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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    ...under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you use ANYTHING BUT VW-APPROVED SYNTHETIC OIL, e.g., Mobil 1 5W-40, and KEEP ALL OF YOUR RECEIPTS in case you end up with any sludging problems.

    I think you meant to say Mobil 1 0w-40 since it meets VW's specs.
  • brillig here again - Well, they did move the filter. Partway through the 2008 model year they changed the 2.0 T engine to a new version. The bar code on my engine indicates that it was built in April, 2008. According to the dealer, they replaced the timing belt with a timing chain (yay - no more replacing at 80K), and reworked the oil system to try to fix the oil consumption issues some owners were having (that should also please a lot of people). This info does not appear to be reflected in the owner's manual. Changing oil is now a cinch - the oil drains down out of the upside-down filter, so you just unscrew it and replace it, and put a pan underneath the drain plug. No more removing the panel under the engine! No more forgetting to reattach it properly, as happened to me at an independent mechanic with my previous Passat. I've only got 15K miles on this Passat, but oil consumption is 0 so far.
    Maybe one of the folks more fanatic than I am can find out what else is changed with this engine.
  • OK.

    So, i'm no mechanic, and it seems it's hard to find info online (vehicle manuals/diagrams) that would help me become one.

    Does anyone out there know where i could get a bootleg FREE copy of the 1999 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 turbo REPAIR MANUAL?

    While i was driving my Passat turbo (automatic w/ tip tronic) there was a blow-out of my exahust intake manifold (where the exhaust attaches to the engine). So, naturally, of course my car sounds very loud because of the disconnection. Does anyone know what the exhaust (the part under the hood, near the engine - not under the car near the Cat) is made out of - cast iron ??
    I have thought of welding it back, but am leaning towards a replacement of the part.

    Any feedback/knowledge sharing is appreciated!! Thanks for your time!
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi myfive: 138k is not a horrible amount, but I would tend to agree with camperman, and PARTICULARLY with his reference to the timing belt change (absolute DOCUMENTED requirement; if not changed, offer $1,200 less and get it done right away). My understanding is that oil sludging on the V6 is not as much of a problem as the 1.8, but it would still be good if synthetic VW-approved oil was used. I think I would only take a chance on this vehicle if all service records were available from day one, and I would also request that you be allowed to take it into a good VW mechanic for a thorough inspection ($150-200?). For example, those front suspension repairs can be quite expensive, as camperman suggests. My Audi A4 2.8 gets around 20 mpg in town, 27 highway, but it's a Quattro, so you might expect a bit higher mileage. vwdawg.
  • Just thought I'd place this here since it doesn't seem to be really addressed anywhere else. I bought a 2005 Passat tdi new. I've had relatively little problems with it for almost 5 years and I put on almost 120k miles. I fully expected to get 300k-400k out of it like all the stories I've heard about the tdis. Great, right....well, on a recent trip it cut out on the interstate about 4 hrs from my home. Long story short, it turns out that the oil pump chain shattered in the engine. This was nothing I could have maintained and the car was outside of the extended warranty I had also purchased. I had even had the car at the dealer for servicing a couple weeks prior to the trip. The fix, replace the entire engine and turbo as the chain threw bits of metal throughout. The repair cost as much as, maybe more than, the car was worth and if I hadn't already been so far into the labor cost before learning the total cost of repair I'd have walked away from it. I stress that the car was well maintained and in good shape and the dealer service tech actually said he looked it over just in case it wouldn't be worth repairing but felt it was in good shape except for this one issue....which eventually turned into 3 issues. The cost of repair for this was more like what I would have expected if I had crashed the which case it'd have been totalled and not such a financial drain. I'll repeat what others have said here in that you shouldn't have one of these vehicles beyond ~50k to 75k miles as they are not worth the maintenance cost and inconvenience even if you have one of the great "tdi" engines which you pay extra for. This will be the last VW I ever own although I now have to continue to drive it for at least another year until the repair warranty expires and I can recover enough financially to buy a new toyota or mazda.
  • I had the same problem with my 06 Passat...It turned out it was the airbag sensor located in the seat. They replaced it under warranty.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Altair: You are absolutely correct...thanks for clarifying that. I believe there are a number of 5w-40 synthetics that meet the VW spec, but the Mobil 1 IS 0w-40...please correct me if I'm wrong. vw dawg
  • I have a 2005 Passat TDI with 95,000 miles on it. VW has done all the maintenance including oil changes since new under a maintenance agreement. That agreement expires at 100,000 miles. I am thinking to go to another shop for the oil changes and other routine maintenance because VW is so expensive. The thing I hear about is the importance of using oil that is approved by VW. It seems the only oil they approve is their own.

    Do you know of a list of approved lube oils by VW?

    Chuck Hanson
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I don't what the specification is called for your engine, but have you googled the VW Spec mentioned in your owner's manual?
  • My wife owns a 2000 passat V6 GLX, 89k miles. 2 days ago I filled the gas tank. The next afternoon, I noticed it idled rough in D and R. Today I put some fuel additive that is supposed to clean the system and remove water, I also re-filled the tank. Drove it some more, burned about 1/3 tank, and it still idles rough, even in park. I had the rear trans seal replaced by the dealer a couple weeks ago. Is it bad gas? Or something else?
  • My 2000 passat V6 GLX, 89k miles. 2 days ago I filled the gas tank. The next afternoon, I noticed it fluctuated in D and R. Today I put some fuel additive that is supposed to clean the system and remove water, I also re-filled the tank. Drove it some more, burned about 1/3 tank, and it still intermittently idles rough, even in park(the tac drops a few k rpms, bounces back up and drops again repeatedly). I had the rear trans seal replaced by the dealer a couple weeks ago. Is it bad gas? Or something else?
  • Hey guys,
    Would appreciate some advice....
    I'm looking at a 2006 4motion with low miles (20,000) Certified Pre-Loved and was wondering about any long-term reliability and maintenance issues. I tend to keep my cars for a long time. My previous car (a Ford) lasted for 13 years and over 150,000 miles. I've read through the forum and it seems that earlier vintage Passats (and most VWs) from the 1990s-early 2000's have a pretty spotty reliability record. Should this year/vintage/model VW Passat be on my shopping list? Granted the Ford had problems too, but they were the kinds of things you would expect as a car ages (a fuel pump @120,000, oxygen sensors and a minor computer issue both at about 85,000). So, obviously, I'm not expecting a trouble-free car, but I am hoping for average or above-average reliability and below-average costs. Any input is appreciated - thanks again.
  • i am going to be changing the oil in a friends '06 passat and want to know if theres anything special about the job. i am an aviation mechanic working on the big birds so i'm not scared just want to know a little about the car before i do the job. she pays 70 bucks to have it done and i think thats absurd. i want to help her out
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    pyramid: Critical thing is to use VW-approved oil and a high-quality filter. You don't indicate which engine, but I would assume that for the turbo, you MUST use a synthetic such as Mobil 1 0w-40 or one of the other approved 5w 40 synthetics. I'm not sure what's approved for the V-6 engines, but I would use only these synthetics anyway. You don't want to get into sludge issues down the road. It would also be prudent to get the '06 Passat maintenance schedule from the dealer or from the edmunds forums to confirm other required service items. audiphile1
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    We had a similar problem in our 1999 Passat. It was a rough idle that seemed like water in the gas, but it turned out to be leaks in some of the vacuum hoses. Considering the age of the car, if the small vacuum hoses haven't been replaced, they're probably brittle and have cracked. We had a bunch of those little suckers replaced...cost $400 or so, but the car ran like a charm again after that.
  • gpc46gpc46 Posts: 5
    I own a 2008 Passatt Diesel wagon and lately I can hear what sounds like a possum or rat having a good old scratch in the dashboard this only seems to sound when the air con is on initially has anyone any idea what it is
  • My guess is maybe some leaves or other debris in your vents.
  • There is a regulator flap in the air plenum which is motorized and regulates hot/cold air flow. this may be rubbing on the plenum wall somewhere due to a warped wall or debris
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Chuck: I owned a 2005 Jetta diesel. Great vehicle, but you ARE correct, the oil is expensive. I don't believe that VW has their "own oil". My local dealer used Castrol, but it was a special synthetic imported from Germany. There are several other manufacturers, such as Pentosin, Amsoil, etc., but you MUST use the synthetic that meets the VW spec. Failure to do so will cause premature wear on certain moving parts and potentially ruin your engne. My '05 required a 505.02 spec, and I believe there are newer/improved versions (505.03 and others) that meet or exceed the '05 spec. Check your manual to find the correct spec, and purchase from a reputable foreign parts store in your area. You will not find any "cheap oil" for this car, whether you purchase at the dealer or otherwise ...generally about $7-8 per litre. The only way to reduce your cost is to change it yourself. The upside for the VW diesels is that changes are recommended every 10,000 miles. BTW, make sure you or your oil change guy drain the water separator at the same time the oil is changed...that's the dealie that pulls the water out of your diesel fuel before it goes into the engine. vwdawg
  • Chuck, it is a common misconception that an oil used has to be on a manufacturers recommended list. It only has to meet or exceed the manufacturers specification. For your car it requires 4 quarts:

    2005 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT 2.0L 4-cyl Engine Code BHW Turbo Diesel
    Engine Oil
    Grade 1......SEO[1]
    AMSOIL European Car Formula 100% Synthetic 5W-40 Motor Oil (AFLQT)
    All TEMPS......5W-30, 5W-40

    [1] Only use engine oil that is formulated
    to meet Volkswagen Oil Standard 505 01 or equivalent.

    The AMSOIL European Car Formula is $6.75 a quart or $35.05 for a 5 liter bottle wholesale.
  • Thanks for the information. It gives me a starting place. It has been so easy just to take it to the dealer and say do what is needed. Since I only have 100,000 miles on it and it is in good physical shape, I hate to ruin the engine over a few dollars.

    I notice you say 10,000 miles. I have changed the oil every 5,000 since new at the dealers recommendation. I will look at my maintenance manual and see what it says.

    Thanks again,

    Chuck Hanson
  • Many people using synthetic go over 5,000 mi but I always change oil at the 5,000 miles. Not that VW would be any help if you blew the engine but for the sake of a few dollars, I like the cautious approach especially with this Passat of mine. I've tried to sell it for several months now but it's not a very popular car where I live and people seem to pay more for a used Golf than a Passat. Even the service people at the dealership don't like them because they fix them today and they see them again tomorrow. It's bad when the service manager whispers "Get rid of the damn thing".
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    Do not forget that in case of Amsoil they are not certified to meet the spec. Amsoil claims to meet the spec. They are self certified.

  • "Do not forget that in case of Amsoil they are not certified to meet the spec. Amsoil claims to meet the spec. They are self certified."
    True. And also don't forget that there is no warranty requirement in the USA and Canada that an oil has to be certified to meet any spec. Just that it meets the spec. Also don't forget that AMSOIL provides a free parts and labor warranty should the oil ever fail in a recommended application, and that it never has in 37 years.
  • I am looking at a 2003 Passat with 49,000 miles on it and I have read lots of these forum messages about how much trouble folks have had with these cars. I intended to take it to a mechanic for a diagnostic before purchasing it, and with my husband deployed I'm not trusting a dealer to be straight with me...I guess what I was hoping to find out is if there is ANY year that these cars were produced well or not. Thanks for any help out there...
  • I have always been a VW guy, and have owned many. However, I am currently stuck with a 2003 Passat (yes, stuck) and will never buy another VW because of my experience with it. I have had numerous electrical troubles, and ongoing problems (alarms, etc.) with my oil system. I have a great mechanic, but his usual refrain is "sell it". I wish I could, but I am too upside down and the trade-in value is in the toilet. I jumped too quick and I wish I had walked into this purchase slower, but again, the only VW I will own in the future is pre-1975!

    Good luck!!!
  • Hi. A mechanic will be able to identify many issues but will likely not be able to diagnose problems with seals, drive and some internal problems until they just happen. My car passed safety inspection last year and within 3 days the seals were gone. I would favour a Saab, Altima or Sentra, Volvo but Passat would not even be on my list. My mechanic loves his work but hates my Passat.
  • Dear Cautious Buyer in GA,
    I'm a U.S. military officer stationed in Seoul, Korea and I ended up buying a 2003 Passat 1.8T from another servicemember. At the time of purchase, the car had 36,000 miles and now I've put another 8,000 miles in 22 months. During that time, I've had to replace the ignition coils (all four cylinders for $200), brake pads (normal wear and tear for $250), and Transmission Control module (or something like that when rain water overflowed into the passenger compartment for $1500). Just last week, I had the transmission fluid (ATF) changed out for $550, because my transmission was downshifting very roughly at times. If you have the money, I'd recommend you look at a Honda or a Toyota. This is my second German auto and I'll never anything other than Japanese.
    Just say NO!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I have a 2003 Passat with 66,000 miles. I do a considerable amount of work on it myself, but I can tell you these are not cheap cars to own. Slowly but surely I am running into all of the issues that you read about here and on other car forums.

    I'd seriously look at other vehicles before I'd recommend a Passat for you. In fact, I have never recommended a Passat to anyone, ever, and I like my car! Look elsewhere and spare yourself some grief later.

    I'd look at Honda, Toyota first. I'd even consider some of the domestics like the latest style Malibu or the Ford Fusion.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello, navyguy. Sorry to hear that you and many others have had so many problems. I have a 2002 Passat, 1.8T, and it has been a generally good vehicle, although I have had various electrical issues as well, e.g., CEL light has come on many times. I wanted to let you know that the coil issues are rampant with the early 2000s 1.8T, and a "Voluntary Emissions Service Action, Ignition Coil Inspection/Replacement recall (#28F3/P1) was initiated by VW some time ago. As part of this action, VW also agrees to " your reimbursement request", which I assume to mean that they will reimburse you for previous replacement with proper repair/replacement documentation. You can access further information and reimbursement request forms at Give it a shot. vwdawg/audiphile1
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