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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I'd have that heater core thoroughly back-flushed before I considered replacing it. There are DIY directions around on the web to do it. The inlet/outlet to the core is pretty easily accessible under the hood, near the battery, under a corrugated plastic sheathing. Google the following - word for word -

    passat "I ain't got no heat blues"

    What do you mean the cat light lit? You mean the check engine (MIL) light? Did you pull the diagnostic codes? Could be just the O2 sensors. Get codes pulled at Advance Auto Parts or Autozone for free and post what codes you get.
  • thanks so much for your response. I am not a car person so I don't know what you mean when you say "pull the diagnostic codes" and yes, I did mean that the MIL light on the dashboard came on. I have an appt with the dealer next week so I really appreciate going in with this extra knowledge. I had a local guy in Bklyn that I went to for a while but I found a couple of chat strings on the web that accused him of being a rip off artist so not going back to him!!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Go to an auto parts store like Advance Auto or Autozone. They will connect a diagnostic device into the OnBoard Diagnostics plug and read the codes stored in the car's computer - they'll do it for free. The codes will tell you what is wrong, more or less, that is causing the MIL light. Post the codes here and let's see what you have....
  • Strange, I would have thought someone would know what this hose is. Can anyone even verify that there is supposed to be a hose attached to it?
  • Believe it or not the light went off as I was driving to Auto ZOne!! I drove about 90 miles on Friday then Sat am when I went to go there, I noticed the MIL light was not on and the diagnosic device read no problems!! So now I just have to have them fix the radiator- but a lot less expensive! thanks so much for your help I really appreciate it,
  • On 8/25 I took the passat to the VW dealership/service center for heat shield replacement and fuel line inspection per Volkswagen advisory. The work was done free of charge. I was told they would need the car for five hours and I know that doesnt mean they would be working on it the entire time. I recieve a phone call 2 hours later, "work is done you have 2 lights out do you want them replaced?" the answer was no, their prices are not competitive. Left the car there on Fri picked it up on a Monday. Asked if everything went okay and the rep replies " oh yeah, two screws it took 15 minutes."
    10 days later 9/04 take the passat to another VW dealership/service center for oil change and head light replacement. I recieve a call "cv boots split and need replacement 600.00." Couldnt believe my ears had to ride over and have them show me which they kindly did. They were totally destroyed, split in two both sides, grease all over the back of the wheel and on the wheelwell
    Did the first mechanic miss this with a speedy heat shied install or did I completely split both boots in the last 10 days with 310 miles logged. What are the chances they both go at the same time.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    My fuel pump died. The car has 94000 miles. After 600 USD car is operational again.
  • well you did log 310 miles in just 10 days. Do you remember hitting a big hole in the ground, or any kind of rumbling noise/feel as you were driving? I'm sure the VW dealer would have told you if it was bad then, because they are always looking for ways to charge you money.
  • I finally had to get rid of my 99 VW Passat GLX with 147K. I was sad to see it go but I traded it in for an 05 Accord. I have to say I am going to miss the fun I had driving my VW.
  • I am having a problem with my Passat 2001.5 GLS. The gear bar indicator on the dash is all lit up red instead of just showing the gear the car is in. It feels like the car is in only one gear all the time.
    The codes from the computer showed up 18223 P1815. My mechanic identified the problem as Pressure control valve-1- for auto transmission - N215 faulty. He changed out the Solenoid valve 4 and also replaced and flushed the transmission fluid.. However, the bar lit again after about 20 minutes driving and now it lights up right away. My mechanic says it could also be a short circuit to B+. he needs to check wire N91.
    Does anyone have any thoughts about where on the wire the problem might be occurring? Hope this makes sense and that someone can at least give me some ideas. I have never posted before but I have found the Passat forums to be really helpful in the past.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    First thing I'd check is to make sure that the TCM, located under the carpet on the right front passenger's feet is dry. Water intrusion, not all that uncommon on these cars, can make the transmission control module do funny things. It's a cheap thing to check before I went any further with the actual transmission itself.
  • Altair4,
    Thanks so much for getting back so quick. I will check it out this afternoon. Keeping my fingers crossed!! Thanks again.
  • I have just come in on this - but we have had the water intrusion (under warranty) and subsequent transmission control module replaced - out of warranty.

    Our 2002 Passat had water intrusion approx 2005. It was my wife's car and she could never get the "stale" air smell out of the car.

    In the summer of 2007, I heard and felt a thump on the interstate - thought I had run over a 2" x 4" or 4" x 4". The same thing happened on the return trip. Within a few days the car have very little takeoff power - enough that we would be honked at. The car had 24,000 miles - my wife does not drive that much.

    The yellow engine symbol would come on periodically for extended periods.

    We took the car to the dealership at the end of June and fought with the warranty nazi's for 5 months about covering the $2500 transmission control module. The car sat at the dealer for 5 months while the letters went back and forth. We claimed the module was ruined by the flood, the warranty nazi's claimed the flood had nothing to do with the transmission module and the car was out of (time) warranty despite being under 25,000 miles.

    VW would not even move on the $2500 price tag - out of warranty.

    We had the module replaced and picked the car up right before Christmas. The dealership only charged us $1800 - but a very nice Christmas present.
  • My mechanic checked out the TCM for water intrusion and found no evidence. All the wires also looked dry.
    Any other ideas?
  • Did you ever figure out what the problem was? I have the same issue right now!
  • Thanks for the reply. No noises or holes in the highway. Logged 80 miles roundtrip just to get to the dealer. Follow up with Gephardt VW in Boulder CO resulted in an "oops my bad we'd like to do the work " moment. Had the boots replaced by a private mechanic. He said my belts were fine, something they did offer to replace. Wouldnt go back to that shop for free aspirin if I had a headache.
  • help, somebody 2003 wagon is sputtering while sitting idle and a mechanic says that it is the cat converter??? I hope we just need a tune up is this possible?? norm :cry: :cry:
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Suggest that you get the codes read (for free) at an auto parts store like Advance Auto or AutoZone and post your codes (if any) here. Then let's see what you find.

    Add'l information would be helpful, too. How many miles? What engine?
  • :confuse: '02 Passat, 1.8 turbo gas with an automatic. Service manual specifies VW ATF or an ESSO spec no. What type is the ATF of choice?
  • jodar96jodar96 Posts: 400
    I am considering buying an one owner 2002 Passat GLX V-6 auto with 113K miles. The guy just had the plugs/wires/coolant/transmission fluid done, He had done the timing belt/water pump at about 100K. He scanned and sent me all the paperwork.

    It appears to be a decent car. No reported accidents. Is this a good car for $7200. Do these Passats start having any serious issues above 100K miles. Is the V-6 engine a decent engine or has annoying problems.

    Are there any expensive repairs beyond the timing belt/water pump that is already done on this car? What is the oil type requirement on this engine? Can you use regular 5-30W or it needs synthetic oil.

  • Help, I've just returned from the VW dealer after having the oil changed at 20k. I told them that it was still pulling to the left, as it was at the 15k, and at 10k . At the 10k check, they adjusted it the wrong direction and made it worse. At the 15k change they told my wife that the Passat's drift. Today, they rotated the tires, flipped them around checked the alignment and said it was good. I'm not an idiot, I know roads have crowns, but this car still pulls left up or down crowns. If you let go of the steering wheel, it will take you to the other lane. I test drove a used Passat Wagon and it tracked straight. I tried to trade, but no go. I need to get rid of this lemon.
    What are my options. :mad:
    Thanks and I love this forum.
  • I have a 2004 wagon, and the side trim that runs the entire length of the roof will not stay in place. I am constantly pushing it back down into the channel. Not only is this an inconvenience, but it is a potential hazard if it were to fall off on a long highway trip at high speed. Does anyone else have this problem or have any recommendations to fix? Are these trim pieces even necessary or just for aesthetics?

  • Find a competant private VW mechanic and get it re-aligned there. I own three VWs and the only time I take them to the dealer is for oil changes and TSBs/recalls. I have three private VW master mechanics in my area (I live on the East Coast) for the bigger jobs because I know the work will be done right the first time.

    The majority of dealership service departments (especially VW dealerships) are only concerned with the volume of vehicles they service (that's their profit center), not necessarily the quality of service they provide.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Hi neki -
    I don't know if you've figured this one out, but it sounds like a classic case of ABS module failure. We have a 99 Passat V6 auto, and this is exactly what happened to us as well. I removed the ABS module and sent it off for repair ($215, including insured Fed Ex shipping). It took about 10 days with shipping to get it back, and then I reinstalled it. Problem is gone, and the rebuilt unit is warranted for 5 years.

    I googled the problem, and that's how I found the site we used for repairs. Module Master is the company I used, but there are a couple that do it.

    The removal was not really that difficult, so if you are at all inclined to save a buck, this is the route to go. I hear that this is a pricey repair if you take it to the dealer.

    Good luck
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I pulled the strips completely out and then manually bent them to better fit the contour of the car. That has helped tremendously. They still tend to pop up at the 12" or so, but it's much better than it was.

    If you consider doing this, do it on a warmer, sunny day after the car has been in the sun for a couple of hours. Otherwise, you risk having the paint chip / crack on that flexible piece. It's a wack design, for sure - I've never had a similar issue on any other car.
  • I would appreciate any help on this issue.
    I have an 01/02 Passat with the 1.8T and 180,000 miles. Problem: While sitting idle and in gear (forward or reverse), problem takes about a minute to cycle through.
    Cycle: idle speed starts normal at 900 revs and will start to fall and recover at about one second intervals slowly progressing to a fall of about 100 revs and then slowly recovering in the same way to a normal, consistent 900 revs.
    Other than this the cars has no known problems. Runs fine at high speeds.
    I took it to Autozone to get codes and here are the results:
    "The computer has recognized a rich or lean condition on one engine bank only."
    "Probable Causes"
    "Oxygen sensor defective"
    "Ignition misfire"
    "Fuel injector problem"
    Is there any way to test an oxygen sensor? Has anyone else experienced a problem like this or know some test I can perform to help narrow this down?
  • If you still have the original oxygen sensors in the car at 180,000 miles (your OBD-2 equipped car should have two of them) - they need to be replaced.
  • I have been having problems with my A/C working intermittently. Brought it in twice and was told it was working fine (although I know it wasn't). Third time it was brought in, they couldn't find the problem and ultimately said I need a new A/C compressor ($2000). Before investing in this, wondering if anyone else has had problems with the A/C. The car has 73,000 miles and I find it hard to believe it needs a new AC compressor or maybe just hoping I don't need to invest $2000 into this car.
  • kinctkinct Posts: 59
    Like any part "your mileage may vary"... My 99 Passat went 224,800+ miles with the original AC compressor (and most other parts original too, like the entire exhaust system). Oh, and the AC worked just fine...

    If you really like the car, and live in a climate where it is needed, go for it. I tended to use my AC perhaps 20 days a year (I live in CT and did a lot of driving between CT and DE/PA/NY). If you live in AZ, that could explain it. :-)

    Seems kind of pricey, but I don't know what it should cost.... You could always consider going to a second party and get another opinion (I would at $2,000). My experience with VW dealers was mixed - one superb (fixed things on the first try, would correctly diagnose issues spot on), another pathetic (and I would never go there again). I feel sorry for people who are totally clueless, as they probably get robbed left & right from lousy dealers (who come in all makes, not just VW).
  • let me add to my original message. I live in Mass., so the A/C (defroster) is used no more then 50 days a year. The notes that I have on the VW repair receipt says "...freon level OK. cooling fans are good. No power at AC compressor. checked AC pressure sensor, no conclusive test of sensor. opened VTA. Techline suggests to test resistance at compressor and cooling fan module. resistance at compressor is too high. Needs replacement. checked for power and ground at cooling fan module, seems t be OK and fans are working normally." I am wondering if anyone else has experienced or heard of anyone with a similar situation. Thanks for any input.
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