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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • I bought a 2003 Passat GLS Wagon used recently(2 days ago)
    a woke up this morning to go outside and detail it and vaccum it and noticed a significant amount of water in the floorboard passenger side back seat --- not sure where it came from
    there is some sort of ac/heat vent on floor under passenger front seat could this be the cause???? any help would be greatly appreciated :)
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Notorious issue. The usual suspects are:

    1) Most likely - Clogged drains in the plenum area under the hood (where the battery and brake booster are) allows water to enter through the fresh air system.

    2) Possible - Clogged sunroof drain.

    3) Door seal is leaking or possibly a leak around the windshield.

    Check this website for help:
    Bear in mind that is a UK website, so the steering wheel is on the right side.
  • mkl001mkl001 Posts: 4
    my 07 passat wagon 2.0T, the fan sometimes need to drive 10-20 minutes to kick in and then the AC begins to work. The car has been to the dealers for repair 2 times to change the relay about 2 month ago, and today, the problem occurs.

    Does anyone have the same problem, and how to fix it?
  • greatcarsgreatcars Posts: 66
    I believe the Passat 2.0T (mine is 08) has problem on its AC or at least that's a weak park of the vehicle. Mine was hot and I had it checked by the dealer. They found the O ring was pinched and refrigerants was leaking. They replaced O ring and refilled the refrigerant. It's better now but still not as cool as my other 3 year old car and the Beatle they loaned to me on the service. I will get a thermometer and take exact temprature number to the dealer on the next service.
  • ok the heat wave is on and my ac in the 1999 passat doesn't run. The cooler is running but the blower isn't blowing hot or cold. The blower fan blows when the switch is on 4 but not 1-3. And when it's on 4 the cooler doesn't make the air cold. Does this sound like the blower resistor to anyone? or is it something else?
  • kilaueokilaueo Posts: 1
    I bought my 99 1.8t at a non-VW dealer and had him change the timing belt (70k miles) on it. After reading alot about the tensioners and water pumps giving out I am wondering whether the dealer exchanged these as well or cut corners :confuse: How can I tell whether they are the upgraded or still the old parts?
  • I own a 95 Passat Wolfsburg GLS with a 2.0.

    I am having problems with my windows, warning lamps, a speaker and the cruise control.

    The previous owner hurriedly installed a new head unit(SupertunerIIID) and speakers but I have a bad feeling they piggie backed power or used power they weren't supposed to.

    I can open 3 out of the 4 windows(can't open LR passenger window)with my key but not with any of the switches while only being able to open the drivers side with the switch.

    I can occasionally open the passenger side with the switch but it's moody as well as the cruise control. I checked for vacuum leaks but could not find any.

    I also do not have power to the master window switch in the center dash, I even replaced the switch to no avail.

    I took it to my mechanic and found a high/low voltage error/spike so I assumed that was the problem; but that is not the case unless there is a short somewhere

    When the car was bought I noticed the warning lamp for the ABS/EBRAKE/AIRBAG was defective and when I opened it up(I work with electronics for a living) the circuit board had blown traces and blown LED'S. I repaired it but still no power.

    If anyone could help me I would greatly appreciate it!

  • kotalkotal Posts: 2
    We are considering buying a 1999 Passat for my teenage son...would you all reccommend one? I'm worried that upkeep may be too expensive on this car. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  • kotalkotal Posts: 2
    PLEASE SOMEBODY RESPOND..........Would you reccommend a 99 Passat for my teenage son? I have been reading the forum and am afraid that repairs would be way too much for him to handle. HELP!!!!!!!!!!!
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Do keep in mind that you are in a Maintenance and Repair discussion, so naturally the focus is on that subject. There are other discussions in the Passat group you can check out as well.

    Good luck.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Depends on what you consider "expensive" and what your own mechanical abilities are, but frankly, no, I wouldn't recommend it.
  • linznblinznb Posts: 3
    I recently posted about the air conditioning and heating system not working. Couldn't wait any longer... It was a switch in the control panel. The funny thing is that the lights had gone out on the panel months ago and now that the switch has been replaced they work too. Oh well... Thank GOD for AC!
  • ekg426ekg426 Posts: 3
    Go for a.) something more reliable and b.) less costly to repair. Passats are fun, but they are neither inexpensive nor easy to fix. Any 9 year old car is a gamble, but the records of repair issues you see here - on newer models - gives you a good read on the road ahead.
  • timdemiotimdemio Posts: 8
    I have been researching the net about changing antifreeze in my 2000 Passat. Informations are somewhat conflicting, some say that one must use G12 from dealers, others say one can use Dex-Cool (no silicate) by either Prestone, Valvoline or Zerex. I have been topping up with Valvoline Dex-Cool and am about to flush and replace the antifreeze. What is the concensus? Gel issue was caused by incompatibility between different kinds of antifreeze, so one should never mix green/yellow with red/orange/purple. Besides that, is there any reason why one cannot use Dex-Cool for VW cars? Any chemist out there, would you mind render your opinion? Thanks.
  • cragg3rcragg3r Posts: 16
    get dealer stuff, why take the risk or go to the hassle of finding another kind of antifreeze?
  • cragg3rcragg3r Posts: 16
    Just like I told my friend... don't buy a passat for anybody who doesn't know how to work with cars... especially an old one! They are high upkeep and very expensive to fix. I would go with a smaller car. If you buy that 99 passat, you will start with the front suspension and struts - $1500, timing belt, water pump change - $1200, then finally the transmission - + $2000 ^ infinity
  • urbannomadurbannomad Posts: 14
    on saturday I got the oil indicator up and stop the car message. I went to the dealer and have the oil changed. Right after that 10 miles later, malfunction light came on(check engine) and car started shaking, (also when a/c was one it was shaking more) The dealer suggests me to tow the car. I checked out the internet and people talk about an oilslug problem. I almost paid close to 3k for extended warranty for this car. I really had it with this car as I spent so much time at the dealership service. I am paying a loan for this car to VW credit. Can I also just give the car back to VW credit and get rid of it ?
    I knew this would happen but my wife would like to keep it, she did not settle for a nice Camry.
    VW should be penalized for producing crappy cars.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm having a difficult time conjuring up a whole lot of sympathy for you based upon your post. Why?

    1) While you took the time to research engine problems with 2003 Passats, you didn't apparently read what it was you looked up. If you had you would have learned that the sludge problems were limited to the 1.8T four-cylinder turbocharged engine and not the Audi V6 that's in your car.

    2) As a general rule, cars that were maintained with the proper oil services (i.e. every 5,000 miles WITH a synthetic oil that was certified to meet the VW 502.00 oil spec or better) had no sludging problems (especially so the V6 cars; in those you really needed to try to get them to create sludge).

    3) You don't even know what's wrong with your car yet.

    4) If anything, Toyota had even more sludge related engine failures than VW did, so your comment that said, "I knew this would happen but my wife would like to keep it, she did not settle for a nice Camry", makes me wonder if you deliberately didn't maintain your car properly just to show her you were right.

    So, assuming that your engine is sludged, the questions you are now going to be faced with are as follows:

    - Can you prove that you had your oil changed every 5,000 miles?
    - Can you prove that only VW 502.00 (or better) oil was used every time the oil was changed (i.e. 502.00 oil from the dealership, Castrol Syntec 5W-40, Castrol Syntec 0W-30, or Mobil 1 0W-40)?

    If you can prove those things, then all you need to do is to show your dealership the receipts and they'll happily put a new engine in for you (assuming that its still under warranty of course).

    Best Regards,
  • urbannomadurbannomad Posts: 14
    I had so many problems with this car that I needed to spend countless hours at the service for the last 4 years. Instead of the weekend quality family time, I wasted those hours at the VW service. I am also very careful w/ the maintenance.
    I think I really had it this time. To prevent further financial pain, I got the extended warranty early this year. Oil changes are done usually at the dealership but 5K mile before was done at the car wash facility next to our house.
    From what I read the symptoms look like slug problem to me.
    Unfortunately VW as a company very hostile to its customers and their overall attitude towards customers really annoys me.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I guess I need to say it differently; there is no "sludge" problem with the V6 engines. That problem is isolated to the 1.8T four cylinder engine, an engine that is not in your car.

    Best Regards,
  • urbannomadurbannomad Posts: 14
    I hope it a simple problem. That is all I can wish for now.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Agreed. It isn't an unheard of thing for the oil pressure sender to go bad.
  • urbannomadurbannomad Posts: 14
    when the a/c is on the shaking also intensifies.
    Keeping fingers crossed for a simple problem.
  • sklfkrsklfkr Posts: 1
    Allot of good information here.
    I just bought a used 2001 Passat with around 92K on it and since I dont have the maintenance records Im gona replace the timing belt to be safe. After reading what you guys have suggested im going with and I'm doing it myself. One side note for anyone who may not know I called the dealer out of curiosity and to replace the timing belt, both tensioner's, water pump, yada, yada, yada $1000 +.

    I've also no idea of what the security code for the radio is (Thanks for the info guys) so I'll have to spend $66 bucks and 30 min at the dealer for that.

    Since right now money is tight and I really cant afford the kit and the Bentley manual are there any 2001 1.8 timing belt replacement procedure write ups that any of you guys may be aware of?

    I did find one thats pretty good but is a couple of years older than my model so things like the hydraulic tensioner are obviously missing. Im sure most if not all the info in this write up will help.

    Read it here:

    If you don't know of any write ups that I can use is it possible to augment the link above with the missing steps or any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance guys
  • lawoman1lawoman1 Posts: 4
    I purchased a 1999 Passat for my daughter a month ago. All was fine until we noticed a small oil leak. My husband said it was no big deal and when he had the time he would look at seals/gaskets,etc. Now she has come home for a visit and her malfunction indicator light has come on and this being a holiday weekend we are thinking that , great we already are starting in with problems. I bought the car from a small dealership and bought a warranty, but does anyone know if this is a major problem or not. The light is fixed and NOT blinking ...yet. She only comes home on weekends as she works 75 miles away. Do I need to give her my vehicle and get this to a shop ASAP??? :confuse: Thanks
  • I have a 2005 Passat Stationwagon diesel. I would like to know how to replace the head lights and day running lights. I have one out on each side. I have 70,000 miles on the car and it just passed the 70,000 mile warranty. Of all the luck.

    Thank you,

    Chuck Hanson
  • cragg3rcragg3r Posts: 16
    I have the same car and my oil drips were due to a gasket leak. Once that was fixed the leaks stopped. Depending on the mileage of the car, you should look into the belts and water pump as well.
  • cragg3rcragg3r Posts: 16
    Its real easy and you can figure it out if you open the hood and check behind the light housing. There should be a clip that you can unhook... I forget exactly but it was easy to figure out. Then the whole thing will come out. Unplug it and remove the back cover. Replace the old bulb with the new and hook it back in. Try it... you shouldn't break anything. But I heard you shouldn't touch the new bulb on the glass in case the moisture and oils on your hand got on it and when it heats up ... something something.. yada yada... basically lowers the life of the bulb? Can someone confirm this? Anyway, it should be easy!
  • lawoman1lawoman1 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the answer! My husband called the dealer today where we bought it and he is taking it in for them to check the leak on Monday and we will go from there. It has 106,000 miles and the carfax report only showed regular maintenance at the original dealership (was a leased car) I am hoping it is not major as I don't want to regret buying another VW. She use to drive a 1987 Jetta and it was good while she was in H.S., but it had it's share of problems too being a old used car. She just could not afford a new car having graduated college last I am keeping my fingers crossed because she loves this car already and it really was kept in good shape, hopefully under the hood as well!! ;)
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    with 106K I hope you changed timing belt, if not do this now. Solid "Check engine" light could be something stupid like not tightening gas cap to something major.
    Good luck.

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