Problems with 99 VW Passat GLS

karen424karen424 Member Posts: 1
Anyone had any problems with their 99 VW Passat
GLS like the following?: OBD light keeps coming
on; mine is getting cleared for the 3rd time. Also,
I had difficulty starting the car after refueling
- they replaced the fuel pump. My car has been in
service for a week now. I got the car at the end
of March, and I really love it, but I cold do
without these problems.
So, are the mechanics incompetent, or is this a
real VW problem?


  • rmdelahuertarmdelahuerta Member Posts: 1

    I am considering purchasing a Passat in the next couple of weeks. That your brand new car is experiencing problems is concerning.

    Would you recommend the purchase of a Passat??

  • mikspmiksp Member Posts: 1
    I just bought my 99 Passat on the 10 of July and even though it has been only a few days it's great. I did a lot of research on my purchase and found this car to be a very reliable and a good deal. Like they say you are buying an Audi but at VW prices.

    Best of luck with your purchase.
  • joe83joe83 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 1998 VW GTI with the 4 cylinder motor. It took 3 tries by the dealer to keep the OBD light from coming on - finally found two places where wiring was cut due to rubbing against the body. I plan to buy a 1999 Passat GLS with the V6 and a 5 speed stick. Having owned mostly Hondas for the past few years I'm spoiled since they're basically trouble free. But I think VW has gotten its act together big time since the early to mid 1980s. Driving the Passat sold me on it and the styling is clean and timeless.
  • holly3holly3 Member Posts: 1
    We've had our '99 Passat Wagon since February and have been very happy. We did have the power steering fluid hose replaced due to a leak. We've also experienced the windshield wiper fluid dashlight coming on for no apparent reason. The mechanics were not able to replicate the problem, thus no fix yet. I would still recommend this car to my friends!
  • rxquackrxquack Member Posts: 1
    Hello out there,
    I have been doing alot of research on others cars for the past couple of months and have been to several cars dealerships. I recently drove to the VW dealership for no particular reason, just to see what they have to offer.
    I test drove the Passat V6 with the tiptronic transmission. Needless to say the car searching is over. I am trying to buy this car in the next two weeks and I was wondering if anyone had any other problems with their passat?
    Your response would be much appreciated.
  • guitarzanguitarzan OhioMember Posts: 864
    Joe83, I'm a Honda man myself. All that matters to me is how the car DRIVES. How would you compare, say the Accord, and Passat? Can you drive a manual, and did you test a Passat manual?
  • kn505kn505 Member Posts: 1
    I am debating between the Audi A4 1.8T 5 speed and the VW passat 1.8 GLS. My rearch indicated they are basically the same cars. Yet crash testing data seems to indicate that the Audi is safer. Is any body compare these two cars and if so which one did you purchase and why?
  • abm1abm1 Member Posts: 5
    I looked at both these cars before buying a 323i. Both are nice cars. The A4 is sportier, but the back seat was just too small for me.
    Between the A4 and the Passat, I would pick the Passat for the greater room, and longer power train warranty.
    If the backseat didn't matter to me, then I probably would get the A4. But by the same token, I would probably also be looking at more dedicated sports cars in that case.

    Hope this helps

  • raymentrayment Member Posts: 1
    My got my Passat 1.8T in March. Initially it ran perfectly but, after 2 months, it began to run sluggishly at low rpm. The acceleration from low rpm also was poor. Today, I went to the dealership - they say with a turbo, I have to run a higher octane fuel. Has anyone else heard this advise? Another recommendation, from a friend, is that I continue to use regular unleaded fuel, but also use an injector-cleaning additive.

  • newell1newell1 Member Posts: 1
    I will first start with I love the Passat. I purchased the 1999 GLS in September of 1998 and have about 28k on the odometer. I have had some problems. Cracking sound in the front of the car when turning to the right. Dealer tried three times and still didn't fix the problem. At 23k miles the stereo, and alarm quit working. They replaced the radio. I haven't paid any money for the repairs yet. Just wasted time at the dealership. The reason I love the car is that I feel safe. Dallas, Texas traffic is awful. I drive on two of the top five worst intersections of the nation everyday. I drive in and out of traffic with easy. I shift down and go. The stereo in the Passat rocks. I stand 6'3" I feel good after a long drive. I want to purchase a AWD wagon. I will not buy until I drive the VW AWD wagon. The car looks, feels, and rides like a more expensive car. If you aren't sure what to get. I would buy buy buy a Passat.
  • squantosquanto Member Posts: 12
    i find it interesting how many passat owners report several problems with their cars but still highly recommend the car. is this bizzaro world or do these cars have that much "charisma", that the seemingly irritating and excessive problems are overlooked?

    i'm not ripping just trying to tap into this concept. i've heard this from tons of passat owners. don't hear from other car owners who've had problems.

    i dig the styling on this car and i've driven the glx once. quite nice but what about the reliablity (please don't quote the long drivetrain warranty)...
  • elwood2elwood2 Member Posts: 1
    I have been considering ditching my '95 Trooper in favor of a Passat Wagon...but the Trooper has been essentially problem free and has lots of room for kids/dogs/equipment. What are the chances I could change to a '98 Passat Wagon with low miles and like it as much as the Trooper? Or should I look at the '99 model?
  • bobnroxbobnrox Member Posts: 2
    I am considering buying the 99 gls v6 passat in the nebio blue. does anyone have this color? and if so is it as nice as it looks in the brochure? what color interior do you have? what did you pay for it? Will be living in Houston, do you think that leather seats will be too hot?

    any info is appreciated.
  • bobnroxbobnrox Member Posts: 2
    I am considering buying the 99 gls v6 passat in the nebio blue.
    Does anyone have this color and if so is it as nice as it looks
    in the brochure? what color interior do you have? what did
    you pay for it? Will be living in Houston, do you think that
    leather seats will be too hot?

    any info is appreciated.
  • jblazejblaze Member Posts: 1
    1999 Passat GLS V6 5sp; Interior: Black Leather; Exterior: Silver; Miles:6500; Owned since 4/99
    Solid structure
    Sound system
    Leather interior (excellent quality materials)
    Paint (no blemishes, good finish)
    Tilt/Telescoping Steering Wheel
    Ride Comfort
    Value for $$
    Brakes (excellent stopping)
    Body Styling
    5sp Transmission
    Multiple sunroof adjustments
    No mechanical problems
    Body Roll
    15" Touring Tires (should be 16" min sport tires)
    Forward/backward front seat adjustments (1.5" per setting?; should be 1" max)
    Wind noise
    Low Torque/power at low RPM
    Took 3.5 months to order loaded V6 w/5sp
    Seat adjustment controls (hard to reach/turn knobs -- yecch!)
    Flimsy cup holders
    Rotating Dial(?) for sunroof
    Clock under Tach (should be in center of dash)
    Radio station buttons too small
  • stevex1stevex1 Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 1999 1.8 liter Passat with Triptonic transmission. When decelerating the car exhibits a "bucking" or as a VW mechanic describes it, "the engine shutters when downshifting." I am told VW considers this to be "normal" and no fix exists. I am interested in hearing from others with the same complaint and what their experience with VW has been.
  • rblackrblack Member Posts: 2

    If the front cupholders wern't bad enough (little to no botton clearance for proper cup seating), you should try to but your favorite beverage in the back cupholders and then attempt to take a sharp turn. Watch out new carpet but here comes the coffee stains! Why is it that the Germans are so adverse to good cupholders? My wife has a 98 Jetta (before the model change) and the cupholders are very sturdy, but for them to be effective, the cup you are using can be no taller than a couple of inches! Just a minor flaw on an otherwise fantastic car!
  • kbikerkbiker Member Posts: 2
    I have a 99 GLS in Nebio Blue, it is a great color, the brochures don't do it justice. I've had more complements on this car and color than all my other cars combined. My only gripe is that the paint seems to chip easily, lots of small dings in the paint. Otherwise I'm very happy with the car.
  • kbikerkbiker Member Posts: 2
    I guess I should read the post before I respond. I have the black cloth seats. I liked the black with the body color. I don't have any info on the leather seats. My dealer discounted the car a fair amount considering they are selling them as fast as they get them in. I looked at an Audi A4 but they only had loaded ones and the salesman told me flat out they only went out the door at list! Needless to say I walked. The Passat is a lot of car for the money. Hope any of this helps.
  • jeramypjeramyp Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 GLX with approx. 6500 miles on it. My car also "stutters" during downshifting. While its nothing dramatic, it is annoying. My dealer ran diagnostics on both the engine and transmission but did not get any error codes. They claimed that they couldn't detect anything wrong when they test drove it. Their only suggestion was to "keep an eye on it". It constitutes a mild annoyance on an otherwise great automobile.
  • lkrolllkroll Member Posts: 8
    This is in response to the Trooper and Honda owners in the previous posts.
    My wife has a current body style Trooper and I sold an '87 Honda Accord to buy a '99 Passat GLS Wagon.
    The Passat is a dream compared to the Trooper. Though both cars were highly reliable, neither were as fun to drive as the VW. The Trooper is sluggish and handles like a cruise ship.
    The '87 Honda I sold handled better and accelerated more smoothly and quicker than the '99 Accord I tested. Very dissappointing.
    The Passat so far has been trouble free, fun to drive, and full of intelligent extras.
    The only con is a turbo lag off the line. A V6, if you can afford it, (I couldn't) will provide even more smiles to the gallon. Feel free to email me for more info.
  • renarrenar Member Posts: 4
    Hi, All. I am in the market for a new car and am heavily leaning towards the Passat GLX... I love the way it looks, and it seems to have good interior room to hold four adults. I am in a job where I frequently have to drive customers and colleagues, and the Passat seems like a nice, good-looking car with a fair amount of luxury-type options. For the past 13 years, however, I have driven Toyotas and am quite accustomed to a reasonably hassle-free vehicle in terms of reliability. Can any of you recommend my moving to the Passat? I don't like the new Toyota Camrys, so that's out. I would consider the Maxima or Accord, but prefer the looks of the Passat. Thanks in advance for your help!
  • hardbodypahardbodypa Member Posts: 1
    I have done a lot of research and test driving on the Passat. I wanted to buy a BMW 323I but it was too pricey for me. The VW has the same German engeering and shares many components with the Audi A4 which is in the price range of the Bimmer. I have a deposit on a Passat GLX in Satin Silver with black leather interior. I'm going to upgrade the wheels and tires to 16's and add a rear spoiler option and still will be under the price of the Bimmer and Audi and besides, you can beat the VW warranty! Good Luck
  • hydeawayhydeaway Member Posts: 1
    I live in the Seattle area. We seem to have more VW's per capita than anywhere else I have been. We have 7 Vdub dealers in the Puget Sound but NOBODY has a Passat GLX to save their life without a 3-4 month waiting list. Reading about all these GLX owners makes me wonder what your wait time was. Considering a GLX or V6 in the fall. Any feedback on how you long you waited is appreciated and where are these GLX's hiding?
  • wilaminawilamina Member Posts: 1
    We bought our Passat GLX (silver) in May and all I can say is..... WE LOVE IT!!! We were also long-time loyal Toyota owners; however, I think we have now become loyal VW owners! The only major complaints we have is the length of time we had to wait for the dealerships to get a silver GLX in stock, and they wouldn't budge on the sticker price either (although, I think the dealerships are getting more in stock, based on my last drive-by, so maybe price is more negotiable). Other than that, it's wonderful. It drives better than any car we looked at. The car has received more than it's share of compliments (for multiple reasons). I think you would truly impress your 'customers and colleagues'. The Tiptronic is wonderful, it makes for zipping around traffic (when needed) remarkable. Oh, and the power (I find myself needing to intentionally slow down)!! I wish I could take it for a drive on the Ottobohn (spelling?). Needless to say (which I didn't think I'd ever say this), I actually "enjoy" driving to work!!! Go for it!! You'll wonder why you waited so long to get it. I know I do. I don't mean to write this much, but I can't help it, I love this car! Oh, and the luxury-type options, you can't beat them. I love the memory seats, as my husband drives it as well, with the push of a button, both the seat and mirrors set to individual driver preference. I also like the 'rain-sensor' windshield wipers - what a great idea (I could never seem to get intermittent wipers set at the right speed). I also really like the Climatronic (not sure if that's the right name?) temperature control. The leather is wonderful (very sharp-looking and soft). Mine's black and doesn't seem to get too hot (as you would think) after parking outside during the day. There are too many good things to mention (as I'm sure you are aware of them already - styling, handling, luxury items, roominess, etc..). My only minor complaints so far are: the cup holders (as mentioned in previous posts), the paint chips seem to appear easily on the front end/hood, and I wish it came with a single CD player standard versus a cassette tape. Other than that, I absolutely love this car!! We conducted A LOT of research as well, and I think the Passat GLX is a great buy! Gosh, now I want to go for a drive! Good luck with your decision, I hope some of this helps (sorry for rambling :-]).
  • rblackrblack Member Posts: 2

    I hate to say it but after my research led me to the conclusion that I was going to purchase a Passat GLX, it was a mere 4 days later that I was driving home in my brand spanking new black/black GLX fully loaded and looking great! I live in Louisville, KY with two VW dealers which do not stand alone. These dealers are intemixed with at least two other car types so one would think that the selection would be a lot less than that of a dealer that only featured VW's. Anyway, I found this not to be the case. I hope you find what you are looking for and GLX's are out there and not as rare as some dealers would try to convince us of.
  • jungianajungiana Member Posts: 1
    Having owned 2 Toyotas, 3 Honda Accords, 1 Nissan SE-V6 KingKab (148K and absolutely no probs of any
    kind -- still going strong) and 2 Maximas (most recent '96GLE), I have been researching, including driving several cars (which I am considering for my next purchase) now for 2yrs.
    I've driven 10 different Passats GLS & GLS-V6, 4 new LX Accord V-6, 4 Maxima 2000 GLE. I've read
    all the data I could find on Passat, Maxima, Accord (but not Toyota -- ruled them out, good car, subjectively ugly to me)-- and the amount I've researched is considerable! Am very impressed with just about everything with the Passat -- technology seems unsurprassed for what is in the car. HOWEVER, having compared toe-to-toe and point-to-point the Passat & Maxima 2000 GLE, my hat goes to MAXIMA2000. All the mentioned cars are great and work well. Most people who research, study & drive cars before they buy know that Maxima, Passat, Accord & Camry are fine autos. The Maxima is by far the better value which includes technology (engine, transmission, size, hp, visibility, ride, etc.) Is it heads and shoulders above and better than Passat? No. But is it overall better than Passat? Definitely. Especially if engine, transmission, ride, space, view, hp/power, handling, and, yes, sound (although Passat has a good sound system, Maxima is definitely better -- tighter, more defined bass, mid-range, & upper. We are getting our Maxima in Sept. Though far more Accords & Camrys are sold than Maximas & Passats, that doesn't mean by any stretch of the imagination, much less data, that they are "better" than Maxima & Passat. They are not, and that's fact.
  • popnfanniepopnfannie Member Posts: 1
    I was getting ready to buy a VW Passat GLS with the 4 cylinder turbo and automatic transmission until I read this conference. The problems some of you have experienced have just about scared me off. Should I be concerned or should I buy?
  • eliseheliseh Member Posts: 1
    Just had to weigh in here since we may be looking to buy the wagon in the near future. We have a 1990 Passat Sedan--got it before the advertising had even hit the states. It has approximately 103,000miles and is probably the best car we have ever owned. The only problem with the newer models that I can see is they are not nearly as roomy as the sedan I presently have. Our trunk space is great--a big help with two kids!! No cup holders, but you can't have everything!
    Two downsides to owning a VW: 1. the warranty is not long enough, especially compared to other automobiles (though I think we would look into an extended warranty this time); and 2. though we have had relatively few problems in the last 9 1/2 years, VW parts are quite expensive. Find a good mechanic who specializes in VW, if possible.
    Would appreciate any words of wisdom regarding the wagon. Thanks.
  • zigster38zigster38 Member Posts: 117
    Opinions are subjective, but who says the Maxima is a great looking car? Hardly anyone. Does pride of ownership count for something? Of course it does. Why not spend a little extra to drive something you can be proud of.

  • esenesen Member Posts: 1
    I am looking for a 1999 Passat GLX in nebio blue with 5-speed manual and gray or black interior. Has anyone seen such a car in a dealer lot recently? Please let me now where and who the dealer is. You could send your reply to [email protected]
  • duttondutton Member Posts: 2
    Has anyone bought a GLS Passat with leather, automatic transmission and the luxury package? If so, how much did you pay for it? I was offered such a Passat for $23,639. Is this reasonable? Thanks for your help.
  • kings4kings4 Member Posts: 6
    Dutton, I think $23,639 for all the above is a great price. I don't know how much shopping around you have done, but I just bought a '99 Passat GLS with the P6 luxury package and automatic trans for $24,400. That's like $90 over invoice in the DC metro area. And I thought I got a good deal.
  • shendeeshendee Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 1999 GLS V6 - no leather, but with luxury package and automatic transmission - for $24,512 + $249 dealer charge. The sticker price was $26,818 (+ $249) so I feel pretty good about the deal. If you're getting a V6 - awesome price, you did better than me. If you're getting a 4 cylinder, I'd say you're in the right ballpark, though I didn't look at any prices for that vehicle.
  • renarrenar Member Posts: 4
    Hi, all, and thanks to those of you who posted resonses to my earlier question. One thing I am finding is that it is definitely in your best interests to use the internet and your financial institution in order to secure a favorable price. My bank uses two competing "buying services" which will present you with a fixed quote for the car you want which is specially negotiated to benefit the buyer. Check this out with your lending institution. Second, online services such as and others seem to be responsive and ALL seem to have negotiated with different dealerships. This is a way to determine what the true, market-favorable price for a particular vehicle (Passat or otherwise) is in your area overall. Give it a try... There's no obligation and you can get these services working competitively to your advantage. I'm test driving this weekend, and hopefully buying in the next two weeks!
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    Just a reminder that this topic is about Passat maintenance and repair issues. If you're interested in performance/cost issues relating to the Passat, please feel free to check out the general Passat discussions in other conferences. If you have questions or concerns about financing, you might want to check out the Smart Shopper Conference.
  • pt99pt99 Member Posts: 1
    I'm getting a 99 Passat GLX and debating whether to purchase a third party extended warranty through the credit union. Any advice? Thanks.
  • eyeguyeyeguy Member Posts: 1
    I am considering a loaded gls 1.8 over the Glx for money reasons, but am bummed about the performance trade-off. Has anyone out there "chipped out" their gls or done any performance modifications? I've been told this computer chip upgrade takes 0-60 times from mid 8's to mid 6's (which is very exciting), but is this speed to much for the tires (whimpy stock 15's) and suspension?

    Thanx for any feedback.
  • bvasonbvason Member Posts: 1
    I have posted a while back in detail about the transmission and cylinder head problems I have had with my 98 Passat. See Passat 5 topic. I am at 20,000 miles now and have had 4 trips to dealer for check engine light. Due to the limited warranty, I am getting skittish about owning it beyond 24,000. I posted there about the problems with the transmission control unit and a VW tech bulletin recommending replacing it if you have engine surges, or failure to downshift appropriately.
    It is interesting that although I have had extensive trouble with this car, I have yet to find anything else I want to buy.
    But be aware, there are lemon Passats out there.
  • wolf001310wolf001310 Member Posts: 2
    I have had my Passat GLS for four months now and have about 5000 miles on it. And, typical of Passat owners, I LOVE it. I have had nothing wrong with it so far, it just runs, handles, and does everything great. Cupholders? They suck but I think the Germans are trying persuade us not to distract ourselves while driving.
    I do wish for a little more power from the turbo 4 though. Could someone tell me if that chip upgrade I've heard about (and eyeguy mentioned) would harm the engine in the long run by supplying too much boost pressure? Thanks.
  • gusgus Member Posts: 254
    (pt99), have you checked out the Finance, Warranty & Insurance Conference.
  • renarrenar Member Posts: 4
    Ok... Back to mechanical discussions (sorry for the digression). I test-drove the Passat GLS automatic this weekend. I plan on buying one, and only an automatic (I have a manual now but do too much stop-and-go city/rush hour driving). My husband commented that the tiptronic transmission makes him uneasy. According to the dealer, they were a new feature of Passat automatics beginning in 1998. My research indicates that it was in the German version for three years prior to that. Does anyone have any information (specifically negative) about this transmission? We are slightly concerned as we feel US problems with the transmission would not have started to surface just yet. Any info is appreciated.

    Rena Fagel
  • val99val99 Member Posts: 4
    I've had my Nebio Blue / black velour 99 Passat GLS 1.8 manual since mid-February, and I've had no problems or complaints at all. People frequently stop me at the mall to ask about the car, and they all love the color! I was a little nervous switching from Honda to VW, but so far no regrets.
  • duttondutton Member Posts: 2
    Just following up...

    I finally bought my Silver Passat (4 cyl. + tiptronic automatic transmission + leather interior + all weather package + luxury package) for $23,239 (including the $525 destination charges).
  • paperosapaperosa Member Posts: 1
    Hello ! My wife and I are looking at '99 Passats. The dealer told us the check engine light is a problem that can be caused by fueling with BP fuel. We were told there is an additive in the BP fuel that affects the oxygen sensor. The tiptronic transmission was first used in the Porsche, successfully for 4 years. We too are sceptical of the 2yr/24k mile warranty but like the 10yr/100k mile drive train warranty as well as the 12 year/unlimited mile rust warranty. We currently own an 1988 Acura Legend coupe. The Passat was a good driving car (test drive). My wife and I really liked it !
  • wolf001310wolf001310 Member Posts: 2
    Hey you guys, I wouldn't worry too much about the 2 year warranty. Sure, I'd like a longer bumper to bumper warranty for my 99 Passat as much as the next guy, and I'm sure the Japanese brands are still more reliable than the Germans. But the fact is, the Passat's mechanicals are identical to the Audi A4 and A6's, which have the three year warranties. So far, I have not heard or read anything about them not being reliable, only that they are great cars.
  • amittalamittal Member Posts: 1
    Hi ,
    I have a 99 Passat GLS which has 8000 miles on it , the car runs towards the right when you leave the steering wheel loose . The dealer tried to correct the problem by aligning the wheels again ( does a 8 months car need wheel alignment ?) and gave a justification that this problem is coming due to Goodyear tires and due to front wheel drive and suspension of the car . Does any one of you guy's are having the same problems ???
  • mortylevymortylevy Member Posts: 1
    Picked up my black Passat with the V6 and 5 speed last week. I have to say I absolutely love the car. There is one thing that concerns me a bit and I was wondering if anyone else has had the same experience. On acceleration, especially through lower rpm's I can feel some vibration through the stick and gas pedal. I can't feel it through the steering or seat though, and the car accelerates smoothly. I am probably being paranoid but it would be great to know if anyone else has had the same experience. Thanks
  • ericajoshericajosh Member Posts: 1
    Anyone else experiencing excessive cranking needed to start GLS 6 cyl. engine -- 1998/1999? How about carbon build-up on valves, pistons and plugs?
  • vwatersvwaters Member Posts: 1
    I own a '99 Passat GLS with the sunroof. I cannot not see the sunroof dial or map light switches at night. It looks as though they should light up. Is this a problem for anyone else, or was the bulb not installed on my car?
This discussion has been closed.