Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Volkswagen Passat Maintenance and Repair



  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    My 2003 VW Passat 1.8T has 105000 miles recommended interval for timing belt. Many cars did not make it because they did not reach the milage but apparently the age got them first.

  • mice3mice3 Posts: 2
    Yes, but I think you have missed my point.

    Why is it in the Metric world (Europe/Asia/Australia) that we have 105,000 KILOMETRES life, and in the states you guys have 105,000 MILES life?
    That is a 30%+ increase over the rest of the world. Maybe that is why they keep breaking, and I am sure the cars assembled in the continental USA/Canada do not have cam belts any better than the rest of the world.

    It is a rare occurence for a belt to break here if the service schedule (of 105,000 Kilometres) is maintained.

    105,000 Kilometers is actually 65,625 miles. Any wonder they break.
  • darbyvwdarbyvw Posts: 2
    I own the 2003 Passat 1.8 and was hounded by my mechanic to get the timing belt job done around 90k. This job is huge and all the belts are replaced. If you fail to comply you will not be driving much longer. As with any VW built in Germany if you keep up with routine maintenance, you will drive this car for a very long time.

    I find it odd that two different continents would have different recommended maintenance for the same vehicle! But perhaps that's the TDI vs. my model. Now having said that, when I had my Isuzu Rodeo the belts bailed on me at around 75k miles.
  • My 2003 Passat's timing belt broke at nearly 70,000 miles. I believe my owner's manual said it should have been replaced at 60,000. My mistake. Dealer's service dept told me about it but I was in the "if if ain't broke, don't fix it" train of thought. When it broke I was told it would cost $5-6K to replace the motor and the labor would only be guaranteed for 3 months. I sold the car to a junk car dealer. Lesson learned.
  • darbyvwdarbyvw Posts: 2
    Oh that's terrible! I know my manual told me around 90k because I had anxiety about getting the work done (saving up etc.) I have only gone to the dealer (until warranty ran dry) than I found a wonderful certified VW mechanic a few towns away that I still trek to for service. The only reason I was so anal about scheduled maintenance is because I need this gal to run for another 10 years! She will be ten this summer. The timing belt as I was drilled is the one thing you cannot cannot wait on. I'm sorry that happened. I've had nothing but good ju ju with my Passat. Wish I knew when you had to "junk" yours. I need a few knobs!
  • belaircarguybelaircarguy Posts: 107
    This sounds very strange to me. Almost every car that I have owned with a timing belt has a recommended replacement at about 60,000 miles (100,000 KM). Newer cars that have a timing chain normally do not need the service at all. I have had the timing belts replaced at my trusted mechanic (who has serviced my various cars - different makes) and he has always recommended that when you replace the timing belt, put in a new water pump. Apparently, not to difficult while you have the belt off and many times with a new belt and working on the engine, if you don't replace the water pump, it will start leaking within a few weeks. In any case, a big job and expensive if I recall correctly. On the other hand, I have never had a timing belt break and then do major engine damage, as long as I had the belts replaced at 60,000 miles.

    Now I get to 60,000 miles on a car and ask my mechanic. He will advise yes or no, based on the vehicle having a timing belt or a timing chain.

    Bel Air Car Guy.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    As far as V-Dubs are concerned, I think the "recommended" spec ranges from 90k to 105k miles, depending on the engine. However, there are enough horror stories out there to make one think twice about waiting that long. Unfortunately, if your belt blows, the dealer will say only "Oh...that 's only a recommendation...NOT a warranty". Just like using ONLY VW 502.00 spec synthetic oil (Mobil 1 0W-40, etc) in most V-Dub engines, it pays to do your research. vwdawg
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    They changed the wording 5 years back (or more) and now oil meeting 502.00 spec is required.


    PS Both VW and Subaru have timing belts and suggest to replace them at 105k miles. However they suggest inspection starting at 60k.
  • mrjettemrjette Posts: 122
    I drive a 2005 Passat TDi with 85,000 MILES on it. I bought it new, and use a local VW/Audi/BMW garage for all service.

    They recommended I replace the timing belt @ 60,000 miles. The price was steep (~$1200), but far less than breakage and destruction. They asked me to think about driving the car to 180,000 miles. If it followed VW intervals, I would change it 2x, and risk breakage and never seeing that mileage. If I followed their advice, I would change it 3x and be far more likely to make it.

    They asked me to consider the change interval in Europe and Asia. And, they claim the reason the interval is higher in the US is due to the 5 year "cost to own" common on sites like this and perhaps required by the Federal Government. If they follow the lower mileage, the cost to own goes way up! A longer change interval makes it average out and appear less expensive.

    I think this explains why the change interval for the timing belt is higher in the US. Of course Cost to Own is much higher if you wait, it fails out of warranty, and you have to buy an engine! An extra $1200 in 180,000 miles is not that great in the grand scheme and to have and enjoy a good vehicle. :)
  • I just purchased this for about three grand. It has 128k miles looks and drives good. I got really tempted. (I am an owner of new 1998 Maxima, and I did not face major problems so far). The problems I have with this Passat, as I understand from posts is the ABS Module. After few minutes of starting the engine or immediately after starting the ABS light glows along with RPM meter stops, break light comes on, Oil light comes on. I can't adjust left and right view mirrors (guess, It has to do something with Memory). The temperature meter also gets stuck at 190F.
    After reading so many posts how and where to fix the problems, just started thinking whether I made a wrong decision. Will any one like to comment ?
  • xyzzy1954xyzzy1954 Posts: 11
    I went through this on my 1999 Passat GLX . The ABS module failure seems to bring down the voltage on several other display items, including the tach (rpm meter). Replacing the ABS module corrected these other seemingly unrelated items. (I suspect that your mirror problem is different, but don't know.)

    Point of reference, the dealer wanted $750 for a fully warranteed repair (greater Boston, MA market). I talked him down to $500. You might do much better at an independent VW repair shop.
  • Thanks, I am comforted by your reply. Regarding mirror problem, first thing is I don't know how to reset memory adjustments and re-program seats & mirrors. I will appreciate if someone can educate me how to do these adjustments.
  • I know this is from a couple years ago, but I have the same problem right now with my car. Did you ever figure it out?
  • I am considering to buy a 2006 VOLKSWAGEN PASSAT Type 3C MY07 FSI Its done 93,000kms. Should I consider buying it? Any known issues with this car? any information is much appreciated.
  • i have a 2007 Volkswagen passat 2.0t with 74,000miles. anything bad that i should expect? please let me know!
  • Yes, you should have the timing belt checked without delay. These things are prone to going at this mileage and if it goes plan on a new engine. It will not be cheap to replace the belt but it will be much cheaper than an engine.
  • bjssbjss Posts: 51
    Just changed my Driver side tail light - 2002 Passat Wagon. What a pain! Getting to one of the flange nuts requires 2 options: (1) loosen some interior trim so that you can move the CD/Monsoon Amp plastic tray or (2) drill a hole in the plastic tray. I opted for (1). Took approx 1.5-2 hours. I searched the internet for a better way, but apparently these are the options. German engineering at its finest.
  • All,
    I've tried my best to keep my '03 Passat, but the repairs were getting too expensive and too frequent. I've practically gave away my Passat on a trade for a new '13 Accord. Good bye Passat and this forum. Thank you all for your advices on maintaining my recently departed Passat. Good luck.
    Navy Guy
  • vwgrrrlvwgrrrl Posts: 19
    Navy Guy,

    I think it's great you kept your Passat that long. I have an '04 Passat GLS and I'm still in love with it. I know one day I will have to give "her" up but if I had money to burn, I'd keep it and restore her to all her glory. Although I must say, she looks pretty darn good for 9 years old. Best car I've ever owned! Best wishes with your new car :-)
    PS - They don't make VW's the way they used to.
  • bjssbjss Posts: 51
    Thanks for the final post Navy Guy - good luck with the Accord. I have been reading good news about them. I still have my 02 Wagon - but feel my day is coming as well. How many miles did you get out of her?
  • Smart Move, very smart move. As much as I like VW's I hated the Passat with a passion. You don't have to be a millionaire to own one but it would be a big help to maintain one. I will NEVER own another Passat.
  • beradberad Posts: 26
    Wondering if anyone might have some insight on something weird with my Passat. I started it in the drive in the morning and the engine started a rocking motion in a direction from the front passenger seat to the driver side headlamp. I took me a few moments realize something was wrong the check engine light was on and my 8 year old in the back seat was asking me why the car was shaking. I turned the car off waited a moment started it again and everything was totally normal. I had just scheduled to take it in next week because the rear passenger side door handle does not work from the outside. I have a 2010 Passat with just under 30K on the odometer. To date the door handle thing was the only problem this less than 3 year old car has had, however the engine anomaly has me a bit concerned especially if it happens again while I am driving.

    Hopefully a code is stored for the dealer to find, but I hate problems that are anomalies. Any insight or experience is appreciated.
  • beradberad Posts: 26
    OK, I guess I will answer my own question here to hopefully help someone else. The problem was the intake manifold & that had to be replaced. I am sort of shocked to have such a big repair done under 30K miles.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I'm only guessing, but two suggestions:
    Use synthetic oil, change at 5k mile intervals.
    Before turning the car off, drive slow enough to allow the turbo to spin down and cool off.
  • beradberad Posts: 26
    Thanks, I have been using synthetic from day 1. I have done some outside recon and the real problem is in the direct injection & the intake manifold design. Carbon just builds up in there. It does not seem to affect every car but once it starts it doesn't stop. Folks are adding catch cans and other stuff but you are going to wind up cleaning out or replacing the intake manifold every 25-30K miles. The Audi Q5 seems to suffer from this more than the VW brethren. After the dealer made the repair he swore it would never happen again (you can tell when a service writer is lying). I guess the old adage still hold true - You buy a toyota dealership to make money on sales you buy a vw dealer to make money on service
  • Could you send me the info for the Houston independent VW-certified independent mechanic? I need someone to change brake pads and maybe some additional work on a 2001 Passat with over 130K miles. Thanks.
  • vwdawgvwdawg Posts: 162
    Hello All: 2002 Passat 1.8T with 113k miles. Upon acceleration, there is a slight slippage in the transmission...very annoying, particularly climbing a hill. After that, seems to get up to speed with no problem, and shifting is fine. I have noted a decrease in MPG, so I would guess there is some slipping at higher speeds as well. Do I recall that this is a "sealed transmission" with no dipstick? I am wondering if there has been some slight leakage of fluid over the years, and it is finally catching up to me. There must be a plug someplace which can be removed and used to top it off? I think that was the case with my 97 A4. Thoughts, anyone? Thanks... vwdawg
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Please take a few minutes to answer our survey:

    It's really important for us to hear from our members and visitors to get direction going forward. Only good things are planned for the future, but we need to gather insights to get there! Whether it's your first time or you're a regular, we'd love to hear from you.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • It is under the car. I used 2 ramps and 2 Jack stands. Then bought a hand pump to do it. Drained the old fluid (remove the drain plug) and then close it and fill from the fill plug (on side). Used Castrol import multi vehicle atf. 25K on new fluid now. Works like a charm. Used as a guide. Main thing for slipping (what i got is), low on fluid. Once filled, start the car and wait till it is sucked up by pump. Then fill almost a quart. It fixed my slipping issue.

    Just doing fluid, may be like ~$40 + $10 for hand pump to pump the fluid in.
  • I have a Passat Wagon 2010 Komfort it is close to a lemon ; Passat 2010 models have transmission problems . If you have one that has transmission failures more than 3 Times Apply Lemon Law and return the full car; VW does not covers any transmission on Vw after the 36K Miles.

    Also be aware that you must change Timing Belt at 50K miles or you will be ready for a mayor big engine work in all Passat 2010 Models.

    After 3 years driving a Passat I loved the comfort but finally I realized that It is a car to Unload after 2 years or you will be paying for bad quality parts and design.

    They have Injectors recalls not cover until your Injectors blow Up; and Other Ones that you may have already paid.

    Next Time Check recalls before you buy a VW car , because they have the reported problems in USA and more not reported problems from Canada and Europe.
Sign In or Register to comment.