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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • New member here. (Female so please respond accordingly)
    I just purchased 99 Passat 1.8 Turbo, automatic. I have no maintenance records from previous owners. What all do I need to check first? What maintenance do you suggest I go ahead and do? Problems found so far: (1) ABS/Brake light on. Already found a company in FL that would rebuild the ABS module for around $200 with 3 yr warranty. Even gives instructions on how to remove module. (2) Slight oil leak, found problem with one hose. (3) Coolant leak somewhere. Just know it keeps going down slowly. (4) Turbo makes very loud whirly noise. (louder than it should).
    Okay so any advice would be greatly appreciated! :)
  • feilofeilo Posts: 128
    Anyway the latest....when I put the signal to turn left or right....the tic-tac sounds stay on
    Replies to this message:
    It may be the HAZARD switch relay acting up - I have the same problem and another website suggested that replacing the relay is the answer. This relay is linked to the turn signals. The HAZARD switch needs to be removed to get to the relay. Haven't done it yet, so I can't elaborate on the "How To" just yet - sorry. Will post the result as and when I get to it...
  • balzeebalzee Posts: 2
    I have 2000 Passat GLS with 90K miles on it. I recently started getting this weird problem. When I drive, all of a sudden, I get a jerk and the vehicle starts making a noise as if there is lot of stress on the engine and the engine struggles to pull at high speed. Also, in dashboard all the indicators ('D', 'P', 'N', 'R' 1, 2, 3) are in RED instead of just the 'D'. Any ideas...??
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Sounds like the transmission is going into failsafe, protect mode....
  • balzeebalzee Posts: 2
    Thanks altair for the reply. So, is this a problem with transmission or something else?? Any guess how much it would cost??
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I think the best thing you could do is get to an Advance or Autzone store and get the codes pulled. They'll do it for free. Then post them here or check the web for solutions.

    There are some specific Passat forums that may be able to give you more help on this. It's never happened to me, so I can't tell you anything from firsthand experience.

    It's possible that the TCM, which lives under the front footwell carpets, is wet. But that's just a guess. Water intrusion into the passenger compartment of Passats is not an unheard of event....
  • jdanos44jdanos44 Posts: 1
    I am the proud owner of a 2001-1/2 VW Passat. Has 73K miles and occasionally fails to start. It happens mostly when running errands and alot of start & stops. It may go 30 starts and crank as normal, and then bam! no start. Then I let it sit for 30 minutes and then it starts?
    Puzzled?!@#$% Never stalls when running. Currently at the VW dealer trying to fix problem and of course they are saying their diagnostics show nothing. Therefore unless they can reproduce the problem, they are ready to return the car to me. WHAT!!! How's this for service. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • I have a 2000 Passat 1.8l 4-dr sedan with 70,123 miles on it. It is in the shop (again) for repairs. This time it is the ABS Module, 780.00 to repair. I am 2nd owner, bought with 24,560 miles in 2003 and have had 2713.31 in repairs since then. Anyone else with similar issues? It is frustrating. I'd like to keep car, but what else can go wrong? Any comments welcome. Thanks
  • I have a 2000 Passat 1.8 l 4-dr sedan with 70,123 miles on it. BOTH drivers side window regulators went out within 2 weeks in July 2006. Then in March 2007 the front passenger side regulator went out. All together, Ive spent $1250+ repairing the windows! I'm scared to even roll them down at this point. If anyone does have info as to action taken against VW, let me know. And I've tried the advocacy line also, no help at all.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    "but what else can go wrong?"

    What oil are you using?

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Good one, Krzys!
  • gw1998gw1998 Posts: 6
    Has anyone had any major problems with a 2002 Passat?
  • harubhnharubhn Posts: 5
    My '02 had the coil packs fail at 18k miles, and the water pump failed at 40k. Both those issues, and several other niggling problems, were covered under warranty, but rendered the car inoperable for days. Fortunately I had another, more reliable car.

    The Passat now has 69k, and has been problem free for the last 20k or so.
  • pheokcpheokc Posts: 2
    Recently, water entered my 2002 passat and i noticed that the drivers side was completely filled with water.I tried to drain it up, but the car wouldnt start.A friend told me to check the central locking circuit hidden under the foot mat of the drivers side.When i brought out the black plastic container, i found out it was covered with water.I cleaned it up and dried it in the sun for a while and tried to replace the circuit back.The car started and all the inner lights came up again, but the central lock will not work!Does any body know how i can make it work again?I cant drive out with the car anylonger because of security.Do i need to reprogramme my remote control?
  • soli1978soli1978 Posts: 2
    Probably it is too late now and you already purchased the car. If you haven't, don't! I wasn't happy that I bought it and I will NEVER buy a VW again. The most horrible service, the most horrible attitude, and the most horrible reliability.
  • djcdjc Posts: 10
    The knob snapped off my remote mirror control. Where is the bext place to order a replacement switch, and how do I remove the damaged one from the door panel?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Online OEM parts can be found at, There may be others, but these are actual dealers.

    I believe that the door card must be removed to rep[lace the switch....
  • 122K mi on mine. I am getting ready to replace the axle shaft boots for the 3rd and 4th time. Started at 57K mi. Replaced the timing belt/tensioner/idler/thermostat/water pump/belts at 105K mi. No problemo! Still has orig frnt brake pads. Rear pads/rotors were replaced at 83K mi - rotors warped - now warped again - lasts about 25K mi before warping. Replaced flasher when turn signals went inop. Now occasionally the flasher flashes, but no lights while driving - just clicking. Hitting steering wheel, or pulling to one side helps. That is the only gremlin.
  • Well, I loaded a few posts in here about my 2001.5 Passat and how well the car has run since I bought it in March 2004 with 35k miles. It now has 113k miles and at the end of February the oil inter cooler, thermostat and belt-driven cooling fan :confuse: went out. It caused it to overheat as "STOP!" and "CHECK COOLANT" displayed in big, bold red letters on my driver display. $450 later, it's up and running. I thought it was strange that the oil inter cooler went out because I am careful about allowing the car to idle after "spirited" driving.

    Now, I have a whole new problem. A few months ago I noticed a fast-paced rattle, almost like a vibration, as I cold-start my car. The sound went away within seconds, almost after the fuel injection system did its job. Lately, I've noticed the sound takes longer to go away, and usually after I rev the engine a few times up to about 2,000 RPM's to get rid of the sound.

    I had my mechanic (who works for a VW dealer but does work for me on the side :blush: ) about it and he diagnosed it to be the cam shaft tensioner. I think it's a little weird that my car has only 113k miles and now I have to sink another $500 into it (which I still think is one hell of a deal) to get that fixed. Last year I had the front brakes replaced ($255), timing belt/tensioner pulley and thermostat ($450) and new tires ($450). Looks like I'll be putting a lot of money into it this year as well.

    Has anyone else had to replace their cam shaft tensioner this soon? I've never had to replace one in any of my previous 8 vehicles (only one of which was a 1990 Passat that succomed to a snapped timing belt). Any help would be appreciated.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Based on what I've read on Passat-specific forums across the web, I'd say it ain't uncommon at all!
  • quizzomanquizzoman Posts: 1
    Hey - My experience might be similiar to the fast paced rattle you are hearing. At about 100K on my 2000 1.8t Passat I started noticing a low-engine rattle that would come and go. It sounded like a tinging noise almost like the engine was loosing oil, but the oil was fine. I really started bothering me in places like drive through food places where I could hear the engine loud and clear while idling. When I would hear the noise I could push the throttle to about 2.5k and the noise would stop. Eventually, it got so bad that the low oil pressure light started coming one, which gave me a clue to what was up.

    Come to find out that the common sludge problem with the Passat was affecting my car. I ended up pulling the oil pan to find that sludge had completely filled the oil pickup screen for the oil pump. Which explaines why oil wasn't getting to the engine correctly. After replacing the oil pump the car is running better than ever.

    However, this process did involve a lot of work. For the oil pan to be removed the engine needs to be hoited on the half frame about 6 to 12 inched, but not totally removed. This is very dooable with the tools and a hoist. I might still have instructions on how to do it.

    If you have any questions or want the instructions or pics I took e-mail me at

    Good luck...
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Come to find out that the common sludge problem with the Passat was affecting my car. I ended up pulling the oil pan to find that sludge had completely filled the oil pickup screen for the oil pump. Which explaines why oil wasn't getting to the engine correctly. After replacing the oil pump the car is running better than ever.

    Has oil consumption increased at all? Sometimes valve guides can fail without lubrication, as can the the bearing surfaces and piston rings can wear. It pays to be very aware of what is going on with your vehicle, it sounds like you might have caught it when it was just an oil pump vs a new motor.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You know what would be great is if you would put together a CarSpace guide. You can include your pictures there and it will be available to anyone anytime.

    And welcome! :)
  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    I posted the original "A Few Bumps in the Road" post and here's a follow up:

    I got the car back from the mechanic this evening and he also had to replace the timing belt again because the timing tensioner hydraulic :confuse: leaked all the hydraulic fluid out which caused my timing belt to become loose. Thankfully we caught it before it jumped. Back to the cam shaft tensioner and the rattle: I asked him about the sludge and he assured me that my car is sludge free and that's due to my religious Mobil 1 oil changes that I give it as well as the 2-3 minute idle rule after "spirited" driving. I'm still mystified that all this is going on at only 113k miles, but all I can figure is that this is the consequence of my former mechanic not replacing the timing tensioner pulley when he replaced the timing belt and water pump. Thankfully my new mechanic is certified by VW (he is a tech at a dealer :blush: ) so he knows my VW better than my former mechanic. I should be good to go now. The whole job cost just under $1k. Add that to the cooling system failure I experienced in February, that's already $1,500 this year alone in repairs. Hopefully it will be the last of them. :sick:
  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    Another thing I noticed when merging on the highway this morning was that the turbo charger isn't boosting like it should. I can clearly hear the whine when it actuates but I don't feel the thrust I used to feel when accelerating. I spoke to my mechanic about this issue today and he is going to look at it. I suggested maybe a loose/busted vacuum hose because the engine seems to be producing a little "white noise" similar to the sound of a vacuum hose gasping for air.

    My question is this: At what mileage is typical to warrant a turbo charger rebuild? I've heard the K3/K4 is capable of being rebuilt but I am unsure of the mileage. Also, if estimated cost could be included, I'd appreciate that information as well.
  • waid10waid10 Posts: 21
    I have a 2001 Passat. I went to a local Autozone to get new wiper blades. I bought some mid level Rain-X blades. The guy at Autozone tried for 30 minutes to fit the new wiper blades onto my car but could not find a connector that would make them fit. He said that their (Autozone's) selection of blades fit about 98% of cars, but they have had trouble with Volkswagen in the past. He said that I will have to take the car to a VW dealer to get new blades. The closest VW dealer is over an hour away. Plus, I just can't believe that I can't get new blades at an auto parts store. Anyone else have experience with this issue?

  • jdhebert23jdhebert23 Posts: 19
    I've never had problems putting blades on my car (01.5 Passat). Maybe you should consider taking it to another auto parts store. I've always been able to snap the old ones off and put the new ones on in less than a minute in the Wal Mart parking lot. I usually buy the Michelin brand wipers. They seem to perform very satisfactorily, and they are very reasonably priced. Can you maybe post some pictures of what your wiper arms look like? :confuse:
  • pinhigh1pinhigh1 Posts: 3
    Help! The timing belt just snapped on my 2001 Passat 1.8T while driving on interstate 70mph / 2500-3000 rpm. Has 109k miles. VW dealer est is $2K if no damage to head; $4500 worst case. Edmund's estimates my trade value at $5K in a private sale before this issue. Have no idea of $$ value for scrap. Can should this car be repaired? Any / all input welcomed!
  • lilengineerboylilengineerboy Posts: 4,116
    Had it been changed previously? If it had been changed at the interval and still failed, I would expect some support from the manufacturer, especially if the service had been done at a dealer.
    You might also want to cross shop the price of a new/rebuilt motor/head from an independent VW place.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    then you have changed the belt 4k miles ago, haven't you?

    If you have aero wipers then you need to buy set

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