Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    Did it happen just the first time you backed it up? If so, it's probably the ABS doing a self check. My 05 wagon does the same thing as does my Odyssey.
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    It's a brand new engine - it takes time to break in and fuel economy should improve.

    Although you are doing highway driving, is it long trips, short trips, 65 mph, 80 mph? Lots of variables to fuel economy.
  • drew7drew7 Member Posts: 4
    Yes, just when I first backed up. I figured it might be nothing serious. Thanks!
  • bubsthechubbubsthechub Member Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 Passat 1.8T GLS and recently, I started hearing a low thumping noise when I reach about 40mph. The car is only a year and a half old so I'm hoping there isn't anything wrong with the engine. Anyone experience this? Any help would be appreciated.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    You going to have to be more specific than that. Road-speed related (goes faster or slow with the car moving faster or slower)? Engine-speed related (goes faster when revving - slows/stops when in neutral while coasting)? Sounds like it's from the front or rear? Give a few more clues! ;)
  • bubsthechubbubsthechub Member Posts: 3
    It's hard to tell. It seems to be speed related. It's a constant thumping that seems to be loudest/peaks at around 40mph, but I start to notice it around 25-30mph. After 45mph or so, it's not as loud. The sound doesn't get faster or slower. I think it gets louder/softer. It seems to make the car shake a little more than usual, like it's vibrating. I posted on another site and someone thinks that it may be due to a loose lower engine cover. I'll have to check that but not sure if that's the problem. It's not distinctly from the front or the back. When I'm driving, and only the back windows are open, the sound is more noticible. However, if I just open the front windows, it's not as loud. But I don't know if it's just how the wind is blowing, the air circulating a certain way or if it means it's coming from the back. Not sure if this is helpful at all.
  • lewisbrelewisbre Member Posts: 1
    Nice to know other people are having the same problem, it's costing me around $1100 to get this ABS issue taken care of. I'll go to the site you listed and see what can be done. Thanks for the info...
  • wcvwwcvw Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2004 passat wagon 1.8t that ocaasionally won't start. Engine
    turns over but there is no ignition. After several attempts, it finally
    starts. It does this when the engine is both hot and cold. The engine only
    has 8k miles on it. Has anyone else ever experienced this problem? I
    had the dealer check the problem a few months back but they couldn't
    find anything wrong. I'm wondering if maybe it's a problem with the anti-theft-
    start system of maybe the key?? Help?
  • d2l2d2l2 Member Posts: 1
    Count me in on the class action suit if it happens. Just got the damage report on my 99 VW Passat Sedan with 71K miles. Timing belt failure and trashed engine. Probably $2.5K to repair after all said and done. Similar experience with VW America. Spent half an hour giving them every detail on the vehicle, etc. only to be put on hold for several minutes and then getting cited chapter and verse on the "warranty policy", VW will not offer any help on this. Bottom line, VW would rather risk permanent loss of customers (count me as one) than face up to this severe deficiency by recommending earlier belt changes and helping those with the resulting cost of premature failure.
  • prometeyprometey Member Posts: 4
    The dealer told me the same today - I left the car for inspection. They said that the MPG should improve once I drive it more. The question is - by how much..
    I travel about 35 miles one direction to and from work. Sometimes I have slow traffic - sometimes not. I would say average speed is 50MPH. Ofcource - this is averiging between traffic (20-30) and non traffic - (70-80). Currently, I am at 20.5 MPG exactly - do you think that is normal? (another factor could be AC)?

  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,863
    How many miles are on it?

    My 05 GLS Wagon - 1.8t and 5 speed with 2500 miles is at 24.2 mpg per the computer. I've calculated I'm getting 26 mpg. My commute is about 16 miles - 12 miles hwy and 4 miles city. On some days the computer tells me I'm getting 20 mpg and others it's at 25 mpg. It all depends on traffic, A/C use, how heavy my foot it.

    At 70-80, you'll be using more fuel than at 50-60. Slow down a bit and see if it improves. Also, it's a V-6 - it's not going to be sipping the fuel.
  • wbernsteinwbernstein Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Passat and over the years the only real problems I have had have been with various electrical/electronic systems. I have had to replace windshield wiper motors, power mirror, wiring to the gas cap release. The power doors don't work anymore, etc. Is this common? Any over arching solutions?
  • prometeyprometey Member Posts: 4
    I have only 800 miles so far. I think the average stays around 20 MPG. People have told me to wait till the engine breaks in and see if it improves... Hopefully will get better. Otherwise, the car is excellent..
  • passat2000passat2000 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Passat Wagon. Just got it and so far, I love the thing. But,,,,when the air is on and you are driving at 50-70 for some time, the outside temperature will eventually read -58*. Then the air shuts off and you don't get anything untill it unfreezes (which takes a while). Other times while driving with the air off the temperature will read way low.
    Can this just be a bad sensor? Or something worse?
    Anyone had this prob?
  • stock1stock1 Member Posts: 2
    I need to change out the tail light assembly on a 2003 Passat left rear (driver's side) sedan. Is this a difficult task? I can't figure out how to get the current light off. My email address is [email protected]
  • passatonerpassatoner Member Posts: 14
    Hi all, I have two questions - appreciate your advice/help:

    1) My 2002 VW Passat 1.8T warranty is about to expire in October. I got email from VW about extended warranty offer. I haven't found the details and the price from the dealer yet. Wondering if it is a good idea to get the extended warranty and if anyone has any experience getting it or not getting it and details about that?

    2) Also, my car has 39K miles on it, so I need to go in for a 40K mile service soon. I realize its a big service and the dealer charges around $650 I guess. Is it worth to go with the dealer or any ideas/alternatives/suggestions?

  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    1) If you plan to keep your Passt for many more years, I would look into an extended warranty. Remember, the price is negotiable.

    2) For the 40K mile service I would go to an independent VW mechanic. I called an Ind Mechanic and they would charge around $250.00 for the service. Just make sure you keep all your records and verify the parts they replace are OEM VW Parts or better.
  • passatonerpassatoner Member Posts: 14
    Thanks fish8.
    Regarding extended warranty, any idea what would be a reasonable price (and for how many years of extension)..just so I know I'm not getting ripped off..

  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    I am leasing my Passat, so an extended warranty was not considered. I would say, for a VW, maybe between $1500-$2000. The warranty's are probably 7yr/100K miles. Any variation of that is probably doable.
  • rob_passatrob_passat Member Posts: 13
    I just changed the right tail light on my 2002 Wagon. It was simple enough. It was held on with 4 nuts. I accessed the nuts by removing the panel on the right side from inside the wagon. Your sedan should have something similar inside the trunk. The only challenge was avoiding losing the nuts into the body.
  • stock1stock1 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks for the pointer. I wasn't fond of loosening up areas unless needed but it appears that I'll have to dig through a couple of panels as you suggest to get to the nuts. I'll give it a whirl. Cheers!
  • passatonerpassatoner Member Posts: 14
    I found that Warranty Direct (supposed one of the top online warranty companies is offering extended warrantly of 4 Years/100,000 Miles for $ 1,874 (Mileage is total on the odometer, years are measured from the warranty purchase date). This is for California and based on 2002 VW Passat 1.8T with 40,000 miles.
  • frederikljfrederiklj Member Posts: 6
    Is this common for a Passat to have the back brakes ( incl rotor)replaced at 30k? Thanks
  • passatonerpassatoner Member Posts: 14
    Yes, I think there is some issue so the brake rotors get "warped" causing the car to pulsate when braking at slow speeds. I had to get my brake pads and rotor replaced at 35K miles - the dealer was gonna charge about $400 or so, but upon complaining they replaced the rotors under warranty and only charged about $90 for the brake pads.
  • frederikljfrederiklj Member Posts: 6
    Thanks for you reply thats great to know.
    Could a non VW dealer do this repair too?
    Also do you know if 10k a year for a passat is ok?
    Mostlikely short distances it is a V6
    I am buying this car tomorrow and thought I had a great deal but not read the small print that caused the car to go up 1500- still a good deal i hope for a cpo 18300ain.
    I am looking forward to join the passat club
    Thanks again
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Is Warranty Direct offered through the dealer or is it a 3rd party warranty company? The only Extended Warranty I would even consider would be a VW branded warranty (if offered). 3rd party warranty companies are very risky due to the fact they could be in business one day and closed the next. I have always heard that 3rd party warranties should always be avoided.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    Let's just say it's not uncommon. I just did my rear brakes at 25,000. I probably could have gone another couple of thousand miles, but the left rear inboard pad was pretty thin. I changed out the rotors, since they aren't very meaty to begin with.
  • dulnevdulnev Member Posts: 652
    I've had Falken ZIEX 5xx (512???) on my Acura TL for about a year and a half and can tell you with a resounding confidence: THEY ARE JUNK! Initially they were just fine, but after less than 10,000 miles they are exhibiting all sorts of problems including: greatly increased road noise, serious flatspotting, and the worst is significantly diminished grip on wet roads. Be advised: you get what you pay for. Now I wish I spent the extra $300 on the Michelin Pilots!
  • heybud1heybud1 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem with my 02 Passat GLX 4 motion @ 65K, The powertrain warranty recently expired @ (60 K) just as VWOA probably predicted. The dealearship that I frequent reccomends a brandy new trans! @ $5500 (recondioned /not new,I'm sure!) duh, I don't think so! I will check the weep hole in the battery tray and dry or replace the carpeting on the passenger section/Plus dry out the computer module with a hair dryer before I let these bastards take my hard earned cash! Thanks for the tip elag!, I'm sure you'r right ,I had a similar problem with my Jetta.Everyone else,Don't expect any support from VWOA, they could care less when your warranty expires.If all else fails GO for suppervisor/lemon law lawer ect./ or the VW Pres. (hard to get)for any disputes, Peace out!
  • awsaws Member Posts: 1
    I have a 95' Passat GLX. Low mileage vehicle that has sat for a few years. Runs very well, however, my moonroof will only open in the "up" position. The "full open" position will not work. I don't hear the motor running when trying to activate this option via the switch. I'm assuming both positions run off of same motor, so it must be something else. Help..TY
  • vueownervueowner Member Posts: 1
    I can feel your pain. I had a 2000 GLS VW Passat for 17 long months. I was terribly dissappointed since I waited for 2 months for the car to arrive. 1.5 months after taking delivery the linkage between the shifter and the transmission broke after it was backed out of our driveway. It would not shift to anything except neutral or reverse. So we rolled it down the hill and parked it by a curb until the tow truck came. It was in service for 2 weeks. But, they put the wrong part in it. Another 2 weeks later they put the correct part in it.

    At that time there was a hint of a brake problem starting....but before that....we have to finish with the shifting mechanism problems. The new (correct) part made the car driveable, but the tiptronic didn't 2 more trips to the shop until the right part is ordered and installed...2 months time has passed.

    One month long battle to get a defective AC button replaced in June-July.

    Clean sailing from july through february when the check engine light came on. Bad sensor...replaced...check engine light again that month. bad air pump....and while they were checking that out for the second time...check out the brakes. They do not seem to stop the car when backing out of a parking space after the car has been sitting for a while....1/2 a day or more. They replaced the airpump, but when the porter went to back the car out of the service bay the brakes wouldn't stop the car and he almost took out 2 new VW's :) Yes, there certainly was a brake VW needs to study this. One more month w/o my VW. Finally, they think they fixed it....go get day, same straight back to the shop....where it stayed for 58 days....60 days missouri lemon law would have forced them to buy it back.

    Every other day I called to see how it was going. They were dumbfounded. They bled the brake lines over and over and over while they had it, among other attempts at fixing it. Nothing was working. On the 58th I got the was fixed. I asked what fixed it and they said they bled the brake lines.....why would it work today, but not all the other times? They didn't know, it just did. I didn't believe it. I refused to pick up the car. I gathered my service history and called VW customer service....and called and called and called....and visited the dealership over and over. Finally, I got the regional service manager to take a look at the case. VW offered to buy it back, but not under the lemon law....out of "good faith."

    Since I loved driving the 1.8T so much (eventhough I drove more VW loaner cars than my own) and VW had righted the wrong, I replaced the Passat with a Golf.....and it had its own set of problems....including the brakes. I no longer own a VW, nor will I ever again.

    My advice for any car owner, keep good records of any issues. Stick to your guns with the customer service people if you feel like you are being wronged. I through a fit on the phone one day and I still feel bad that the poor person on the other end that had to take that call, but she put me on hold and got her supervisor...and they got the ball rolling in the right direction.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Member Posts: 647
    Thanks for the tip, I was just about to buy the Falken tires!! I had the same experience with my OEM Continentals, serious flatspotting, and diminished grip on wet roads.

    I'll have to start researching all over. Any strong recommendations for replacement tires out there? Someone with time and mileage, and long term experience?
  • selmselm Member Posts: 122
    I recommend looking at They have a great deal of user reviews and is a really user-friendly site.
  • askewaskew Member Posts: 1
    I have just purchased a 2003 1.9 TDI Passat station wagon (86,000 mile ex lease car) that is in excellent condition and fully dealer serviced. Last week a small, but really annoying, "clonk" started to come from somewhere under the car when turning sharp corners. I can only describe it as sounding like something metallic tipping over and hitting a heavy plastic moulding (imagine the sound of a socket rolling around in a plastic tool box). The sound never happens when hitting potholes in a straight line or when negotiating a very open curve.

    Could this be to do with the under tray?
  • davidjtdavidjt Member Posts: 6
    '99 Passat GLS - 1.8T - 75K mi.

    Long Story:
    So I bring the damn thing in to diagnose the ABS/Brake light. When I pick it up, there's a 'bracket' on the RO, and 2 hours labor. I ask what the problem was, and how did the bracket fix it? Neither question answered, but I was assured the problem was sovled, and I could call tomorrow to talk to the tech. I turn the key to start the car, and ABS light is still on (Didn't anybody test drive the damn thing?). Service Writer monkey, apparently recently moved into that position because he couldn't sell cars either and caused less damage back there, tells me to bring it back tommorrow.

    8 AM next morning, I bring the car back, and was promised a status update first thing. I CALL THEM at 2:00, call returned at 3:00, the Uber-technician who was most qualified to work on the car didn't show up to work. Could I leave the car with them another day (no loaner, of course). I go down there that day, talk to the shop foreman. He tells me what the problem was (ECM Comm failure), the 'bracket' was the license plate bracket that their lot valet crushed while moving cars around (THEY TRIED TO CHARGE ME FOR IT!)

    They asked for one more day to let Fred look at it. Third day I get a call saying that it's going to be too expensive to fix (no details) and that I can get a full refund and come get my car.

    I've read the history of the ABS ECM problems in this forum - any ideas on when I can go to get the damn thing fixed (NYC/LI Area)
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Member Posts: 647
    Based on research on Tire Rack, the best all around replacement tire for the Passat appears to be the Kumho ECSTA HP4 716 or the Kumho Solus KH16. The Kumhos seem to outperform a lot of the higher priced performance tires, for a lot less money.

  • blueberry01blueberry01 Member Posts: 5
    Hi, I have a 2001 VW Passat GLS V6 and I seem to have a serious problem. At times my car refuses to start. It turns over and is getting gas, but it continues to turn over. White smoke comes out the exhaust along with a strong smell of gas. It's like it'd dumping fuel into the exhaust system. Problem is, it doesn't do it all the time. The check engine light does not come on. I have replaced the engine temp sensor, fuel filter and the fuel pressure regulator. Does anyone have a clue? Fuel pump, Mass airflow sensor? It can go 2-3 days without problems and then act up. After it refuses to start, if I allow it to rest for 15 min, it'll start right up. It will idle very low after shifting to drive and surge for a few seconds before it picks right up and runs normally. Has anyone had the same problem?
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    White smoke comes out the exhaust along with a strong smell of gas.

    Doesn't sound like a fuel pump, then, does it? From what I've read, when the Passat's fuel pump has a problem, it's usually a complete failure with no prior signs of imminent stoppage. Basically, it just dies.

    MAF would be my guess. I'd search the web for tips on how to clean the MAF first. Try that and see where it leads you. BTW, I'm not a automotive tech, but I did stay a Holiday Inn Express recently... ;)
  • davidjtdavidjt Member Posts: 6
    Unburnt fuel, rough idle - bad ignition coil? There was a recall on the '99 1.8T for that (not including mine, which also had a bad ignition coil), though I have no idea if it extends to '02 or the V6.
  • audreymaudreym Member Posts: 103
    Has anyone else had *this* many things go wrong? '03 Passat GLX, 42,500 mi:

    :lemon: :lemon: :lemon:
    Replaced dashboard computer display (the LCD would go blank)
    CEL - pinched fuel recovery hose
    Ignition coils (hesitation issue)
    Rear brake roters disintegrated
    Fuel pump
    Trunk lid struts
    Brake fluid reservoir ("Stop / Brake Failure" Issue)
    Window off track (Just fell out of its track last week!)

    I think I want to get rid of the car while it still has resale value, but I am scared of the liability of selling it privately. I have already picked out what I want to drive next, but it won't be out until March.. I am willing to get rid of the VW now, but I don't know how to get rid of it without opening myself up to liability.. any suggestions?
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Liability for what? Used car sales are usually "as is". It is the buyers responsibility to have the car checked out prior to them buying it.
  • audreymaudreym Member Posts: 103
    Doesn't this vary by state or is this a hard and fast rule? Should there be some sort of waiver or contract as part of the "bill of sale"?

    The last car I sold was 12 years old, so I did not feel there was any implied contract as to the condition of the car, but this one being less than 3 yrs old it makes me nervous.
  • feilofeilo Member Posts: 128
    Based on research on Tire Rack, the best all around replacement tire for the Passat appears to be the Kumho ECSTA HP4 716 or the Kumho Solus KH16. The Kumhos seem to outperform a lot of the higher priced performance tires, for a lot less money.

    I am running 16" HP4 716's on my lowered Passat wagon for ~15K miles now. I heartily endorse them. They are great value and they perform well too! :)
  • rucb_alumrucb_alum Member Posts: 1
    Hey, at least let the car break-in.

    My 2000 GLS 1.8T was a little tight, too when I first got it. My first trip to Boston only averaged 31 mpg. Now, I get 38mpg or better. This is with a manual trans, though.

  • dwagerdwager Member Posts: 2
    I'm having a similar problem with my 1998 Passat V6. Mine will do it with the engine cold, however. It will crank and sputter a few times the first time you turn the key, but then won't start anymore regardless of cranking for a long period of time. I'm thinking fuel filter or pump, or electrical gremlins. To add speed with which I'll get rid of this car, it also has an alarm problem that has me now opening the passenger door lock with the key, rolling down the windows with the key, and leaning in through the window to start the car before opening any doors. Otherwise, alarm disables starter. I'm sure it will only cost $1,000 to diagnose.
  • dwagerdwager Member Posts: 2
    I just fixed the exact same problem on mine. Now the alarm system is all goofed up, and won't unlock the ignition properly unless I go through some crazy routine. Nobody knows how to reset the alarm. Loads of fun. Goodbye VW!
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Today I averaged over 38 mpg on 90% highway miles...
  • johnsaxtonjohnsaxton Member Posts: 1
    constant velocity joints.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Member Posts: 170
    While changing the spark plugs on my wife's 1999 Passat V6, I noticed oil on the threads of the spark plug from the #6 cylinder. None of the other spark plugs had oil. I did a small bit of research online, and it seems it might be an issue with rings or valve stem seals. Does that sound right?

    The car has 95073 miles, and we are the original owners, so we are still, by a little less than 5,000 miles, within the 10 year, 100,000 mile power train warranty. So I think this might just be covered, but I want to know in what direction I need to point the service writers at VW when I take it in. Do I need to bring the spark plug in to show them what I found?

    Has anyone else experienced this before, and if so, was it a relatively painless procedure (in other words, will the car be there just a day or two or weeks)?

    Thanks for whatever help you can provide.
  • heinemanheineman Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a used 2001 VW Passat 1.8T, 4cyl. It only had 48,500 miles on it and it was in great shape.

    I've noticed that when I'm in gear, stopped at a red light, the engine idle rev's up and down. I've also notice that when I press the gas pedal, there is a slight hesitation and then a sudden burst of power as I have pressed the pedal harder to compensate for the hesitation.

    Any suggestions to what might be wrong or what I should do about it. It's only got 49K miles on it. Does anyone know what VW's drive train warranty is by way of number of miles?

    Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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