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VW Passat TDI



  • Thanks for the tips. You are right i don't know where to find a good repair shop.And that is what the dealer is going to do swap it out. It is hard to find a trans. for a TDI . One person said he had some one and he gave me a price higher than the dealer ! So I am between a rock and a hard place. I was looking at getting a new V.W. and get rid of this one.I hate to spend all that money and get hit with other high cost repairs down the road. :confuse:

  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    The catch is, the vehicle is worth much less (more than $4,000 difference) with a blown tranny so I think you have to get it fixed. Even if you just fix it and then sell it. You're pretty much taking a hit no matter what but I think fixing it first would be the lesser of two evils. It's not cheap to keep a high mileage vehicle, but it's almost always cheaper than buying a new vehicle. A Passat TDI is not an inexpensive car to begin with so in the scheme of things, you might save money buy fixing/selling the Passat and then buying a much cheaper vehicle (say Civic or some other plebeian car) that will be cheaper to run in the long term. Obviously you give up a lot, but it sounds like low operating costs are important to you. Have you heard of There are some great links to TDI specific mechanics and someone very likely can point you in the direction of a shop that could rebuild your tranny. If nothing else, finding a good independent mechanic would be far better for your car and wallet than using a VW dealer. They're not the best at TDI's unfortunately. Good luck, feel free to email me if you'd like.
  • I saw your post about the passat tdi with the blown transmission - if you do decide to sell, let me know. I guess I might be interested in fixing and driving it myself, and I could certainly give you more than a dealer would as a trade-in (well, most likely anyway)... Thanks, Erik millerik -atsign- yahoo dotcom
  • jsnapjsnap Posts: 4
    I've been searching for a Passat TDI wagon and was wondering what years these were made.

    Were they made in an AWD version? If yes, what years?

    Also, any year models to absolutely avoid?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,077
    The 2005 Passat TDI Wagon is a jewel. No AWD with diesel in the USA.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    1996, 1997, 2004, and 2005 were the only Passat TDI models imported to the U.S. As with other VW models, the electronics can be problematic. We have had only two minor problems (windshield washer pump leak and electric motor that controls air cutoff to the engine) with our 2004 Passat TDI wagon in 3.5 years. We had a 1996 Passat 2.0L sedan, and I still miss the room and comfort of that car.
  • 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. the car is a vw passat 03 reg. Thanks for your answers.
  • I am thinking about adding a trailer hitch to my 2005 Passat TDI wagon. Has anyone done it ? How much ?
  • cansucansu Posts: 5

    I need some advice. I bought in Sept, 2005 a 2005 TDI VW Passat. Since I have the car, I had to replace the whole front brakes after only 15 months. I had 2 times the "emission light" on and took it to service and they fixed it. Fine. Then 1 time the "engine light" went on. Went to service fixed it. Fine. All under warranty. Thank god. But replaced once the Turbo. All of the sudden on the street it would not go more than 40mph. Went to service and fixed it. Fine. Received another call from VW for a recall (for a change????) and this time they called me to fix something. Done. Fine. And today while I was coming back from an event, where I had to take the highway, again my car started not go drive more the 40mph. Took different route to avoid highway speed. It is still under warranty since it has only 39500 miles. I have one more year (50K miles...etc. )
    Any idea what I should do? I feel like I am having an used old car? It is bizarre. Please advice.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,077
    Next time you get it back from the dealer put it in the paper or on Craigslist for sale. It will bring top dollar while it still has warranty. Then buy the new Jetta TDI. You seem to know the shop people very well. I would not trade as with all dealers you will get shafted.
  • cansucansu Posts: 5
    Thanks for your reply gagrice. Can they trace through the VIN number what has been done to the vehicle? Is this normal that the Passat TDI Turbo is breaking twice withing a year? Today, the fact that I could not make more than 40mph is again a Turbo problem. Honestly, I am not planning to buy any new cars at this point. In the past 3 years I had 5 recalls and is that suppose to happen?
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,077
    I owned a 2005 Passat TDI for 13 months and had no problems with it. I don't know if the dealers document repairs tied to a VIN. Some say babying a TDI can cause some of the problems you described. Cheap diesel can also be problematic. I only used BP/ARCO ULSD the whole time I owned it. That is very good diesel. Generally CA has good diesel. With diesel more than gas all over the country you may have a harder sale. I would try to get an extended warranty if VW will sell you one after all the problems.
  • cansucansu Posts: 5
    I use shell or exxon. I do not buy cheap diesel as I believe it is not worth it to save. I think they sold me a defective car. I cannot sell all of the sudden because of all the problems they are responsible for selling me a car with existing problems. How can the Turbo breakdown twice within 3 years? It is unbelievable.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    Honestly, it sounds like you have VW dealer syndrome, particularly on this "turbo" issue. It's very rare for a turbo to go out on a tdi, but they get misdiagnosed all the time. It's a very robust low-pressure turbo, and very common to see 200k-300k with original turbos. There's quite a few sensors and relays that can effect the performance, and that's usually the real problem. Sometimes just unplugging one can fix it for awhile, so after they've pulled the car apart to replace the turbo, violla the car runs fine. For awhile. In my experience, sensors on VW's are VERY touchy.

    Most VW dealers have very minimal training on TDI's and I'm guessing many of the techs sleep through it. There are some good dealers out there, but finding one can be a project in itself. It's the biggest short-fall of the TDI...a poor dealer support network. I don't recommend a TDI to anyone that's not capable of doing their own maintenance/repairs. They're actually pretty easy to work on if you research the problem properly and follow the factory repair manual. But dealers get paid very little to diagnose warranty problems and a set amount to repalce parts, so it's easy to just throw parts at it and hope something sticks.

    If you're going to keep the car, you have three choices. (a) Research and find a very good dealer that knows what they're doing and use them. (b) Find a good TDI specialist that can do the repair and you'll have to pay for it. (c) Research/diagnose the problem yourself and fix it or steer the dealership to what you believe it needs. is a good place to start trouble-shooting.
  • cansucansu Posts: 5
    Thanks for your suggestions and comments. I will follow your instructions. You are right, it was not the turbo itself as you mentioned a little plug in problem or something that was attached to the Turbo. Makes sense. I love my car as it gives excellent mileage. Better than hybrid.
  • I have a 2005 passat TDI gls. The MIL light came on last wk. Took to VW dealer for diagnostic ck. I was informed that the torque converter has failed; $2,700 to replace it. The dealer also recommend that I replace the transmission for $4,900 as well since they do not know if the transmission is about to go out too. I've done some research and apparently torque converter failures are a known problem with the 1998, 2004, and 2005 models. There is no way I am sinking $6 or $7K into a car that is 6yrs old. Has anyone else had a similar issue? I am will to fix the torque if that buys me 2 or 3 more yrs. Any advise? Please share your wisdom.
  • sebring95sebring95 Posts: 3,238
    I would do research into finding a GOOD independent shop and discuss with them. I have very little faith in any VW dealers and those are some huge numbers. There are good transmission shops (not AAMCO) that can rebuild for a fraction of what the dealer is charging to just replace.
  • Just completed the 100,000 mile service for my 2005 Passat TDI. To paraphrase Fred Sanford, this was the big one, Elizabeth. I called 2 different dealerships and 3 independent mechanics. One of the independent mechanics told me that he didn't want to mess around with the diesel engine. The other two quoted me a 2 day repair for "around $1300 to $1500".

    I ended up taking to West Houston VW dealership. Dropped it off on Friday night after hours. They got it done by 1:30 PM on Saturday and the cost was $1300.45. To their credit, they gave me 2-3 things to keep an eye on on the Passat ... leaky engine mounts, suspension control arms and front brake pads. No hard sell on their part for additiona services.

    Altogether a relatively pleasant experience ... if you ignore the $1300 part ;-)
  • colin_lcolin_l Posts: 591
    wow, no discussion of the new 2012 Passat TDI here at all. are people talking about it on Edmunds in one of the other Passat topics?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I am considering one for my next vehicle. I am a little concerned about reliability (current Accord has 150k with only one repair - O2 sensor. I did have to replace the rear brake pads at 130k, but that was because the e brake cable rusted on one side from hitting a rock)

    My main requirements are comfortable seating for 4, power seats with lumbar support, no sunroof and a stick shift. I would like to have leather or vinyl.

    Right now this configuration is pretty hard to come by. An Accord SE would be perfect but it is automatic only. Maybe they will offer something with the redesign.

    Love the huge back seats in the Passat and the great mileage. It is definitely near the top of my list. Nissan and Toyota are out since they dropped the stick. Honda may be in the game depending how things shake up with the redesign. Ford will have a stick on the Fusion, but not too crazy about the 1.6 ecoboost - seems like it would be high strung and mpg is no better than 2.5 liter Altima, so what is the point of the tiny engine.

    So I am hoping reliability is at least a little above average for the Passat.
  • I own a VW passat 2.0 TDI ( 2006 ) DSG Automatic. When I drive in the city i.e on 3rd or 4th gear continuously for about an hour or so, I start hearing a whizzing noise,almost identical to some sort of friction and is sychronous to the engine's rythm. The noise is absent when the engine is cold but keeps occuring every time the engine has run continuously for about 1.5 hours and in low gear. On top gears, it comes just after 4 hours drive. The dealer blamed it on the flywheel a year ago and had it replaced but the problem is still unresolved. Please help
  • I purchased a new 2013 Passat in October 2012. It is the SE trim. I love the power, the economy and the looks!
    Things I think VW can improve on.... I get a really sore tail bone every time I drive it for more than an hour. - seats need some improvement.
    There is a surge of power when accelerating from a stop light....(abnormal surge) like you either accelerate really slow or spin the tires.... type thing.
    when letting off the gas at a slow speed there is a "putting the brakes on slightly" feeling that is too aggressive.
    Those are my only faults with the car. otherwise we love it so far... have owned it for a little over a month.
  • The way you are describing the stronger acceleration and the feeling of the brake being pressed when slowing down sounds like you have the transmission in the sport mode. That car has a (D) drive mode and a (S) sport mode. Look at the shifter next time you experience this. It will also show a D or a S on the display next to the speedometer. Sport mode will have a lot more torque when the gas is pressed and will rev a lot higher. It will also downshift when slowing down causing the car to jerk. Also if you put the shifter into the (d) drive mode and push the shifter to the right you can shift up and down somewhat like a automatic. It is called tiptronic. Read the owners manual.
  • cosmocosmo Posts: 203
    I agree that it seems that the transmission is in sports mode. However, I suggest that the TDI be driven in sport mode during the first 1K miles to break in the engine. And do not use the cruise control for the first 1K miles.
  • I am aware of the sport mode. The car is not in the sport mode when this happens.
    I have actually only used the sport mode once... it was fun! I should use it more!
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,017
    A reporter is looking for a recent car buyer whose car's sunroof/moonroof feature was a big factor in their purchase decision. Please send your daytime contact info to no later than Monday, November 5, 2012 at 5 p.m. Pacific.


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  • I just purchased a 2013 Passat SEL Premium TDI and we love the car. I just put the first refill in it and averaged 38.6 in combined driving. I love that VW is offering free maint for the first 36 months / 30000 miles. I looked in the service warranty manual and no mention of timing belt checks / replacement. Has VW changed to timing chain in the engine or am I looking at some potential issues down the road?
  • I bought 2012 new in aug. I am very disappointed in the Bluetooth & sound system in general. Where should I go to get my issue resolved?
  • I am sorry to hear that you are having issues with the Bluetooth and sound system in general... that is actually one of the things I love most about my new passat. I'm sure that there is something that can be done to resolve your issue. if you don't have success at the dealership you purchased it from, I would take it to another dealer. if you don't get results there start making the calls to Volkswagen. Good luck!!
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