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Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • dvwdvw Posts: 5
    I have a 2008 2.0T Lux (dual auto climate control), and I've noticed this winter that I can feel very slight, gentle occasional wafts of cold air against my face while driving at higher speeds (45+) when the heat is on. It seems to happen regardless of whether or not the engine temp is hot or cold. Front passengers have noticed it, too. If you place your hand by either the dash vents or the windscreen (defog/defrost) vents, you can't feel anything at all - very bizzare. Otherwise, the heat works fine. The only thing I've tried is manually turning off the auto defog A/C - no effect.
    Anyone else?
  • Interesting someone earlier mentioned the Thermostat replacement cost is $180. I have the exact same issue as you (back and forth betwwen 190 and 0) on my 2000 Passat Wagon and my mechanic says it's an 8 hour job!! He says you have to go throught the timing belt to replace it. I have no clue.
  • campermancamperman Posts: 53
    I believe I mentioned the cost of the thermostat was $180. My mechanic wouldn't even estimate the cost of labour but said he would likely have to carve out the best part of a day. He told me to forget it. I was not prepared to put another $500 + into this junk heap. I have driven 5,000 mi since then. But the car is for sale and I hope nothing else goes wrong while it just sits in the driveway waiting for a buyer.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    Thermostat replacement seems to fix wandering needle (190 -> 170 -> 190).
    Cost with oil change (my own filter and oil) ~182.00.
    1.5 hour job per my mechanic claim,

    Thanks for solution.

  • i am an owner of 2006 VW passat. this is my second passat i leased an 04 passat and never had a problem and i loved it. this 2006 problems is never ending, it only has less 29000 miles and wipers have broken everytime it snow and frozen rain. i call VW becasue i wanted extended warrenty on the wipers. there response was the wipers are not made to be USE IN FROZEN RAIN OR SNOW. i could not believe what i was hearing. so i told her what happens when i drive the car and it starts snowing, her response was pull over until it stops. i talk service mgr and he told me 60% of VW have this problem. my second issue is the EPC light always goes on, and dealer always tells me story have the car is driven hard. i told the only has less 29000 miles and all my services is done at your dealership. the driver of the call is my 64 year old mother. i research these problems and i found it is very common, but VW answer is retarded about the wipers. i expected better from a germay company, but i rather have toyota cars in future atleast they are working with the owners.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845
    If your windshield is 32F or colder water will solidify into ice and any wipers will have problem removing it.
    Do you turn on heat and blast it into windshield during such weather?

  • The experience you had with your 04 is the same that I am having with my 2005. As I posted before, my experience is that this is the best car I have ever had. My car has spent its share of time in Chicago during the dead of winter. I was expecting real problems with the diesel but didn't have any. Sure it makes more noise when you start it at 20 below zero but when it warms up it is ok. I learned to select deicing fluid that matches the weather conditions.

    The first time I drove to Chicago from Memphis in the winter the whole windshield washer system froze. I put it in the garage and let it thaw, drained the fluid and replaced with the proper fluid, flushed all the lines and filled it again. No problems after that. It is important to turn your wipers off before you leave the car and don't turn them on again until your windshield is free of ice.

    If you take these precautions, you should not have problems.

    Chuck Hanson
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    emanuele: As Chuck says, don't leave your wipers on when you turn off the car. Also, even more importantly, when you use your Passat on winter mornings, and there is snow or ice on the windshield, be sure to BREAK THE WIPER BLADES FREE from the windshield. Failure to do this is what blows fuses and damages motors and wiper mechanisms. Regarding the VW comment that the "wipers are not made to be USE IN FROZEN RAIN OR SNOW", I'm not what that person actually said, but ff they truly meant this, then VW should not be selling cars in cold weather states. They might as well say "Shut up and deal with it, because that's the way our cars are made"...not the first outrageous comment from VW that I have heard. I own a 2002 Passat, the fifth VW I have had, not to mention one of the worst vehicles I have owned. My four Jettas were good cars (2005 TDI was one of the best!), but the Passat has really soured me on the VW will be awhile before I buy another one. Good luck...VW Dawg
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Ok - so I have a bit of a long saga, but I'll try to make it brief. Our 1999 Passat V6 has 150,000 miles and have become our backup airport car.

    My wife took the Passat for an airport trip a week ago. All was fine for the drive down, and I had driven the car the entire week before the trip, and it was fine all week. She left the lights on in the parking lot, and when she returned two days later, the car was dead. The parking lot attendant gave her a jump start, and although the car started quickly, the idle was VERY rough.

    She tried driving it, and it was very herky jerky, and she brought it back to the parking lot as she was afraid to get on the highway. We eventually had it towed to our home.

    I started poking around and found that first off, the battery was shot. It was bone dry in three cells and had low water in three others. I filled it up, and although I could jump start it, it would not hold a charge.

    I replaced the battery yesterday, and now the car starts OK but then wants to stall almost immediately. If I rev it up a little, I can get it to idle, very roughly, at around 700 - 800 RPMs. It often wants to stall. If I rev it a few times, I am able to get it to idle roughly but then it will run for a good 20 - 30 minutes. If I shut it off, it will again start back up , so I think the alternator is OK.

    Anyway, if I attempt to rev the engine, around 1400 - 1600 RPMs, it starts "porpoising" revs high/low --up to 1800...down to 1600...again and again and again, unless I really rev it up to 3000 or 4000 RPMs.

    I checked all of the spark plug wires, and they are all plugged in well (unplugged and replugged each one). We are, of course, getting a check engine light (steady on) but no other lights.

    I tried driving it around the block, and I can't get it over 25 MPH without it going all herky-jerky again. And it wants to stall at each stop sign. So I am afraid to drive it to an auto parts store to get the codes read. But I might just try that if nothing else works. I added some gas treatment, and I am getting some black gunk out of the tail pipe, but the idle has not improved.

    To add to the mystery, when I was testing the alternator and new battery yesterday, I noticed that neither the AC nor the radio now work. Both worked fine before. The fan works, and the light on the AC button comes on, but no cold air (it was 75 degrees yesterday when I checked). Radio is completely dead -- no "SAFE" notice or request to enter the radio PIN since I changed out the battery.

    So I am stumped. A neighbor says he has a friend who might be able to loan me a code reader, but I am wondering if all of the problems are related (rough idle, AC out, radio out) or if it's just a series of failures. I didn't witness how the guy jump started the car, so I don't know if he did it right or if he might have fried something in the process.

    So...any ideas? I don't want to invest a lot in this car. We were just going to keep it because the trade value was so lousy. If I can't get it fixed inexpensively, I will donate it to an organization that fixes up cars for the needy.

    Any advice or ideas will be appreciated. Thanks all.
  • Well unfortunately this may not be just a VW Passat problem. My wife has a 1999 Audi A6 (a very similiar car to the Passat). The car was in the body shop getting some dings removed. The battery ran down and the shop person jumped the battery and burned up the throttle body. About a thousand dollars later it was a good as new. The symptons you describe are similiar to hers.

    On another occasion the same car developed a leak in a seal somewhere around the rocker arm covers. These seals prevent oil from leaking into the spark plug well. When we had the plugs removed they were sitting in a pool of oil that finally soaked the spark wires and they stopped conducting. Car ran rough like you described. I managed to get it to the shop and 600 dollars later it was a good as new.

    Hope you find an inexpensive solution.

    Chuck Hanson
  • campermancamperman Posts: 53
    I'll make a suggestion if you don't mind. If you are located in an area which is prone to freezing rain and sleet you might consider lifting the wipers away from the windshield each evening. It makes life a lot easier in the morning when you are trying to clean the car. Also saves buying several sets of blades each year.
  • campermancamperman Posts: 53
    I imagine you checked the fuses for A/C and radio.
    We had the same radio problem with a 1998 Golf after discharging a battery and when a starting motor and later an alternator broke. I had to reset it in some fashion; cannot remember what I did but the information was in the manual. I do remember a fuse had to be replaced once. The jerky motion could be a non related item such as water in your fuel filter. Had that problem also.
    Also had the A/C issue and it turned out that the motor for the fan was burned out. Now the car has to be running in order to turn on the A/C and the A/C must be turned off before the car is turned off. That's the way it should be done anyway but now it's necessary or the motor goes again. Still have the Golf and we drive it daily. I still have the Passat but hate that money pit and can't sell it. I've been trying to think if there is anyone I dislike enough to give them the Passat.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Well, I've done some work on the car. I picked up an inexpensive code reader from Costco, pulled the codes, and got the following:

    P1545 - which has something to do with the throttle body. Recommended procedure is a throttle body cleaning. I replaced that sucker once, and it was $700, so I don't want to do that again
    P1600 - Something about low voltage at terminal 15
    P1857 - Load Signal Error Message from Engine Contr. - Googled it, and it said something about cleaning the MAF sensor
    P0102 - something about a potential fault with the MAF

    I picked up some MAF cleaner and throttle body cleaner. Cleaed the MAF, sprayed the throttle body cleaner into the TB as best as I code, cleared codes, I also tried the reset procedure for the TB that I found on another forum. I cranked it up and ran it, and it still ran rough. Shut it off and cranked it again a few more times. I pulled codes again, and the only one I got this time was P1545 - the TB code. It might be the MAF is fixed or it just hasn't sent another code as of yet.

    I am now going to try to take the throttle body out for cleaning rather than just spraying into the intake hose. We'll see what happens. I definitely don't want to spend $700 on an 11 year old car.

    Thanks for the tips!
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Sounds like the throttle body needs to be readapted, but that's strictly a guess on my part. I've heard about the reset procedure you probably tired, but I 've never seen conclusive evidence that it actually works, versus hooking it up to a vag-com to do it. Perhaps you can find a person locally that has a ross-tech vag-com and for the cost of some beer get them to do the throttle body.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    pd: You say 52k, but how old is the car? With that mileage, it WOULD seem to be a premature failure. Before you spend large dollars on these parts, you should have a shop diagnose the might also have issues with tie rod ends, control arms, bushings, etc. I have had good luck with a parts distributor in Phoenix called AutohausAZ. Not sure if it's OK to "endorse" suppliers on Edmunds, but the Autohaus staff seems to be knowledgeable, parts are deep-discounted, and shipping over $50 is free. Good luck... vwdawg.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Can't you temporarily disconnect the MAF on this car to see if the car runs better? If so, then the MAF is the culprit. I know this works on some cars, but never tried it on a VW---anyone know?

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  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Glad that it helped.
  • campermancamperman Posts: 53
    dvw. I had the same problem. I found one "hole" in the glove box which normally had a plug in it. I found the plug which was about 11/2" round and that stopped that cold draft. There still is one other which I cannot find but only happens when the fan is on. I'll find it eventually but it is extremely annoying to turn on the heat and the fan blows cold air through one small hole somewhere under the dash. As mentioned previously I am attempting to sell that piece of junk so hopefully it won't be a bother for much longer.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    I did try disconnecting the MAF...when I did that, the car wouldn't even start ;-)

    I did do an MAF cleaning, and that cleared the MAF-related codes I was getting, but I am still getting the TB-related code. Hoping to link up with someone with VAG-COM software in a day or two to see if we can get it reset.

  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    I just wanted to post an update. The VAG COM software was able to align my throttle body. In all of 10 minutes time, the car is now back to purring like a kitten. Phew!
  • This is great news. It makes me wonder if I had the software would I have avoided replacing my throttle body on my Audi A6 at a cost of about $1,000. I guess the Audi dealer would never have admitted it in any case. Next time I will invest in the diagnostic equipment.

    I wonder how many times that when we have trouble with our cars it is not the car but the mechanic just trying to make a living. I have a boat with two 454 cubic inch Crusader engines in it. I do all the maintenance myself because it is hard to get service away from the marina. My engines are 1984 vintage and they purr like a kitten. I wouldn't think of having a mechanic touch them. I always think I would be in worse shape.

    Good luck.
  • I am having trouble replacing the left rear brake light on my 2005 Passat station wagon TDI. Anyone have any ideas and/or photos?

    Chuck Hanson
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 57,591
    Thanks for the feedback on the MAF and congrats on approaching the problem with a good diagnostic tool! Sounds like you persisted and this paid off, great.

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  • tibatiba Posts: 3
    I have 1999 VW passat 1.8T 20V, manual, AEB and the engine blew out. I have to change the whole engine. Does anybody knows if an Audi A4, same year engine fits on my passat?
    I'll appreciate ,
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 845

  • gbunomegbunome Posts: 3
    stored my 2003 passat v6 for winter and closed the side mirrors electricaly. Took the car out and put the mirror control knob back to normal position and they wont re-open! does anyone have any clue of what maybe hapening or to fix the problem. :)
  • bronsonbbronsonb Posts: 170
    Stupid question,..but can you manually pop the mirrors back out? I've never had the option that automatically folds them, so I don't know if you break the system if you manually pop them out. Did the car lose power over the winter? If so, maybe it needs to "reset" in order to have that function work again. Anytime I've changed the battery in my Passat, the auto up feature on the front windows doesn't work until I drive the car for one cycle and use the key fob to lock and unlock it. Then that feature works again.

    Just guesses....
  • gbunomegbunome Posts: 3
    yes they open manually! but definately what you say about the dead battery makes much sense because yes the battery died-out. :) thx will keep you posted on what the outcome is!! much appreciated
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