by the service department at Autohaus in Lancaster, PA that the ABS module is sending a faulty signal to the instrument cluster. they want $1700 to replace it. A call to the Regional Service area did nothing. The rep said based on the age and mileage of the car (now 85K) there was no coverage. Is this a longstanding problem and have others been reimbursed?
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Did you say NO service records available? The VW Dealer does not have any service records on their system? Does this car come with a Certified used car warranty? I would also get an independent mechanic to take a look at the car.
  • citidwellercitidweller Member Posts: 1
    I was driving my 2002 Passat 4 motion wagon and all four wheels seems to try to lock up at 30 mph! happened about 3x in a 10 min. period. 39k miles on the car. Any ideas what this is?
  • bindhubindhu Member Posts: 20
    Do you know which oil to use for a transmission oil change for a 2000 Passat GLS V6 , it is a triptronic? The oil at the dealer is outrageously expensive, makes it more expensive to do it yourself that have the dealer change the oil. Anybody knows?
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