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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • klh3klh3 Posts: 18
    Has anyone had a hitch type bike rack installed?What brand? Anything I should know? I have a 05 Passat Wagon.
  • bindhubindhu Posts: 20
    Where do we get the right fluid for the automatic transmission, the only one who seem to be selling it are Amsoil, a mlm.
  • spiazza1spiazza1 Posts: 1
    Thanks for this answer...I'm having this exact problem right now. I can't seem to squeeze my hand under the batter tray...and I don't want to remove the battery due to the radio code. I'm taking the car in next week for it's 10k checkup...I'll have them fix the issue and hopefully clean the carpet and mildew smell out of it.

    Is there anything I can do to prevent further water from coming thru the dry well in the meantime???
  • klh3klh3 Posts: 18
    I have a 05 Passat Wagon with 3k miles, I have noticed on mine as well as apprx. 15 other 05 Passat and Jetta's at the dealer that the front brake pads are tapered. which means there is only apprx 1/4 inch of brake pad being used. I was told that was the design, but I fail to see the advantage/logic of this. Does anyone have any experience in this? The rear pads are squared to the rotor which is what I am used to seeing. The car roles forward when you take your foot off of brake, so even though it looks like it is dragging it isn't. :confuse:
  • ronellisronellis Posts: 2
    OK. I've read these messages until my eyes have glazed over. I now have specific questions...

    I'm looking at a 2003 Passat Wagon with 1.8T and 42k miles.

    When did VW begin instructing dealerships and drivers to use the higher spec synthetic oils? Was it before or after the 2003 model year? Have the 2003 and later models had the oil sludge problems? How about the coil pack problems?

    If sludge has begun to form in the engine, can it be detected by an experienced VW mechanic during a pre-purchase inspection? Can oil sludge be cleaned or removed from an engine? If so, is it feasible/affordable to do so?

    I'm really trying to downsize from my Eurovan, and I like the Passat Wagons a lot, but I hesitate because of some years' problems.

    Thanks in advance.

  • bindhubindhu Posts: 20
    A mechanic told me that you could put Esso 5W15 synthetic oil to replace or top off the automatic transmission oil of a 2000 GLS V6 Passat. Any comment anybody?
  • I have a 2002 passat wagon with about 34k, automatic. I pulled up to my friend house and parked, engine still running. Suddenly the car started to vibrate and shut off. (some white smoke came from the hood) The engine's light came on. I am confused, I can't figure out what's wrong. Battery is fine, all fluid are fine. I can't restart my car. I brought the car used from a dealer about a year ago, and i change the oil frequently (every 3000miles). Do I need to get some sort of tune-up? Do anyone have similar problem? Can anyone help me?
  • I am a newbie and wish I had found this site before before buying my 2005 1.8T Passat. It hesitates when starting off from Stop signs and the auto transmission sometimes downshifts into 1st gear at the same time :( .
    It's a sluggish car and when I test drove it I asked the salesman, he said that you have to "Drive it hard when you first get it, to train the engine on how you want to drive it" (verbatim). The car only had 11 miles on it and I was not about to "Drive it hard". Anyways I bought the car (mistake) and later asked the service desk. They said wait till 500 miles, then the "transmission training" should be started. I wish there was a way to turn off the "Transmission training" in the hopes it would improve the performance. The car has 1100 miles on it now and I am already trying to think how easily I could get rid of it and start off with another car.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    There's a technical service bulletin (TSB) for a software upgrade to the transmission's computer that's supposed to fix the hesitation. I would check with the service department - as the sales department is virtually clueless as far as technical isues are concerned, IMHO...
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    The synthetic recommendation came out in 2004 - covering the 1.8T models from 1998-2004. The Technical Service Bulletin for this also advises the service department to also use the larger oil filter to bring the total oil capacity to 4.2 quarts - due to the smaller 3.9 quart sump size of the longitudinally (front-to-back) mounted 1.8T engine (as opposed to the transverse-mounted 1.8T engines of the Golf and Jetta which have 4.2 quart sumps). The Audi A4 1.8T has the same technical issues as the Passat, as its engine is longitudinally-mounted as well.

    At 42k miles, as long as the service records show that the oil has been changed every 5000 miles, the engine should be OK. But I would strongly recommend getting the engine flushed (you can use that as a bargaining tool in the price) and use synthetic oil the rest of the way (especially in turbocharged engines). As long as you do that, the engine (and turbo) should last at least 250,000 miles.

    Here's a link to the synthetic oils recommended under the VW 502.00 specification:

    Hope this helps...
  • danielp1danielp1 Posts: 9
    I have a 2001.5 Passat. It's engine light came on Monday so I called the dealer. They acted like it was no big deal and set up an appointment for Friday (bad sign they couldn't see it before??). On Thursday the car shut down while on the freeway and I had it towed to the dealer. Apparently the timing belt broke and the service department is recommending a complete engine replacement. The car has 67K and they tell me the timing belt should have been changed at 60K.

    Anybody have any good ideas? Obviously the car is out of warranty but do you think VW would pay for some of the repair? I loved the car but this is really disappointing.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    According to VW's own maintenance requirments on their website, they require the timing best to be changed at 105,000 miles. Timing belt checks are to be completed at 40K and 80K miles. You never mentioned whether you drive a 1.8t or V6, but the maintenance for the timimg belt is the same. Tell the dealer their recommended timing belt replacement is NOT THE SAME as to what VW recommends. Link below!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    "When did VW begin instructing dealerships and drivers to use the higher spec synthetic oils? Was it before or after the 2003 model year? Have the 2003 and later models had the oil sludge problems? How about the coil pack problems?"

    Actually, the 2003 owner's manual does recommend synthetic oil, in a roundabout way. First, it recommended 5w-40 oil - in the North American market, this grade only comes in synth. Second, it cited several VW 50X standards - again a little research will show that this too only came in the synth flavor. The problem is the manual doesn't explicitly say "use synthetic". That was, IMO, a mistake.

    I received the "Sludge Letter" from VWoA in August 2004, I believe.

    On the coil pack topic, a 2003 model could have received the updated coil packs from the factory, depending on the assembly date. My '03 model was built in 06/2002, and it had the trouble-prone packs. I never suffered a failure and had all four replaced under the recall during a scheduled service visit. IIRC, those assembled from 08/2002 onward had the improved packs.
  • danielp1danielp1 Posts: 9
    The passat is a 1.8t. Thanks for your help, but for some reason the link is not working. It goes to the VW page but says the 'page is missing.' ??
  • nmath55nmath55 Posts: 1
    I have a 2001.5 Passat V6. I have had to replace the oil pan 4 times because of pulling into driveways and hitting dips to fast. I want to change the transmission fluid but cannot find anything that describes how it is to be done. I am pretty handy, I have changed the oil pan myself without any problems. Can someone please email or direct me to a site that explains how to change the tranny fluid.
  • jpollackjpollack Posts: 1
    Got the identical problem to you. 2000 Passat with 85,000 miles showing the STOP Break Fault warning. Break system seems to work fine notwithstanding the warning. I actually had this happen to me on a prior occasion about 20,000 mi. ago and like you, VW customer service refused any assistance. Back when this happened the first time, I was actually able to resolve it by replacing a blown ABS fuse in the fuse box, much to the dealer's embarassment, who was quoting me $1,500+ to repair it. So you may want to check your fuses, if you haven't already. Anyway, the problem came back at 85,000 mi. and the fuses aren't an issue now. I am considering buying a second-hand abs pump from an online merchant for the dealer to install. The units seem to be widely available and for much less than a new pump from a dealer ($200-$300). If you go down that track, one word of caution: don't rely on the part numbers the dealer give you. VW changes its part numbers -- probably to make it harder to purchase proper used parts -- so if you look for the current part number, you may have trouble finding the part. You should get the original part number off of the pump in your car and search for that part number, since that will be the most common number on compatible used pumps out there.

    Have you had any success in addressing your problem? As you say, the warning light is very annoying and the STOP DON'T DRIVE warning doesn't exactly help the resale value, though I expect to drive this car into its grave.
  • I have an '03 V6 Passat with FourMotion, 48k miles, no problems until now, and it's really not a problem yet, but more of an annoyance. Recently I've noticed a burning plastic smell coming from the right front wheel well and a buzzing sound in a spot on the engine block nearest that wheel. The dealership said the plastic smell is probably from a bag or something that got sucked up into the wheel well and has been melting, but they can't figure out the buzzing yet. Anyone have anything remotely simiilar to this?
  • frank_cfrank_c Posts: 19
    After having driven the first 1,000 Miles the MPG for my 2005 Passat GLX 4Motion (Wagon) stands at 13.5. This is far below VW's advertised MPG, and far below by my 2004 Passat GLS Sedan's real life MPG at 23. A V6, all-wheel drive Wagon will use more gas, but 13.5 is Ford Excursion level.

    Any ideas what, if anything, could be wrong? Engine management? Drive train issues?

  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    How long are your trips?
    What is the pressure in tires?
    Emergency brake? - I know I am nasty, from time to time.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Just for comparison sake, what did you drive before the Passat? What was the EPA rating and what did you get in the real world?
  • echan2echan2 Posts: 12
    Hi altsir4,

    I own a '04 1.8T VW Passat and have 15k miles on it. I have oil change every 3-4k miles and the dealer's mechanic says I won't need synthetic oil. Though I'm little worry reading all about the sludge problem. I decide to switch to syn oil on my next oil change. However, I've trouble locating the needed grade oil(5w-40). Hope you could help to give me some hint? Thanks alot.

  • wendykinzwendykinz Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2001VW Passat 1.8L Turbo on Jan. 21st and I've had nothing but problems with it since I got it!

    Not even a month into having it, the check engine light comes on and the car shudders and it's the oxygen sensors. I replace them ($350) and decide to replace the spark plugs ($45) to make it run like it should. The people who had it before me probably didn't put the proper grade of gas (requires premium) and when I started putting it in there, I basically got the car sick -DOING THE RIGHT THING!-

    Now, the ac is out!

    I need to know how to get out from under the lease! I bought it with no warranty (I know, dumb, but we weren't going to pay the extra 2k up front that they wanted) so I don't know if they sold me a lemon or what. Is there a way to get out of the lease? I've never had to deal with something like this. I've had a '92 Camry LE since '97 and recently had to let her go and got this so I'm going back to a CAMRY! Any suggestions on how to get out of this dilemma??
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    You leased a USED 2001 Passat? If you signed the contract you have little chance of getting out of the agreement/contract.

    Did you get the car looked at by an independent mecahnic? Did you research teh reliability of Passats?

    How many miles on the car?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:

    "I own a '04 1.8T VW Passat and have 15k miles on it. I have oil change every 3-4k miles and the dealer's mechanic says I won't need synthetic oil. Though I'm little worry reading all about the sludge problem. I decide to switch to syn oil on my next oil change. However, I've trouble locating the needed grade oil(5w-40). Hope you could help to give me some hint? Thanks alot."

    Let me get this straight - a VW dealer mechanic told you that your 1.8T doesn't need synthetic oil? If so, he's absolutely incorrect. That's dead wrong. The dealers are passing out a pamphlet on this very topic in which it essentially mandates using a 502.00 Spec oil for all engines in 19998 to current models (ne PD diesels excepted - they have their own spec). The pamphlet even says something like "to VW's knowledge, only synthetic oil meets this standard." And not every synth meets it, only certain grades from certain brands.

    I looked at your profile, but it doesn't reveal what part of the country you reside. Locally, in Western PA, I can find the following oils at local auto part stores:

    Mobil 1 0w-40 - Advance Auto Parts, Pep Boys, NAPA. (probably $4.99/qt).
    Valvoline Synpower 5w-40 - NAPA ($4.69/Qt), Pep Boys ($4.89/Qt).

    I'm sure that Autozone probably carries one or both (I don't shop there because it's not conveniently located). I think I saw Mobil 1 0w-40 at Walmart, but don't quote me on that one. If NAPA doesn't stock it, they can get it within a day or so; Valvoline Part # V V 966. The approved oil list can be found at:

    VW 502.00 Approved Oil Chart

    The only thing you need to know about that chart is that the North American Valvoline Synpower 5w.-30 is NOT 502.00 COMPLIANT, per Valvoline's website or technical department.

    I hope this helps! Also, if you should be using a larger VW filter, # 068 115 561B. If they're telling you the wrong oil, they may be using the wrong filter. There is a TSB (Technical Service Bulletin) on this very topic, dated from last summer.

    BTW, if it were me, I'd call VWoA to let them know that a VW dealer tech is advising that synthetic is not needed. That kind of advice is going to cost someone a lot of headaches when their engine sludges.

    I've modified my oil change interval to 4,000 miles as an additional hedge against sludging. I see that your changing every 3,000 to 4,000 miles. Good on ya!
  • echan2echan2 Posts: 12
    Thank you for the info. I've been able to locate the store carrys the syn motor oil(5w40). Meanwhile, I live in Vancouver, Washinghton. I've all my services with Rey Reece VW in Portland, Oregon as I was told they have a better service record in my area. I'm going to switch service to other mechanic on my next schedule maintenance. How to contact VWoA?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    VWoA's 800 number is in the owner's manual. Sorry - I don't have it close at hand. Good luck with your new mechanic.

    At my dealership, I always bring in my own synthetic oil. I've never had a problem with them using it. Labor charge is $20 for oil change, plus filter ($8.25) and oil disposal fee ($0.50). Seems reasonable since I don't have the time or work space to make this a DIY job right now.

    I think the link I provided previously didn't work. Should have been:
  • echan2echan2 Posts: 12
    Thanks again altair4. I'll bring in my own synthetic oil on my next oil change too.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Just make sure that it has the VW 502.00 Spec on it. If you're paranoid (like me), save all your oil purchase receipts and request that the service writer indicate what oil you are using right on the service record/receipt. that should cover you in case any thing happens in the future.

    I save every receipt for our VW like it was a sacred text. Better safe than sorry. ;)
  • ricarica Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 VW Passat 1,9l TDI. I bought it - second hand - with a problem on airbags, I mean the yellow light on board is lit. I was told that the chip that controls the airbags is broken, so I purchased a new one. The mechanics from VW center told me, when ran tests, that the car computer doesn't want to reset the old instructions received from the old chip. And the computer registered some problem with the left seat airbag, etc. I mention that the car was never wrecked, so the airbags never went off. What should I do in order to re-activate airbag system? And what could be the problem with my car?

  • mlealmleal Posts: 1
    My 1998 Passat with 84,000 miles and an excellent maintenance track record also has a faulty ABS control unit. No reason was given to me as why it happened, all I know is that Volkwagen repair shop want to charge me $2,800 to change the unit!! You're lucky if you can get the job done for $1,800 and I would like to know where that quote was given to you. Good luck!
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