Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair

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  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you want a German car, you want as much warranty as you can pack into it, IMO, new or used.

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  • skoidat69skoidat69 Member Posts: 2
    We just traded my wife's 2007 Passat in on a 2008 R350. The Passat started to crap the bed in the last 5,000 miles of 47,000
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I have some friends with a Passat over 100K and it's been (generally) a very good car for them---however, it is eating oil at a pretty good clip now. I can't say that their repair and maintenance costs have been burdensome but the car definitely shows it age.
  • campermancamperman Member Posts: 53
    Don't do it. Don't buy that Passat garbage can. Run, don't walk.
  • passatlovepassatlove Member Posts: 1
    OH Photodad so sorry to hear about the death of your Passat. My 03' is the love of my car life. She is my fourth automobile ever; and upon purchase I swore to follow EVERY service necessary to suck the life out of this vehicle (to the best of my abilities). I usually check out online forums; and but the hell out of my certified VW mechanics about what is needed to put the kind of years and milage on her that I want. I bought her summer of 02' and we just passed 92K. Now it was drilled into my head at 80k START SAVING for the timing belt. Once it goes; well you know...you're dead in the water. I finally just had the job done this week and feel like the weight of the Earth is off my shoulders. I was raised by a GM man but had a father into Kraut cars and learned one thing. If you take care of them; you'll get what you want out of them. I will NEVER go any other way again. I've driven American, Japanese, and now German. LOVE IT! VW for life :0) Or at least another 92K.
    A little surprised by the CV joints comment; really? Oh and the water leak was common and quite easy to fix. Any of the guys at the dealership could have walked out and cut the tips bigger at the end of the water drainage tubes that by design were just too small. Oh and were you going to garages that had Audi or VW mechanics? (other than the dealers?) Just curious. I would not take my baby to someone who didn't know how to properly service her. Audi and VW's are severely over engineered (which is fine and I'm quite thankful), so it takes a certified tech to know your car. Just sayn.
    Cheers!
  • yogamamayogamama Member Posts: 2
  • yogamamayogamama Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 sationwagon, 120,000 miles.

    Few questions for all of you who know WAY MORE about cars than me:

    1. My engine light went on- they say- air compressor needs to be fixed... I am wondering if it is worth putting another repair into this car that has been in steady need of one little thing after another.

    How many miles can I expect to drive this thing?

    2. Also, I never replaced the timing belt.. guess I should do that if I keep the car. Yes?

    3. There are about three small patches of body rust-- any tips on how to tackle this myself and save the expense of paint jobs?

    thanks!!
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    YOu are about 15,000 miles past the recommended cahnge interval. If the belt breaks, you will face thousnads in repairs; possibly more than the vehicle is worth on the market.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,114
    I'll add to that and say that often, the belt looks fine - it's not one of those components like tires where you can see exactly how much life it has left. It may last another 30,000 miles. It may break tomorrow and, as altair4 mentioned, cause all sorts of other damage in the process. This is one maintenance item that you really don't want to let go, regardless of what you intend to do with the vehicle.

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  • emunchemunch Member Posts: 1
    Yogamam, My Passat 2000 has more than 200k miles on it and it keeps on running. I've never had any major problems with it but I also do all of the recommended service. My service costs have gone down considerably since I left my local dealer at around 80k mile. Had a disappointing experience where they said I needed major repair and had a second opinion from another VW dealer that said nothing was wrong with the car. Your Passat will be good to you if you're good to it.
  • campermancamperman Member Posts: 53
    Yogamama. I may be able to give you a wee bit of advice on the body work. I just finished working on my wife's 1998 Golf which needed $1.500 body work (a quote). If the rust is surface only and not gone through you might be able to grind out the spots. If it is deeper you could do as I did. I have a Dremel tool with some grinding bits and cut off wheels with which I cut out the rusted pieces. In this case I also had some Bondo and fibreglas left over from another project. I used that to rebuild the bottom of the car door and the fenders. It was a bit messy but once it dries you can then grind or sand it down and feather it out with sandpaper and elbow grease to match the surrounding area. Then make a visit to an auto supply store where they can mix matching paint in a spray bomb for you and get a good primer. The auto store can also recommend the various grades of sandpaper you will need to get a nice smooth finish. GEt a good paint mask for your face also. Use masking tape and newspaper to cover the area you do not want to paint. Practise painting a bit on some scrap wood or cardboard before painting the car. It's better to put on 2-3 light coats than a heavy coat. I bought a cheap spray can to practise with also so I didn't waste the good stuff. My total costs were $25. If I had to purchase everything including the Dremel tool I would have laid out $250. Still a significant savings for a days work. Even she was happy with the job and that was the really hard part.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Hello All: 2006 Golf, 2.0. OK, I have had complete faith in this rig since my son purchased it about two years ago with 36k miles. Suddenly, it's starting to remind me of my '02 Passat 1.8T, and let's just say...that's NOT a good thing. Problem #1: A couple of months ago, all of the dash lights, including the instrument cluster (!), bonked out. No problema during the day, but it sucks having to use a small flashlight in the car at night! I checked EVERY fuse...all OK. Pulled the headlight switch and reostat out of the dash...no apparent problem there, either (there is NO juice flowing IN to the reostat. I was wondering if I could fix this by running a line from a power source into the line side of the reostat...might that power the instrument lights (my mechanic DID run a test and advised the lights ARE functional...there's just no power getting there). Comments, anyone? Problem #2: A few weeks ago, the interior lights quit working when the driver door is opened (they do work with the other doors), and now the door does the automatic "self locking" even when the door has been opened (I instantly realized that I better not leave the key in the car!). I'm thinking microswitch... anyone had this problem, and can the microswitch be replaced separately without replacing the entire latch, or can the microswitch be repaired somehow? Problem #3: Airbag light came on...knowing V--dubs, this repair sounds very pricey. Any advice out there? This Golf has only 68k miles...I'm very disappointed...I've had other rigs that run to 150-175 with no such problems, and not happy that I should even have to deal with this crap. Thanks for any advice...vwdawg
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Hello, altair and others: Would like to ask a question on behalf of a good friend who owns a 2001 Passat VR6 with around 110k. Odor of burning oil in engine compartment...assumed bad valve cover gasket...had checked by his mechanic. Mechanic could not find problem with that, but said perhaps leaking "camshaft seals" (?). I'm not familiar with this issue, but can anyone comment from personal experience, is it a common occurrence with the VR6 at this mileage, and what's the approx cost to fix? Thnx...vwdawg
  • xyzzy1954xyzzy1954 Member Posts: 11
    FWIW,

    I (1999 Passat GLX) have had burning oil smell on two different occasions, and replacing the valve cover gaskets solved it both times.

    Good Luck!
  • campermancamperman Member Posts: 53
    Had the same problem with a 2000 Passat. 2 gaskets replaced which cost less than $50 and $800 for labour.
    I took the car to VW specialists and was advised it was a common occurance. Because they specialize in VW I imagine they would see more than the average mechanic. But, this is a small city of 70,000 people with 10 times as many Golf and Jettas around as Passats.
  • chuckhansonchuckhanson Member Posts: 16
    I just got my Audi A6 (sister of the Passat) out of the shop. VW dealer wanted $2,000 to repair the oil leaks. I took it to local shop with VW/Audi mechanics. They found the cam shaft seals leaking and several "plugs" leaking. When they finished, the oil leak and smell were gone. The cost was $1,250. The A6 was 1999 with 95,000 miles. I would figure I have had the leaks for about 10,000 miles. One related problem was that about 5,000 miles ago I replaced the seals around the spark plugs. They leaked and filled the spark plug holes with oil and finally grounded out several of the plugs.

    I 1999 I paid $42,000 for the A6. Since that time I estimate I have spent $20,000 on maintenance. My wife loves the car and won't let me sell it. The dealer doesn't want to sell us another A6 because they are making a killing on maintenance.

    I have a 2005 Passat Station Wagon TDI with 115,000 miles. I love it. Other than routing maintenance I haven't spent much on the car at all. I hope it lasts for another 200,000 miles.

    Chuck
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    you know, your expenses pretty much fit into my rule of thumb for older German luxury cars out of warranty. It costs about $150 a month to keep them ship-shape.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    camperman: Thanks for info. When you say "gaskets", do you mean "camshaft gaskets" (seals?)? With an $800 labor bill, I'm assuming you're NOT talking about valve cover gaskets, right? Thanks, vwdawg
  • campermancamperman Member Posts: 53
    vw dawg. There was an oil smell and the items that were replaced were
    1) Bank 1 Camshaft chain adjuster gasket kit
    2) Bank 1 V/C gasket ; total cost was $802.97.
    I have no idea what those things are other than it solved the burning oil smell in the car but left me burning inside at myself for buying that money pit in the first place.
    A quick story. I got everything fixed and parked the car so nothing else could break. I sold the car a few month ago and 3 weeks later I took my motorhome to the mechanic for servicing. The mechanic said " I have something to show you." it was a list of either 11 or 13 items (I can't remember which) on the VW that showed up on the scanner. The purchaser used the same mechanic I used for car repairs.
  • mjmartin43212mjmartin43212 Member Posts: 1
    2000 Passat GLX, 140K miles. Battery drains over course of a week or so. Dealer diagnosed as a bad front passenger side power window motor/module. Wants $750 to replace ($500 parts, $250 labor).

    Does this diagnosis seem reasonable?
    Is this something I can do myself (moderate mechanical skills)?
    Suggestions?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    Hmmm...dunno about that. Seems to me that it would be easy enough to pop off the door panel and unplug that module and see how the car behaves with it deactivated for a few days.

    Or you can ask the dealer who pays if he's wrong?
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    Guys,
    I'm still stationed in Seoul, Korea and still own the 2003 VW Passat GLS 1.8T. Recently, I've noticed an extra vibration and a low humming sound when I turn the steering wheel at low speeds. It's okay in the morning, but as the car warms up and when I try to steer the car at speeds less than 5 mph (in the parking lot especially), I've noticed occasional humming sound accompanied by a little extra vibration in the steering column.
    Additionally, I've noticed sporadic rapid ticking sounds (akin to fast water trickling sound, but more distinct) coming from the middle ventilation vent. I've initially thought it was some kind of water leakage, but could it be somekind of lifter or ignition coil sounds?
    The car currently has 49K miles on it and am ordering parts to replace the timing belt and water pump, but am not sure what else need to be addressed on this car.

    Thank you for your advice.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • confused2010confused2010 Member Posts: 3
    Appreciate any insight/suggestions.

    The other day "brake" warning on my dashboard display started flashing for quite some time, together with the ABS warning signal coming on and "see service manual" messages. Stayed on the entire time I drove. The next day, nada. None of them came on.

    In the previous few weeks, for one or two seconds, about once a week, they came on annd then stopped. Car braking handled normally.

    Think it could just be the sensor? Will take it in to the shop for a diagnostic and repair but would like a bit of an idea of what I'm heading into. Love the car but at 114k miles, something needs fixing every month and it driving me nuts.
  • xyzzy1954xyzzy1954 Member Posts: 11
    For what it's worth my 99 Passat exhibited the same symptoms, although my tachometer also stopped working in tandem with what you describe. It started out intermittent, but eventually the behavior became 100% consistent.

    Ultimately, it was the ABS controller that needed to be replaced. Somehow it was electrically affecting the other displays, as replacing the ABS controller fixed the other symptoms.

    The dealer originally wanted $750 for parts and labor, but agreed to fixing it with 1 yr warranty for $500.

    These cars get very expensive after 80K or so.

    Good luck.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: Humming, vibration, ticking? Any or all of these MIGHT be signs of deterioration/failure of the CV joints. Not normal for a V-dub with 49k, but being 8 years old, you should check the CV boots for failure. If they're cracked or torn, the joints may be been contaminated with grit and water, causing the joints to fail. If you are a DIYer, it's not a difficult job...you can obtain both joints on line (Rock Auto, Autohaus AZ, etc.) for less than $175-200. Check all the prior posts for instructions and tips. One other question...why are you replacing your TB at 49K? ALWAYS good to be cautious with the V-dub TBs, but I'm thinking 75-80k, not 49. One other thing...you probably already are aware of this...be ABSOLUTELY sure that you (or your oil change guy/gal) is using only, I repeat...ONLY, 502.00 spec VW-approved oil, e.g, Mobil 1 0W-40) in that 1.8T, or you could have major probs down the road! Good luck...VW Dawg
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    VWDawg,
    Thank you for your advice.
    1. Timing Belt: As far as the TB, I'm being cautious because the car is 8 years old and although the mileage is relatively low, there has been alot of short drives (numerous 2-3 mile trips). Besides, I'm trying to take advantage of cheaper online parts and leverage the cheaper labor charge in Korea.
    2. Humming and vibration: It's coming from the steering column when I'm turning at very slow speed in the parking lot, and it almost always happens after the car warms up. Still think the the CV joints?
    3. Ticking: The sound comes from the center ventilation duct and almost sounds like a more muffled pebbles (small rocks) being slowly being poured into a plastic can or water trickling sound. It has no rhyme or reason to it. It usually happens after hard accelerations.
    4. Motor Oil: The previous owner used Royal Purple synthetic and for the past three years that I've owned the car, I've used Mobil 1 0W-40 synthetic.
    No engine problem so far, but I'll keep my finger crossed.

    Thank you again for your note.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • splofficersplofficer Member Posts: 4
    I have a 2006 VW Passat Sedan 2.0T. My radiator fan keeps running endlessly after my car is turned off. It had drained the battery. I have since got a charge in the battery and now the car is sitting idle with the charge taken off. I have looked endlessly for manuals on where to locate the relay to see if that needs to be replaced (no luck). I am looking for a solution so i dont have to unhook the battery every time I stop somewhere. I dont mind taking it to the shop, but they have already quoted me a couple of hundred dollars for what I see is a easy fix. Just trying to see the option of locating and replacing the relay myself (if that is the problem). Is there any help for this issue?
  • splofficersplofficer Member Posts: 4
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The fan is allowed to run for up to 15 minutes after the engine is shut off. So anything under 15 minutes is normal, and if your battery can't handle that, then the battery or charging systems is substandard.

    if it runs longer than 15 minutes---what I'm seeing in the database is that there is an engine temperature sensor located in the upper coolant lines (diagram is a bit vague), which should be tested, and there is also a Cooling Fan Control Module, which is integral with the cooling fan itself and must be replaced as a unit. Diagnosing that is probably something you can't do without proper equipment and instructions.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: Nothing wrong with being conservative here, especially if lower labor and parts costs are available. I just changed the TB on my '02 1.8T Passat at 92k...obviously taking a chance there. Do you use a good independent shop that might be able to inspect the existing belt for crackling or fraying? In any case, at 49k, and if the car is otherwise in good shape, for your peace of mind maybe just go ahead and get it done.
    Humming, vibration and ticking...tough to comment without actuallly hearing the noises, but still think it could be CVs or something else in the front suspension. Get it up on the hoist and inspect thoroughly. Good to hear that the prior owner used Royal P, and that you have continued with Mobil 1. I seriously doubt you will have engine probs under that scenario, but check the prior posts concerning new info on VW finally getting their act together on warranties against sludge & other oil related issues. vwdawg
  • gpc46gpc46 Member Posts: 5
    Can anyone tell me when the timing belt should be replaced on a 2008 Diesel Passat, I have spoken to Volkswagen but they just tell me to talk to my dealer
  • splofficersplofficer Member Posts: 4
    edited April 2011
    The fan runs well after 15 minutes. It keeps running til the battery runs out. Also everytime I reconnect the battery, the fan starts up without starting the car. So, is there a way to test the engine temperature sensor and the fan to see what the problem is?? I went to autozone, and they said that they'll only run the scan if the engine light is on. No indication lights are on at all. Should I replace the Engine Temp sensor? And is there any type of diagram to direct me on a Passat? And also, could there also be a problem with the relay?? Thanks for everything!!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    I don't think there is a relay. I think the fan control module acts as a relay if I'm reading the diagrams correctly. I'm sure there is a way to test the sensor but without a scanner and all those VW doo-hickies they use, I have no idea how you'd do it.
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    VWDawg,
    1. Timing Belt: I've just received all the necessary parts from 1st VW Parts.com and I'll proceed with the TB change. I'm actually taking the car to a VW Service Center in Seoul and they've quoted me around $300 for labor, but we'll see.
    2. CV Boot: I think you're right on with the CV Boot, because I've been noticing some thick black grease in the undercarriage just below the lower door jambs. Considering that the humming and slight vibration occurs once the car has been driven for a while, I think you're absolutely correct. I'll ask the VW Service center to take a look at the CV Boot and replace if needed. I guess they'll have to repack the grease as well.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: $300 plus parts sounds like a good deal, and most importantly, you'll get that peace of mind you're looking for. Just a word on "replacing the CV boot". Conventional wisdom is...don't bother, just replace the entire half-shaft. If the boot is bad, the joint is probably contaminated already, and given time, the joint will fail. Furthermore, the labor involved in disassembling the joint, replacing the boot and reassembling costs more than just throwing in a new shaft (parts cost, Cardone or similar...$80-$100 per side). You'll then have a new shaft, and additional "peace of mind". 8) vwdawg
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    VWDawg,
    I'm due to transfer in two months and I've wanted to get everything done here whether I'm selling the car or shipping it back to the States.
    1. Getting the TB thing done.
    2. Brake pads replaced.
    3. Oil, oil filter, and air filter changed.
    4. CV Boot replaced: Even if there's no sign of contamination, do you recommend the shaft replacement as well?

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    If you have to take the shaft out to replace the boot, you may find that buying a rebuilt axle kit costs little more than paying someone to take everything apart just to replace the boot. So you have to balance the two costs and decide. It rather depends on the difficulty of removing the boot. Sometimes just plugging in a complete rebuilt axle is the quickest and easiest way to go. They are surprisingly inexpensive, like $75 bucks apiece here in the states.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: It all sounds good. Just to clarify, if you find a torn or cracked CV boot, it's cheaper to just put in a complete new half shaft. A new shaft is cheap, INCLUDES a new boot, the installation time if minimal, and you don't have the significant cost of the labor involved in changing the boot (and ending up with a potentially contaminated joint even after replacing the boot). Good luck. vwdawg
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    Mr. Shiftrigth and VWDawg,
    Thank you for your continued support and the latest advice. I'll call the VW Service Center and ask them about replacing the half-shaft. Do you also recommend replacing the other CV Boot while I'm at it?

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    VWDawg,
    If I can't get the VW-Korea Service Center to replace the half shaft, I might be forced to live with it until I bring the car back to the States. I've just discovered that it'll cost $2800 to ship my car, so it looks like I'll be shipping it in another two months.
    Thank you again.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • splofficersplofficer Member Posts: 4
    I am a new proud owner of a 2006 VW Passat 2.0T. I just had it go through a Diagnostic scan. Found out that its a problem inside the motor itself, so therefore, the driver side cooling fan (300w/360mm - 4pin) must be replaced. What tools would I need to replace it, and would it consist of taking the front end apart? I am looking for for help. Dont want to come out of pocket over 150 for labor. Also, I see that there are two fans that can fit. I see that a 1k0-959-455-FJ can fit, and also a 1k0-959-455-DT can fit. Would there be any reason to choose one over the other? And should I go with Siemens, Behr, or Gates for this type of fan, or would it matter? Just wondering. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks guys!!
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: Replacing the shaft is relatively easy...can't imagine that the service center (or try another import shop in your area?) wouldn't be able to do it for a good price. $2,800 to ship it back to the States? That's a lot of dough. Have you considered the option of selling it there and just picking up a low mileage V-dub over here? Seems to me you would come out ahead. On the other hand, if you REALLY love that car...8) vwdawg
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    spl: Perhaps Shiftright or Shipo might have some specific instructions for you, but if you are a do-it-yourselfer and plan to do this and other work yourself, just pick up a Haynes manual or similar for your Passat. While not as thorough as a complete Edmunds manual, it will usually give clear enough instructions so that the average DIY guy or gal can successfully do repairs of simple to moderate complexity. vwdawg
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    VWDawg,
    The VW shop told me that it'll cost over $1000 to replace a half-shaft and around $150 to replace the CV boot. They've found a "very small tear" in the boot and found no other problem except the power steering fluid at the minimum level. They've added some power steering fluid and told me to drive it as is.
    As far as shipping the car, I'd figured that it's paid off and I'm not disciplined enough to save the proceeds from the sale and the unexecuted shipping cost to apply it toward another car. Besides, I've put in too much money into the car recently that I'll never recover (Michelin tires ($600), new brake pads ($200), timing belt/water pump ($1000)). I've replaced the tranmission module when it was flooded along with the front passenger compartment at a tune of $1500. I feel like I've addressed all the trouble spots on the car and have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaMember Posts: 64,482
    The half-shaft quote is outrageous---sounds like he doesn't want to do it. Oh well then, replace the boot.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Member Posts: 162
    Navy Guy: I agree with Shiftright...why would that shop embarrass themselves with that ridiculous price quote? Especially considering that the time and complexity involved with a boot replace is actually GREATER than just throwing in a new shaft. Since you're shipping your baby home in a couple of months, and the tear is allegedly very small, I think I would just leave it as is. When it gets back stateside, just bring it in to a good independent shop and have them replace the whole shaft for maybe $300- $400. My main concern would be that even if you replace that boot, the joint may already be contaminated and you'll end up replacing the shaft anyway. Just a thought... good luck and BTW...THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE TO OUR COUNTRY! vwdawg
  • navyguy1990navyguy1990 Member Posts: 71
    Dear VWDawg and Shiftright,
    Thank you for your advice and I'll take them onboard. The car is running like a dream since the latest maintenance, albeit occasional minor vibration from the steering column.
    VWDawg, thank you for your kind words concerning my service. I've served little over 21 years and hearing encouraging words never gets old. Thank you. Truly appreciate it.

    Sincerely,
    Navy Guy
  • sdbuehler1sdbuehler1 Member Posts: 3
    I was just wondering if you have figured out what the ticking is that you mentioned coming from your center ventilation duct. I have an 04 Passat 1.8T 4 Motion Wagon (206K miles) with a similar problem. I hear a lot of gurgling coming from the center of the dashboard. From reading through several forums it seems like it should just be an issue of needing to bleed air out of the coolant system but I'm not convinced that is the issue. My heat stopped working around 140K and it turned out to be a clogged heater core, my dealer unclogged it and flushed the coolant system which got the heat working great again but I still hear the gurgling. I also had my oil cooler fail at 160K which leaked oil into the coolant system. Several parts were replaced and the car was flushed again to clean out all of the oil, yet the gurgling still persists. I suppose it's possible that my dealer doesn't know how to properly bleed air out of the coolant system, but they have done several other major repairs to my vehicle with competence. I'm not sure what else to think here, plus the problem has persisted for over 60K miles without any other side effects that I'm aware of.
  • bcass1bcass1 Member Posts: 2
    Hello everyone,

    I'm a potential first time VW owner, and I've begun looking at used Passats from 2002-2004. Just recently, I found this forum, and I hope to learn a bit more about the car mechanically from other owners. I thank everyone for their collective efforts in providing other owners and potential owners like myself, with their experiences.

    Recently, I found a 2002 VW Passat GLS wagon at an independent used car lot. The car had 95,000 miles on it, and was in immaculate cosmetic condition. It had a clean carfax history (two owners, no accidents, all maintenance appeared to be performed at VW dealers). After looking at the vehicle thoroughly and test driving it, I had it inspected by the local VW dealer. I was ready to purchase the car that day pending the outcome of the inspection. When I got the report from the dealer service tech, I was disappointed and unsettled. The following notes are from their inspection of the vehicle (with approximate costs to fix):

    1. front brake pads 5 mm, rear brake pads 8mm
    2. engine leaking oil from valve cover and cam seal ($580)
    3. oil cooler leaking oil into coolant ($617)
    4. hood strut broken ($130)
    5. transmission oil pan leaking ($290)
    6. lower engine cover missing ($360)
    7. right front under liner broken ($130)
    8. coolant flush coolant dirty ($160)
    9. coolant reservoir contaminated ($180)
    10. timing belt has cracks (1,250)
    11. battery not holding charge ($250)
    12. air bag system has faults and transmission has electrical faults


    Obviously, some of these issues are more urgent than others, and some, like the timing belt crack, are just general maintenance. However, I was still dismayed by this report, and choose not to purchase the vehicle. They were asking $5,995, which I thought was a good price, however, considering the amount of work that the car would have needed, I decided to move on and continue looking.

    My questions for the forum:
    1. Did I make the right decision? I feel that I did, however, I don't have experience with VW.
    2. Are some of these problems common? According to the technician, they aren't, other than the cracking of the timing belt, which is general maintenance (I was also expecting this anyways, since I didn't find any records on carfax of the timing belt ever being replaced)
    3. what are some of the common problem areas I should be aware of when looking for Passats? So far, it seems the timing belt/water pump is the major service, along with the CV boot, and turbo sludge. Is there any other common issues I should be aware of? Any recommendations and/or advice for a potential buyer?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my post, and I look forward to your comments.

    Best,
    Brian
  • campermancamperman Member Posts: 53
    Brian. what you see as required repairs are not unusual. That timing belt is a must because should it break you are into thousands to possibly replace the engine. CV, tie rod ends, ball joints are common. I believe that car has 6 rods on each side and they are not cheap to replace. Gaskets? Expensive things to replace. Sensors - I get sick thinking about what I spent.
    You will also find that the finishing such as dash, door trim, shifter etc is thin plastic junk. I had problems with the seating material and finish there also.
    Absolutely, you made the best decision you could make. The best place for that car is on the dealers lot. Maybe I am prejudiced because the Passat I had was nothing but a major, major expense. There was always something broken and NOTHING was cheap. Advice: Golf appears to be OK. Passat-let someone else keep those problems.
    Mark
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