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Volkswagen Passat Oil Changes & Issues



  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello, vwhell: As usual, shipo and altair4 provide the best overviews of the VW oil change issue. Yes, the "correct oil" is 502.00 VW spec (Mobil 1 0W-40, etc.) and nothing else will do. If indeed the proper oil was used, then we have to wonder what planet your dealer is from. In addition to shipo's questions, one has to ask how they arrived at the "need new engine" diagnosis. Did they do a preliminary teardown to determine what was actually going on? Did they even ask for proof of type of oil used? I'm not a big fan of VW dealerships, and have read forum stories of even those shops using incorrect oil! I find it difficult to believe that one or two oil changes with the wrong oil would sludge your engine, but if it turns out that the wrong oil has been used all along, THEN you will want to have your attorney contact your oil change provider and advise them that they will be paying for your new engine. Unfortunately, non-VW specialty shops are notorious for using the wrong oil, and furthermore, do not specify on their work orders what exact oil was used. However, if they are charging you only $20 or $30 for a change and filter, it's a sure bet that they used your basic, out-of-the-barrel, non-502.00 oil. Good luck, and please let everyone know what goes down here. vwdawg
  • I am new to this forum. I just purchased an 08 VW Passat Wagon. I want to change the oil & filter, but can't even see the oil filter or drain plug. My previous veh was a VW Jetta TDI, no problem there, but I would like to avoid breaking something when I attempt this procedure on the Passat. All I see are covers over the motor :o(

    Where can I find the info on how to proceed here ? Thank you
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Assuming you have a 2.0T engine; which version do you have? Asked another way, does your engine say "FSI" or "TSI" on the engine cover?
  • I own a 2007 passat wagon and it just turned 90,000 miles. I am the original owner and had the car serviced on a regular basis. Recently the engine light came on and the problem was a worn cam, replaced that and the dealer was helpful and gave me a discount on the labor. Called VW of N.A. And they did not offer anything. They explained that since the dealer offer assistance, they felt that was enough. In all my years owning a car, not once did I have to replace a cam? Unless it was a racing cam! Now I am being told I need to change the timing belt. Also, I am a getting the bell and stop engine low oil pressure light....I have schedule service, but wondering is this the best thing to do or is it time to sell? Car is clean and runs well? :confuse:
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    mckauto: 90,000 miles and have not changed the timing belt? You're drivin' a time bomb...that belt could go at any time and your engine will likely be toast. In fairness to any prospective buyers who are not familiar with TB issues, you should probably change it prior to selling, or at least advise them that it must be done like yesterday! Also, the "STOP ENGINE - Low Oil Pressure"...potentially serious problem! You state "car serviced on a regular basis". Who did the service, and do you know what type of oil was used? Unless a VW 502.00 spec oil was used, you may now have other serious problems, particularly if you have a 1.8T engine. I hate to bring more bad news, but your engine may be sludging up due to wrong oil being used. That may also explain the failed cam, which could have resulted from incorrect oil. Take your baby to a good independent VW shop immediately and have them check everything out...otherwise your problems may get worse. vwdawg
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    The 1.8T engine wasn't offered in the '07 model year. It may be the 2.0T, though. Your comment on sludging may be right on.

    My question to mckauto is: Who performed the oil changes over the time you owned the car? Do you have the receipts for all of the changes? See what spec oil was used. If the dealer did the changes, and used incorrect oil, I think you still have something to talk about with both the dealer and with VWoA.
  • gbriankgbriank Posts: 220
    Are these issues common to the Passat and other VW products using the 2.0 turbo? I was considering the purchase of a VW Passat wagon (left over 2010 model for a great price), but with comments like has me more than concerned.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    No, the 2010 engine is a completely redesigned unit (they started trickling out of the factory in some 2008.5 models and were in all 2009 and later 2.0T cars). As I understand it, the new engine is quite robust with exceedingly few issues.
  • Drive VERY SLOWLY to your VW dealer and have the timing belt replaced ASAP. I had over 97,000 miles on my '03 Passat. I had not replaced the timing belt.
    It broke while I was on the highway. STOP light came on. Towed to a dealer. Engine was fried. Engine replacement costs were higher than the car was worth (plus they offered only 3-6 month warranty on the replacement engine and no warranty on the labor). So I sold it to a used junkcar dealer.
    Don't make the same mistake -- get it fixed right away! Good luck!!
  • qpsqps Posts: 1
    edited October 2010
    I am having the same problem with my 2006 Passat.I have 61,000 miles on the car. Car wouldn't start over the weekend, had it towed to dealership. They say, engine seized, give us your oil change receipts. I bought the car used in the end of 2007. Since then I have had the oil changed every 5000 miles. I sent in the receipts but 3 of the 6 were probably done with regular oil.
    My pre-owned warranty is in question..So, service manager says he is "going to bat for me", in discussions with VW, and I should know by the end of today. They have not taken the car apart, so I don't even know what is wrong with the engine.
    I do know that the cam shaft failed last year and was replaced. I am freaking out, obviously this will be a huge expense if I have to pay.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I'm thinking you should get ready to pay. Why? For starters, you've driven roughly 15,000 miles on oil that is entirely unsuited for use in your car. As if that isn't bad enough, the "synthetic" oil that has been used may not be robust enough for use in your car either. Why do I say that? Because not all synthetic oils are created equal, and unless the "synthetic" oil used in your car meets the VW 502.00 oil specification, then from a warranty perspective, the "synthetic" oil used was no better than the regular oil.

    Long story short, I seriously doubt VW is going to pay to fix your engine.
  • I too have a 2007 Passat Woolfburg Edition and just had my car towed to dealership on Sunday due to same stop engine light/stop car immediately warning lights. They are telling me the oil is leaking into the Turbo (although a few months ago, I paid several hundred dollars to have my spark plugs changed because they found the car was leaking oil in them)... My car is over 50k miles so now I am being told that it is up to VW to decided if they want to "assist" me with this fix otherwise we are looking at a $1500+ dollar fix.

    Keep in mind that after my original "oil leak fix", I noticed the oil was low again and when I called the dealership that fixed this so called leak, I was advised that it is common for the car to burn through so much oil. I am not a mechanic but have driven enough cars to know that just simply doesn't sound right!

    I am still 3 days into having the car at the dealership and still waiting to hear what they are "going to do".

    If there is anyone else having these oil leak issues, please let's band together and pursue the class action suit that vwhell is suggesting!!! :mad: :cry: :confuse: :sick:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited November 2010
    Geez, are VW owners Class Action happy or what?

    The thing is, your car has the old FSI engine, an engine that is well-known to "consume" oil. I said "consume" not burn. Why? Because the engine itself is pretty robust and doesn't seem to have an issue, that said, the PVC system has a few issues that *should be* well known and easily fixed by your dealership. That they misdiagnosed the issue when you dealt with the spark plugs is a red-flag. Furthermore, my guess is that they've misdiagnosed the oil in the turbo thing as well (although the low oil level in your car may have caused a premature turbocharger failure).

    My advice to you is to get your car back from the dealership and find a competent mechanic that *really knows* the first generation 2.0T engine and have it fixed properly.

    FWIW, franchise law being what it is here in the U.S., it is exceedingly difficult for VW to enforce any rules that would prod their dealership base to improve their competence. Filing a class-action law suit against VW would most likely be seen as irrelevant by the courts due to the fact that your issues are dealership based.
  • Okay everyone...if you are a regular to this forum, you have probably read several issues with VW and oil consumption. To brief you on my issues: this has been an ongoing issue for the better part of the last year. Started with the same stop engine light/stop car immediately warning lights. When at the dealership on several occasions I was told there was nothing VW would do, they had to auth. anything to be done with the engine. After some yelling and screaming, they finally stepped up to the plate and did something. The something was an oil consumption test, which determined that my 2007 VW Passat 2.0T was using .7 qts of oil per 1000 miles(not acceptable in my book). Thus, more kicking and screaming after yet more lights and warnings and VW authorized the dealership to remove the valve cover, come to find out there was a crack in it, so it was replaced. After 1000 miles the oil was still full, after another 1000 miles, EMPTY! YEP, DRY AS A BONE! So, my car is now BACK at the dealership and they are replacing the has been there for 3-days, provided me with a rental (at VW expense :)). My car has 40K miles now and the dealership and VW are FINALLY doing something about this craziness! I was in the shop the ohter day and there was a lady there with an AUDI having the SAME ISSUES, since it is basically the same car. The dealership has informed me that this issue is just coming to light and he said my car is the test subject so to say, GREAT! As long as they are paying for it, whatever.....just fix it :)
  • I am unsure what this class action suit thing is, but from my understanding, VW has to authorize anything being done to the motor if it is under warranty. I thought it was the dealership giving me the run around, but I don't think that is the case. I will tell you that with my kicking and screaming and my Husband going into the dealership screaming, things are getting done. My only worry is when my warranty runs out.....maybe someone has an answer for me on that one....if this is STILL going on when my warranty runs out, is this something that has to continue to be covered by VW until it is resolved? PLEASE SAY YES!!!!!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Lots of mixed messages here; hopefully this might clarify a few points:

    1) While it is true that VW needs to approve warranty repairs, it is also true that they base their decision on the dealership diagnosing the problem correctly. Unfortunately many VW dealerships seem to be rather incompetent when it comes to reading *and understanding* the TSBs published by VW and coming up with a correct diagnosis for (in this case) significant oil loss.

    2) Pre-existing conditions are covered under a warranty even if said warranty has run out; just make darn good and sure that your dealership has documented the issue well before said warranty expiration.

    3) When it comes to oil loss issues surrounding the 2.0T FSI engine (which was replaced with the clean-sheet redesign 2.0T TSI engine late in the 2008 model year, an engine that so far at least seems pretty tight from an oil loss perspective), there are a number of VW related forums and web sites that specifically discuss the issue. These sites are a great resource for owners to do some research that they can go to their dealerships and direct them where to look for the problem and/or prepare the owner to determine how much BS their dealer is giving them.

    4) The oil loss issue with the FSI engines is not "just coming to light", it's been well known and well documented for several years now. It seems that the only folks still in the dark are the employees of many VW dealership service departments. :P
  • Wanted to add my recent experience to the body of knowledge on the Passat 2.0T oil consumption/major failure issue. Bottom line, after much wrangling, VW corporate over ruled the regional VW service rep a couple days ago and agreed to replace the head and block for my wife's 2007 Passat 2.0T with only 32K miles on it. We had experienced the sudden oil loss and engine oil pressure/stop engine light previously mentioned. We took it to the dealer who found metal shavings in the engine, excessive sludge build up, and some type of contaminant in the oil. I was 4 states away during the discovery phase and never figured out exactly what caused the problem. After sending a letter and all service records to VW, they agreed to replace the engine, which was clearly starting to come apart. Thankfully 3 of the 4 oil changes had been done by VW. The most recent, however, had been done at a local shop where I had failed to confirm the use of the 502.00 synthetic oil. (It was also 10K miles ago.) Thankfully VW did not press on this one oil change and accepted my argument that we had been responsible owners let down by an unanticipated failure. Regardless of what actually caused the failure, it seems strange to me that one oil change with substandard oil could even be considered a possible cause for an engine to fail. This isn't Formula 1. I would likely not have bought the car had I realized the systemic problems with the FSI spelled out here. I think VW is starting to recognize a real trend with this issue, though the dealerships still play dumb. You have to deal with the customer service office in Michigan to really get things done. Keep changing that oil with 502.00!
  • could you please email your contact information in Michigan....the email address, phone number, names anything you can supply would be info:

    Thanks in advance
  • My friend purchased a 2007 VW Passat in April 2010 with approx 60k miles on it.
    The oil has been changed twice or approx every 7500 miles. The low oil pressure light came on abut a month ago while driving. The oil level was checked
    and it was fine but there was evidence of a small oil leak. Car was taken to an independent VW specialist and no problem was discovered. Oil light came on again last week and when the oil level was checked, there was nothing showing on the dipstick. Oil was added and taken for service and again no problem was detected. Today the car was taken to the used car dealer where it was purchased after the light coming on again and the dipstick showing no evidence of oil and we were told that the oil level was overfilled.
    There is an extended warranty on the car, but the dealer is now saying it might not cover it because the oil level was too high.

    Has anyone had trouble with the "disappearing oil level" issue?
  • This is a common problem! I have the same year Passat with 40K miles and so far they have ran an oil consumption test, replaced the valve cover and all the rings. Still not fixed. Read back through all the comments from Shippo and others, they seem to know what they are talking about.

    Best of luck to your friend
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    sedanblues: Several strange things here...and an odor of BS. OK, the disappearing oil issue existed long before the crankcase was "overfilled", so a high oil level should have absolutely nothing to do with this (however, a word of caution on overfill might result in damage to your cat converter...but that is an entirely different matter). So...who did your oil changes...the dealer or an independent oil change shop? In either case, any problems resulting from the overfill are THEIR responsibility, not yours. Another, more serious issue: If your oil pressure light came on and the level was NOT low, you may have a problem with sludging due to the use of an oil NOT approved by VW...i.e., 502.00 synthetic (Mobil 1 0W-40, for example). Check the numerous prior postings on that issue in this forum, and if you have anything other than 502.00, GET THAT OIL OUT OF YOUR ENGINE RIGHT AWAY!! In conclusion, I think you should have the dealer do an oil consumption test...if it exceeds the allowable consumption over specified mileage, you may have a case for a repair. I will defer to shipo and altair on this issue as well...they probably have other pertinent advice for you. vwdawg
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    vwdawg here...forgot to mention in my post from a few minutes I recall that shipo or altair mentioned in a prior post that there is a part (on the pollution control system?) that can easily be replaced to mitigate the oil consumption problem? My memory may be faulty here, but perhaps they can comment. vwdawg
  • Thanks for the quick response. Sounds like this might be a good time to trade it in before the costs gets too out of control. Just got word from the dealer, gonna try the valve cover gasket to fix the leak and move on from there...estimate $300.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Must have been Shipo; I'm more of a B5 kind of guy (prior generation Passat).
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    sedan: Whoa...$300 for a valve cover gasket? Sounds way out of line to me. Are you a DIY kind of person? I just replaced the gasket on my Audi cost $18 for the gasket + my time. If you're not a DIY, check out an independent shop (you might want to establish a relationship with a good shop anyway). This is a 45 minute job...not sure how they can justify that kind of dough. Let's just say I'm kind of a "frugal" dude. vwdawg
  • Yup this gasket is the easiest thing ever to do on this car. Took mine it because it was leaking horribly bad. All 4 plugs were swimming in oil. (2008 2.0t passat with 60k miles) they wanted 600 to replace the cover and gasket. bought a new gasket 22 bucks and a total of 45 minutes. I just got the oil light and turn the car off and its freaking me out.
  • I have an 08 passat 2.0t with 60k miles. I have had the oil light come and tell me to turn the car off. Both times were while in a sharp turn. My car also sounds so loud once warmed up (been told by multiple dealers this is normal) sounds like a lifter to me. Anyone have this issue? Also my valve cover gasket was leaking and looks like it blew in four places on the gasket. replaced the gasket and have had no leaks since then. purchased the car used with 40k miles and had some service done at the dealer and the rest by a local company in Nashville Called German Performance. I know they use the 502.00 spec oil and Mann filters. Ive been in the garage. Should I contact VWOA and push to have them look at my car even though its out of warranty?
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello All: I have a 2002 Passat 1.8T, and just received a mailing from VW corporate regarding resolution of a class action suit pertaining to the oil light coming on despite the crankcase being full of oil. Am I to understand that they are extending the oil sludge warranty to eight years EVEN IF 502 SPEC OIL HAS NOT BEEN USED REGULARLY? Did I also see that an owner can CONTINUE to use the oil specified in the manual...WTF! Mine says conventional oil is acceptable, although I know altair or shipo advised that VW issued a revision page in 2003 stating that 502 is the only acceptable oil (which I never saw, as I purchased it in 2005). It also seems that if 502 has been used regularly, then the warranty is extended to TEN years. I haven't read everything in detail, as I was just about to go out of town for a couple of weeks. Has anyone else received this, and reached some sort of conclusion? I'm a bit confused here. Thanks, vwdawg
  • Hey vwdawg: Check out this website for an explanation

    From what I can understand, the 8 year warranty affects people who continue to use the "lower quality" petroleum based oil, while the 10 year extension will be available to those using the 502 (and keeping all of their records)! See if that's what you come up with. Meanwhile, we'll be visiting our dealership since the dreaded STOP Engine light came on this morning. Thank goodness I was still in our own driveway. Good luck. I'll try to give you more info as I get it.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hi dmv: Thanks for website into. The oil light on my 2002 1.8T Passat came on a couple of times, but that's been more than 10k miles ago, so I guess maybe I'm OK. I purchased this rig about four years ago with maybe 55k, and it has 91k at present. I recvd service records with the car, but none of them indicated type of oil used. My manual stated that "any CONVENTIONAL oil meeting SAE blah, blah, blah was acceptable, and I did the first two changes myself with Castrol conventional, only to be advised later by shipo or altair that a manual addendum page was issued (which I never recvd), advising that ONLY 502.00 spec could be used in this engine...S**T! So, according to what I'm reading here, if I can't prove continuous use of 502.00 from the first oil change on, then I'm SOL, since my rig has now passed the eight year mark. Of course, I did switch to Mobil 1 0W-40 immediately (thank you, thank you to shipo/altair...probably saved my engine!). The tragedy here is that there are probably thousands and thousands of 1.8T owners out there (as well as their oil changers!) who don't have a clue that they may be ruining their motors by continuing to use dino-juice. My daughter drives my 2.0 Golf, and brought it in to an oil change joint without telling me, and sure enough, they used conventional, even though the manual states 502 is required! vwdawg
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