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Volkswagen Passat 2005 and earlier



  • 03 GLX manual, black on black with tinted windows. Most leg room I have ever had in a car.

    Although I have had problems with it, most of them have been my fault. Me bad! 10K I hit a boulder turning around. Right front lower corner. Took it to the body shop and it turned out to be $5.5K in damages since they had to use all new parts. Overnight after taking it in to the body shop and in my garage the windshield cracked and was considered another incident which did not reach my deductible, rats (nick on the edge). The accident damaged the A/C system so the dealer needed to replace a high pressure line. I don't think they put oil back in because after about 2 days, the bottom literally blew out of the A/C compressor. 2 weeks later I had a new compressor.

    At 20K a guy hit me in a parking lot on my right rear wheel bending it in at the top by 2 degrees. That necessitated an axle replacement, a little body work, and a refurbishment of the wheel.

    I am coming up on 30K and have become afraid to drive it. LOL

    Tried to sell it, even at a great price, but no one wants an 03 that has a history so I am keeping it but that is OK since I like it. Getting spoiled with the heated seats.

    I have a bubble on the dash and I think it is where they tech leaned on it to replace the windshield. I am not so sure I want the dash replaced and have problems introduced. Had to have the VW steering wheel emblem replaced after a tech scratched it fixing an electronic problem in the dash right after delivery.

    The shift boot is deteriorating and I will have to take it in to the dealer for a look.

    Left the battery cover off and shut the hood on it and broke it. New part.

    All in all I like the car but do not like the oil consumption and the time it takes to get parts (has been 2 weeks most of the time). The dealers service (Speedway Volkswagen in Indianapolis) has been great, no complaints there. They have always provided a loaner car for warranty work and have always been very helpfull.

    Have previously had a Cabriolet and a TDI Jetta manual xmission. Both to small for me but loved the 50mpg in the TDI on the highway.
  • My rear ashtray got jammed and when I finally managed to pull it out, a small pastic piece (about 3/4 inch long) fell out. I can tell that it did not break off. If I put the ashtray back in without the little plastic piece, it will not stay shut. Does anyone know how the plastic piece attaches so that the ashtray stays shut?
  • naveenavee Posts: 3
    we just bought a new passat wagon, I ran carfax on it and found that the car already has a service record. The record does not have much detail, it only says the service is done on engine and vehicle, is this normal? Thanks
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    I just got an '05 Passat TDi. The rear floor mats have holes for the oval anchors (not round anchors like my '02 Jetta), but no floor pegs on which to place them.

    Were they missed on this car, or has VW stopped putting the pegs in the back seat (the front pegs are fine and do a great job of holding the mats in place).
  • I had the same thing happen on my new 2004 Passat. The dealer ordered the carpet holders and installed them for me in about five minutes (no charge). It's worth asking for.
  • I just traded in my 2003 Jetta TDI Auto Wagon for a 2004 GLS Passat 1.8T Wagon with Leather. I know this is a sedan section, but my comments don't pertain to the van section of the car - and this forum has more action.

    I was so proud of my 2003 Jetta TDI, but I just needed more room and wanted more luxury. I love the feel and performance of my new 04 Passat. I got a great year end closeout deal. Like many, I have come to realize that Volkswagons can be a huge money pit for repairs.

    Get this - When I bought my first 2003 Jetta TDI, within a week a rock hit the front windshield and created a circular crack. Within a week with my new 2004 Passat, the same thing happened.

    Also, with my Jetta TDI the rear alignment was off because of a bent axle. They said I hit something hard (a pothole) which caused the axle to bend. I couldn't think of anything I had every hit hard with the car because I would baby it - it must have been some past pothole or railroad track. The car always slightly steered to the right which was forever annoying. I was so much enjoying the pure alignment of my new 2004 passat until last weekend when I was turning right onto a road and hit the curb with my right rear tire. I was not going fast at all and I was really angry at myself for bumping the rear tire (not to mention the new rim scratch on my mag)! I swear its pulling to the right now. If my dealer says the axle is bent then Volkswagen must be using the most pathetic durability mechanical parts in its car. Hitting a few potholes or bumping a curb, sure that might whack a tire out of alignment, but a darn axle?! I cant imagine this having happened in my old Subaru. I'm probably being paranoid because the fix is really expensive. To make matters worse, on my way home today as I was thinking about my alignment woes I saw 2 Passats broken down on the side of the road within 2 miles of each other. Woe to me! This made me worry about my purchase again. Yet I love the feel of the Passat and the "look" I get for the price.

    Either way, I think it is uncanny that I've experienced the same annoying road hazard problems with the Volkswagen. When people ask me what I think of VW, I say its a great sedan for its price that seems much more expensive, but that it doesn't seem "tough" and repairs are imminent. My Jetta was in the shop a lot due to road hazards and breakdowns.

    Face it, we buy volkswagen because it is a cool car with style and finesse - and we suck it up for the repairs to come. I've lost some enjoyment on my new ride at only 800 miles on the odometer!
  • jrosasmcjrosasmc Posts: 1,711
    Are there any significant changes to the Passat for 2005, and if so, are they in the drivetrain, trim levels or other things? I hope they have kept the excellent 2.8 V-6 as well.

    Also, what is the earliest date in which the U.S. will get the fully redesigned '06 Passat? (I feel VW's been putting off this one)
  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    Changes for the '05s are not significant - wheels and colors.

    First appearance of the '06s [the next-gen car] could be any time from July to December '05, depending on whom you are willing to believe. My personal wager would be later rather than sooner - VW's track record in our market is pretty awful for new product launches in anything like a timely fashion. On the other hand, the dealers are screaming in the ears of VWOA and Wolfsburg to get on with it, already...
  • I just purchased a VW Passat with leather/heated seats and was wondering how warm/hot you think they are. I drove to work this morning and turned the heat(seat) to the highest level, and it seems like it didn't get very warm (during 50 min. drive). So I'm not sure if it's just me or if it's the car. Thanks
  • I bought my car new in June 2001. Since June 2004, I have had to replace a headlight wiring harness (headlight wire was burning), a fuse in the main wiring harness (car died while driving) and now a micro switch on the clutch pedal (periodic no-crank issues). Please chime in if you've had a similar string of electrical issues - 33,000 miles, Manual Transmission.
  • taft4taft4 Posts: 57
    I just received my December issue of CR in which they tested six "Wagons and Car-Based SUVs. (Toyota Highlander, Subaru Outback, Mazda 6, Volvo XC70, Mitsubishi Endeavor, and Dodge Magnum). In comparing them with others they have previously tested they rated the Passat 4 the best all-around wagon.

    They also had previously tested the GLX 4Motion which has a poor reliability rating.

    I have a 04 GLX V6 sedan which has the best rating, tied with the Accord, for a family sedan so some VW products are showing up very well.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469

    You had the seat heater on the #5 setting for 50 minutes and it didn't feel very warm? Soemthing's wrong.

    I've got the leather seats, too, and after 50 minutes, the inside of my car would smell like frying bacon! Generally, I use "5" for maybe 10 minutes on a really cold morning, then switch down to 4 or 3 for another 10 minutes, and then switch it off since the car is thoroughly warm using the HVAC system.

    What model year is your Passat? Brand new, or used?
  • same here, "5" for about 10 minutes, then "2" for about 20 minutes and then off (but my commute is usually over by then). Something must be wrong...
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    Here is an update on the rear floor mat-pegs. No one at the dealer seemed to know what happened to them. Should they have been installed for delivery or are the pegs no longer in the '05 model? Sales was no help... service knew nothing about it... so I shuffled off to the parts counter to see if they could help. They found a part number for the pegs and placed the order for me. Service said they would install them once they arrived.

    I went to parts to pick the pegs up. There was a very small box containing 4 pegs that had a screw-in base (like a self tapping screw). The parts guy plugs it into his computer and tells me, I kid you not, that they cost $122.00. He actually shook his head and said something was wrong. I replied with "they were supposed to be installed before pick-up", although know one knows for sure if that was the case (or they all played like they did not know). He said no problem and sent the bill to the sales department (I am still waiting for a phone call...).

    I asked about installation by service, and the parts guy told me it should do it myself (and probably avoid a $70.00/hour bill!). He said to line the mats up in their place and to poke a hold into the carpet with an awl or a nail. There is no base under the carpet for the screw; it simply threads into the carpet and underlying sound proofng material. It was very easy to do and took me all of 5 minutes.

    Here's my point: In the grand scheme, this is a minor cosmetic issue but to me an important one. Both the factory carpet mats and the rubber monster mats come with holes to be secured, and the pegs should be there to hold the mats in place (the pegs were there on my '02 Jetta). The pegs ARE NOT integrated into the carpet at the factory, but seem to be an item installed at the dealer (an examination of other '05's on the lot showed that none had rear mat-pegs). I don't know who missed the ball, but it had the potential to be a "dealer add-on or after sale purchase" (and a mighty expensive one at that!).

    If this little story helps someone else to avoid a charge, it was well worth my typing time!
  • $5 for some velcro at Wal-Mart fixed my mats. They aren't going anywhere now.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    I have a nice table (2003 GLS with 195/65R15)

                   Half load Full load
                     F R F R
    up to 100mph 28 28 30 39
    above 100mph 30 28 33 42

    Question for the guy, who claims that above 40 is unreasonable:
    How much driving experience do you have with sustained speeds above 100 mph ?

  • jrct9454jrct9454 Posts: 2,363
    ...thousands of miles on EU limited access roads. Hard to do much these days, what with the speed limits in France and Switzerland, and that plus congestion in Germany. Still, the opportunity is there occasionally.

    At those speeds [SUSTAINED SPEEDS IN EXCESS OF 100 MPH], I think cold pressures of around 36 psi are quite sufficient for a Passat with 195/65x15s, assuming we're running H-rated tires or better, which is what should be the case.

    On the other hand, we're talking about this country; where can you manage this for more than a few minutes here and not get caught? I've done it a few times, most recently in the desert last month in our C-class with 205/55x16s set at 34 psi cold. Even with the radar detector on, I worry about Air Bears...but to each their own...
  • fitguyfitguy Posts: 222
    I had a 2000 GLS 1.8T w/Tiptronic that was great until it hit about 35,000 mi, then the problems began: mysterious blown fuses, faulty catalytic pump, faulty transmission module that left me stranded at a stripmall (car would not shift from park, had to towed on a flatbed, dealer took 5 days to fix it but gave me a nice Dodge Neon rental w/roll-up windows), then at about 55K the sludge problem surfaced,and I am religious about maintenance. Enough was enough and I traded it for an '03 Accord which I put 30K miles on without a single problem. I liked the driving dynamics of the Passat better, also had a slightly more comfortable seat but I would never by another VW product again. Some people seem to have good luck with them, but I think many more have poor experiences with reliability and that goes for Audi as well. The German drive is still better than the Japanese, but if you rely on a car like I do (sales rep, long distances, bad neighborhoods, etc) reliability becomes more important than driving dynamics. I now have a '04 Mazda 6S and it's a slick little ride as well, for short money.
  • senelsenel Posts: 5
    I have installed a Sirius satellite radio in my 2002 Pasat. (A Blaupunkt America SR04 Sirius Satellite Radio Tuner). The equipment broadcasts the satellite feed over an FM station. To improve reception I think I will need to add an Audiovox SIRSWB switchbox, which allows a direct feed. Anyhow, I assume I will have to remove the radio to reach the connection to the FM antenna.

    1) Has anyone ever done this? Any advice?
    2) How do you remove the radio in the Passat?
  • As I recall, you need a special tool to remove the radio -- the dealer has one and "should" allow you to use it on premesis.
  • I've seen much discussion about this. How would I know if I had an oil sludge problem?
  • Are there any 100,000 mile + 1.8T owners out there? How has it held up over the long haul?

    My 02 GLS 1.8T has about 40,000 miles on it, very few problems. I am getting to the point where I have to buy out the lease or turn it in for something else.

    From reviewing the classifieds, the lease buyout price appears to be less than what I'd pay if I were going to do a private party used car purchase.
  • fish8fish8 Posts: 2,282
    How do you like Satelite radio? I am considering getting Sirius of XM radio for Christmas and want to kow if it is worth the cost?
  • I have a 2000 GLS 1.8T/Tip wagon bought new and now with 145,000 miles on it and no sign of a sludge probem (no deposits around filler cap. I've used nothing but synthetic oil from 25,000 miles onward. My local Walmart will do a Mobil 1 0W40 oil and filter change for $33, which is less than the dealer charges for 10W30 regular oil.

    Actually this has been the most reliable car I've ever owned. The only repairs it's needed are to replace the ball joint ends at 120K, replace the mass air sensor at 99K and two repairs to unjam the moon roof and shade, one under warranty and one a few months ago.

    None of the electrical gremlins that haunt VWs and Audis have appeared in mine, with one minor exception. The light in the driver's side sun flap visor no longer goes on when the mirror cover is opened. It can't be repaired and I have chosen not to replace the entire visor assembly.

    I will keep this car until doing so becomes more expensive than to replace it. Right now it provides pleasant and treliable transportation with no monthly payments. When I do replace it it will be with an AWD wagon about the same size as the Passat.

    I was looking at the Jaguar X type sport wagon, but do not like the "J gate" shifter and the car received terrible side-impact crash ratings. Volvo V70s are fun to drive ony in the very high performance versions, otherwise the ride and handling feel sloppy to me. The new turbo Legacy/Outback wagonss are fun to drive, but the front seats have so little leg room that even six-footers can't stretch out. The E class and A6 cost more than I want to spend.

    I guess I'll have to hope mine lasts another couple of years until the next version Passat wagon comes to market.
  • Just bought a 1999 GLS 1.8T that appears to be in very good condition at 54,000 miles. Noticed a thick cake of pink residue on the engine just above where the oil filter attaches. I am guessing it was a coolant leak since the coolant reservoir and hoses are right above the filter. Assuming no recurring leak, is it a problem to leave the residue?
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    This is a common issue on the 1.8T. The residue is coolant leaking at the oil cooler, not from coolant dripping from the hoses or reservoir above it. The oil cooler uses coolant to moderate the temperature of the oil.

    I'd suggest that you remove the residue and closely observe the area in the future because I don't think the leak issue is resolved. If it were, the crud would have been removed during the repair. Keep a close eye on the coolant reservoir, as well.

    You don't want coolant getting into the oil or oil getting into the coolant. And you don't want to lose too much coolant (you'll get that nasty chime alarm and a note on the MFA on the instrument cluster).
  • I had a rude experience recently with my 2001 GLS 1.8T. I started hearing a moaning from the steering, took it in to get its power steering checked, and found the reservoir completely dry. I had not had any steering problems before but when I had the issue checked out further I was told the hose, connections, and rack were leaking. Kicker: the car is 4 years old and has 55,000 miles. I was told this car is really young for such a problem but that Audi A4s of similar age are having similar problems. Have others out there experienced this? Have you found any recourse except to pay 1000plus for the repair? It seems like this should not be happening at this time in this car's life. (Other than this little problem I love this car...however, I'm also wondering if Passats are having other serious problems as they age. If so, I would question the fiscal sense of holding on to this car.) Would love and appreciate any views on this. Thanks.
  • Just purchased an 04 GLS 2WD manual 4K miles ago, my recent driving brings me through 40+ lights and stop signs a day, 200+ shifts a day is getting old. I'm thinking of taking a hit and trading it towards an AWD automatic since the AWD has a $1000 more in incentives. Any thoughts on the performance of the two models? Anyone want to swap?
  • senelsenel Posts: 5
    The content is great on Sirius. Unfortunately, the sound quality is lousy for units which play through the fm reciver on factory radios. I have a Blaupunct SR40. It is especially bad in VWs because they tend to have great fm reception, which interferes with the satellite service. If I were to do it over, I would replace my factory radio with a new one that receives satellite.
  • I think the AWD drives better for obvious reason...I have 2002 GLX V6 4Motion with Auto-Tip, would like to trade but not for a VW, I'd happily trade it for BMW 330xi, and if that's out of reach then perhaps X3, Subaru or Mazda.

    Check out BMW-X3, there are good lease deals on them. As per last week's news paper, "well equipped" x3 can be leased for about 5k due at inception and $139 a month. Though heard that x3 drives choppy.
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