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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • alman08alman08 Posts: 282
    gunning an engine at start up will sure kill it, and i meant killing the engine and not the problem that you mentioned.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Are you sure your not driving a Jetta? The base engine in the prior model was a 2.0 non aspirated engine. The Passat (2005 and prior) came with a 1.8t (t meaning turbo charged). Also, what kind of oil and gas have you been using? Synthetic oil? Premium gas?

    Carbon build up with so few miles on the car? I find that hard to swallow.
  • My first VW is a 2006 Passat 3.6 with lux #2 and nav. The car has 1,100 miles on it and has been in service to have both headlights replaced (xenons), a computer board replaced, and the nav system replaced. The car is currently in the service department - actually has been for the past 2 weeks - while VWoA decides what to do with it. The issue, the bolt that holds the harmonic balancer in place fell off. Not knowing how long it was loose and how much internal damage was done since the crankshaft was damaged, they are debating as to whether or not to replace the car, replace the engine, or just replace the crankshaft. The service manager wants to replace the car. I have notified VW customer care of my desire to have the car replaced. Does anyone have any experience in getting VW to agree to replace a new car purchase? Is it reasonable to expect them to replace it given its horrible repair record during the first 1,100 miles and the service manager's recommendation that VW do so? The best driving experience of any car that I have owned, but unfortunately also the worst repair record of any car that I have owned. Do I have a lemon? This kind of nonsense wasn't even expected of U.S. manufactured autos during the 70's and 80's.
  • I have a '01 passat and just recently noticed that when i turn the turnsignal lights on it would only blink for like 3-4times and it would turn off? is this an electrical problem?
  • chancesfchancesf Posts: 1
    Dear kelcpa,

    Not knowing alot about your problem, I had the same "noise" in my 2000 Passat. It sounded like my car was a diesel engine. After some searching I found out that the there is a adaptor for the cami-valve. It closes off the valve. MY repair man(VW mecahnic) says that sometimes when the engine runs hot it bursts a hole in this adaptor. I went tot VW dealer and bought this replacment adapator for around $40.00 and my mecahnic installed it and it sounds like a normal car... Hope this helps
  • tswtsw Posts: 1

    Thanks for your information to kelcpa. I will take your write-up to the dealership to see what they have to say. I too had run into the same similar problems like kelcapa. The ironic part is the same TWO problems. I have been to two different VW dealerships and both were not able to find anything wrong with the rumbling noise in engine. I have replaced spark plugs, throttle services, and injector services already with only 40k miles.

    Can you please be more detail about your fix-up? Is it a lot of work to install the cami-valve? How much time is required?

    I hope that this is the problem. I am getting tired of going back and forth to the dealer.

    Your respond is URGENT. I am schedule to bring the vehicle IN tomorrow.
  • tapp3tapp3 Posts: 12
    I have just 4 days ago purchased a 2002 GLS 1.8 4cl VW Passat. This was my first car purchase on my own. :blush: Now I'm wondering what have I gotten myself into. :confuse: I thought I did my research, but now I'm seeing problems. I have the check engine light problem, and now the plastic under carriage part has fallen down and looks as if it was just barely hanging on to begin with.
    What, if anything else should I watch out for, or try to prevent from happening? Please help! :cry:
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Read this note and maybe the next ten or after it:

    altair4, "Volkswagen Passat 2005 and earlier" #8052, 6 Apr 2006 7:53 am

    Check engine line codes can be pulled at any Autozone. then either post the codes here or google them on the web.

    The belly pan - you can either buy the correct attachment hardware or simply use zip-ties to hold it in place. If the pan is broke, I recommend replacing it (otherwise you'll probably wear holes through the wheel liners, since the belly pan holds the front wheel liners in place). If your belly pan is actually broken, you can save some money by ordering the W8 belly pan - for some reason it's actually cheaper than the 1.8T version and will fit.

    How many miles on this vehicle? Did you receive any maintenance records with it (check in the owner's manual)? Any indication that synthetic oil was used? Do yo have any warranty on this car?

    The 1.8T needs synthetic oil in the correct grade and meeting VW's specification 502.00 at no more than 5,000 miles. You can find a list of the approved oils on VW's website. DON'T TRY TO STRETCH OUT THE OIL CHANGE INTERVAL and DON'T CHEAP OUT AND NOT USE SYNTHETIC! You'll only hurt yourself.
  • tapp3tapp3 Posts: 12
    It has 47,000, I did a carfax check on it and it shows that it had reg service at a Cert VW Dealership. I'm thinking it still has some of the warranty left at least up to the 50,000. I'm not sure if I've seen what type of oil was used and how would I know just by looking at the records? Is there a specific number or letter? I don't think the belly pan was broken, it just looks as if the front came loose. Thanks for your help, you don't know...
    I'm reading the links you sent me right now. Thanks,thanks, thanks, This was my first time! (on a forum)
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    If you look under the car from the front, you'll see a stud sticking downward right in the middle (left to right) under the bumper that holds the front of the belly pan. Somewhere along the way, someone probably forgot to reinstall the 10 mm nut that acts as the primary retainer for the front of the pan. Happens all the time, even at VW dealerships.

    If you have receipts for the service, the VW part number for synthetic oil is ZVW 352 540S, per this list on

    The oil should be 5w-40 viscosity. You should read this pamphlet:

    Stick to synthetic from this list and you'll have sludge warranty protection under VW's warranty extension. You can probably find that on VW's website, too.

    You wrote:
    This was my first time! (on a forum)

    It was good for me, too. :surprise: ;)
  • onlysurferonlysurfer Posts: 96
    Diondonne, I did it! The rubber acordion boot is easy to pull out with out damaging it, I just had to apply a bit more force then I thought would require for this type of operation. It was easy to snap the wire plug (the bottom black one) and get it working. Thanks for the tip.

    happy camper
  • tapp3tapp3 Posts: 12
    Gee how'd you get so good! ;) I mean you really know what I need.... :blush: (Okay I'd better stop) Seriously you were such a help! I took the car today to a local shop and ask them to look at the "belly pan" ? ? ? And he re attached it for me, and didn't even charge me a penny. He gave it a good once over and said he thought it look and sounded as if it were in terrific shape.
    One more thing.. How do you know if the timing belt needs to be replaced? I'm assuming now since I ask him if it looked like it was about to brake, that it's not an actual rubber belt??? I think that it would be best to take it to the VW Dealership. (Correct) I should do that anyway I think.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Vicki, that was good news about the belly pan. It's only plastic, but it is pricey and you need it to hold other things in proper position, like the wheel well liners.

    The timing belt actually is reinforced rubber. It is scheduled for replacement at 105,000 miles, if you follow VW's recommendation. I don't recommend that. Your car has what is known as an "interference" engine design (lotsa cars do). That means that if the belt snaps while the engine is running, the intake and exhaust valves above the pistons will stop moving up and down. Unfortunately, the pistons don't stop and they strike and damage the valves. The repair cost is expensive (I've seen prices in the $2,000 or more range) and takes time (meaning you don't have your car).

    Common wisdom is to change the timing belt at 60,000 mile intervals (the people who write the service manual for VW agree with the 60K change, too). The belt should have been checked at the 40,000 mile service, but all that means is they visually took a peek at it. When you get the timing belt changed, you should also change out the hardware that's in the same area...belt tensioner, water pump, thermostat, other drive belts, etc. Even though this maintenance is expensive, it's much cheaper than rebuilding the top of the engine and/or replacing those other parts later; you'll save a lot of labor this way. Tune back in to these forums later when it's time for that service, for more exact details.

    You can find your full maintenance schedule here by entering your model and year:

    Remember, don't skimp on the synthetic oil or try to lenghten the oil change interval!

    Oh, one more thing...with your hand, check all of the carpeting in the front and back footwells. Make sure that it is dry. These cars have a tendency to leak water through the cabin air system. The problem with that is that there are important electronic components under the carpets - you don't want these to get wet.

    Here's a link on addressing that issue:

    It's been fun! Good luck with your new car.
  • passat3passat3 Posts: 1
    I purchased a 1996 Passat about a year ago and have been in 'nightmare' mode ever since. The CHECK ENGINE light comes on literally once a week; so far I've replaced air hoses, sensors, and 3 or 4 other items. Any ideas out there as to why this light comes on literally once a week?

    Is anyone aware of a good, honest Passat mechanic in the Denver area?

    Help ! This car is driving me to bankruptcy....
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I am very sorry to hear about the problems you are having with your 1996 Passat. Did you get the car inspected by a mechanic before you purchased it?

    How many miles are on the Passat?

    Also, remember it is a 10 year old car. It shouldn't be surprising you are having problems with it.
  • hrngffcrhrngffcr Posts: 90
    I used to be a big booster for VW Passats. I'm not so sure now. I have recently had to replace CV boots in 2001 sedan at 46,000 and CV boots in 2003 wagon at only 41,000. Is it just me, or does that seem to be really premature for both vehicles. The 2001 was out of warranty and VW wouldn't even talk about a compromise. I havn't talked to them yet about the 2003. I've had cars that have gone at least twice as long before needing CV boots.
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    Sorry to hear this about the CV boots- sounds costly!
    But you've asked the question it raised for me too: is it a Passat problem or was it just lightning striking you twice?
    Here's one (possibly??? diagnostic?) question: is there anything rough about the roads you drive? According to (run by the aftermarket industry association - ), in general, "Have your car’s CV boots inspected at every oil change. CV boots can be easily damaged from rocks, sticks, ice and just normal wear."
    So if rocky roads or bad winters could do CV boots in - had any of those? (I think about the lousy road surfaces I have to drive and wonder why my suspension hasn't broken yet, but that's another issue.)
    For what it's worth, MSN Carpoint doesn't find the suspension to be a particularly unreliable part of the '03 Passat - it lists only the Mass Airflow Sensor and the Convenience Central Control Unit, and these as "occasional": el=Passat&trimid=-1
    Anybody know more about this source?
  • hrngffcrhrngffcr Posts: 90
    I don't think it is any of the road conditions. We don't have any dirt or rock roads that we drive on, we live in the city so not a lot of country roads, and we live in East Texas and haven't had a cold winter or ice in the last couple of years (unfortunately, as the bugs don't get killed off in the winter). If it was an isolated stick or rock, I wouldn't think that both boots of both cars would have been struck.

    It could just be bad (and, you're right, expensive luck). That's why I thought I would post the question here--to see if others had had the same experience with the boots. I'm still open to responses from any others who might have experienced the problem with Passat CV boots.
  • rphwackrphwack Posts: 21
    I had a 1992 Maxima that had the CV Boots repaired 3 times. The dealer would always tell me that they were torn and that they had to be replaced. It's only rubber so I guess that it tears easy. I honestly wouldn't have known if they didn't tell me. I don't even know the symptoms of a bad CV Boot. I don't necessarily think its a problem with the CV Boot itself. It's probably one of the hazards of owning a front-wheel drive vehicle.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    is not that important. It is what it protects that is.
    Is CV boot integrated with other parts? It should be wear item so it should be stand alone part.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    I don't even know the symptoms of a bad CV Boot.

    A torn boot will allow the grease to leak out. Usually, most people notice the tear once the see grease staining the wheel rim or notice the grease thrown around the wheelwell liner. Sometimes you can save the joint by just repacking the joint with grease and replacing the boot.

    If that escapes your notice, you'll eventually notice a clicking sound will develop in the affected CV joint. That's a sign that the grease has leaked out and contaminants have gotten into the joint, which ruins it. The half shaft usually gets replaced at that point.
  • sxytaz808sxytaz808 Posts: 4
    i have a 2001 passat with 48,000. we noticed a cracking noise whenever we turn right. my husband checked it out and thought it was just the cv boot broken. when we went to the get the part we were told that if it makes that noise the we have to replace the whole cv joint/shaft. i live in fort drum, ny. there's only 1 vw dealership n they dont have the part. we bought it at carquest and come to find out bolt pattern didnt match with our car. we just ended up paying for the labor n had the old one put back in. right now we have no choice but to just take a risk and drive our car. would this make it worst? is there another alternative. its hard to find parts in this small town we live in.....
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    A VW dealer and they can't get the part for your vehicle? :confuse: That, in and of itself, is troubling. Anyway....

    Once the joint is damaged and clicking, you've got to replace it.

    If I understand you correctly, you've reinstalled the original CV joint, the one that was clicking. The problem is that eventually the joint will fail (and probably at the most inconvenient time and place). Not only is it inconvenient, it's dangerous, as well, since that effectively removes all power from one drive wheel. You can get a replacement axle from:

    I've read on other forums that people have had great success with their products (I have been lucky enough not to need one yet, so I can't give a personal recommendation). Worth looking into it...
  • sxytaz808sxytaz808 Posts: 4
    yup our only VW dealer didnt have the part the day that we were there so we didnt have a choice but put the old one in. thanks for the website, i'll have my husband check it out...
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    The thing about is that they use a new joint on their half shafts. In the past, I've used rebuilt shafts that were sloppy right after they were put on the car. I think there was too much play left in the joint. I think these would be good.
  • hrngffcrhrngffcr Posts: 90
    Thanks for all the feedback. Looks like there's no firm basis to call and gripe at VW customer service. It could be related to front wheel drive, as all my prior vehicles before the Passats were rear wheel drive.
  • brenda_modbrenda_mod Posts: 1
    hi all,
    i'm looking into buyong a 2000 vw passat wagon. it's a gls , 4-cylinder, 1.8 liter. it has around 69,000 miles on it. it has had one owner. she's real pretty, but i've been reading some major horror stories about the passat and passat wagon.
    any advice?
    many thanks,
  • tapp3tapp3 Posts: 12
    Hey altair4, just after my last post, I took my 02 Passat to a VW Mec here in town. I just wanted a good once over and see if there was any minor or major he could foresee.
    And guess what the first thing he saw was???? I had the broken CV boot. He order the replacements for $15 for the pair. He did tel me that this could have been a very expensive had it gone very long without repair. I did have to have the cabin filter and air filter changed. And I went ahead and had him change the oil making sure he used the correct oil. After checking where the car's oil was last changed I found out that they did not use the right type of oil. He also changed the brake fluid and reminded me that it needs to be changed every two years. So this visit has ended up costing at least $500. I hope that it has saved me the BIG $$$$ down the road.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Hey, Vicki...

    Spending $500 to get the car into shape isn't that uncommon on a pre-owned car. Can you break out the costs? I'm curious how much the boot replacement and the oil change cost (if you don't mind sharing).

    Hope it all works out well. Save all of your receipts for this car, especially the oil changes.
  • I hope someone can HELP....Yesterday the power door locks and the sun roof, dome light, trunk switch, gas door won`t open, the Multifnction Indicator on dash stopped working, Odometer resets itself every time you start the car, The trunk open light stays on, Alarm don`t work and clock don`t work. Is this all related to one relay? I can`t find the relays or fuses. none under the drivers side panal have any of the above indicated. Where in the car are they located?
    Can some one help me?
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