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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • Just recently, my Passet started "jerking and not responding" when I try and accelerate... many things have been done to this car lately- everything from new belts, water pump, timing belt, spark plugs... so far the local shop is throwing parts and prices at me (coil ignitions, ECM, TCM, spark wires) but it's becoming apparant they aren't even sure what's going on.. my side window stopped working yesterday, started working again today.. the shift panel that shows whether the car is in drive or reverse is completely blacked out and of course the car isn't accelerating correctly. Does anyone experience this or know what's going on?? thanks for your time in advance, appreciate it... Kris
  • npaul1npaul1 Posts: 1
    I stopped for fuel and my door would not open. Pressed the button on console and it clicked but nothing happen with the door. Is there a fuse or a emergency release? can anyone give me an ideal as to the cause and fix?
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Over the summer, we had to have the compressor replaced on our 1999 V6 Passat. It had died one day on the way to the airport. Total cost was $1800. The compressor was $1200 of that. We paid it. The car has 130,000 miles on it, and we want to keep it another 1 - 2 years. Of course, at that point, I think we'll just keep it as a "banger" to use when one of the other cars is in the shop.
  • I just had an oil change in my 03 Passat (Mobil1 5w30 Synthetic) and the next day, the MIL came on. I suppose it could be a coincidence, but is there anything a mechanic performing an oil change can do, or fail to do, that could make it happen?
    Someone told me that the mileage has to be reset to avoid a "Change Oil" light coming on. I don't think the Passat has this light; would the MIL perform this function if they failed to do this?
    Another friend said that an air filter hose had been inadvertently left disconnected after an oil change where they'd checked the air filter, and it made his MIL light come on. Is that feasable?
    Either way, I suppose it might it be worth mentioning to my service station that the light came on. If for no other reason than to see the shrugs and blank looks.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Easiest thing to do is to go to an auto parts store like Advance Auto or AutoZone and get the codes read for free. Then post up what you find, or just google it.

    BTW, Mobil 1's 5w-30 is not compliant with VW's required oil for the 2003 Passat (it's not 502.00 compliant). This could be a problem for you especially if your car is equipped with the 1.8T engine with the possibility of either sludging or coking the oil. I suggest that you go with Mobil 1's 0w-40 formula. Of course, that brings the possibility that your MIL is related to your choice in oil.
  • So did u get ur door issue resolved? I am having a similar issue and am still trying to figure out how I will get my door hope bcos it stressful going via the passenger's door.
  • Oil choice can result in a MIL? That's surprising.
    Anyway, I took it back to the place that changed the oil and they pulled an error code of 2181--cooling system performance. They reset it and yesterday it didn't come back on after about 30 miles of driving (15m each way to work). Of course, today it came back on after about 10 -15 mins of interstate driving. My mileage is 52k. Am I due a thermostat/water pump failure do you think?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    My thinking on the oil and MIL lights would be this: oil related damage that finally surfaced. That doesn't seem to be the case.

    Anyway, back to your code - VW does have a warranty extension on the coolant temperature sensor on the 2001 through 2003 Passats with the 1.8T engine.

    Google "volkswagen recall coolant sensor". The first link that I found has a copy of the recall letter. Maybe you'll get this covered for free - worth looking into.
  • wwraywwray Posts: 4
    I just recently added a quart of 100% synth oil to my Passat (1.8T) thinking it might help with the MIL indicator. The next day I drove it without any MIL. Then when I thought I had licked the problem, it came back on again. Now that I've been reading this forum, I do remember getting that letter in the mail from VW about the CTS. The problem is I'm a second owner with an excess of mileage covered in the warranty. We called VW and they told us it would cost $95 just to look at it to determine it's source. I'm going to see if Autozone or Advance will give me a free error code reading. Thanks for the info.
  • have a 97 passat diesel and having starting issues and the shop i took it to has determined that it starts fine when the temp sensor is unpluged but plug it in and takes several minutes to get it to start. replaced the sensor (2 times) no difference, anyone know whats going on, computer problem ? glow plug circuit ? everyone is stumped on this one. Anyone ever heard of anything like this, Thanks
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    I have a 1999 Passat V6 (2.0 Liter engine) with 135,000 miles. Over the past few months we've been dealing with a coolant leak that cannot be located. I've had the car to our mechanic a number of times, and he's done two pressure tests, with the engine running and with it not running, and he even left the test to run all night on one occasion, but he gets no coolant loss during these test.

    However, about every other week, I have to add 1 - 2 cups of coolant to the reservoir. I see no other signs of leakage. The mechanic also replaced the reservoir cap at one point, but that hasn't stopped it either.

    Any ideas on what might be causing this?
  • This message appeared. Brought it into the dealership, they made me produce 7 oil change receipts and said the work would be covered by VW. Apparently Synthetic oil should be used exclusively. It's in the shop currently, they have warned me of potential engine damage. Should I be concerned? They said that there is considerable engine sludge and an intense flush and replacement of hoses from the engine is required.
  • I also have a 2003 1.8T and VW sent a letter a few years ago acknowleging possible oil sludge. Cannot remember if they did a recall also. VW should be responsible for fixing your problem. Do not let the dealership talk you into paying and trying to get reimbursed. They have done that to me several times. I only switched to synthetic oil this year when the mileage reached the 90,000's. I have never been told you have to use synthetic exclusively, rather they suggest when the mileage gets higher. Stand your ground with the dealership and good luck.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    they made me produce 7 oil change receipts and said the work would be covered by VW. Apparently Synthetic oil should be used exclusively. It's in the shop currently, they have warned me of potential engine damage. Should I be concerned?

    I'd be a lot more concerned if they hadn't said that VW was picking up the tab! Didn't you get this letter?


    BTW, if you read your original owner's manual, you won't see the words "use synthetic oil." You will, however, see wording to use 5w-40 weight oil that meets certain VW specifications. 5w-40 only comes in synthetic.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    " I have never been told you have to use synthetic exclusively, rather they suggest when the mileage gets higher."

    Have you read your user's manual?
    Have you seen the letter that altair had posted?

  • wwraywwray Posts: 4
    I've been told by both mechanics and the salesperson that sold me the used 1.8T, that synthetic only for a hot running turbo engine. We cooked our engine on a trip to Florida because we didn't know the mechanics put regular oil in the car at an oil change. We took it to a VW mechanic to replace a new oil pump and he showed us the coagulation where you put the oil in.
  • Yes, and I have had every single 5,000 mile maintenance done on the car since I bought it brand new. All mainteneance has been done at the VW dealership also.
    I have had no oil sludge problems and the dealership only switched my car to synthetic oil this year and I have 92,000 miles.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote: I have had no oil sludge problems and the dealership only switched my car to synthetic oil this year and I have 92,000 miles.

    To stray slightly off topic - this is what scares me and others about VW dealerships. Look at the date on the letter I posted recently on the sludge warranty extension - August, 2004. And they've just switched you to synth this year.... :confuse:
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    some dealers cannot read?

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    More like some dealers didn't want to cut into their profit margin, or lose business by telling a customer "hey, that $19.95 oil change we advertised doesn't apply to you."

    When I got my '03, I already knew it needed synth from some of the forums I had joined before buying the car. But to make sure I was buying the right oil, I had to cruise the interwebz a bit before I settled on Valvoline's Synpower 5w-40 and then switched over later to Mobil 1 0w-40 Euro Formula.
  • 1999 Passat GLX - 113K miles
    In the beginning, all was swell. Then came The Problem. As a group, a set of dashboard indicators (Tach, ABS, Oil, and Brake) fail. Intermittently. That is too say, when The Problem manifests, they all do their wrong thing (Tach doesn't move, ABS stays on, Oil and Brake blink together). And when The Problem goes away, they all work correctly. Over time, "intermittent" has transitioned from occasionally, to Most of the Time. Like 99% of the time, the Problem manifests. I hate this. The dealer offered to change all the related sensors (but NOT to fix The Problem). The car is not offering up a Code. My local Auto Repair shop did not want to get involved. :cry:

    Various armchair mechanics have suggested a loose connection on a wire harness. Where do the wire harnesses terminate? I'd happily try to reseat it.

    Maybe a sensor is wearing out - shorting, opening - causing the problem.

    So any thoughts you might have would be appreciated. :)
  • Funny, I am looking for a solution to a similar gremlin. My OD, clock, RPM, MPH etc all stopped working yesterday. This has happened once before, but I only knew it from my clock and my trip miles zeroing out. The dash lights are still working and the car runs fine. After it happened, I smelled something akin to melting plastic but only for a moment. I read on another blog that the Passats have a tendency to blow clusters on cold days. Any ideas?
  • Sorry - I'm not familiar with 'clusters' in this context.

    My problem - which was in evidence 100% of the time through the summer, has disappeared briefly a few times in the last week. Coincidently, it has been quite cold when it's worked. I don't think anything is 'blown' since it can still come back to normal operation. Maybe cold allows loose contacts to 'make' until things warm up. Grasping at straws.
  • I'm having some trouble with a leak that I can't seem to figure out. It is comming from behind the left front wheel. I know I have a CV boot that needs to be replaced. When the wheels are turned fluid is spurting out, but my fluid levels are still fine? I'm wondering if is the tranny, but aparently I can't check the tranny fluid according to my dealer. Suposedly the only way I can diagnose a tranny problem is after I have one? I don't want to wreck my tranny. My steering is getting tight, but again my fluid levels are fine. I was told it might be a return sending unit problem? I had some brake work done about a month ago and I'm wondering if they pinched one of my hoses? It is an '05 GLS with the 1.8 turbo. I have almost 97k and have owned it since it was brand new. Thanks.
  • we bought a92 passat and the gas cover button and trunk buttons are gone is there another way to open the cover to the gas tank so we don't run out of gas
  • I'm trying jump my car's battery but can't find it. Can anyone tell me or have a picture of where the battery is? In Passat, 6 cyl 2003.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    It's under the cover at the base of the windshield, between the engine firewall and the windshield. You can access it by removing the sliding cover. To change the battery out, you'll need to remove the entire cover by prying off the rubber gasket at the engine side of it.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469

    Next to the brake fluid reservoir, straight back from the engine.
  • This morning when I started the car, the "BRAKE" indicator on the dash remained lit. I tried restarting with no change. I started driving and the display said "HANDBRAKE ON" and started sounding a persistent alarm. The brake wasn't on, and the car was running fine. I found out as I drove that the turn signals weren't working either, however all the other electrical seemed to be fine.

    I tried reseating the fuses by pushing on the top of all of them - but does anyone know if this is a fuse problem - or any other suggestions? I can't get into the shop until Tuesday or Wednesday, and I don't feel like hearing a constant beep every time I am in the car. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

  • I have a 2002 1.8T Passat and just yesterday I got the STOP check coolant message on the display. I saw that the temperate on the temp guage shot up into the red zone and I guess that triggers the check coolant warning.
    I looked at the coolant level under the hood, and it was indeed below the MIN level. I don't know if it means there is a coolant leak or could there be something else wrong like thermostat gone bad, water pump has disintegrated, etc..
    Any ideas what could be going on, what should I do, and what to expect in terms of repair expenses?? Thanks!
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