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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • evan93023evan93023 Posts: 4
    I recently purchased a 2000 VW PASSAT GLX V6 with 107,000 miles on it, and was very pleased until the ac suddenly stopped blowing cold, but the heater worked fine. Now the entire climate control system doesn't turn on, and the seat warmers do not work either. Somebody please help me fix this!!! Also, I have heard that there is a way to eliminate "tip lag" by resetting the computer before startinng the car, is this true, and how do i do it???

  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Check the fuse for each affected system first to make sure they're not blown. If the fuses are OK, I would have the vacuum lines checked for the climate controlled system - If you have any leaks even in one of the vacuum lines, it will shut down the vacuum-operated climate control switches and valves. That is the most likely culprit - since it happened to my 1987 Golf and my 1997 Jetta.

    The seat warmer issue may be something as simple as replacing a fuse (most likely scenario), to replacing the seat warmer elements (least likely, but possible scenario).

    As far as "tip lag", I would check to see if VW has a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) on this condition. It may require a software upgrade to the transmission's computer to solve the problem....
  • tomk10tomk10 Posts: 1
    I am posting this message for my father who owns a 2004 Passat 1.8T. He has owned several VW's but this one has turned out to be a real problem. The first problem happen about a month ago and can be summed up as a classic sudden / unintended acceleration. The dealer seemed to respond seriously but never found anything wrong with the car. The service order just reported the throttle body was cleaned. Now this weekend he experienced another dangerous situation that could not be controlled by the driver. While entering a highway exit cloverleaf he braked slightly to slow down. The car responded by applying full braking force with ABS engaged and stopping him in the middle of the ramp. He has lost all confidence in the car and I don't blame him, my mother refuses to get in the car again.

    Has anyone ever heard of this? These seem like pretty bad failure modes for these systems. I would expect some better safety overrides in these systems that would fail in a safer manner. Since these have only happened once each (so far) the dealer has not been able to fix or explain them.

    He also reported the turbo / transmission did not seem right. During acceleration when the turbo kicked in the transmission would downshift 2 gears. I would expect this may happen on full hard acceleration but he reported this would happen on a moderate acceleration. After the dealer returned the car from the sudden acceleration problem the transmission seems to behave normally.
  • allthumbs1allthumbs1 Posts: 2
    I have a 99 passat 1.8t and a 96 220hp volvo turbo 850. I was shocked to see how much better the volvo mileage(28 avg) was compared to the VW(23 avg)! But I still wouldn't have expected to see 13.5 on your car. That's terrible!
  • allthumbs1allthumbs1 Posts: 2
    I have a 99 Passat wagon (1.8t) and have had a similar unpleasant experience with VW of America's "customer advocate." I bought the car used with 57k on it and brought it to the vw dealer to do "whatever needs to be done at 60k. I specifically asked about the timing belt, because my volvo needs to be changed at 60 or 70k, and I know it can be an expensive oversight. I was told not to worry, VW doesn't suggest changing the timing belt until 105k. Well, here I sit with a destroyed engine at 72k, and VW says I'm out of luck! I have heard of numerous failures of timing belts between 50k and 80k, yet the recommended cycle remains at 105K. Anyone heard of a class action suit or other effort to get VW to admit their problem and revise their repair cycle recommendation to a more realistic figure?
  • I have a 2000 Passat V6 with 35,000 miles on it. I recently took the car to a dealer to get the 40K mile service done. He told me that my rear brake pads have only 10% left on them and my serpentine belt is also severely damaged. The cost estimate given was $450 for the brake pads and $150 for the serpentine belt including parts and labor. My questions are:

    -- Is it normal to have these parts replaced in only 35K miles/5 years?
    -- Is the cost estimate given reasonable?
    -- Should I get this done at an auto shop rather than the dealer?

    Your help is appreciated.
  • dolly1dolly1 Posts: 1
    It's the problem with your ABS. I had the same problem before and I had to replace the ABS. It costed me a lot :'(. Anyway, go to your vw dealer to have the ABS inspected. Good luck.
  • mwppassatmwppassat Posts: 8
    I just found this forum and was happy to see other Passat owners out there. However, after reading many postings, the Passat does not sound like a reliable car.

    I would just like to say that I have a '97 Passat TDI that I absolutely love! I have almost 240,000 miles on my car. It has been the most reliable car I have ever owned. At 234,000 mile finally had the clutch assembly replaced. The mechanic said he'd never seen a clutch last so long.

    I've had very few problems with the car. A new computer at 140,000 miles. I get my timing belt changed at every 60,000 (that seems to be a concern from what I've been reading). I just can't praise the car enough. And to top it all off, after this much mileage, I still get 47 miles to the gallon on highway driving.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Just remember - the majority of people who contribute to these forums aren't usually here to sing the praises of a particular automobile they own - they usually come here to vent their frustrations or seek advice.... We probably represent a fraction of the total car owners out there who may or may not have problems.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    "I have a 2000 Passat V6 with 35,000 miles on it. I recently took the car to a dealer to get the 40K mile service done. He told me that my rear brake pads have only 10% left on them and my serpentine belt is also severely damaged. The cost estimate given was $450 for the brake pads and $150 for the serpentine belt including parts and labor."

    I'd say that for a dealer, the brake job price isn't high, assuming they are replacing the rotors, too. Having said that, I'd guess that an independent shop would beat the price.

    BTW, it's not that uncommon for the Passat to run through the rear brakes like that, based on a number of posts I've read here and on other dedicated Passat forums.

    Can't help you on the belt price.
  • jpo1jpo1 Posts: 2
    2.8L 5 speed automatic. The car "clunks" into gear once-in-awhile when accelerating after slowing down (not to a complete stop). When it does happen it is when I've slowed down (coasting) and then press on the accelerator again. It seems to be to be a problem with the automatic shifting as if the car "neutrals" out then drops into gear. I am not able to make it repeat at will, but it is consistent in that it doesn't happen when taking off from a dead stop. Only when rolling through a corner and in 2nd/3rd gear range.

    Just wondering if anyone else has had this problem. I have read similar posts on other VW models but not the Passat.
  • pokey1pokey1 Posts: 5
    I have a 2000 GLX with 99,500. Mine to sticks at 3/8 tank (this started at 96K) and I got the same dollar quote to replace a sensor. Seems in 02 there was a recall on this for select VIN numbers. I checked and of course mine wasn't on list. You may want to call VW and see if yours was on list. 800-822-8987
  • pokey1pokey1 Posts: 5
    2000 GLX with 99K. Seems my car bumps/hesitates between 25-30 mph, only when I am accelerating on modest hill. This does not happen on hard acceleration. Anyone know if this is attributed to the software issue from last year, or possibly an oil change is in order? No tranny problems to this point and have never changed tranny oil.
  • sathishsathish Posts: 3
    I drove a 2001 Passat V6 stick shift car of my friend and was very impressed. I decided to buy an used 2000-2002 Passat but reading on the web hasn't pleased me a lot as i come across lot of complaints. Is it really worth buying a 2000-2002 used Passat? I do understand that it is a beautiful sporty sedan and driving it is a pure pleasure. But i cannot afford to spend a lot on maintenance. I would be most probably getting it from a private party and so i've to spend for everything since i wont have warranty. Please advice me.

    Thanks a lot
  • jickjick Posts: 14

    I recently had my 2004 Passat (GLX V6) oil changed by the dealer @ 4000 miles.
    I was going on a trip and wanted to ensure the oil was new. After the work was completed, I asked the service rep. what weight oil did they install? He replied 10w – 30 semi- synthetic??
    Is this acceptable or should I replace this oil (after driving 800 miles) with VW 502.00?

    Please let me know

  • jickjick Posts: 14
    I own a 2004 Passat V6 auto. What are the "2001.5 tweaks?

    After driving 700 miles recently, when I came to a stop and the car shifted to first gear, I would get a strong KLUNK vibration? After the car was off the freeway, and in normal driving conditions for a period of time, no more KLUNK? Any ideas out their.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Jick, i'm not that familiar with the 2.8 engine. First thing I'd do, though, is check to see exactly what does your owner manual recommend. That should be your starting point.

    Second, there is a pamphlet that I picked up at my VW dealership that, IIRC, indicates that VW spec 502.00 is recommended for all VW engines in 1998 to 2004 engines (excepting the PD diesel, which has its own special spec). I don't have it here, so I could be wrong about the full extent of the coverage.

    Third, you could the VWoA at their 800 number and simply ask the question: What is the recommended oil for your engine and model year.

    Having said all this, I don't think that the 2.8 V6 is nearly as hard on oil as is the 1.8T. You have a larger sump and no turbo, so that should equate to less stress on the oil. Maybe others here have better advice.
  • ricky7ricky7 Posts: 4
    Hi All,

    We are planning to buy a 2005 Passat GL Auto ..... This car is for my wife and she wants a very low maintanance car .... After reading reviews on this forum .... We have almost decided not to buy this car .... Any other opinions ?
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Unfortunately, A Passat is NOT known to be a low maintenance car. That is the realm of Accord's and Camry's. Passat's provide a great driving experience, but tend to need more TLC.
  • joycepjoycep Posts: 1
    Is the class action still active? How do I find out more? I have 2003 beetle, it had a window problem in the beginning. Now I have a mold problem
  • jickjick Posts: 14
    Thank you for the info. :)
  • evan93023evan93023 Posts: 4
    I have a 2000 GLX with 107,000 miles on it. I get the exact same problem, I hav asked for help, and have contacted dealer, but they want a lot of money to take the transmission apart and inspect the problem. My passat always "lags/thumps/hesitates" when accelerating. Since we have the same vehicle and same problem, we could consider checking with the Volkswagon customer care about TSB's or transmission computer updates. I have also heard that there is a way to restatrt the computer before starting the engine, does anyone know about this???
  • evan93023evan93023 Posts: 4
    Does anyone know of any TSB's for 2000 PASSAT GLX V6 for the transmission?? Mine lags upon acceleration from a coast or stop!
  • jpo1jpo1 Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 Passat that does something similar but have yet to find any fixes for it. I will be taking it into the dealer next week for the 35k service and will ask them to look into it. It has done this from the time of purchase but very inconsistent. Sounds like you have similar problems. I am not able to force it to replicate though... so will likely be hard for the dealer to diagnose.
  • mikey99mikey99 Posts: 1
    I have A 1999 VW Passat 1.8L Turbo 5sp. Manual

    Yesterday I Go To Lunch, Come Out Of Mcdonalds And My CLUTCH PEDAL
    is On The Floor. No Pressure Whatsoever! Called My Friend, Took Off Dash , Confirmed That It Is A Hydraulic Clutch.. Anyone Else Have A Problem Like This?.. I Do Not Have A Owners Manual As I Bought The Car Used. Any One?
  • csuram59csuram59 Posts: 1
    I just baught my Passat in January, 2002 1.8T w/ 55K on it now, and a month ago it started making an very obnoxious buzzing sound every once in a while for about 5 seconds when I first turn it on (kinda sounds like a broken fan or something). Just recently the check engine light came on, and hasn't turned off. I went to VW and inquired, where they said that I should try tightening the gas cap, and it should turn off shortly. I drove it around for about 20 minutes since then, and it hasn't turned off yet. I am just worried that something big might go wrong. Anyone have any suggestions, or similar experiences???
  • pokey1pokey1 Posts: 5
    See Post #971. Yes I have a similiar issue - I have 99K on a 200 GLX and it just started doing it about 3K ago, at the same time as yours does 2/3 gear. Had my mechanic (Vw, Mecedes, Porsche, Audi only) look at it and he said not to worry. If you have under 100K get it in to be checked.
  • zscottiezscottie Posts: 23
    Have an 05 Passat 4motion 1.8T wagon. Love it...a great SUV alternative. Brought my car in for its 5K service. Dealer service dept. said VW is advising that synethic oil is recommended for it. Does that mean I can go longer intervals w/o service, or is this just to improve the life of the car. Just want to check if my dealer is throwing me a line of bunk...if so, I'm heading to another place!

    Thanks! :shades:
  • Just bought a new 2005 tdi wagon, Car is great but on arrival to the dealer I noted that the driver door was a shade difference than the rest of the car. My wife could not notice it and neither could the salesman. We did a fax attack and there was no other wagon to choose from. I specifically asked the sales manager if the car had been painted and he said no. This is were I should have walked away.

    Got the car home and the driver door and front fender had been indeed painted. Not a bad job but is is just a shade off and has a very thin color coat with clear blended to the back door. I have been on the phone with the dealership and VW of America. The regional rep has been ok but only states that they will repaint the car. It is the reflex silver and is very hard to match. Also, I did not want to buy a car that had paint work. It is not as good a factory paint.

    VW stated that they are responsible and that is was probable done at the port or at the factory.

    I want a different wagon but I know they will never agree to that.

    What should I do? Open to all advice. They state I can file a claim with the BBB but we all know were that will get me. The car runs great but should not have cost as much as a new one.

    Please advise on how to get some results from them.

    Thanks. On a positive note the first door ding will not bother me as much since the car has already had paint work.
  • mobjakmobjak Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Passat with the 1.8T engine. I had the check engine light come on and went to the net to find out what problems might be common.

    One thing I did find is that there is a known problem with the 1.8T engine running way too hot. Synthetic oil, 3000 mile oil change and VW oil filter only should be used. The extra high temperature of the turbo breaks down the regular oil prematurely possibly causing sludge to build up in the oil pan. The sludge blocks the oil pick up and reduces oil flow to the engine. Engine wear and turbo failure are a possible result.

    The oil changes should be documented with receipts in case you need to go to VW to make a claim against your warranty.

    Search the net for "VW 1.8T engine sludge" should get you some interesting info.

    My local VW dealer was vague about the above info, but did not outright deny any of the above information.

    Hope this helps :)
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