Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • Anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get a key replaced? I lost my keys and replacing my honda key (with integrated FOB) cost $140. VW techs gave me the run around on Friday and frankly I don't plan to keep this car much longer but I do need a key (valet key is too much a pain for everyday use). Are there any electronics in these older keys? Can I just get one cut at a locksmith? I don't really want to spend more than $50 (I should only have to spend $5). There should be a method to reprogram the key with out having to take it to the dealer. I once had to replace a key for a 99 Taurus. The dealer sold me the key for $20 then told me how to reprogram it my self just like they would do (If they did it he'd have to charge me $60 for labor).
  • hmm
    i thk i had a similar problem,the pump stops on my car at about 16.5 to 17.0 gal,and i thk the capacity is 18.5,dont know why this happens.the fuel level indicator shows,16.5 when stopped at 16.5,but i fail to unerstand,why the pump stops,without the tank getting full.
  • Anyone had similar expiriences.?

    When I try to back of my car from the parking lot in the mornings,i hear a fairly loud squeaking noise,it is like this,early mornings,when i engauge in to the reverse gear,and then pull the car backwards to get out of the parking lot,i step on the brakes intermittently as needed.At these times i hear this squeaking noise.This noise is more prominent when i am backing off.Is this noise coming from the brakes,or from the suspension?

    Besides,what might be the reason for a funny sound from the engine?cold wheather?
  • The squeaking noise is coming from your brakes most likely. My 03 has done the same thing for a long time. Try it once on a level surface first thing in the morning to rule out the suspension.
    I have 54k and my dealer says my breaks can last at least another 10k. :shades:
  • which washer fluid should be used.?
  • Is it true that my '02 Passat can only be aligned by a dealership service department? I would like to have it checked, but Les Schwab said they could not do it.

    Anyone know why the dealer must do it? I assume the tire dealer wouldn't turn away business if they could have done it, but it seems odd that this is a VW-only service. I don't want to pay dealership prices for the service--it's bad enough to have to buy wiper blades, ect. from the dealership!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I am not sure what you are asking!! Maybe you can only put 16.5 - 17 gallons in because your tank is not completely empty. When the warning light comes on indicating low fuel, you still have a reserve amount of gas. My '04 has a 16 gallon (+/-) and I have never put more than 15 gallons in.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I've had an alignment done at a European indy near me. In fact, it was better than the one done previously by the dealer.

    However, in some instances, the front subframe assembly may need to be loosened and adjusted. Many alignment shops either don't know this or won't do it, apparently due to specialized tools required.
  • Yeah you are right,But if there is reserved gas in the tank,the fuel indicator should show full if i fill 16 gals in a 17.5 gal tank,and it does not ,the fuel gauge shows around 90%,this means the pump is stopping early.And the tank is not getting filled properly.
  • Ok i bought a 93' Passat about 4 days ago. It is in great shape from what i know and it has run very well, nothing wrong except the battery needed to be re-charged. well this morning i went to start it and it wouldnt start. it wouldnt turn over even the slightest bit, just a click. its not the battery because the lights and everything else will turn on just the motor wont turn. is this a starter or ignition problem???
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Do the headlights STAY on when you turn the key to start? Even a weak battery will keep the lights on with no "load" but you can spot a weak battery by trying to start the car.

    If the headlights STAY on, just as bright, when you turn the key to start, then yes, you probably have a starter or ignition key problem. If the headlights go out immediately when you turn the key to start, it's probably a bad battery or alternator.

    And don't charge the battery up with the alternator. Always use a battery slow-charger.
  • bought new 05 passat in april, engine would surge or shudder from time to time & engine light come on- took to dealer- they said it was a flash problem but changed out a gasket - apparently engineering recommended as a temp fix- now always get "emmisions workshop message" and still get shudder or surge- took to dealer- engineering still working on flash program- put in new EGR plate- another VW engineering "temp fix"- still no resolution- this after 8 months and only 9000 km. Anyone else with this problem- getting pretty choked- are there lemon laws in alberta canada? Would a aftermarket chip tune solve issue?
    how long does it take to write up flash program- can I get 8 yr computer wizkid to whip me up a new flash program!!

    Maybe instead of "drivers wanted" they should consider "engineers needed"

    put on 7000km on new toyota tundra in one month (offroad even)and it works way better. Maybe should have bought highlander hybrid for instead of passat
  • user777user777 Posts: 3,341
    if everyone needed a new flash for the same problem... they wouldn't put an 8yr computer wizkid on the effort. ;)

    not knowing that much about VW's, it seems like an inconsistent fuel delivery / or air/fuel scheduling problem. what about an intermittent fuel pump? what is scheduling the fuel injectors? what about a quirky throttle body and/or sensor? what about a bad connection to the MAF/IAF sensor? possibilities abound.

    could your dealer swap out the MAF/IAT (Mass/Air Flow, Inlet Air Temp), TPS (Throttle valve Position Sensor) or ECU? any loose connections to any of these devices?

    the problem you have is intermittent. this makes me think of a loose connection, or a part that isn't working properly. i don't think some flash is going to help you. if your car required a re-flash, i'd think you wouldn't be alone.
  • This problem has occured on 9 other tdi @ the dealership- I was told in june after I first started noticing problem that it was a flash problem and that it would take approx 3 months to get the new flash passed by govt regs. they've had it on the diagnostic comp. several times and this continues to be the problem they state. It has been 8 months not 3 since I first took the car to them.

    I am concerned about the surge as it is now winter in canada and if you're on black ice and you have a change in velocity or power transfer it could cause you to loose control- this is the car that my wife and children mostly ride in- very precious cargo- this becomes a safety concern for me.

    also $36,000 car should run a little better I would think.

    I will mention about the MAF/IAT, TPS etc.

    thank you
  • z_manz_man Posts: 15
    I have a '03 GL 1.8T model that would not start in the morning. I had it towed to the diler twice now and they cannot find anything wrong. Battery was replaced a month ago. They told me that starter, alternator and battery are tested good. Car was left there for almost 4 days and they called me last night saying that I need to pick it up since nothing is wrong with it. It was starting for them every time. So, I went to the dilership last night, drowe my car and this morning same thing, it would not start. I called service manager and he "could not believe" it so at this moment it is being towed again. I love VW's (this is my fifth one)but this is getting out of hands.
  • z_manz_man Posts: 15
    I have it on my '03 Passat. Since I bought it, I was never able to put more then 13 galons. My tank has 16.5 capacity and I drove it few times until was almost empty, went to the gas station and all it could fit was 13 or 13.3 galons. I had it in service for that but, as expected, they could not find nothing wrong. So far, they replaced fuel sensor, fuel pump and God knows what else but still, it does not work.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Since I also have a '03 with the 1.8T, your post got me many gallons does the car take to fill it once you hear the "refuel" chime? For me, that's about 12.2 gallons or so. I know from reading around different forums VW is very conservative about not wanting the tank to run dry. Personally, I've never put in more than 13.7 gallons (which in return gave me 417 miles of travel or 30.44 mpg). My best mpg on a tankful was 32.63 mpg.
  • danpadanpa Posts: 27
    "Since I bought it, I was never able to put more then 13 galons. My tank has 16.5 capacity and I drove it few times until was almost empty, went to the gas station and all it could fit was 13 or 13.3 galons."

    How did you know it was almost empty?
  • My problem is the pump stops as soon as it starts. I have to squeeze the nose numerous times to get the tank filled. It does not matter how empty or full the tank is. My 06 Passat has a 18+ gal tank. Also, this happens with specific gas stations (brands). People told me that is caused by air lock. Looks it has something to do with the design of the fuel nose. I think no repair can be done so I have to live with it. Other than that, I love the car.
  • Top that! This car has been the biggest lemon ever. I'm so disappointed with VW's service, both from the dealer and VW of N. America. I'll post later in depth about all my problems. Over the past two weeks the car has been in the shop 4 times, each time they give it back to me, it runs worse than the time before and the dealer states a different problem and wants more money...NO, NO, NO! The sad thing is that I was set on buying a new A3 3.2 S-line this Jan/Feb but I just can't give VWAG anymore of my business, period. I'll just have to settle for something else, maybe the new IS 250 or the TSX, something that is reliable.

    Volkswagen DOES NOT stand by their product, beware! More horror stories to come, nobody is going to believe how bad it has been.

    Dave in VA
  • z_manz_man Posts: 15
    Never more then 13 something. I understand that there is still gas in the tank ones it tells you that is time to refuell but I should be able to put more gas in it. I do not see those problems on my wife's Golf. Somebody asked me how I know that tanks is almost empty. According to the computer and looking at the gauge.
  • danpadanpa Posts: 27
    z_man wrote: "Somebody asked me how I know that tanks is almost empty. According to the computer and looking at the gauge."

    Sorry, but that is ridiculous. There is a reserve. Unless you run the tank dry -- which you should NOT do since it kills the catalytic converter, or so I understand -- you are NOT dealing with an empty tank. Maybe you are filling on a slant. Maybe the tank is slightly slanted. Is it that big a problem?
  • You're just misjudging. The tank isn't "nearly empty" until the gauge dial falls BELOW the lowest stripe near E. When the low fuel indicator light comes on, you typically have 3 or 4 gallons left. What you're describing is totally normal behavior.
  • z_manz_man Posts: 15
    Why is it ridiculous? What's the purpose of computer then? If it tells you that you can drive 10 more miles for example, what are you supposed to do, just keep driving and ignore it because, what does he (computer) know?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    The computer readout is not an exact number - it's approximate. It is designed to alert you to the condition and give you an estimate - in this case a conservative estimate.

    This past weekend I drove from north of Boston to Cape Cod - a 75 mile trip each way. When I started the trip, it told me 135 miles to empty. It didn't budge off that for 20 miles. On the way home, it started out at 80 miles to empty. 10 miles from home, it was at 0 miles to empty. Guess what, at the gas station 8 miles away I was able to pump only 13.5 gallons.

    It's not perfect.
  • z_manz_man Posts: 15
    If you read your manual, it will say that once your fuell indicator light goes on, you still have 2 gallons left. Ask you service advisor and he/she will tell you the same thing.

    Did you drive with "Please refuell" message on? How many miles you were able to drive with it and how many galons you were able to put afterwards?

    This is not my first and only VW. For the past ten years I had nothing but VW's but this problem I am having with Passat is unique or maybe, you guys are right, maybe it's just me, who knows?
  • z_manz_man Posts: 15
    I know it's not perfect nor it's supposed to be. I just thought it would be more accurate but that's ok, after all, what's the difference how many galons you can pump in, 13 or 15, it does not matter, right? I still love my Passat.

  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    If airplanes used the same computers that cars do for calculating fuel consumption, they'd be falling out of the sky :P
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    "If airplanes used the same computers that cars do for calculating fuel consumption, they'd be falling out of the sky."

    No they would not, and for the same reason - VW does not want the tank run dry. So even when the computer says it time to refill, it is conservative, giving you ample time to do so.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    That's a kind way of putting it---okay.

    But really the computer is not actually measuring gas flow or gas is only estimating it.

    The best way to deal with all this is to find out what your reserve tank holds--in this case, your gasoline warning light IS triggered by an actual analog device--and if you know your usual gas mileage, you'll know about how much time you have left to get gas.

    I would never rely absolutely on the computer to tell me when to get gas, that would be a mistake IMO. The light is a better source of info for this critical function.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I'll say this about the Passat's trip computer and fuel refill light. The computer, based on three years of record-keeping, is accurate on it's mileage readout (MPG per tank) to about 1.3%. It's slightly optimistic. I think that's pretty accurate, especially over three years.

    As I understand it, the computer is actually measuring the amount of time that the fuel injectors are open. So, yes, it is actually measuring fuel flow.

    The fuel warning light always lights when about 12.2 gallons have been consumed and the needle just touches the top of the red end of the gauge (which looks to be about a 1/8 of a tank) in my car. The gauge itself is very linear on the way down from full. It's not a car that you can fill up and run for 50 miles before the gauge moves (like my wife's Accord). Fill and drive it 12 miles, and the gauge shows about 1/2 a gallon down.

    I absolutely agree with you - I wouldn't rely on a computer to tell me when to get gas, either. And you're right - oce you get to know the gauge, you are good to go. And if you reset the trip computer (there's two trip computers - reset #2) every time you fill up, you'll know exactly how much farther you can go on the reserve. There's no guessing involved (but maybe a little mental math).

    It's just idiosyncratic to Passats. Once you get acquainted with the gauge, there's no problem.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Okay thanks for the good info!

    Hmmm...if the computer measures TIME of injector opening, that's good, but what about volume?

    But gee 1.3% is pretty good, better than I thought.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I believe the injector rail is kept at a uniform pressure. Stands to reason that timing then equates to volume.

    Yeah, about that 1.3%...sometimes it pays to be obsessive-compulsive.
  • After continuous poor service from VW, I refuse to pay them another nickel on my son's '01 Passat. If someone can recommend a good independent, that would be greatly appreciated.
  • Did you get any resolution from VW on this Warranty issue? We are having teh exact same issue and VW is asking us for service records that we did not kept (Jiffy Lube and other oil changing shops).

    Any advise on how to proceed?
  • I may have made a mistake and had my oil changed at Wal-Mart. The nearest VW dealer is about 70 miles away. They put in 10W - 30 and then a day later my 'check engine' light came on. Coincidence? I hope not. I am going to get it checked at AutoZone right now. Go to the Valvoline website. It has a lot of info regarding what grade of oil your engine needs. Honestly I don't think it is hurting anything except maybe you gas mileage, but just slightly.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Give more info>

    What year is your car?

    What engine? 1.8T or V6?

    How many miles on your car?

    How often do you change oil? Both in miles and time?

    What kind of oil did Walmart use? Synth or not?

    Have you been using synth before this?

    Was it the MIL light that went on? Was it falshing or on steady?
  • dcmikedcmike Posts: 53
    I own an 01.5 New Passat with about 60,000 miles. When I turn the heat on (the setting that brings in outside air more so than recirc), a strong burning smell enters the cabin to the point that I have to put down the windows. Has anyone else dealt with this issue? I just replaced the CV Boots, as well as repaired the trunk which stopped closing. I hope this one isn't too serious (I still have to replace the fog lights).
  • sage4sage4 Posts: 1
    Advice please! After four and a half years, my 2001.5 automatic Passat - now with 100,000 miles -- has been nothing but a budget-buster. Everytime I've taken it for an oil change or scheduled service, VW has given me a laundry list of needed expensive repairs. Bills have ranged from $500 to $800. Last week I paid $500 after the warning lights announced STOP, SEALING COOLANT. Tonight I got this message: STOP TURN OFF MOTOR. Dealer told me last visit I need to change the timing belt for $800. It never stops. Should I go back to an Acura? Will I be able to unload this car without losing my shirt? Thoughts anyone?
  • I had the same thing happen recently to my 2003 Passat. It burned a dime size hole in the driver's seat. It actually burned through a wool coat I was wearing too.

    I haven't contacted the dealer yet. I want them to pay for my coat.
  • If you're near lincroft. There's the Lincroft Exxon. I drive half an hour to get to this service shop, but the head mechanic is very honest and does good work. An honest mechanic, who did a heck of a lot better job than any VW dealer I've been too, I believe he also does recall service too!!! The same you get at a dealer! :)

    I wish the lemon law were more lenient cuz this car would be a BIG :lemon:
  • Bought the car in nov. from the beginnning the car vib & bounces. it has been To THE dealer 5 times for the same thing- there answer is-nothing wrong with car-the tires were changed & Rims from the steel to alloy no change it still bounds all the way to work & home. I live in CA. I took the car to another dealer I WAS TOLD TO DRIVE WITH A FULL TANK AT ALL TIMES & TO DRIVE WITH SOMEONE IN THE CAR TO ADD WEIGHT- after so many complaints-they brought in a tech from volks- answer the car bounds and vib also the noise in the brakes is due to the condition of freeways-why dont the other cars driving have the same problem. I called Michigan and told them the problem. Please I need some help.
    Thank You.
  • Hahahha

    That is funny!!
  • audreymaudreym Posts: 103
    OMG!!! Sorry - need to vent. Any suggestions would be appreciated:

    At our 30K maintenance, we got the standard hoopla performed, including rotating the tires. 2 days later, the rear brakes were down to bare metal. Took the car back, and they replaced the pad & rotors under warranty. (How could they rotate the tires & "inspect" the brakes for the maintenance and miss this??)

    Ok, now we are at 46K. We brought the car to a tire shop for new tires, brake pads (not sure why they were so low at 16K) and inspection. We got a call this morning that the rotors are shot too and they cannot be resurfaced!!! How can brakes & rotors be destroyed in 16K of standard commuting???

    The service advisor said that they are a wear item and would not be covered - and that our driving style must be hard on the brakes. I asked how it was possible that the factory brakes lasted 30K, and after they replaced them they only lasted 16K????? At that point the service advisor transferred me into the service managers voice mail. That was almost 3 hours ago.

    What do you guys think? Should I just pay the tire shop to replace them or should I try to hold the dealer responsible?

    ARGGGG! As soon as the 06 Infiniti FX comes out, we are dumping this :lemon: !!!!!
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    at 30K you got new pads but not new rotors.

    This is my guess.

  • audreymaudreym Posts: 103
    Nope - they ended up replacing the rear rotors because the left one was badly gouged. Spoke w. the Service Manager and he confirmed that was what was in his computer.

    I think we are just getting it fixed by the Tire Shop. We will only be keeping the car for another 3 months.. as much as it sucks to pay full price for a set of breaks we are just not in the mood to fight with the dealer over a warranty issue or pay DEALER full price..
  • I used to have a 2003 Passat GLS/Tip and rear rotors and pads went at 22k. Noticed pulsating at about 18k. If you research, this is a common issue with the Passat, so your experience is typical (in fact, at 30k on your first set, you did better than many.)

    You should expect to do rear pads/rotors every 20k +/-. This is a characteristic of the car and VW will not resurface the rotors, as they are thin/disposable. If you have an independent shop resurface the rotors, you will accept all liability with the independent shop.

    I really enjoyed my 2003 Passat but dumped it end of lease due to the following:

    Expense/frequency of brake service
    Dealerships, while friendly, did not seem to know what they were doing in serving the car
    Lack of confidence in VWOA
    Lack of confidence in warranty claim process (i.e., if I bought off-lease, would VWOA honor a sludge failure, particularly since dealer service records were terribly inaccurate on paper, i.e. said my car had a V6 vs I4, but verbally said they were servicing car per spec.)

    Wound up going with a 2005 Acura TL, as these issues plus VW not offering a comparable choice (New Passat V6 was a late arrival and same issues with this will exist above, I thought the new Passat actually felt cheaper than the last gen. particularly the poor exterior design and cheap interior materials) excluding consideration of a future VW purchase. In general, I find the Acura to be a far superior product that is priced equal or better when most competitors are optioned equally.
  • The rear pads on my wife's 2003 Passat GLS were in need of replacing at the 40K mileage interval. Instead of having the pads (and rotors) replaced at the dealer ($$$), I ordered the replacement rear rotors at my favorite site (do a google search for Adirondack Auto Brokers) for $64, took it to my private VW mechanic, and had them install the new pads and rotors (they also thoroughly inspected the braking system and performed a 4-wheel brake bleeding) for $104 (including the cost of the pads and labor). My mechanic also told me you will experience some brake squeaking until the new pads and rotors are broken in (the pads and rotors were broken in after a couple of weeks of driving and the squeaking is gone).

    Bottom line: $168 in parts and labor vs. $450+ at the dealership for the same VW-spec brake job.

    If you value your wallet - stay away from the dealer unless you are absolutely, positively sure they will cover the repair under warranty. Other than that, I wouldn't waste my time with the dealer.
  • BGBGLBGBGL Posts: 6
    The master key is supposed to unlock all doors on the second click. This stopped working a few days ago. (2001.5 Passat GLX/6cyl/60,000 miles)
    I just a diagnostic done less than a month with the 60,000 check up ($127 for this service) and then another because heat gauges and steering wheel would not show. Heat was there but no fan operating and no cruise or radio on steering... $121 later discovered need for $.27 fuse!
    Ok could this second click be a fuse problem? If so which one or any other possibilities? Thank you. All this is going on in less than a month and I was told they will start with another diagnostic.. my third one! Any thoughts? :mad:
  • My thought is they are trying to put one over on your with $363 in diagnostic fees in one month, making that kind of money to plug in a code reader for 5 minutes of work...
Sign In or Register to comment.