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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • pedped Posts: 18
    Maybe someone can give me a little information on this. My daughters car had a knock sensor replaced and the labor was 5 hours. It was code 5051 B2 knock sensor code. Part was 79.00 with washers and gasket. My regular repair shop didn't want to do it so I went to the dealer. My shop's book say .6 hours and I think that's for the rear sensor. The sensor in the front looks a little more difficult to get at but 5 hours? Any help would be appreciated. Check engine likes to come on in this car, now I have another for air flow valve. Other than that it is strong car with all the goodies and it is a solid car. My other daughter has a 98 1.8 5spd with 109k and it runs perfectly. Thanks in advance...
  • can anybody help me?!!!! I have this awful burning oil smell that's more obvious when the car is idling (heat is on, disappears when I hit the recycle air button). have been to the dealership 3 times. It started a major tuneup (94,000km), got synthetic oil for the 1st time. The dealership changed the valve cover gasket thinking that was the problem. They claim that they cannot duplicate the problem on test drives!!!How frustrating. It's a 2001.5 passat. Will get rid of this car & go back to the trusty hondas if this isn't resolved


  • pedped Posts: 18
    When I received the notice about synthetic, daughters 98 Passat 1.8, 105k my dealer said do not switch to the synthetic. My regular mechanic also said do not change with the amount of mileage you have. Could be your problem. Good Luck!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Seems to me you need to drive to the dealership and request that a tech or at least the service writer come right out to the car and take a deep breath. I'd guess that they are either 1) not lettting the car get hot enough to produce the smell on a test drive or 2) don't really want to work on it.


    BTW, how long ago was the valve cover gasket done? Perhaps they didn't clean up the old oil residue off the engine? On the other hand, I have heard of people having the valve cover gasket done more than once to finally stop the leak.


    Final thought - did you have an oil change done lately? Perhaps they let too much oil dip down the engine block when pulling the filter.


    Our Accord smells terrible after an oil change. The design of the engine places the oil filter (on the rear of the engine) directly above the exhaust pipe. Oil always drips onto the pipe and smokes for about a week.
  • pedped Posts: 18
    I think you missed the point. They went to synthetic for the first time and the car had 98k miles. Everyone I talked to said not to switch even though VW recommends synthetic for the 1.8's to avoid the sludge problem.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Hey, Ped,


    I actually was responding to Passatloverbut's post. I don't think I missed the point. His car has 94,000 km on it - that's about 58,000 miles. Unlike you, he has already used synthetic oil and the engine is now apparently leaking. So the point is, "where is the oil leaking and what can be done to stop it and the burning smell." If Passatloverbut is the original owner, he has a 10 yr/100,000 mile warranty (at least the US VW's did in 2001.5 model year). I'm guessing that Passatloverbut is in Canada, given the odometer reading in km.


    The valve cover gasket is a notorious candidate for leaking and I've seen other forums where owners have had multiple attempts in short order to stop the leak from it. I'd look at the back end of the engine nearest the firewall for signs of oil.


    I still say the dealer is not being diligent in his search to find the leak.


    You may be right that the synth caused the leak. Could be the cleaning action of the synth opened a leak that some dirt/gunk was holding shut. That dirt/gunk could be the early signs of sludging that the synth is supposed to help avoid.


    I don't know if I'd switch to synth or not in your case at your mileage after receiving the sludge letter. I run both our vehicles on synth (Mobil 1 5w-30 in our 7 year old Accord from 20,000 miles and Valvoline 5w-40 in the Passat from the first change at 4,000 miles) and both vehicles are absolutely leak-free.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I saw this on another forum; don't know if you have the V6 or not. I thought you might want to read it and perhaps mention it to your dealer:


    Greetings all!


    Newbie here, and the proud owner of a 2001.5 Passat, V6, tiptronic.


    I have had the car about a month now... and love it.


    Like some others here (I've combed the old posts), I've had a problem with oil smoke coming from a drip drip drip on the exhaust manifold (passenger side).


    Well, rather than taking it back to the butchers at the dealership, I decided to fix it myself.


    I started with a new valve cover gasket about 2 weeks ago... but that didn't cure it.


    Last night, I installed a new cam chain tensioner gasket, and seal plug.


    This seems to have worked.


    Anyhow, it did not require special tools, or camshaft removal (like the manual says).


    There is just enough room under the tensioner assy to sneak the new gasket/plug under, with the cams in position.


    It takes some fancy finger-work and a bit of finesse, but I'm living proof that it can be done.


    Good luck and I hope this helps solve your oil smell problem.
  • pedped Posts: 18
    My bad, I didn't catch the km. I was told the synthetic would possibly "cleanse" the gunk and that would cause a bigger problem. My 04 Audi A4 will only see synthetic!! Thanks for the correction. Now can you help with post #650?

  • the proud owner of an '05 1.8T Passat 4motion wagon. So far so good w/ the car...


    Onto my questions...I'm looking to buy a FirstAid kit and all weather floor mats for the car. I figure the dealer will cost more $ than what I can find online...can anyone recom. a place I can find these items?


  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Drewparts has both. You can get a discount if you join another forum...rules here prohibit identifying said forum (sorry). There are other online VW parts suppliers. Do a google.


    The VW first aid kit is pricey. I simply bought one from a local drug store that's about equivalent for about the price of the VW one. It fits in the same space and has the added bonus that it was latex-free (a concern due to allergies in my immediate family). OTOH, if you simply must have the VW emblem, well, there's no other choice.
  • Thanks. I will try another dealer
  • ksksksks Posts: 1
    Yes! I own a '99 Passat GLS and I have experienced idle problems for at least 6 months. Only mine has now gotten to the point where it will idle up to 3000 RPM! It feels like my car is going to take off, right into an intersection. I've taken it to the VW dealer twice now and they have not been able to diagnose the problem. They've just said, "We're sorry, but we don't know what the problem is."

    I think this is a dangerous problem that warrants some kind of response by VW.

  • cbanccbanc Posts: 10
    I have owned a 99 Passat since June 1999, bought with 200 dealer miles on it. The engine and front end movement described have been present on my Passat from the first day I owned it. I considered it a part of the normal operation of the car. Maybe it is not, but it has never been an issue with the car's performance. It now has 68,000 miles on it. It broke down on me only once, at about 3,000 miles due to what was described as misfiring spark plugs. It does occasionally have misfire codes which usually resolves on its own. I have used synthetic oil from 1,000 miles changed every 3,000 miles usually.
  • Here's the scenario: Start car, back into driveway, turn off car (run time 10 seconds). Car sits for 10 minutes to 3 hours while i sweep or putz in the garage. Start car to bring back into garage (runs not so smooth but ok - run time 10 seconds). Next morning, wife tries to go to work. Car won't start after repeated attempts (4-6x). She did not touch the gas pedal. Tow to dealer. Dealer finds gas in oil. No fault codes. Says operator error. Why can I do the above with my '96 Passat without problems but the "advanced computer management" of my 2004 Passat cannot handle this situation?

    Anyone know why this is happening and if it should be happening? Seems like something that should happen to my old go-cart and not my '04 Passat. Thoughts? I'd appreciate it!
  • hello iam a vw tech (10 years). when the car doesnt start does it crank fast as if no compression or crank fine start and run so bad it dies? what kind of oil? fuel grade? maybe i can help im kinda a passat specalist i own one and so do my family


  • again vw tech, this engine does move alot the mounts are silicone filled the head light movement is intreaging, do the headlight seam to vibrate when idling in gear?

    hope i can help

  • catecate Posts: 8
    Hi, I drove my 97 Passat GLX today on snow. I did feel ABS worked for a while, then both the ABS and BRAKE lights were turned on. The BRAKE light was off after I restarted the car, while ABS light is still on. The road was icy, and I lost control of my car a little sometimes. Otherwise I cannot see any significant reason.

    The ABS light was on several times before, generally in rain, but I could always turn it off by restarting the car.

        Any suggestions on this problem would be greatly appreciated.
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    My friend has a 2001 Passat with the 1.8 turbo engine. The oil pressure light came on and she brought it back to the dealer. Her lease is up this month, and she just wants to get out of this vehicle due to on-going problems.


    1. They say they need her to authorize an engine diagnostic (at $75/hr x 4 hours) to find out what is wrong.


    2. They say she exceeded one oil change interval by 1500 miles, essentially making any problem they find be outside of the warranty (and her expense).


    3. They say it could be anything from a clogged oil pump to a totally sludged up engine that must be replaced (ouch).


    4. The pressure reading in her car is 1.4 bars, while the normal pressure is 4.0 bars. Sounds like something is indeed clogged, but not sure what it could be.


    Any advice is welcome and appreciated. Is there some fluid to run through the engine that could remove some gunk, drop the warning light and allow her to return the car without taking on great expense?
  • pedped Posts: 18
    Mr. VW tech, Paul,

    Would you take a look at post 650 and let me know if it takes 6 hours to that job? It was the one in the back. names or info will be used. I'd appreciate it.
  • The idle problems may be due to a faulty idle control valve. They normally run in the $200 - $275 range.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Is there some fluid to run through the engine that could remove some gunk, drop the warning light and allow her to return the car without taking on great expense?


    ...And this is why I will never, ever, buy a car coming off of lease.
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    Nor would I since I fear many people who lease cars do not take proper car of them. But, I do not feel at all guilty about this approach since this car was well maintained.


    This solution was sought only because VW was not stepping up to the plate. They extended a warranty due to a recognized design flaw in the 1.8T engine, but won't allow anyone to exceed the recommended oil change intervals. So in 48,000 miles, everything that this car needed it received except once (yes once) the oil was changed at 6500 miles instead of at 5000 miles. This car was never beat or abused.


    Happily, it all worked out.
  • Paul, thanks for your reply.

    My wife's description is that the engine turns over pretty normally (maybe a bit slower) but never catches or fires at all. At 9500 miles we are using 5-40 weight oil as specified...done by dealer. Also using premium fuel.

    The first time, it was towed to dealer, who then apparently was able to start it, but then found fuel in the oil. VW payed for the tow, we had to pay for the oil change. It still seems to me it shouldn't be that easy to "flood" this engine.


    I wish I had been home to witness this, but I had already left home both times. (2nd time she got it going after 4-5 attempts to start.)
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    How did it "all work out"?
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    "recognized design flaw in the 1.8T engine"


    I would call it:


    recognized maintenance deficiency.


    It looks awfully similar to Toyota sludge problem.


  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote on 1/23/05:

    Nor would I since I fear many people who lease cars do not take proper car of them. But, I do not feel at all guilty about this approach since this car was well maintained.


    You wrote on 01/19/05:

    2. They say she exceeded one oil change interval by 1500 miles, essentially making any problem they find be outside of the warranty (and her expense).


  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I started using Mobil 1 5W-30 synthetic oil in my 2002 Passat 1.8T starting at 1000 miles. All of the oil changes have been done with a local mechanic, not VW, with me supplying the oil.

    I thought that with the 1.8T engine sludge problems, VW is now requiring the use of synthetic, and the new larger filters. I also read that VW dropped the price of the synthetic for dealer changes, so I thought I would call VW and find out how their oil change price compared with the cost of buying my own oil, and now, buying the larger filter from VW.

    I was surprised to hear the service person tell me they were not aware of a recent requirement from VW to use full synthetic in the 1.8T, that they use the semi-synthetic oil, and the larger filter, for a $40 change cost. Using synthetic would be $20-$30 more.

    So I have a letter from VW telling me to use synthetic oil, and they are very specific about which oils to use. Then I have the dealer telling me they're not aware of this requirement. Don't these guys communicate?

     I think I'm going back to my mechanic and supplying my own oil. I'll just have to purchase the larger filter from VW.
  • Has anyone found 5w40 non-synthetic oil?

    My dealer claims they fill with 5w40 non-synthetic "line oil" for their oil changes on the V6. Can't find it anywhere for my '04 V6...probably should use synthetic anyway, just curious.


  • I've also been looking. seems reputable, but I'm not sure I'm quite willing to go for it yet.

    have you gotten a quote from the dealer?
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    Get pdf from VW with approved oils, print it, and ask dealer to show you the oil. All of them are synthetics, if I am not mistaken.

    I would ask them to share this top secret information with VWoA as they are apparently unaware of it.




    PS Do search on Edmunds. This pdf was pointed many time
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