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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • Does anyone know why my 2001 Passat Wagon would have the emissions workshop light on? It has been a great car and I am worried that I may be in for a big mechanic bill.
    Can anyone let me know what to do?
    Also, we just moved to the Davis CA area. Does anyone know of a good VW mechanic? Should I just bring my car into the dealership?
    Thanks in advance for your advice.
  • brozhnikbrozhnik Posts: 172
    I am definitely no car expert, but I'd get that pulsating brake thing checked out pronto. (Esp. with Aidan and Alyssa in the back seat.) When I've had brakes pulsating before in other cars it was warped rotors.

    Don't know what was causing the idle noise (would you describe that sound as "Click and clack"?) As I said, I don't know much about cars. But the brake thing makes me nervous. (Brake and tire things always do.)

    Hope this helps!
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Our 2003 Passat GLS Wagon (1.8T) was just in the shop last week for pulsating brakes. They had been pulsing for about two months. The car is about 1 year and 3 months old with 19,000 miles. I dropped it off last Thursday night KNOWING they were going to charge me $400 for a brake job.

    Well, it's nice to be wrong. For once, Jim Ellis VW in Marietta got it right. The service advisor called me about 8:30 AM Friday morning to let me know they'd diagnosed the brake problem as warped rear rotors. I figured it was that. The shocker was that they were covering the rotors under warranty! They also said the pads had about a third of their life left (10K miles?), and they'd replace them just for the cost of the parts ($70). I took them up on that offer. So I got out of the service department with new rear brakes for less than $100. However, it does frighten me to think that I can only get 30K out of a set of rear brakes....

    I bet that'll never happen again. So based on what you've said, I'd do as brozhnik has suggested and get your car in for service. It looks like it #2 is definitely covered by the warranty (you're well within the 12,000 miles... for brakes and wearable it also less than 12 months?). Hopefully they can find the problem for #3. As for #1...outside of the seven years of bad luck, I doubt VW will cover that (unless it was a flaw that broke the mirror).

    Good luck!
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Sorry to hear about your passat issues and the problems you have experienced with Gossett.

    I have had my Jetta serviced at Gossett several times and have been completely satisfied. It is sort of comical that this same dealer was deemed qualified to sell VW's signature Phaeton. I truely hope that Phaeton owners receive better service and quality that you did.
  • The dealership tells me that rear brakes & rotors will cost me $450.00. I have a friend yelling in my ear telling that "brakes are brakes" and there is no way in hell that he would pay $450 for rear brakes. He wants to know why can't I just go somewhere cheaper and get the brakes done? Can I get brakes done significantly cheaper at...say Meinke or NTB or Sears? And if no, why not?
  • The dealership tells me that rear brakes & rotors will cost me $450.00. I have a friend yelling in my ear telling that "brakes are brakes" and there is no way in hell that he would pay $450 for rear brakes. He wants to know why can't I just go somewhere cheaper and get the brakes done? Can I get brakes done significantly cheaper at...say Meinke or NTB or Sears? And if no, why not?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Sure, you can get a cheaper brake job. But like in many aspects of life, you get what you pay for.

    But let me give you two alternatives to the dealer brake job:

    1) Find a VW/Audi independent garage and see what they will charge. Ask what is the source of their parts...OEM, or other recognized high quality manufacturer. See what they would charge.

    2) Consider doing the job yourself. Buy the parts on line and do the install. It's not a difficult job (and step-by-step instructions are available on some other VW forums).

    In either case, youy would get qulaity parts and a job well done. If you have a bent towards DIY, then there's the add'l satisfaction of doing it yourself.

    Finally, before assuming that Midas, et al will charge soooo much them. Because sometimes the price you see in the ads has fine print (most cars - but not yours!). My personal experience has been that they have a tendency to want to replace all components, perhaps more than you actually need.

  • bg15bg15 Posts: 7
    I bought a 2003 GLX last year.
    The buying part was very good, I happened to get a good sales guy. I researched the price and got
    the car for about $700.00 over invoice.
    The car was not on the dealers lot, otherwise
    I might have tried for a lower price.
    I had one minor problem on the 2nd day of ownership, the temp sensor for the electric fan.
    The electric radiator fan was running on full speed when it was very cold out, and with a cold engine. I took the car back (pain in the butt)
    and after 3 days, they said they could not find any problem. The day after I got the car back, the fan started running on high speed all the time again.
    I went back to the dealers and bought a new sensor, for the grand cost of $5.00.
    The parts guy said they sell a lot of them, and had a big bag. The new sensor was different from the original one.
    No problems with the car since.

    I have heard the back brakes wear out quickly, but suspect that was on the 2002 cars, when VW used softer pads. My 2003 has 15,000 miles on it
    and seems to not be wearing the pads at all.

    Brake parts are cheap, new rotors can be as low as
    $45.00 or less, pads are about $60.00 for a set of four quality pads.
    $450.00 for a brake job is crazy, but you pay
    full list price and labor, and get a poor job
    in return.
    Flush services, injector cleaners, carbon removal,
    are all bogus money makers for shops, and most places will rip you off badly every way they can.
    The boss pushes the techs to do a job as fast as possible, and dont worry about quality.
    I do all my own work, and always have, and would never go back to the dealers unless the transmission fell out of my car, as they will only screw things up.
    I mail order parts, oil, filters, etc, and do
    my own work, saving huge amounts of money and getting a much better job.

    I love the Passat, hate the VW service, and feel very sorry for people who have to use it.
    I dont know how people afford cars with the
    kind of repair bills I see here.

    The VW vortex fourum is great for VW info,
    and how to save money.

    2003 GLX
  • I just got the call from my VW dealer that indeed, my rear rotors needed to be replaced because they were warped. Also, the clanking noise was a loose plate in the engine block. The mirror cost $65 to replace so I gave the go ahead for that as well.

    Thanks so much for the advice! Luckily I love my car so these problems will be forgiven...this time ;)

    Carrie ~2003 Passat GLS 1.8T AT, Candy White, Tan leather.
  • bg15bg15 Posts: 7
    Well, did the rear rotors cause problems?
    If they were warped, you would get a pulsing
    when stopping, like you were pressing the brake pedal easy/hard/easy, slows down with wheel speed.

    Rear disks rarely ever warp, front ones do, mostly
    from the bozo's over tightening the lug nuts, and
    doing a poor brake job (they dont clean things up).
    Bet you got ripped off.

    I heard rotors are covered under the warentee as long as you dont grind the pads down into them.

    2003 GLX
  • Everything was under warranty, fixed in 5 hours and I was given a 2004 Passat as a loaner. I'm very happy with my service at Stohlman VW :)

    Carrie ~2003 Passat
  • My wife took her 2000 Passat V-6 in for it's 60,000 mile service today. The service manager called me and said that we needed new rear brakes and suggested replacing the timing belt. I said ok to the brakes but asked if VW recommended changing the timing belt at only 60,000 miles. He said VW recommends replacement at 105,000, but that they often see wear at 60,000. I told him not to do the timing belt, that I would go with VW's recommendation. In perusing this board I found out two things. Rear brakes wear out first, which goes against normal wear patterns, and that timing belts may go as early as 40,000+ miles. My question is how common is timing belt failure under 105,000? Is this a problem specifically with the Passat or a infrequent occurance that happens to all brands now and then. My wife drives normally and we have serviced the car by the book. Was I wrong to pass on the replacement at this time? If the timing belt is a problem that is common to Passat's, we may well trade the car before disaster strikes. Thanks for any input you may have on this issue.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    ...are you still under the original warranty (original owner)? If so, and you are going to want to verify that by reading your owner's manual, then I've read about people who wait until the warranty is about to expire and have the job done. The other caveat is to verify that you have all of your supporting documentation for all services performed, including the "check condition of timing belt," at the appropriate intervals. If the belt breaks, you're without a car until the repairs are completed.

    If, however, you are not under warranty, it's a different story. Failure of the timing belt results in significant valvetrain damage (like many modern engine designs, the VW engines are "interference" engines - i.e., the non-moving valves can be struck by the moving pistons if the timing belt fails). Very costly repair - I'm talking thousands.

    Finally, what did the service advisor tell you about the condition of the timing belt? In other words, was this "hey, we didn't look at it, but it's 60K miles, do your belt," or was it, "gee, we carefully examined your timing belt and it doesn't look good?" If it's the latter, then I could possibly see that you might have a problem with the warranty, if the belt actually breaks within the warranty period.

    Good luck.
  • I appreciate you response to my questions re: Passat timing belt replacement. I checked my warranty last night and it appears that I am covered under the 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. We are the original owners and have had the car serviced by the dealer according to the reccomended schedule since day one. The service manager did not tell me that they had looked at my belt, only that they reccomended changing it at 60,000. The paperwork they gave us for the 60,000 mile service lists "check timing belt" with a *. The * says "TDI engine", so I assume the only check the belt on that engine. My wife was told they had to remove the front bumper to get at the timing belt. What a poor design. In the maintenance manual under 60,000 miles it says replace timing belt CA, MA, and VT. Why it would be required only in those three states is beyond me. It says to replace the belt tensioner at 105,000. The bottom line is I am going to wait until 99,000+ before I have the belt replaced. It looks like I am covered if anything does go wrong. Thank you again for your quick response to my question.

  • We have a VW 2003 TDI GLS and a Mazda 626 LX V6. We live in Massachusetts where the timing belt schedule on the Mazda is 100,000 miles, eleswher it is 60,000. I have read on other forums that the diference is mandated by state laws, not manufacturers specs. Double check it for yourself
  • My timing belt broke at 45,000 miles. I think in my case it was poor service from the dealer. The year before they had replaced the water pump and said they replaced the belt at the same time. Later they replaced the cam tensioners. I'm not sure, but I think they are related. About 6 or 8 months later the timing belt broke. They had to replace 4 cam shafts and the cam tensioners. I got rid of the car!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    One last word...I'm dubious of any checklist that a dealer service dept provides for the mileage service checks (i.e., 60,000 miles etc). I've been to too many dealers over the years that "upsale" service by including things that the manufacturer doesn't, or by accelerating the intervals for those services.

    What you really want to read is the warranty and owner's manual that came with the car. Photocopy the page from the manual and give it to the service dept and get the cost estimate based on those items only. Further, I keep in mind those items checked by my state's annual safety inspection. No point in doing the same checks twice (like brakes, exhaust, etc).
  • Thanks again for the responses to my Passat timing belt question. After reading the warranty and going over what the service manager told me on the phone, I have come to the conclusion that VW recommends changing the belt and tensioner at 105,000 miles. The timing belt (toothed belt) is listed as one of the items covered by the 100,000 mile/ten year powertrain warranty. We are the original owners, and have had the dealer service the car according to schedule, so we should be covered if it were to break. I plan to replace the belt just before the powertrain warranty expires. Thanks again for the input.

  • bocatripbocatrip Posts: 194
    I purchased my Passat GLX new in 01. Almost from the get go, I had phantom electrical issues where my mirrors would fold in, and then not go back out. All my windows would just stop working (neither go up or down). Then they would start working. I decided that electrical problems are probably the worst of all problems because they are not consistent and a sign of future dread. I decided to sell my car after 19,000 miles. I enjoyed this car's ride, and craftmanship. However, after talking to others with similar issues, I decided to abandon ship. Maybe I was just unlucky. It was a fun car.
  • Well, my 2003 Passat has not been feeling well lately!

    I posted last week about my car having warped rotors and a loose engine block panel all being fixed. However the rapid clanking noise is still there AND getting worse and now the car vibrates when idling. I've left 2 (!) messages this week with my VW service manager and have yet to have them returned.

    Sometimes it sounds like a card is stuck in a fan; a rapid clicking has started with the rapid clanking noise (along with a snap, crackle and pop, lol).

    Any ideas??


    Carrie ~2003 VW Passat GLS
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    This is always disheartening to hear. Well, you got two options, as I see it. First, stay persistent and keep bugging the service guy until he calls back. Or, try another dealership that might be more responsive. You can either post specific requests for an alternative dealer here or on other forums or talk to other local owners (at shopping, work, etc). Best of luck.

    I don't know what a loose engine block panel is. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
  • acvcacvc Posts: 1
    My Passat GLS '99 with 43K has no AM reception. The dealer wants $600 to fix the problem. Any advice welcome.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    Take it to an independent garage that works on VW's.
  • bocatripbocatrip Posts: 194
    My friend has a 99 Passat. First the speakers had problems and finally the radio stopped working. I guess it's part of those electrical problems.
  • phylpphylp Posts: 49
    When the radio went out on our Passat, a dealership told us it needed to be replaced. The real problem -- a blown fuse. Could be a simple solution. Getting a second opinion makes a big difference.
  • jwg7jwg7 Posts: 10
    Hi All - I'm new to this board and would appreciate any feedback / insight you can share. I just purchased a 99 GLS 1.8T - my first turbo, first VW, first step away from the Japanese car security blanket I have been using all these years... I needed to replace my old Honda and wanted to keep a lid on the cost so decided to go with a used Passat. It's got 70,000 miles and is in great shape inside and out. Before I purchased it I noticed what looked like sludge on the inside of the oil filler cap but was not too concerned because I had seen all of the maintenance records and the oil was changed regularly. Is this normal/common for the 1.8T - perhaps a result of the heat? I have cleaned the cap but upon closer inspection with a flashlight I can see some nasty stuff inside the cover and on the camshaft. Is there a cleaner that can be used (motor flush) or is that a bad idea? Any recommendations on how to remedy the mess inside the engine? Thanks in advance for any help.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I don't really have an answer for you but I do have a request for more information...

    You indicated that you saw records indicating regular oil changes. How regular - in other words, what was the average oil change interval in miles? Also, could you tell from the records whether the oil used was synthetic or not?

    Thanks for your additional input.
  • jwg7jwg7 Posts: 10
    altair4 - It looks like the oil was changed anywhere between every 3-6K miles with non synthetic or synthetic blend - no straight synthetic. The car runs great, it has the tip trans and is averaging about 26 mpg in mixed driving. My only concern is that buildup or sludge will affect the long term durability of the engine... I have heard that use of straight synthetics has a cleaning effect on older/dirtier engines. I have also heard that switching to synthetic on older engines can cause real headaches with leaks. Any suggestions for the best oil / weight to use?

    Thanks for your feedback.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I've recently read some threads about sludging in this engine on some other forums (Edmunds frowns on links to other forums, and I see your e-mail is private). Your concern is correct about the longterm effect on the engine.

    If you check the synth manufacturer's sites (try Mobil 1 and Valvoline's webpages), they deny it causes leaks. I've got no evidence personal evidence since I've been running synth since new on my 1.8T VW and on a Honda engine.

    I'm running Valvoline Synpower in the 5w-40 viscosity, as that is the grade recommended in my VW owner's manual. Mobil 1 5w-30 is used in the Honda.

    If your engine is already significantly sludged, you might want to consider having a tech drop the oil pan, clean out what's there, and remove the valve cover gasket and do the same up top. You'll want to change or at least clean the screen on the oil pump screen. None of this is cheap, but it may not be too late. I'd use pure synth after that.

    And the sludge may be the reason the previous owner sold the car.
  • Finally got rid of my 2000 GLX 3 weeks ago. Unbelievable! Couldn't even get an offer on the vehicle until I lowered the price well below where others were listed. Of course, many of the other cars listed online (GLX's, some with higher miles, others with lower, some from dealers, others private sale like me) were there from September! I went and looked at a couple at dealerships on the day they are closed in Alabama, and mine was in better shape than most!

    While looking at other cars to buy (eventually settled on a Honda Pilot) my trusted mechanic, who told me 2.5 years ago what a lemon the VW's are, said that he could take it to the state wide auction and probably get me $10,500, maybe $11,000. This was a $30,000 car 3.5 years ago! The reason why was because there are about 500 VW's that go up every week, most off of lease. Apparently the only way that VW keeps "sales" up is to offer very attractive lease deals, thus dumping them 36 months later.

    My advice to anyone looking to buy, or owning a VW Passat is to dump it immediately, and if not, prepare for constant, consistent and expensive problems!

    If you want to know what happened with mine, do a search under lonegunman and enjoy the reading. My suggestion is to do it on an empty stomach or else
  • warhawk5warhawk5 Posts: 16
    I'm sorry to hear that you had such a poor experience with your Passat, but every car has its lemons. There are many satisfied VW owners out there, myself included. I've had my '03 GLX tip for almost 9 months now and haven't had any problems. Hope you're happy with your predictable Honda.
  • shane02shane02 Posts: 4
    Tell you some problems Ive had with my VW, maybe make life a little easier for someone else, before 20,000 miles had three radios replaced, at 22,000 the car would not shift out of park, two mass air flow sensors have been replaced, a main ECU computer,vacumn leaks out the wazoo, all four coils have been replaced, local dealerships cannot keep the engine light off for more than a month or two, when the car is left in storage for more than two weeks, she sounds and smokes like my daddys flooded tractor when I start it, she stalls and spits under a cold start(40F) I keep telling the dealership the injectors or start solenoid are flooding but all they want to do is change spark plugs, the car would foul a set of plugs every 8000 miles, all my parts are purchased online from Germany, Mobil 1 synethic is all I use, preminum gas and TLC and now the dealership says today I voided the warranty because I used direct replacement Iridum spark plugs ordered from Germany at $12 each, I will be suing Volkswagen for the full purchased price of the car (cars paid off) before it goes out of warranty, most victims allow themselves to taken advantange of, if you feel like you got a lemon, Speak Up, the car has also depreciated in excellent condition about $10,000 making it not so attractive anymore, if your having luck with your Passat, count your blessings, nothing last forever.

    P.S. I read somewhere a person having problems with water in the back floorboard, this happened to me, it is a warranty item, plugs in the under frame are falling out allowing water in, also use your parking brake when starting the car, it will keep the headlights from surging during startup, keep you from having to replace headlight every 10,000 miles Good Luck God Bless
  • mibo888mibo888 Posts: 2
    we bought a 2004 GLX 4Motion Wagon about 3 months ago. Car drives really nicely, apart from the mileage. One noticeable problem we have experienced, is every now and then there is a loud bang in the rear axle (it seems) when accelerating from idle. Sometimes it's very light, at other times it feels like someone took a big hammer to the gears. It doesn't happen consistently, so don't want to take it into the shop yet - likely we won't be able to demonstrate it. Have others here experienced something similar? Is this the way it should be? Maybe it's how the AWD engages? Any feedback appreciated.
  • jwg7jwg7 Posts: 10
    altair4 - I finally got a chance to have the VW service mgr take a look under the cap and he said that there was some carbon glazing but not sludge. The oil was pretty well aerated which may have contributed to the thick appearance. I thought the oil felt a bit gritty but he said it was carbon suspended in the oil and thats why it dissolved with the least bit of pressure between the fingers (so scored cylinders is not a concern). He recommended changing oil at 1-2K miles for the next 2-3 oil changes to take advantage of the cleaning properties of modern detergent oils. He said using motor flush would not hurt anything but recommended changing the oil after a hundred miles or so thereafter and could not testify to the effect it would have on seals. I feel better-the car is in such nice condition inside and out and the records indicated relatively disciplined maintenance, but you never know when it's used... I agree on the use of synthetic. Even it causes a little leakage (hope not) it's just cheap insurance with a hot turbo under the hood.
    Thanks for the feedback.

    Does anyone have experience replacing the bulbs that illuminate the dash vent controls? The one on the passenger side dash vent (indicating open or closed) is out. Thanks for any feedback.
  • Our 2001.5 Passat GLX has been very disappointing. New rear brakes at 25,000 miles. Both transaxles replaced. The air conditioning compressor replaced. Interior trim around the shifter looks horrible. Glove box replaced three times and now broken again but not under warranty (the last of the 2 year warranties!) And, of course, that lovely hesitation when you hit the gas. We had to pay for all of this!!

    Now we have an warning light about low coolant. The first time it happened was 5 weeks ago. The overflow reservoir was empty and I filled it with anti-freeze and it was fine until a few days ago when the warning light came back on and I found the reservoir empty again. So I guess we have a slow leak, but I have never seen any evidence of it. I saw that a Technical Service bulletin was issued about a coolant leak (1702-01/APR 02/Engine Oil Cooler Hoses - Coolant leak), but I can't find the actual bulletin, only the title.

    Has anyone had this problem. Does anyone have the service bulletin? Will they fix it for free even after the warranty has expired?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I'm going broke with this car!
  • I bought a 2004 automatic Passat GLS 4cyl. in mid-February and after the second week, during a weekday, my car failed to start after 3 attempts. By the fourth attempt, the car did start - and I regret not reporting this incident to the local dealership at that time. By the third week, however, on a Monday, my car required 7 attempts to start the engine. I called Roadside assistance, the selling dealership, and the dealership closest to my house to schedule the earliest appointment. The earliest date I received was 2 weeks later. The next day, Tuesday, my car required 5 attempts to start the vehicle. I finally received the selling dealership's willingness to fix my car the following day. I dropped my car off at the dealership on Tues. night, the dealership/service dept. replaced my ignition switch on wed. afternoon, and I took my Passat home that Wed. evening. On Thurs. morning, my car wouldn't start after two attempts. I called Roadside assistance, a tow-truck arrived, and the tow-truck owner tried to start my car with no luck. The selling dealership replaced the power supply relay, rested and reset the computer - and I took the car home on Friday evening.

    After this experience, I requested from the selling dealership, and then VW of America, a replacement vehicle or a full refund. This morning I received both dealerships' negative response to my request and their decision to adhere to the existing warranty. At this stage, I may have to wait until my car has problems for the third time before I can invoke Virginia's lemon law. In the meantime, I would appreciate any feedback on similar Passat experiences, and advice on next steps.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I tjhink that is the only next step at this time. If the car has the same problem for the third time you can start the lemon law process.

    Good Luck!!
  • Hi, I have a 2001.5 passat 1.8t with the same burnt out dash vent control bulbs. Apparently these bulbs cannot be replaced. The dealer says the entire vent assembly has to be replaced at 100 dollars plus per assembly.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Not exactly true. The bulbs can be replaced and VW does sell the bulb. They just don't wanna do it, since it's easier and more lucrative to see a $100 vent, versus a small light bulb.

    I've seen the directions on other Passat forums. Part # is 3B0-919-243A. Your email is private, otherwise I'd send you a link (Edmunds frowns on links to other forums).

    I haven't done it, but it doesn't look that hard to do.
  • Thanks, I called the service manager at my dealership and he is checking into it for me. I would rather pay to replace a couple of bulbs. In addition to this my Automatic shifter came apart in my hands yesterday. I snapped it back together but it is on its last legs. Are you familiar with this happening? Oh....I just had to have my heater core replaced due to a leak, it was 1000 dollars plus. I am glad I went for the Bumper to bumper extended warranty.

    Buy an extended warranty with any will not regret it.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Post back here is your dealer can't help. I can send you the info for you to DIY.

    Can't say I've heard of the shifter problem.

    The heater core thing has popped up on VW's for years. I know I had my 87 Golf heater core done under warranty.
  • shane02shane02 Posts: 4
    Thats right, after gathering information to justfy my complains on my 2002 1.8 passat I found the 2003 Passats and Jettas are on the NHTSA Lemon List, sorry for all you Passat Owners, I Feel You, Im an owner too, hopefully not for long, Good Luck, God Bless
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    I just did a google search on "NHTSA Lemon List". There were no direct links to the official NHTSA site, but I did find the Lemon List site.

    You didn't by chance get the lemon list from this site, did you?

    Looks like a site by lawyers trying to scare up more business.

    There are also entries on this list from Audi, Toyota, Honda, Buick, and Subaru, among others (Ford, GM, Chrysler)...
  • shane02shane02 Posts: 4
    Yes Sir Your link is a Site to Ambulance Chaser, However the 2003 Lemon List that they show is correct, however my list provided by my Attorney does not show any Toyotas, Get information from reliable sources, my lawyer is one of the few in Tennessee on the BAR Association, when I get his link I will post it for you.
  • shane02shane02 Posts: 4
    My Lemon List came from the Davidson County Consumer Complaint Divison, in short, the Capital Courthouse of Tennessee- no links available, Lemon List vary from state to state and region to region- as well as Lemon Rights and conditions to compensation, thats probally why my list has no Toyotas, However, all the problems I've had within the last 36000 miles with the car, customer service, and roadside assistance (that stranded my wife and kids on the side of the road and never showed up) I really dont need a list to know I have a Lemon, as my dad would say "son, sticking your head in the sand, looking the other way- or sugar coating a turd, means you only end up with a sugar-coated turd" Im not trying to mis-inform anyone, I purchased the car because I Loved it, Im explaining the 10 years of headache I've experienced in the last 10 months. Good Luck God Bless

    P.S. Got a call from my lawyer- VW USA is willing to settle out of court!
  • frank_cfrank_c Posts: 19
    As others have noted, some 2003 Passats apparently have significant workmanship problems. I am stuck with a 2003 GLS with just 5,000 miles and a built quality more like a Yugo.

    The Passat is a very nice car in many ways, but there is little to enjoy about a car which rattles, whines, squeaks, and hums. Most of this is dashboard-related (it appears that the dash is simply out of spec). This is not an issue like hitting a pothole at 60 mph, it is like listening to a marching band all the time while driving.

    I have taken the car to a dealer three times already but it has become apparent that there is no interest in replacing the dashboard. Instead, the dash got coated in silicone spray. Months later silicone continues to drain into the instrument cluster on hot days. The head mechanic of the dealer who sold me the car admitted on a test drive that this problem is as bad as it gets, but this is of little help (and of course not in writing).

    Having moved I now have to deal with dealers who did not sell me the car and have even less of an interest to address this issue. I am getting ready for one more trip to a dealer before I would qualify for a lemon law claim here in California. Does anyone have advise on workmanship/lemon law issues with VW?

  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    I drive a 2002 Jetta and have the same issues with rattles and other noises coming from the dash area. The rattles appeared at about 2,000 miles. I brought it to several dealers on numerous occasions and they could never "duplicate" or fix the rattles. They tended to do more harm than good when trying to fix the noises. So, I gave up and just enjoy driving the car. One consolation wis that I am leasing it and the lease expires in about a year. The odd thing is the rattles come and go. Sometimes my dash sings with noises and other times it is quiet. It does seem the colder it is outside the more quiet the interior is. I also experience buzzing or rattling coming from the mid speakers in the rear doors.

    Other than these rattles, I have not had one mechanical problem with my car.
  • My wife has a 2000 Passat GLS. After the recent servicing at a dealership, they told her the coolant need to be flushed and the coolant bottle replaced because someone put the wrong type of coolant in there (Green instead of Red). Is this a legitimate problem on Passat?

    Since we only have it serviced at 2 VW dealerships so far, one of them goofed up. It's hard to imagine a VW dealership would make such a mistake, but that's another story...
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    This is correct. All VW models after 1996 switched from the green glycerine-based coolant to the pink phosphate-free g12 coolant. These should not be mixed under any circumstances otherwise the chemical composition between the two coolants will result in producing a gel-like substance which will gum up the engine coolant passageways and cause overheating.

    The engine must be power-flushed to remove any traces of the green glycerine-based coolant.

    It's pretty hard (in fact, uncommon) to mix up the two coolants since they come in different (distinctive) bottles, but there is that rare occasion that a mix up occurs.
  • Hi,

    I found it impossible to access the passenger side headlight bulb without removing some air duct. As I am afraid of breaking something while removing the air duct, I hope someone can tell me how to remove the air duct. I assume it's fairly easy but haven't found the trick yet.

    Thanks in advance.
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