Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • ellyelly Member Posts: 8
    You trust sales people? ...

    I've had sales people promise me they are the Dalai Lama and want to help. They then proceed to try and stiff me for as much cash as they can and want my first born if it'll make them more money. =)
  • irnmdnirnmdn Member Posts: 245
    Mazda 3: Ok, it's Mazda. It's about $19k for the Mazda 3s ($16k base), (and $15k for the Mazda 3i) but it's a beautiful car for its class. Personally, I think 19k is overpriced,
    * Scions: Can't haggle. Bummer. It's fixed pricing.

    * Nissan's - Didn't do great in CR and also pricey.

    Is there any car out there you think is fairly priced? May be you should consider used or GM with 25% off in rebates. 19k Mazda comes with leather seats, 160HP engine, Bose stereo with subwoofer, xenos etc.Scion TC is absolute best value for money for the features you get.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    I guess I am in the minority. I took my new 2005 Passat TDI to Drew VW in San Diego. I bought the car in Oregon. I needed a new gas cover as the original was broken. The only problem I have had in the first 3000 miles is the down volume control on the steering wheel did not work easily. Drew gave me a loaner car and treated me first rate. I was expecting a big runaround with the horror stories about VW service. I drove the 1.8 Passat. I like the TDI MUCH better. It is smoother power at speed on the highway. First 3000 miles I have averaged overall 32.9 MPG.
  • cosmocosmo Member Posts: 203
    The 04/05 issue of CR lists the 2005 VW Passat as a recommended model. The same issue of CR predicts that 95% to 91.7% of the 2005 Passat 1.8T's will be trouble-free. Now, that's not as good as CR's prediction that 98%-100% of the 2005 Camry 4's will be trouble-free, but 100% of Passat owners correctly predicted that 100% of Camry's are fun-free. Personally, I'll play the combined odds for reliability and fun on the Passat vs the Camry any time. :D
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaMember Posts: 31,450
    Safety, handling & braking is superior on the Passat as well. That is a lot to give up for reliable. Toyota is not as trouble free as they would like you to believe with 880,000 trucks and SUV's to recall for loss of steering problems. With Prius Problems galore, they may get knocked off their lofty perch.,1,1259027.column?c- - oll=chi-navrailbusiness-nav
  • hawghawg Member Posts: 4
    I bought an 1.8T Passat with 16000 km. It surges, only infrequently, but it's somewhat disconcerting. Has anyone else had this condition? What was the cause, and what was the fix?
  • ellyelly Member Posts: 8
    Don't get me wrong. I LOVED the Mazda 3s. I'm not knocking it. The tc's were nice aswell, but i personally liked the Mazda more.

    However! my only question with the Mazda is, how do you think they will retain their value against Toyota / Honda / VW?

    I guess, apart from it's great attributes etc, it'd be also nice to know if it;ll be worth anything in 5 - 7 years if i sold it or traded it in.... there's no Mazda 3 history to check data on, so what's the safe assumption?
  • ellyelly Member Posts: 8
    Yes, I know they recommend 2005 Passats, but check page 93 pf 04/05 CR to see what they have to say about the history of Passats. From 98 - 02 they basically indicated them to be "worse than average". It's also predicted to be "average" for the 2005 model. Although it's not expected to have problems
    (and so it shouldn't!), it's still rated average. Hey, I love VW's - always had them when I lived in London. However, although they are far more appealing to drive and fun etc than the ever-so-dull Camry, I'd still hate to be passed on the hard shoulder of the freeway in my broken down / expensive repair job Passat by a dull Camry driver. If they made Camry's as fabulous on the inside as VW's, they would be far more appealing to buy. I think some dull, uncreative geek just sits and designs Toyota interiors... thankfully they didn't allow him near the Scion tc.

    How come so many people drive those damn Camry and Honda Civic things anyway? I don't see many Passats out there on the road...and I live in a state (CA) where there's 8 gazilion cars on the road at any given time. Cosmo, I'm not knocking VW's - i'm only stating what's written in CR and on for their history. :D I think they are the most attractive car out there for their class and is the Jetta. Although the Mazda 3s sedan is damn cute.
  • ellyelly Member Posts: 8
    At last! Toyota gets a kick up the you know what!! woohoo!!
  • izzyinchicagoizzyinchicago Member Posts: 5
    Mine does it too! I work with two other Passat owners and they complain of the same thing. I am searching these postings hoping to find some type of recall that wil fix it!. My car has 1200 miles on it and the problem is so annoying I can't weait to get rid of it!
  • evan93023evan93023 Member Posts: 4
    Is $700.00 a fair price to replace the a/c module??
  • bhandarubhandaru Member Posts: 2
    I recently bought a 2001 VW Passat GLX manual transmission. The car has been driving great except for one small thing that bothers me while driving. Whenever I am in the 5th gear and I give gas and release the pedal, I feel a small back lash in the stick shift shaft. Like its being pulled back and released. Has anybody experienced this with their cars or heard about it? Is this normal with Passats or any stick shifts for that matter. My friends 97' Accord(5spd) does not have this problem. I am looking for resources that explain this behavior and how I can get it fixed. Can anybody please help me in this regard?
  • bindhubindhu Member Posts: 20
    The heater on my 2000 GLS stopped working last winter. My mechanic told me it was probably clogged. The car has only 38000 miles and VW does not recommend changing the coolant before 50000 miles. Anybody has a comment on that.
  • graebegraebe Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Passat GLX. Recently the Monsoon radio stopped working. The car is still under warranty and the dealer replaced the radio. The new radio looks the same; however, the new radio does not produce the same music quality as the old radio. Also, the old radio displayed the “Monsoon” name when turned on. The new radio does not. Has anyone experienced similar radio problems or does anyone know of Volkswagen installing non-Monsoon radios as replacements?
  • mix_guy_flmix_guy_fl Member Posts: 3
    I recently got a 1998 Passat GLS 1.8L with 50K on it .. The problem might be electrical.
    When the Engine is turned On , the AC , Lights and Wiper wont work , instead the BRAKE Warning comes . The BRAKE warning light turns on only when ever an attempt is made to turn the AC, Lights or wiper.
    The AC , Lights / wiper seems to work when the key is in ON position,and engine is off.

    I checked all fuses , all good ...
    Please Help me - SOS !!!!
  • vergsrvergsr Member Posts: 1
    I had a similar problem on fuel pump. I was 120 miles away from my residence when the engine lost power. I got stuck in the middle of a farmer's plantation called nowhere land. Luckily, the State Troopers came regularly to check on me. I called for a towing service which took 3.5 hours to show up. It took another 3 hrs to get to a service center near my residence. Coupled with this is a $60 out of pocket towing fee. My road side service paid for the first 100 miles. The VW service representative said that it was a fuel pump problem. The car had 45,000 miles. Since it was under warranty, VW service did not charge me any fee for parts and repair cost. I also had a free car rental since I bought the car via internet. Anybodt had a similar problem for a VW Passat V6 4motion 2003? :sick:
  • 643fan643fan Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2003 doing the same thing. Been to the dealership twice and "they can't duplicate the problem". When driving on the highway, it's like the car doesn't know what gear to be in. I noticed on the NTSHBA's website that there are two similiar complaints, both resolved by the dealership replacing the transmission. Here's the site to research the complaints:
  • 643fan643fan Member Posts: 2
    I've had the same problem with my 2003 Passat. I took it to the dealer and was told by the service advisor that there is an engineering flaw in the evaporater. The lip of the drain is slightly raised, thus blocking all the water from draining out. This leaves you with the moldy/musty smell from the stagnant water that remains. I asked him why this wasn't recalled and fixed. He told me that it's not "common" complaint and that there isn't a safety issue associated with it. He was more than happy to charge me $50 bucks for some type of disenfectant that was sprayed into the system to remediate the smell. After about a week, the smell returned. I have been trying to get a response out of Volkswagen to see what they plan on doing to fix this - I don't feel I should be paying money to fix their engineering problem, however, I'm not hopeful of a positive outcome.
  • catecate Member Posts: 8
    It was hot yesterday (around 75F). I found my engine temperature read by the car itself was 220F. I never noticed such a high temperature before. Is it a normal temperature?
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    The normal operating temperature for that year's Passat should not exceed 190F. I would have the cooling system thoroughly checked.
  • djcdjc Member Posts: 10
    I checked all the fuses as well and came upon a missing one in slot #41, too. I called the dealer and was told that it may or may not have been removed by them once they looked at the ABS Brake/STOP message problem. He indicated it would be unwise to put a fuse back in because it may cause a short circuit and hose the entire system instead of just the electronic conrol module (?!) don't know if this is true or not.
    On the good news side, he told me that VW just came out with a bulletin (no number provided) that allowed for just the electronic control module to be replaced exclusive of the entore ABS pump/booster system. Pricing from the dealership on this fix is $820 vs. the previous $1,700.
    Can anyone comment?
  • wsewse Member Posts: 2
    My 2004 passat all wheel drive turbo has been to the dealer twice for check engine lights, first time I was told it was the gas peddal, second time I was told I had to replace my fuel filter, this third time I have yet to take it in as it just came on over the weekend any ideas as to what is really going on?
  • wsewse Member Posts: 2
  • radin2sonradin2son Member Posts: 7
    Bought '05 TDI with 17" wheels, but "full size" spare is 16" steel rim with corresponding tire. The manual makes a big deal about tires and traction/stability control. Is the rolling radius the same, and if not will damage occur if driven too far?
    Selling dealer does not participate in VW Club. I don't see much value in this "cub" on in spending $30 to join, but am I missing something? VW customer service couldn't provide advantages, other than to say there may be some service coupons.
  • mix_guy_flmix_guy_fl Member Posts: 3
    I am kind of lost here with this Issue. Need Help to get me on the ROAD.

    Here is the Problem again - When the Key is Turned ON - (ON Position)
    AC , Lights / Wiper etc works Fine. The Engine is turned on and the engine
    purrs smooth. Here is when the Problem starts - AC, Lights , Wiper , turn lights
    do not want to work now and when ever an attempt is made to turn anything on
    (like the Turn signal for instance) the "BRAKE" Warning Light comes.
    I am clueless, took it an autozone to read the Codes , but No Codes Come Out.
    Checked all Fuse - All good
    The Passat is 1998 Model (newer model) 1.8L Tiptonic Trim

    Any help is highly appreciated !!
  • mvc_jonesmvc_jones Member Posts: 88
    I lease a 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T Tip w/ very low miles (22K +/-) and was considering buying it off lease. The car has had not problems and I have enjoyed it.

    When reviewing my service records, I noted that the engine called out was the 2.8L V-6 on the service records. Upon closer inspection of the service records, I noted that the amount of oil quoted was always 5 or 6 quarts, usually with a non-specific oil type, with price per quote different on every record (between $1.70 and $6.50). I almost flipped when I saw this, as VWOA's specifications on oil are very stringent, and this shows V-6 oil spec at 5-6 quarts, way off from the 1.8T spec. and amount (4.3 Quarts)

    When speaking with the service manager about this, he stated that the record does not reflect the actual service and that everything has been done properly. He stated the service records are manipulated to provide the proper price so they do not reflect the actual service. This confused me as all the oil changes were different prices by a few dollars.

    My VW dealer has provided pretty good service and with the 1.8T on the engine shroud, one would figure the service tech would act according to the engine type (I know, never assume this). I also assume that if the oil was overfilled by 25%-50%, I would have seen a catastrophic engine or cat. converter failure by now.

    It makes me nervous that my VW dealer service records show the wrong oil change data. This seems like easy grounds for VWOA to reject any potential engine failure, putting this issue on the dealer's shoulders. This makes me more nervous to buy. I shared this with the sales staff (as well as the poor rear brake wear) and they were very surprised. I plan to share this with VWOA as well (who in my experience has been pretty good, contrary to many accounts of poor experiences.) I stated that the dealer is taking a huge liability in this record keeping method with virtually no benefit to the dealer or the customer, and many risks.

    Any comments or thoughts, about the oil service records or about the potential purchase of this car? Purchase figures are about $15k buyout (KBB shows value range trade-in to retail between $14k and $19k).
  • fish8fish8 Member Posts: 2,282
    Witht he purchase on my previous Jetta and my current '04.5 Passat my dealer gave me a free "membership" with the purchase of my VW's. The benefits of the VW Club? Not much!! I get a quarterly VW magazine and.........thats about it. In the 4 years of owning a VW, I have never received any coupons. I wouldn't pay $30 to join the "club".
  • jickjick Member Posts: 14
    I have a 2004 V6 Passat wagon, with Tiptronic transmission, with 5000 miles. When I was on a trip recently (driving 80 mph) to southern California, and when getting off the freeway. I would then come to a stop and the transmission shifted into 1st. there was a "clunk". No sound, but with a strong vibration. :(
    The car seems to only "shift hard" when the engine has been driven a little hard. I don't believe 80 mph is hard driving, but once when in town, driving in traffic and the outside temp was 90 F, it again "shifted hard". (The temp gauge is always reading normal). Does anyone have some ideas on this? :confuse:

  • sblakesblake Member Posts: 1
    We have a 2004 V6 Passat also and we had it in the shop many times for a problem that sounds like the same problem you have. Very frustrating but finally VW realized that there is a software problem and that new code had been written to fix the problem. It was a simple matter of reprogramming with the new code. Good luck.
  • radin2sonradin2son Member Posts: 7
    Thanks. At the time of purchase, the "new to us" dealer gave me a copy of the magazine/catalog without mentioning they opted out of the "club." (VW customer services indicated only 1 out 10 do.) Since the magazine wasn't much of a read, I'll save the $30, not spend it on driver gear, and save it for a rainy day.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Member Posts: 170
    My dealer participates in the club, and the only things I ever bought from them were the rubber mats for our 1996 Passat. They were the only ones I could find at the time that fit over the peg in the floor.

    Also, when our dealer signed us up for the club for free, we got a free car wash mitten, which I must admit we use every time we wash our 2003 Passat wagon. Outside of that, we haven't purchased anything from them. The prices do seem high. I did shop around for the mats, but the best price I could get was only a little less at the time, and I wasn't certain the mats would fit over the peg if I bought them from someone else.

    I certainly wouldn't pay to the VW Driver Club, so I think you made the right decision. I believe you can take advantage of the VW "driver gear" without having to be a member of the club.
  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    I believe you can take advantage of the VW "driver gear" without having to be a member of the club.

    Yep. You can just go to the driver gear website. I will confess that I bought a few items from there as Christmas presents (the Santa-driving-the-old-style-Bug tree ornament and the "Future Driver On-board" sunshade). Actually, if you are going to buy anything from Driver's Gear, you need to check both the website and the catalog, since they sometimes run specials online.
  • c2sc2s Member Posts: 2
    I'm having my ABS control module replaced on my Passat '00 (quoted $920 parts and labor). I was told at the dealership that VW came up recently with a replacement kit for the module only vs. the entire ABS. To me, this is recognition by VW of a common problem but still not taking responsibility for it. On the Office of Defects Investigation website (, I've counted >50 complaints for the same problem between MY'99 and MY'00. I'm sure there are many more in the more recent years. I'm planning to file complaint with the ODI and would recommend anybody who has or is experiencing the same problem to do the same. We may be able to have ODI open an official investigation and pressure VW to do a recall.
    As for VW customer advocate line, it is the most useless route as the rep I talked to claimed he had never heard about the problem!!!
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    How many miles do you have on the car?
  • jickjick Member Posts: 14
    Thank you! :D Do you have any more info on the "new code"? This would be helpful when going back to the dealership.

  • stevenpstevenp Member Posts: 2
    I am having a similar problem with my 99 Passat w/73K miles. My Brake light, ABS light, Oil Light, and the Tac drops out all happen at the same time. I am going to send an email to the ODI on this topic. Do you have a bulletin number on this issue?
  • djcdjc Member Posts: 10
    The dealer didn't give me that info. For the record, he quoted me down to $850 for the electronic control module only, vs the original $1700 for the whole thing. Do you have an email or physical address for the ODI?
  • mix_guy_flmix_guy_fl Member Posts: 3
    This issues is solved now, it was a bad ignition switch , which ofcourse was the last
    thing I suspected.
  • stevenpstevenp Member Posts: 2

    Here's the web site to file a complaint. I have put a call into VW Customer Advocate group and expressed my concern, and I have informed them about the ODI complaints currently filed and the many different forums I have found on this topic. I dropped my car off w/the dealer this AM, and asked VW to consider paying for the repairs or to pay for some of the cost. This sounds like a defect to the car.
  • auntmax81auntmax81 Member Posts: 1
    I haven't heard of a class action suit to get VW to change their recommendation on changing timing belts, but I would certainly be interested in joining if you do hear of such a thing: My 99 Passat sedan's timing belt broke at 58K miles, trashing the engine, and dealer and corporate won't do anything. (It was a 1.8t engine, also.) I bought it used but certified at 29K and dealer didn't clue me in to what's apparently a 40K mile checkup. But you actually asked them to check the belt and they didn't; you have even more of a case. I'm a freelance journalist, and am thinking I may try to collect anecdotes and data on the timing belt situation and the lack of customer care -- ironic given VW's whole "Drivers wanted," we're-a-friendly-car-dealer vibe -- and try to get someone to write a story or write one myself. If you know of others who've had timing belt issues before the recommended changing time, send them my way. Sorry for your trouble.
  • jickjick Member Posts: 14
    Hello stevenp,

    Pardon me ignorince, waht is "ODI" :confuse:

  • altair4altair4 Member Posts: 1,469
    ODI = Office of Defects Investigation
  • c2sc2s Member Posts: 2
    My car has 97k...which prompted the rep at VW-USA Customer Service to say that my car was way past warranty, therefore in no case VW would do something for me...In my opinion a common defect has nothing to do with the milleage of the car
  • patrickb2patrickb2 Member Posts: 2
    Just received a quote from the dealer to replace timing belt, tensioner and dampener for 99 Passat 1.8T of 350 parts and 355 labor. 705 seems high to me. Was wondering whether I should search around for other quotes. Vehicle has 96k miles on it so I need to get it done soon. Was wondering if anyone knew if this the going rate? Thanks for any help.
  • induetimeinduetime Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Passat GLS with 65,000 miles on it. It has been a good car, though my dealer recently put it to me with the replacement of two tie rod ends that I suspect were just fine. Anyway, my problem is that just recently the car has lost power on acceleration. It seems fine when at a cruising speed, though I did notice that at 50 mph the car seemed to want to go faster and bucked up and down. This morning I had to put my foot to the floor to get the car to move. I've never had this problem before. I've always been pleased with the acceleration and pep of my car. Anyone got a suggestion? I drive a great deal for work and can't afford to be stranded somewhere. The problem seems to come and go, though it's getting more aggravating. I use high octane gas and have done all the scheduled maintenance. Any help would be greatly appreciated! :confuse:
  • hatevwhatevw Member Posts: 1
    I just found out my 2001 VW Passat has an engine sludge problem. I have had an atrocious experience dealing with the dealer concerning this matter, and VW has been no help either regarding the warranty. I will NEVER buy another VW, and I will DEFINITELY tell everyone I know to be forewarned. :mad:
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    $705 is right in the ballpark. The timing belt itself isn't the expensive part - it's the labor. Due to the way your engine is oriented (front to back as opposed to sideways), to get to the timing belt in the Passat requires removal of the front bumper - not a quick job, and not cheap. As a matter of fact, I've heard of price quotes in excess of $1000 to replace the Passat's timing belt.

    At 96K, I would get the timing belt replaced ASAP - otherwise you may be looking at a $5000+ engine replacement job due to a broken timing belt, valves meeting pistons, etc... :sick:
  • lyonseelyonsee Member Posts: 11
    2003 GLS, 1.8T Auto, about 20K miles, I took a test drive and was interested in buying it.

    Engine has vibration after 80Mph, not too series but esay to feel it. Even the dealer said he felt the vibration, and said it may be the reason that the tires need balance.

    This problem is the main concern even we are vey close about the price.

    I'm a new guy in this forum and I will appreciate if some information provided.
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Member Posts: 690
    One more thing I forgot to mention - as part of the timing belt replacement, the water pump is also replaced (highly recommended to save on additional labor costs down the road) - which is also included in the $700+ cost.
  • bronsonbbronsonb Member Posts: 170
    $705 seems like a very good price for timing belt replacement. We had ours on our 99 V6 replaced last year at 87K miles. Including the water pump, thermostat, rollers, and belt dampers, the total (including a 10% discount from one of those coupons VW sends -- first time I'd ever used one) was $996.33. So if the $705 quote you got includes the water pump, that sounds like a very deal.

    Good luck.
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