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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • Thanks for the tips. I managed to get the bulb replaced without trouble. It was the driver's side. If it had been the passenger side it would have been a different story. A lot of things have to be removed to get to the bulb on that side.

    Thanks again,

    Chuck Hanson
    Memphis, TN
  • rsracerrsracer Posts: 1
    The solid engine light or "malfunction indicator" light is most likely the catalitic converters or the oxygen sensors. Parts for the two catalitic converters will run about $1300.00, sensors aroung $600.00. This is an emissions issue, the light becomes an engine light when it starts blinking and you should immediately pull over and stop the engine when this happens. It is okay to drive the car if the light is solid. Depending on the mileage on this car it may or may not be covered under federal emissions warranty. I don't know how much coverage the warranty you purchased covers. I know this because I have been through it twice at 68,000 and again at 126,000 miles. True it could be something as simple as not having the gas cap tight, but I doubt it if my evil passat is any indication. Good Luck.
  • lawoman1lawoman1 Posts: 4
    Hi...just an update on the 99 Passat with the MIL problem. The oil leak was the valve gasket and the MIL was due to secondary air flow....a hose was loose. The dealer (who is a small independent) has been great even gave us a loaner! I know my daughter will be glad to get it back as it really does run great. :)
  • rbk3rbk3 Posts: 34
    Hi Lawoman, Sounds like DaJaVu to me. I just got rid of my 02 passat. Had air hose replaced, valve cover gasket, various electrical issues one after another. I finally traded it in for a different maker.

    The first 4 years were great. After that the car was a failure. I love the passat, it's drive, feel and general quality are first rate. It's that damn reliability thing that worries me,,,

    Good luck Lawoman
  • lawoman1lawoman1 Posts: 4
    Well like I stated in a previous post, the car was a leased vehicle and was maintained at the original dealership until it was sold this year. So I am hoping that the reliability factor will hold. This is my daughters car and she is just starting her career and car repairs are not in her budget. In 1999 we bought her a 1987 Jetta and it served its purpose for her until I sold it in 2005 because she was away at college and never used it. . She wanted a Jetta, but we found her this and she has fallen in love with, as she says "the luxury car feel" So until she can buy herself a NEW car, this is it. I know used cars have their problems, but maybe, just maybe we bought a Passat that won't fail us! Thanks for your concern.
  • oldpassatoldpassat Posts: 2
    I have an early '98 1.8T. No major repairs and the car looks and drives like new at 93,000 miles. Original clutch and only on second tires and brakes. I have used regular gas and synthetic oil since the beginning. BUT, there is a knocking or soft thumping noise, a kind of muffled rattle, that sounds like it is under the car. My VW specialist mechanic replaced the down pipe from the catalytic converter. Didn't fix the problem, which is worse when car is cold and when you drive off in first gear. But it is getting steadily more persistent, like the exhaust system is loose and seems related to choppy streets. A second mechanic (in business since 1937) said his guy thinks the turbocharger isn't working right and that is the source of the noise. I've noticed no reduction in performance, not that this car was a jackrabbit to begin with (maybe the turbo was bad from the beginning?) Anyone had a similar problem, and how to diagnose w/o going to thieving dealer? And if it is turbocharger (a $500 part) should I also replace the timing belt while they are in there?--Tom
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    If you are using regular gas in turbocharged engine then it is no wonder that "this car was not a jackrabbit to begin with". ECU will reduce boost and retard timing when knock is detected, it will cause engine to make less power.
    Are you sure you do not have knock dmage in your engine?

  • oldpassatoldpassat Posts: 2
    When the car was about six months old I was in the dealer and someone working there said that for the U.S. market VW changed the oxygen sensor (?) and therefore not to bother with hi-test. I switched and at the time noticed no difference. What did amaze me was the pickup that a friend's automatic 1.8T had compared to mine. But no, I can't be certain about knock damage except to say that the engine itself seems quiet, no rough idle, and on the highway it is very smooth. What parts would be damaged by knock?
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    I am not an expert but knock happens when air/fuel mixture detonates on its own (too early so piston might be still in compression phase) so I would expect pistons, crank shaft and associated bearings to suffer the most.

    Maybe what you can hear is the pinging under the load? Have you tried premium (91+)?

    If your manual 1.8T is slower than 1.8T auto then something is not right.

  • srdavidrgsrdavidrg Posts: 1
    About 2 weeks ago all of a sudden my passat's gauges died out on me, which consists of the spedo, the temp, the gas and tach , then the check engine light came on??? but the lights turn on at night?? then a couple of days ago all the gauges started working and the check engine light also went off like nothing ever happened but not for long, about a half an hour later they all died the check engine light came on but the lights still turn on at night. Does anybody know whats going on. Im gonna run outta gas or get a speeding ticket????
  • blitzg99blitzg99 Posts: 12
    I own a CPO VW Passat 2003 with warranty till Oct 2008. I am thinking of buying an extended warranty for my car. Does anyone have suggestions for it. I know VW offers Volkswagen RealDriver Extended warranty. Are there any other good alternatives.

    Also are extended warranties worth it ? Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
  • blitzg99blitzg99 Posts: 12
    I own a CPO VW Passat 2003 with warranty till Oct 2008. Can anyone suggest a good reliable mechanic for VW Passat in the Twin Cities area (I line in St.Paul).
    Also are extended warranties worth it ? I am thinking of extended waranties vs. repair in an independent shop for future. Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks in advance.
  • stykeystykey Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Volkswagen Passat and the check engine light keeps coming on. I have had it scanned with a code scanner and there is nothing wrong with it. Can anyone tell me how to disconnect the check engine light? Is there a fuse that controls it? On other vehicles, disconnecting the battery has worked as a tempory fix, but it does not work on this car.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Can't help you with your problem, but if you disconnect the MIL light, you will not pass emissions inspection (if your state/locale has one).

    Are you saying that a scan shows no codes whatsoever? Who scanned it? Indie, dealer, or you?
  • I also have a 98' Pasat 1.8T but with the auto trans. We have 92K miles, and we love this car with the factory 6 CD changer in the rear and and even a factory casette to hookup our personal XM receiver with the cassette pickup. We have lately noticed a very similar thumping noise to the one described by you. When the car is on the highway under accceleration no noise. When I coast we hear this soft thumping sound under the front passenger seating area sort of center right. There is no engine light and at my last VW dealer checkup no error codes. I was thinking this was either a differential/transaxle issue or a catalytic converter loose insulating plate. I am leaning (hopefully) to the latter. Aamco has a free computer check with an online coupon. If the tranny checks out I am going to an exhaust shop to check this option as well.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    I suggest that you also have someone examine the constant velocity joints.
  • I need to know where the drains in the water box (underneath the engine bonnet in front of the windscreen) are situated, when it rains it keeps filling with water. Thanks for your help.
  • ehg2001ehg2001 Posts: 2
    My husband and I recently purchased a used 04 Passat and just the other day, a light came on, on the dash in the upper left corner. It is a circle with a line through it. We did not receive an owners manual with the car so we dont know what it is. Does anyone know what this circle with a line through it means?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Under the brake booster (on LHD vehicles) and under the battery. This should help you:
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    First of all, check under the dash below the steering column to confirm that the owners manual is not where it is supposed to be. (You wouldn't know that it should be there unless you read the owners manual or the seller told you.) The light you describe may be the shift lock notification. It is located at top center on the tach. It is a brake symbol with a shoe in it. It lights when you have the engine on, the transmission in park or neutral, and your foot off the brake. The light is to remind you to apply the brake to release the shift lock so you can shift into drive or reverse. The light you describe may also be the symbol located in the top left of the computer readout. It is a circle with a diagonal line through it. It means that the MPG displayed is an accumulated average.

    If you do not have an owners manual, it is well worth it to buy one in order to utilize all the features of your Passat.
  • Cheers mate i got it sorted now it's just a matter of drying out the carpets but the big bit is sorted tks alot.
  • summetjsummetj Posts: 1
    I have ran into something very funny on my wife's 98 Passat (Manual).

    The clutch petal got all spongy (as if air was in the clutch master/slave cylinder or line). When I went to vacuum bleed the clutch system at the slave cylinder bleed nipple, I couldn't get any brake fluid to go down the hose to the master cylinder. I eventually unplugged the hose that runs from the brake fluid reservoir only to find that the plastic nozzle on the brake fluid reservoir was solid plastic, and would not allow fluid to flow past it into the hose!

    I sucked brake fluid directly into the hose and the clutch petal now works.
    My question: Did some mechanic install a new brake fluid reservoir and forget to clip the plastic tip of the nozzle? (I assume that for an automatic transmission no hose to a clutch master cylinder would exist, so the reservoir is probably designed so that the installer would have to open up that nozzle.)

    Or is this the normal from the factory setup? (Just a place to plug the hose to maintain vacuum?) Anybody with a manual Passat know if the hose is supposed to be connected to the reservoir as I suspect?
  • neki36neki36 Posts: 1
    99 passat 5 speed v6 130 miles
    after driving for about 10 min my car will beep and rpm gauge will drop to 0
    and oil and ABS lights will go off
    otherwise car runs great
    please any sugestion (ideas)
  • My 1999 Passat Driver Side Controls have stopped working completely. I can not use the locking mechinism, window controls or mirror adjustments. The controls were working fine when I bought the car a few years back but slowly went out one by one. Sometimes the controls would work, sometimes not. Then the whole shabang went out.

    Any Ideas what I can do to fix the issue???

    Ps. All other window controls and locking mechinisms on the other doors work fine.
  • My wagon recently started to squeak rather loudly while the car is in motion regarless off speed. When I apply the brakes the squeak's either subside entirely or mostly. Originally I thought that I may have a pebble or something stuck in the pads but that doesnt appear to be the case. Thought the pads may also be sticking but that isnt the case either. Does anyone know what that problem may be? I am pretty lost at this point. Thank you.

    Richard :cry:
  • image

    I bought a used 2000 Passat 1.8L Turbo car and it has exhaust that is leaking into the engine compartment. It appears to be coming from a hose that is missing. Not sure what the hose is, and looked in a repair manual and could not find a picture of it. In the attached picture, there is a round silverish colored part that has a nipple on the bottom (circled) that appears like it should have a hose connected to it. It is at the back of the engine on the left side. Exhaust comes out of this nipple. Anyone know what hose is missing and where the other end goes?

  • torino5torino5 Posts: 4
    When I start engine in the morning you can hear some noise coming from the bottom of the engine(like exhaust leak noise) and continue for about 2 min. and after everything is great.There is no smell, no smoke,full power.VW specialist told me the problem is….exhaust gasket or manifold crack or leak(under the turbo) something like that.Is anyone know how to change exhaust gasket or manifold(he told me needs to remove turbo).Is it a big deal ?
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    Examine the wiring bundle to the drivers door. Repeated flexing over the past nine years may have broken one or more wires.
  • bobgwtwbobgwtw Posts: 187
    Unfortunately, any reair done by a VW dealer is a big deal; read very expensive. Try to find a good independent repair shop that specializes in VW's. A good place to start looking is the "Mechanix" file on
  • I have a 2002 Passat 1.8 turbo with 48K miles on it. The Catalytic converter light went on this past weekend- have not had it serviced yet. Separately. the heater in the car stopped working in March but the AC still works. I was quoted $1000 by a local ( reputable ) garage to get a new heater installed. Have no idea yet what the answer will be for the converter. Should I cut my losses and get rid of the car? I am surprised I have so many issues with it.
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