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Volkswagen Phaeton



  • mtmsimplemtmsimple Posts: 7
    I just fixed my TPMS from Belle Tire with Orange OE sensor, the price is fair and it much cheaper than Original. But i'm still running it since last weekend, will tell everyone the condition later.
  • w12vww12vw Posts: 3
    TPMS is the only real problem with my 2004 W12.
  • I've written to VW of America about wanting to start a Phaeton Owners' Club, and asking for their help. I'll keep after them, and will keep you all informed.

    The work done on my car when we met last Sunday did some good -- the false messages are now intermittent rather than constant -- but clearly the problem isn't really solved.

    I think we're not likely to see a complete solution until we can get VW of America to face the fact that the TPMS is faulty in design or manufacture, and gets the parent company to put some engineers on it. Forming an Owners' Club is a necessary first step, I think, since we have very little influence on the company as individual owners. A few of you who seemed to be interested in forming such a club have not responded to my last posting here; please let me know one way or the other.

    Mark Halpern
  • Mark, thank you for taking the lead. I remain committed to an owner's club. I think your efforts at getting VW behind the club are important. Clearly, we need a list of current Phaeton Owners.

    I had a situation develop where my spare tire was flat. The TPMS reported it, then proceeded to lock out the center display and constantly display the flat tire warning. It also prevented the vehicle raising and lowering functions from working and displayed "out of balance" warnings. I fixed the flat spare tire and all returned to normal.....Hmmmm.

    Bob Lucido
  • I was motoring around in my '09 SportWagen TDI and spotted a VW Phaeton just as the owner was exiting to go into McDonalds.

    His Phaeton has 70,000kms on it(45,000miles). It was a V-8 and I think he said it was an '05. This model cost $100,000 CDN New. He paid $20,000 for it a few months ago!!!!! Seems that resale value is very low on these models,I think......... :D
  • Hi Diesel,

    I traveled to Wisconsin from Boston in August 2007 to purchase my 2004 Phaeton. It had 19,100 miles. It was VW certified and I purchased the 100,000 Mi. & 5 Yr. Road Hazard warranties. The whole deal with MA Sales Tax cost $40,000.

    Fortunately for me, I plan to drive this magnificent vehicle for at least 5 more years so resale value is the least of my worries. I believe the Phaeton is one of the best previously owned automobile buys ever! The only reason I'd change my Phaeton is to trade it on a W12!

    Boston, MA :)
  • carrotoppcarrotopp Posts: 1
    I need to change the oil in my 2005 Bentley CGT and another user suggested posting here as it has the same engine as the Phaeton. Anybody out there that can help?
  • rlauschrlausch Posts: 3

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  • ok, some warnings here: we all have seen icons showing our tire pressure monitoring system is at "fault" or a defective wheel on board icon will pop up--and your place of service will tell you they just had to "reset" the fault. or that the spare tire is flat--no problem. Well, it is a HUGE problem. AUDI's and VW's (and I am on my 4th) have major electrical issues--this is one. Your icons with the pressure will eventually (usually right after your certification or insurance runs out) indicate a total monitoring system fault to the tune of a minimum of $1,000. (without labor)
    My phaeton has 40,250 miles (04) was insured to its 8th cylinder and so far I have spent over $6,000 on repairs in the past year. That even includes a new windshield which had a defective seal letting water gush in during rains ($1200)--VW will not stand behind anything short of a major fire (had that too). My advice--NEVER, EVER drive or buy a Phaeton without insurance,,,,and a good attorney. And yes, th eonly re-sale value of consequence is finding someone who REALLY wants a phaeton; otherwise, we are talking about $14-17,000 for a car initially costing $60K+. Beware of those icons--they are NOT meaningless!! Beware of the car's certification-IT IS MEANINGLESS, and be mindful of which VW dealer services your car; they can either be your best advocate or your worst enemy. I have had both. :mad:
  • wab3txwab3tx Posts: 5
    Hello psychoannie and everyone else who is tired of their Phaeton sitting in the garage ! .... I am assuming that name is from owning your Phaeton .... ?
    ... to the point, we bought our pre-owned 2004 Phaeton W12 from a certified VW dealer in FL, it was the dealership's owner's personal care, I did a lot of research and figured this was the best way to go. I had my first electronic/electrical problem within 1.5 hours of leaving the dealership on my way back to Houston. Since then it has been constant. The Phaeton had a 5 yr / 50k warranty through 4 April 2009, I was having so many electronic problems that we held back driving it to make the mileage last as long as the 5 year warranty. It is now 7 August 2009, 4 months after the warranty expired. The car has 51,142 miles on it and is basically undriveable unless I take her in to the dealer monthly to have the system "reset". IF it is not driven daily, then the computer system starts turning "systems" off. At the present time, it will actually turn itself off while I am driving down the road, unbelieveably dangerous. Most of the time it simply turns itself off at a stoplight, it "waits" 3 - 4 minutes then decides to let us proceed on. We have driven it less than 1,200 miles since March 2009, about 210 miles per month, that is NOTHING in Houston, Texas.
    We bought our 2004 Phaeton in Dec 2006, it had 17,400 miles on it.
    My partial list of problems with our 2004 Phaeton W12 is below, ALL maintenance and / or repairs have been done at a Certified VW dealer:
    - trunk will not open with remote, 'repaired and/or replaced' components - 4 times
    - system fault reset, at least 4 times
    - turns itself off, 3 times, not including present situation, which makes 4 times.
    - alarm does not work, including now ... third time.
    - transmission fluid pan drips, has been 'repaired' twice, is leaking again now for third time
    - rear engine seal leaks, has been 'repaired' twice, is leaking again now for the third time
    - rear battery has been replaced twice, will not hold charge now, needs to be replaced again now ... third time
    - the car MUST be driven at a minimum every other day, for at least 20 miles, otherwise it starts turning off electronic systems in the car
    - 'flat tire' light is consistently coming on, the valve antennas have been replaced once. I got it to go off now, by over inflating the tires.
    Our Phaeton has been IN the VW shop for at least 3.5 months of the 32 months that we have owned her, two of the times were for a month each time.
    Because VW sold so few here in the USA, they do not have technicians (mechanics) who are capable of working on the Phaeton, especially now that they have not been sold here for several years.
    When it decides that it wants to go, it is a GREAT car, we love it, but most of the time it doesn't want to go, she is a lot like a cat, when she wants to be stroked, GREAT, when she doesn't want to be stroked ..... LOOK OUT!

    I am currently speaking with an attorney who specializes in vehicle lemon law, anybody else want to join us and put together a lawsuit to get some satisfaction?
  • 2004 V8 60,000 miles. I've had a few quirky problems [tire pressure system] but overall a wonderful vehicle.

    Wellesley MA Volkswagen has taken care of my car and done a 100% flawless job. I believe having a highly skilled dealership servicing these vehicles is the key to a happy relationship between car & driver.

    Best of luck to all.

    Bob Lucido
    Winthrop, MA
  • Dear wab3tx,

    After reading your horror story, I feel ashamed to complain about my own used 2004 Phaeton. My car's only problem is with the TPMS, which has been worked on by three different VW dealerships, two of which claimed to have Phaeton-trained technicians, but without success. Clearly there is something basically wrong with the design/manufacture of the car's TPMS (at least of the 2004 model; I don't know if later models have the same problem).

    And it's extremely unlikely that VW will do anything for owners of the 2004 Phaeton unless forced to; there are too few of us, and we're widely scattered, so we can be ignored. Our first step, I think, is to form a Phaeton Owners Association, so that our voice carries a little more weight with VW. I've addressed a couple of inquiries to VW of America, requesting some support in forming such an association, and have gotten nothing but a run-around -- they offer me a phone number where no one answers the phone, nor answers voice mail, and so on. One thing that would help greatly is to have the sponsorship of a VW dealer; does anyone know of one that might be willing to help us? Does anyone have any ideas on how to bring some pressure to bear on VW of America?

    Mark Halpern
  • wimpy4wimpy4 Posts: 14
    Volkswagen Phaeton 04/05/06 Club of Southern California is planning on having a presence at this show in the form of at least four cars. Fees benefit Navy MWR. This is a two day show and we are planning on being there on Saturday, September 26th only. Fees total $40 for one day and you can display your car in a group of other Phaetons. The Festival itself is a huge entertainment. The Club is very informal - no dues - all owners welcome.

    My Edmund's setting should allow you to E-mail me if interested in participating. Thanks, Joe
  • Please send me full details about the Phaeton Club of Southern California. Either post it here, or send it to me direct at Thanks.
  • im james from europeanautomotive, ive owned a 04 phaeton for a year now. i will tel you its the best and nicest touring sedan ive ever owned. ive owned 2 bmw 750il"s at once his 88 hers 91. since i work on them for a living i still drive a 00 740il but my phatbox will run circles around it the finest car ive ever owned and will buy a w12 06 model next. james
  • Mark-

    See this tread, and I've posted key info below:

    I received my OEM sensor replacement from TireRack and had it installed on the rear passenger tire yesterday at lunch. Going against the directions, I pushed the 'New Spec. Pressures' when the tires were warm immediately after the sensor was replaced. All I did was ask the tire tech to inflate the tire to the lbs. the rear axle had in memory. I didn't even check the other tire pressures. With 2 or 3 resets I was getting system faults. On about the 4th reset, I parked the car at work with the system still in learning mode. I drove to a meeting, parked the car, then started the car to drive back to the office, with the system in learning mode the whole time. Finally, on my way home after work the system chimed and all tires registered 'OK' !!!!!

    So, after spending a $107 for sensors, stems, and shipping and $17 to have the wheel sensor installed and tire balanced, my system was back to normal.

    I called the dealership to talk with the tech., but he was out sick, so I talked with the service writer. The minute I started telling the story (nicely), he asked if I could tell the story to the Service Manager. Within seconds the Service Manager was on the line and very apologetic. To make a long story short he said that they would make sure they take care of me in the future.

    What I'd like to pass on from my particular experience for those of you who still want to maintain the TPMS system on your car:

    1. Be patient.

    2. If one particular sensor on your car seems to start creating erratic warning messages, make sure you make a note of it if you have to end up replacing that one sensor later. (My car gave a warning at one tire initially, then gave sporadic warnings, and finally just said system fault consistently. Once that a system fault registers on your car there's no way to isolate the faulty sensor easily)

    3. Know that one sensor can cause the entire TPMS system to act failed. I read that here on Vortex and it was so true for me. Having a Vag-com did no good for me when 4 out 5 sensors were indicating that they had a transmitting problem.

    4. When all seems lost after the TPMS registers a 'System Fault' press the 'New Spec. Pressures' button and keep going through learning new pressures mode to see if you can get some of the system to work so that you can isolate a faulty sensor if that's the problem.

    5. A 'System Fault' is a very generic warning. I had a system fault for a faulty sensor and it came back when I was trying to get the new sensor working with the TPMS system. Again, follow #3 and set the system to learn new pressures repeatedly to see if some part of the system is working.

    6. Be patient.

    I feel the above advice works if you have a sensor problem based on my experience. If you have a controller issue, that would probably be easier to diagnose, but I can't talk about that from experience. That would be Michael's arena.

    If you appear to have a sensor problem, a dealership may be tempted to replace all 5 sensors to rule out having repeat problems with the system. Now that I've learned from this experience, I'm hoping that if additional sensors fail I'll be able to quickly diagnose and replace them.

    Lastly, as far as I know, my sensor failed due to transmitting problems or some other problem with the sensors themselves and not due to the battery. The sensor should have shown at least 20 months of battery life in it when it failed.

    I hope this helps folks in diagnosing their TPMS problems.

    Thanks for all the help Michael and others.
  • Hello James from Europeanautomotive,
    I assume that you are happy with your car because it has been fault free or.. you just know how to fix it!

    In any case I'd be interested in talking to you about buying it when you get your 06 12cyl.
  • Fellow Phaeton owners,

    I've now had my Tyredog after-market TPMS for several weeks, and it works. And I can recommend Autosport as a place to buy it; when I reported a problem with one of the sensors (probably my fault) they immediatedly sent me another one; when I still had a problem, the sent me a whole new Tyredog system. There are several features the system offers that I haven't tested yet, such as warnings when the pressure in any tire falls below a value you set, but the basic feature of reporting the current pressure of each tire works well.

    Question: have any of you had a 80,000 mile service on your Phaeton? Mine will be coming up shortly, and I'd like to know how much that major service cost you. If anyone wants to get in touch with me directly rather than through a posting here, my e-mail address can be found on my web site,

    Mark Halpern
  • I must have ghosts in my car and they are evil spirits. Two weeks ago I was told I needed a complete transmission fluid change. That was $1800 (no kidding). Now, less than 500 miles later, I need a new transmission. That is $8500. I have an extended warranty from a service provider (good until 2013) however, they will only pay for a replacement (not a rebuilt-just a replacement) transmission...I only have to pay $3,000. I called VW because they acknowledged there are "issues" with the transmission (as well as electrical etc) and that they are now on their 3rd edition of transmission fluid. So they paid for half of the $1800. However, 3 weeks later and now a new transmission--well; they just can't figure out how that can happen. MORALE: Don't ever buy a Phaeton--EVER: Don't ever buy extended warranty insurance, and DON'T EVER EXPECT FOREIGN CARS TO BE BETTER THAN AMERICAN--that claim is no longer valid. Is any attorney out there looking for a class action suit. there are what 3200 PHAETON owners (plus Toureg) and we have all shared the same problems...And don't even think about PHAETON ADVOCACY liaisions....they just pass on the bad news.
  • dkc72dkc72 Posts: 1

    Your post is so similar to my experience it's unreal. Although, I guess I'm lucky, my 2006 Phaeton has only been in the shop for 92 days in 33 months.

    Have you been able to get any satisfaction? Volkswagen has the worst customer service of any company that I am familiar with. They keep telling me that my experience is unusual and that while the company should do something, they just don't have any program in place to help owners with these problems.
  • I feel badly hearing about all the Phaeton related problems owners are experiencing. I own a 2004 V8 Phaeton with 75,000 Mi. and have only experienced a couple of minor issues which were immediately corrected by Wellesley VW in Wellesley, MA. In fact I have found the VW service quality to be far above that I received from Infiniti. I did replace both front door window assembleys which continue to rattle when the doors are closed after entering the vehicle; and, the tire pressure sensors are a bit persnickety but having driven Jaguars, Rolls Royce s and Ferrari's in the past, I find these idiosyncrasies to be part of the exotic/unique vehicle genre. I wish you all the best with your Phaetons and if you have a 12 cylinder you would like to sell or trade for my V8, please contact me at :)
  • wab3txwab3tx Posts: 5

    Nope, no satisfaction from VW, when I made my last payment, I told the young lady on the phone (very, very sympathetic young lady, of course, that doesn't help me) that we had not driven our Phaeton in months due to continuous drip from transmission pan and small oil leak from rear seal of engine .... BOTH of which which "taken care of twice" in the last year of warranty.

    We have NOT driven our 2004 W12 Phaeton SINCE JUNE 2009, when the transmission and oil started leaking again, when they started again, I tried to work with the dealer which had been servicing it, they told me I had to start paying despite the fact that they had JUST "taken care of it" twice in the last year.

    I called 7 lawyers, only 1 was willing to look at it, he has sent letters with no results. So, our black beauty just resides in the garage.

    I "could" drive her, but I do not want to have to deal with an $8,500 bill for a new transmission despite the fact that I have aftermarket insurance, which has not even become valid yet, because when I started the aftermarket policy, I had to drive the Phaeton 1,500 miles before the policy would pay for a covered repair.

    I am willingly open to joining others to make a group claim for these repeating problems.

    ... finally, to the other member who wants to trade his V8 for a W12, I could not in good conscience do that to you ..........

    If anybody wants to give a group action a try, please write to me .... wab3tx @

    Bill B
  • wab3txwab3tx Posts: 5
    to: Mark H and everyone else, if forming a Phaeton Satisfied or DisSatisfied Owners' Club will get us something more than being ignored, let's go for it .... wab3tx @
  • wimpy4wimpy4 Posts: 14
    Has anyone gotten the 2004 analog version of Onstar changed to digital? Getting the runaround.
  • I have an '04 Phaeton and I think the TPMS is a real trouble spot on the Phaetons. I've had all five sensors replaced as well as the control module, and right now it seems to work well. If you have nitrogen in your tires, I'm told that the system does not function well with nitrogen because of the difference in the change in pressure relative to the change in temperature. Put plain air in and see what happens. (Of course, it's 79% nitrogen, anyway). I'm also told that newer models may not have this problem.
    On what may or may not be a related issue: I'm now getting an error message that says "Defective Wheel on Board". Anyone know anything about this?
  • hal2pay,

    Yes, there's no doubt that the TPMS in the '04 Phaeton has a systemic problem. I've gone to great trouble, as you have, to try to get it working in my car, and finally gave up out of weariness. But you seem to have had better luck -- please tell me where you got it fixed, and whether VW made any contribution to the cost.

    My tires are filled with plain air, and I've never seen the error message you're getting; another small complaint I have about VW is that huge as the Owner's Manual is (they're not exaggerating in calling it "Owner's Literature"), it still doesn't cover every symbol and message the car can generate.

    Looking forward to your reply.

  • ndjoendjoe Posts: 2
    Bill, I am in Houston, too. I'm about to buy a 2004 Phaeton and I'm scared to death. The thought of paying $1,000+ a month for service scres the heck out of me.

    Do you, or anybody else, have some words of wisdom for me?

    When I test drive the car, I lose all apprehensions. What a car! I just don't want it to become a burden.

  • ndjoendjoe Posts: 2
    Mark, I'm guessing that byu now you've had the 80,000 mile service. Would you mind enlightening me?

  • Greetings,
    I am considering buying a Phaeton in the near future. Reading some of the horror stories on this forum is really putting some serious fears in me. For my 2 cents worth, looking from some other forums, A suggestion would be to service your (collective) Phaetons with an Audi certified Mechanic, the Rational being that the Phaeton components and functions are more closely related to Audi vs VW.
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