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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • bjssbjss Posts: 51
    Update - went to dealer today for oil change, just making conversation, I asked again about the cost of a timing belt change (discussed in earlier post - $1600). Apparently, all the Service Advisors work on commission and he was willing to deal - getting the service for the same price quoted by the independent shop..and he is going to replace a cracked CV boot for an extra $100.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Good! At least the dealer was able to come down in price a bit. Now make sure you ask them if the water pump is the plastic one or the metal one - better yet, insist that they show you the water pump. If it is plastic, insist on the metal one. It will be the difference in getting the timing belt service every 60,000 - 65,000 miles (plastic pump) or every 90,000 - 100,000 miles (metal pump) as recommended by the service intervals specified by the factory.

    Good Luck...
  • rwl1953rwl1953 Posts: 4
    I have a 2001 and a half passat wagon. Just started to have some trouble with the turn signals. Most of the time they work but sometimes, both right and left, I'll push down on the turn signal lever and nothing happens. I have immediately pushed down again and they work or sometimes they don't. Then after going several miles down the road I make another turn and they work this time. Does anyone have any ideas? If so, how much do you estimate it would cost to fix this.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    To me, it sounds like a bad turn signal relay. IIRC, it's located behind the hazard switch on the center stack. Probably only a dealer-only part.
  • shelly03shelly03 Posts: 1
    Hello. We are considering purchasing a VW Passat wagon and are looking at the years 2000-2003. Just heard that a friend had a Passat and had to replace the timing belt at 85K miles which had caused engine to go bad. He had to pay $5000 for a new engine. Have you heard of a similar problem or do you think this is an isolated situation? Are these pretty good cars?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Read my post #2560 for the causes of timing belt failure and preventive measures that should be taken to avoid this situation. A properly maintained Passat will last its owner several years (I have a 2003 with 77,000 miles with no sludge issues).
  • I am having the exact same problem and have resorted to disconnecting the battery at night. Have you figured out what the problem is and how to fix it?
  • dustman1dustman1 Posts: 2
    I am having the exact same problem with my 2003 Passat 1.8 T. It has died on me at least a dozen times over the last 6 weeks as I am coming to a stop and now starting to die when idleing in park. In addition to the dying it also will buck and jerk when taking off on occasion. These problems have been very intermittent and will not show themselves when near a mechanic! I have changed the fuel filter, oil change, filter and lube, spark plugs and that was to no avail. There has been no CEL come on. I did find a hose that was leaking that I siliconed and reclamped (Y hose...maybe a bypass hose?).
    I have taken it in twice for diagnostics and they said that they can't find anything wrong with it ($139).However, it did throw the following codes (see below), but they said that these shouldn't be causing the problems. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    16684, 16686, 16687, 16688, 17519 and 17544
    SAE - P1111
    VAG - 17519
    Description - 02 Control (Bank 1) System too lean
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I have taken it in twice for diagnostics and they said that they can't find anything wrong with it ($139).

    Umm, yeah, they did and you've got the codes to prove it. Where did you take it? VW specialist?

    If it were me, I'd search for additional air leaks.
  • dustman1dustman1 Posts: 2
    It wasn't a VW specialist, but it was a very reputable garage in this area that I am familiar with. That being said, that is the first time that I left there unimpressed.
    The local VW dealership here does have a reputation and that's why I went elsewhere. Do you suggest a VW specialist?
    I've searched high, but not low for additional air leaks. I will continue looking and see if I come up with anything. Thanks for the input and I welcome more!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Pay close attention to the hoses under the intake manifold. They're hard to see and access, but I've read about others having issues and throwing the same codes as you are.
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    Yesterday I added just the 3rd tank of gas. During filling I noticed on the nozzle that the gas has 10% or less of ethnol. It's on a Hess gas station. Is that bad for Passat? how bad is it? I prefer to use Shell.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    Read your manual. It most likely says that fuel containing up to 10% ethanol is fine.

    FYI - most gas today that once contained MTBE now contains ethanol as MTBE was been banned as it is can contaminate ground water. The change happened about 18 months ago.
  • Hello forum,

    I have a 2000 VW Passat with the 1.8 (ATW) engine. I am experiencing an overheating problem. I recently had a new timing belt, water pump etc put on so I am confident that is not the problem. Then, I had a new thermostat installed, and the problem subsided for a short while, but now when I start it up, the temp gauge stays "cold" for a while, then pops up to normal...but no heat. Then I'll get blaring heat and the temp guage will return to normal. This sequence continues, and I'm afraid that one of these times it heats up (the temp warning light illuminates and the alarm sounds), I might harm the engine. Is there some kind of sensor that I can replace? I have done a little research and I find that there is a Coolant Temperature Sender (Standard #TS477) and a Coolant Temperature Sensor (Airtex #5S1478), I'm not sure which does what...Suggestions please!!

    Also, often at a low idle, my oil level idiot light will come on (with the obligatory alarm), but when I rev the engine, it goes off. The oil level is fine, and changed frequently. I think this may be the Oil Level Sensor?

    Thanks for any help!

  • saskchicsaskchic Posts: 1
    I bought my 2002 Passat with no manual as well. Just got the car last week and today the same light came on for me. I shut the car off and when I started it again, the light was off. Did you ever get a manual and find out what the light means?
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    We have a 1999 Passat GLS with the V6 engine. We now have 130,000 miles on it. It's certainly not as nice as it was when new, but my wife, who drives the car, comments regularly about how nice it rides. It's solid, accelerates like a champ, corners well, and has not left us on the side of the road yet.

    That's not to say we've not had maitenance issues. We've had to replace the front axles twice (one was warranted...three were not). It ate brakes until recently..switched to a different OEM brand, and they've worn very well.

    It did have an oil leak at 90,000 miles, but that was covered under the 10 year, 100,000 mile warranty. When that was fixed, VW also discovered some sort of cam tensioner problem and had to replace that as well.

    I do change the oil religiously every 5,000 miles. But since we had the V6, we didn't get hit with the sludge problems (although VW changed their recommendations for all of their engines for oil if I recall).

    This year, I spent $450 replacing a bunch of vacuum hoses that had dry rot and were falling apart, but heck, the car is 9 years old, so that's to be expected, and it once again, runs like a champ. We get about 30 MPG on the highway, which exceeds the estimates (and it beat my 2003 1.8T Passat that I had up until 2 years ago).

    Would we get another? I don't know. We hope to get another 1.5 years out of this one (gotta get son #2 out of daycare). My DW has her heart set on a an Infiniti M (used probably). But she has said a couple of times that if we can't get a good deal she'd go buy another Passat. Me...I'd keep the current one another year and then try to get an M :-)
  • majicmanmajicman Posts: 40
    I have a 2001 Passat with the 1.8 T motor. 130K miles.

    The technicians first told me the codes in the computer indicated a faulty cam chain tensioner, but it also had codes for a faulty crank position sensor. I ended up having the crank position sensor replaced (about $180).

    I had been experiencing the car just shutting down several times. It would start again after sitting for 15 minutes. I drive 55 miles to work so I can't have the thing dieing on me like that. After I had it fixed, the car runs great. According to the computer it says I am getting between 32 to 35 mpg highway.

    Did your mechanic say anything about the crank position sensor or have you ever had the thing just quit?

    It is possible the cam chain tensioner needs to be replaced but the crank position sensor can trick the computer into posting the fault code for the cam chain tensioner. If it were me I would have the crank position sensor replaced and see if it cured the problem.

    Also, do you use synthetic oil in the car? Even though VW did not start recommending it for these cars they have changed their recommendation and synthetic is now recommended and instead of 10K miles between oil changes 5K is recommended. These engines are quite succeptible to sludge problems and the synthetic helps prevent that.

  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    What are these manuals? Are they the same that come with the car you bought from dealer? If so why charge $60 instead of make them available onine as PDF files?

    Yes $60.00
  • Hi! Jim,

    The car has 67935 miles.
    I am getting the following codes:

    17195 P0811 excessive clutch slippage

    17100 P0716 Input turbine speed sensor A circuit G182 raneg performance.

    17095 P0711 Transmission Fluid Temp sensor A circuit G93 range performance.

    This is on a 2001 VW Passat 1.8.

    The transmission is not engaging. Please advise.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I couldn't get the link to work. But I think that would be the owner's manual, not the Bentley manual. The Bentley would be much more expensive.

    Whay charge instead of making them available as a PDF? $60, that's why!
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    Try this link and click on the "Get technical literature" and enter your model and year and there is a list for a lot of stuff.

    If it's the same manual owners get they sure can make it free as PDF online for owner's convenience.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Thanks for the new link...yeah, that looks like the owner's manual since I found the Bentley for $130 there. My feeling is that VW takes the approach that everything must be a profit center - doesn't help the public's perception, does it?

    Do other manufacturers post their owner's manuals on the web? I've never looked since I have bought new cars since the '80's (my philsophy: buy 'em new and wring every last cent of value out of 'em).

    As owner's manual go, the VW one isn't top shelf. They could learn a heck of a lot from Hyundai, judging from the manual that came with my mother-in-law's 2002 Accent. You should see the DIY section...very nice!

    BTW, did you look in the pocket under the steering column for your owner's manual? It fits nicely there and it blends in well with the remainder of the dash. I don't understand why people don't leave the manual in the car when they sell it??? :confuse:
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    I guess it's the owner's manual, maybe it has more contents.

    I asked the salesman for the manual whenI bought the new car. I think all the first owner could have one. Sometimes the owner lost it and following buyers can't get one. I have to agree Hyundai did good on this part and customers can register on their website and access a lot more tech information than the owner's manual contains.
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    2008 Passat turbo with about 1000 miles gave out the Fuel Filler Cap warning light today after I used the windshield washer and the washing wiper for a couple of times. And I arrived my workplace and parked it there. In the evening I started the car and the light was on. Drove about 10 minutes (less than 2 miles) and the light went off by itself. I still had gas for about 200 mile range and the used premium gas and the fuel cap was closed properly last week. So there was reason for that light turn on, especially after I used the windshield washer and the washing wiper. I considered it a minor harmless incident. Anyone else had this experience?
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,862
    I don't understand why people don't leave the manual in the car when they sell it???

    Many dealerships have a policy that whatever is in the car at trade in time gets tossed because of liability issues with previous owners' names, adresses, et al.
  • vwgrrrlvwgrrrl Posts: 19
    I use the middle grade gasoline. It performs fairly well. Of course, there's always the infamous turbo lag but once the turbo kicks in, you're good. I think I tried regular gas once and the car was just lagging and pinging. The super premium gas didn't seem much different then the middle grade. After 4 years, my car still takes off like a rocket!
  • vwgrrrlvwgrrrl Posts: 19
    I'm at about 31,000 miles on my 2004 Passat GLS Fwd (1.8 4cyl Turbo 5-speed Manual).

    Has anyone had any condensation or window fogging in their 2004 Passat GLS? I get that sometimes in the rear windows or around the edges of the windows. Leads me to believe there's a leak somewhere but I've never seen a drop of water inside the car. Perhaps the seals are wearing down.

    I also noticed the instrument cluster will black out on really cold or hot days. Once I turn the car off and back on again, the cluster lights come back up. Is this normal?

    Had some creaking in the dashboard but after a couple of visits to the dealer, it seems to have gone away.

    Rear window stopped working. Brought it to the dealer. When I got it back, the other rear window stopped working. Duh. Brought it back again. They both work fine ever since.

    The CV boots were ripped at about 29,000 miles (maybe sooner, who knows?). They told me it was a $700 job but luckily it was still under warranty.

    Had a couple of recalls: break light switch and the heated seats switch. All is well now after the dealer replaced the parts.

    Other than that, it's been a fantastic car! It rides beautifully, looks great inside and out and it's quick!
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    Look at the owner's book 3.3 Tips and Advice page 79 Fig. 25, there is a box with #4 pointing to it. But I don't have it on my car. I went to dealer and the salesman don't know what that is and the all the Passat in showroom don't have it either. On the book there is no description for that. What's that? Who has it?
  • lora726lora726 Posts: 7
    One of the headlamp covers on my 2002 Passat Wagon looks very hazy. I tried polishing it, but the haze looks to be on the inside. I've noticed this problem on other Passats I've seen. Do I need to remove the cover, and if so, how do I go about doing that? If not, any suggestions on how to sand/polish/clean off this haze? Thanks!
  • cragg3rcragg3r Posts: 16
    yea i had the same problem, it gets to a point where it doesnt pass inspection.

    it is on the outside, there is a special cleaner available. i forget where and what its called, but there is such a thing.. probably like headlamp cleaner or something like that. ask the pepboys people or advance auto parts or whatever is near you.

    good luck, and it illuminates the road so much nicer after that gunk is off.
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