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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • dpdwadpdwa Posts: 4
    I own a 2000 Passat wagon, V6, Auto. After reading a few posts about clogged drains under the battery and brake fluid reservoir, I checked mine. I found that the drain under the battery was clogged and the bracket holding the battery was rusting out. (I couldn't locate the one under the brake fluid res). I cleared the drain under the battery and ran water through it, but water still pools just under the battery bracket. Is this area supposed to drain dry, or is a small pool of water under the batter bracket okay? If it is meant to be dry, any suggestions for fixing the problem?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    How did you clear the drain? Here's a link to a website in England which details how one owner did it.
  • A friend of mine is selling their passat GLS and asking 6500. They had the sludge problem and VW had just finished installing a brand new engine. SO essentially I would be getting the car with a new engine. It has 50K miles on and small front fender damage, which I can easily live with. Other than that, they have had no problems with the car.

    My question is that I see SO MANY problems listed on forums with this car. Am I buying a headache?? I know the two MAJOR problems are timing belt failure at around 50K and oil problems with the engine. I had them ask the dealer to check the timing belt which reported back and looked ok ( can I trust the dealer to determine belt life by sight evaluation???)

    Car is very clean and like I said they have had no other problems. Thanks so so much!
  • :lemon: i own a 2005 vw passat and its a lemon. the car had problems after just 500 miles on it. the check engine,EPC and the ASR come on when i take it to the dealer it stays for 2 days and then back after 2 weeks then it happens again. i tryed dealing with vw of america but they game me a stress. they asked me if they can pay two of my monthly payment and drop everything and i sayed no. i had to hire a lawer so that they can buy back the car.

    i cant wait to get rid of my :lemon: so i can buy a Subaru B9 Tribeca!!
  • u should settle for anything u should hire a lawyer and they will do the rest for you. VW of america are hard to deal with so let them deal with a lawyer
  • Hi,
    I have the same car as your.I was going through the same thing. I found out from 1999 and up the transmission is sealed and no dip stick. If your transmission does not leak you don't have to change it at all or add. they used synthetic transmission oil.

  • Hi,
    Have you try reboot? take the battery connect out and put back and turn the car on and it should reset.
    Good luck
  • 19621962 Posts: 1
    My 2004 Passat also has the same problem. Has less than 8k on it. Could this be a universal problem?
  • I bought my 2006 Passat 2.0T on 12/31/06. It now has 85 miles and is one day old. The check engine light is on and there is a 2 second hesitation in the acceleration.
    Talk about buyers remorse. Can anyone tell me what is going on.
  • I cannot offer a specific recommendation, but without hesitation, take it back to the dealer and request (demand) a similar loaner as they diagnose/fix, since your car is literally brand new.

    Could be something minor (i.e. software/computer reflash of some sort, as I think your car has drive-by-wire), so don't get too concerned yet.

    Hopefully you are treating the car properly in the break in period per the manual (typically requires gentle acceration and breaking with varied RPM's under 4k or so for the first 1,000 miles) so this does not have to do with any rough treatment of the car during its break-in period, which would be a user issue.

    Unfortunately, with the first year model of a new design with a maker like VW, which has not been known for stellar quality/reliability or dealer service, you may have some of these issues to contend with. Comes with this territory.

    Good luck in getting this resolved and enjoy the car.
  • jetch5jetch5 Posts: 1
    The W8 skid plate/belly pan will work on all B5 chassis vehicles and is available from for $200 cheaper than the 1.8T and V6 pan as seen there and thru other wholesalers. They also have the hardware available too! Just thought would be helpful to everyone.
  • srv3srv3 Posts: 6
    Were you able to resolve this? I am running into similar issue. Everything works except low beam. High beam, interior and daytime lights work fine. It is a 2002 1.8T. --Thanks in advance
  • tsf7tsf7 Posts: 31
    My 2002 Passat (1.8T 5-spd.) just turned 60k. I like the car too much to justify buying an A4 yet, and hope to keep it for another year or two (30-50k miles at my current pace, unfortunately), as long as it behaves itself.

    I've owned it since 40k, and can verify that all maintenance has been done up to this point, w/ exception of the very expensive and extensive 60k checkup -- I just changed the oil at 60k so far.

    What ought I look at to ensure the car's longevity? I know that the timing belt (chain?) is probably worth checking or changing. What else do you all recommend? Any other issues I should keep my eye on, or tricks that will keep it going "forever"?


    PS--anyone have a 1.8T w/ over 100k miles out there? I think/hope any car should be able to go 150k w/o substantial problems. Is this expectation realistic with this car as long as I pay attention to it?
  • what have u done about it. i have tryed working with VW but they would care less about my problem so i had to hire a lawyer.
  • Hi,

    Hope you are doing well. I have exactly the same problem with my passat's trunk. Were you able to fix it yourself or did you have to pay the dealer to do this?

    Any advise will be very appreciated.


    Hector :cry:
  • I have the same car, bought mine with 38k on it. Now I have 62k on the car, no problems. In 2002 VW changed the timing belt idler on the 1.8T, the old style would fail as early as 48,000 miles(destroy the engine). 2002 and later the timing belt does not need changed till 105,000 miles. The other thing to look at is the alternator and a/c belt. Just run good oil and gas, car should be fine. All the important stuff, brakes, hoses, belts, fluids can be checked by any repair shop.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I would not recommend waiting until 105,000 miles on that timing belt. The engine is of the interference design style and if the belt goes, you'll have significant valve train damage - thousands of dollars for repair and significant downtime.

    I have an '03, and I'm planning on changing mine out at 60K. YMMV...
  • dcmikedcmike Posts: 53
    Wasn't able to fix it myself, had to do it through the dealership - $50 for the part, $150 for the labor (my warranty covered the charge). Next up, find out what that burning smell is and fix the foglights - gotta love it!
  • tsf7tsf7 Posts: 31
    Yeah, I've kind of had in mind to replace the timing belt pretty soon, just to be on the safe side.

    How much should I expect to spend?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Depends on where you have it done and what you include with the service. Lots of people replace the timing belt, the tensioner, water pump, thermostat and other drive belts, etc. The reason is...well, you're already in there, might as well save the additional labor later.

    See this link for the parts involved: - &model=Passat%20B5&submodel=FWD&category=Engine&subcategory=Timing

    Make sure you look at the correct engine code.
  • amannamann Posts: 2
    our 2003 Passat just had to have its serpentine belt replaced at 52000 miles.

    The car is fine but does seem much more costly to keep in working order than other cars we have owned. I wish we would have gone with the Audi and spent the $ up front so we would have known the actual costs to own.

    no more volkswagons for us!
  • amannamann Posts: 2
    2003 Passat
    Has anyone experienced a problem with noise from the steering column? Sounds like a rubbing when you turn the wheel. VW says they have no idea of the source of the problem.
  • aev1aev1 Posts: 1
    The most recent problem I'm having with my 2000 Passat is that there's a leak causing saturation of the floor mat and carpet on the front passenger side of the car. Based on other messages I've read and after talking to my local dealer I have some good ideas on what the culprits are and what I need to investigate to correct the problem this weekend. My immediate concern was drying out the car to prevent further potential damage to the transmission sensor or other electrical components that are housed underneath the passenger side of the car. Using a wet vac, we got up whatever water we could but the area is still significantly damp and had been for 3 days, unfortunately. We want to pull up the carpet and pull it back to dry out the underneath as good as possible and are looking for tips on how to do this. Has anyone done this themselves before or does anyone know where to begin? Figuring out how to pull back the carpet does not seem to be very intuitive. We appreciate the advice. Feel free to reply or e-mail a message directly.
  • I've got a 95 VW passat 6 cyl. Man let me tell you, it's a trip. My car really sucks, but thats because I bought i used. The other day my car died, and about a half hour before that the radio stopped working completly and just says "SAFE" when you turn it on. The problem wth my car was the fan belt and the pully tensionor. That got fixed and it's all fine and dandy now...except my radio still says "SAFE" does ANYBODY know a solution as to how to fix this??
  • anywhere from $600-800, the timing belt alone is listed as a 6.9hr job. The front grille, bumper and radiator assembly have to come off to replace the belt. I will do mine around 85-90K.
  • I'm sure it's something to do with antitheft, your owner's manual should have some info on unlocking it.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Got no real advice on how to get the carpet out, but I can tell you that I once saw a Passat wagon at my dealership with a dehumidifier sitting in the cargo area, running full tilt with all the windows, doors and hatch closed. I suspect they were attacking the same problem as you are.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    the radio manual should have a code printed on the cover (maybe inside cover).
    Enter the code and it should work.

  • The dealer should be able to look up the code for you in their computer system. In order to find the code, two things are needed - the VIN of the vehicle in question, and the serial number from the radio (which requires removal of the radio unit)
  • Hi,
    Wanted to let you know that I had the same wet floor problem. The problem was caused by a air intake seal being broken and a drain in the sunroof being blocke. The dealer had the car for 4 day$. I did not realize I had a problem until the car would not start and had to have it towed in. I assumed the wet carpet was from the car wash overspraying the rug. Won't do that again. :cry:
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    I have an '05 Passat GLS and am ready for new wiper blades. The local auto parts stores don't seem to have any manufacturer booklets that list this model so I had to ask the guy at the counter. He told me to get "Anco winter blades" in sizes 18" and 20".

    When I got home, I found that the OEM blades were both longer than the ones I bought (I measured them at 21" each). Also the arms seem different from other cars I have owned. That brought me to a google search which seemed to tell me that no one knows what the proper replacement size is aside from a $50+ replcement from VW.

    Any advice on how to do what used to be simple owner maintetenance?? What blade is correct?? What should be replaced, the arm or just the blade?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You could try this: &view=trico

    or go to Autozone and look for Bosch Aerotwin blades. Sorry, couldn't find a link to give you. 3397-118925 is the exact Bosch part number for Aero-Twin wiper replacements for the Passat, based on one forum note that I read elsewhere. Can't speak from personal experience about either, since I haven't used 'em.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    I replaced the VW aero blades on my 2002 Passat with Anco NZ1R's. The Anco N21R's saved me $64! You just have to pull the old rubber out of the aero blade, and slide in the replacement, after you pull the replacement out of the Anco plastic holder. There is one end on the aero wiper where the plastic cap comes off. Slide the replacement on from the opposite end. The end where the cap came off has a little barb under the cap that holds the blade in place. Pry that up so that the blade will slide all the way flush to the end, and then push the barb back down and replace the plastic end cap. The drivers side wiper seems to be shorter, so you'll have to trim a little off that blade after it is installed. This sounds more complicated than it actually is, just be patient sliding the wiper on the aero wiper, you have to kind of work it past the center of the arm, and just keep pulling it on, over the barb at the end.
    Anco was one of the top rated wipers in Consumer reports.
  • sadatxsadatx Posts: 70
    Hi all,

    I have an 03 Passat 4motion sedan which is still under the factory warranty - would anyone know if the factory warranty covers a wheel alignment? If not, can someone kindly recommend a place where I can get this done? I'm in Chicago.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    I see you are in NH. Here in MA, Autozone has the Bosch OEM wiper blades. IIRC, they are about $20 for the set.

    They are in a bright yellow box with red lettering. If they don't have them on the shelf, inquire at the desk.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    The alignment typically is covered under a one year adjustment warranty. As for having an alignment done, any reputable tire shop should be able to do one.

    Good luck.
  • mpb1mpb1 Posts: 1
    I am having the exact same problem. I know it is quite a while ago for you - but do you mind telling me what you paid for it? And did you go through a VW dealer or an independent mechanic?
  • dpdwadpdwa Posts: 4
    I wish I had read that web site first. All I did was run a lot of water through a hose into what I thought was the drain hole next to the battery. I didn't take the battery out. What ever I did seemed to work. The drain area is dry. I now clean out the leaves on a regular basis.
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    Thank you B, A & R! A simple, but frustrating issue. I returned the winter blades and tried to buy just the rubber inserts. The guys at the AutoZone counter told me I was foolish because it would take too long plus there are 3 sizes (universal, narrow and wide) and they can't tell me which will work. I tried to explain to them that enviromentally, it made zero sense to replace a perfectly good arm with another perfectly good arm just so one portion (the rubber blade) would be new. So, I bought all 3 sizes of inserts (intending to return the wrong ones later) and headed home to work out a solution.

    None of them worked! The size BJBird quoted was closest, but it would not slide right in. I never thought about removing the rubber from the plastic, but now that you say that I think it will work. I'll give it a go after work tonight, and look forward to "see clearly now the rain is gone" (and the darn road salt, too).
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Oh, yeah...I've changed the inserts. VW sells some that fit as does Honda. If you want the part numbers, I can them for you tomorrow. You might need to use a bit of soapy water to slide them into the arm. Cost is about $10 for the pair.
  • Hi, I just bought a 06'Passat 2.0T from Springfield, VA. Keep in touch and maybe I can get useful information about matenance of the car. Thanks!
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,863
    Since you want to be environmentally aware, remember that there isn't much metal in the aero blade and you could just remove the old rubber and toss the metal in your recycling bin.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    The soapy water also helps to slide the Anco blades into the Aero wipers. It takes a little persistence to slide them in, but the savings over the dealer cost for replacing blades is worth it.
    If they are slightly long, just trim them off with a scissors.
  • I have a Passat 02 with 51K miles.

    The Alternator is shot. VW wants $900+ to repair due to 50/50 the labor involved in getting to the alternator (have to remove the bumper, radiator, etc.) and the cost of the alternator. (I was under warranty until 2 months ago - ugh!)

    Why do alternators fail?
    Is it typical that an alternator would fail at 51K miles and 3 years old?
    Is this a reasonable price?
  • srv3srv3 Posts: 6
    Through other posts found out that the headlights are covered under warranty. Got them replaced at the dealer under warranty.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,490
    Did you ever try to charge up your dead battery strictly by using the alternator? That's one way to kill them. Also water submersion or spilling coolant into them.
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    Done! It took me only 5 minutes to separate the N-21R's plastic strip from the rubber blade. The blade slid in without much effort (In the future I'll try soap). It was a bit long but nothing a snip of the scissors could not handle!

    The cost was $5.99. Thanks to all for the suggestions! And so far the wipers are my only complaint about the car!
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    Headlights are a warranty matter? Was that the 4 yr/ 50K bumper to bumper coverage? Or was that the 1 yr/12K "wear and Tear items / adjustments"?

    I have a blown foglight that needs replacement, if in fact it ever worked (I rarely use them, and never got out to see if they were on until recently). At 15K, and a few uses, it seems like it should not have blown the bulb quite yet (if that is the problem and not an electrical socket or wiring issue...).
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I have an '03, too. When I got the car, I read the manual very carefully, especially the part about oil requirements. The book, IIRC, was pretty specific about the oil specs. I did my research and found that the only oils that met the requirement were all synthetic - there is no 5w-40 oil sold in the US that is NOT synthetic. In my view, VWoA should have been more specific from the start and specified synth oil, plain English. I sincerely doubt most US consumers read their owner's manual as closely as I did...

    You should also have received the "sludge" letter from VWoA awhile ago (I can't recall if it was issued in the summer of '04 or '05 - I think '04). This letter was also specific about the usage of oil that meets VW 502.00 spec, with a list of the oils enclosed. All of the listed oils are synthetic and most are 5w-40 (with a couple outside that range - Mobil 1's 0w-40 and one or two 5w-30's).

    So, based on the phrasing of your note, I'm guessing that you've been using regular oil at 5,000 mile change intervals? If so, I'd guess that you're on your way to a sludged engine.
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