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Volkswagen Passat Brake Questions

I have a 99 Passat Brake lights are not working, but center strip is. Replaced bulbs & fuse Could it be switch? Is center strip on a different circuit? Check engine light came on recently and then went out. Any ideas before I have to spend a fortune at the dealer?


  • Probably not the switch, not likely to have 2 switches for the brake lights. Could be a bad ground, but more likely to be the bulbholder ( melted ), causing bad contact or maybe even wires melted near the bulbholder connector or inside the bulbholder. Make sure to use correct bulbs ( not too bright/hot ) as they can be the cause for such a failure. I replaced my '02 headlight bulbs w/Silverstar bulbs and had to repair both the wires to both my low beam bulbs bulbholder connectors ( melted ), won't do that again - $40 for bulbs that in theory could have caused me to replace the entire headlight [non-permissible content removed]'y - VW doesn't offer a repair part for the melted connector - I got mine at a M-B dealer. But that is a headlight, not a brake light.
  • harman2harman2 Posts: 1
    Hello 3screwsloose,

    I had the exact same problem as you with the melted headlight and I am currently trying to find a way to fix it. You said you got yours at an M-B dealer. Would it be possible for you to send me more information about that. I am currently at a loss as to how to fix it. I'm just wondering what part I should get and where to get it. If you have the part # that would be great. Thanks so much!
  • I have a '03 passat with 80k miles. For the second time now, my brake lights stay illuminated when i get out of the car. I spoke with a tech for VW, and she seemed to think it was the mechanism attached to the brake pedal.

    Has anyone else had this issue? Or how did you fix it? Cost? Thoughts
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    What your VW tech is trying to say:

    It's your brake light switch. I had it replaced on my wife's 03 Passat, and that fixed the problem.

    The brake light switch is tied into your car's ABS system, as well as the cruise control. If you see a yellow triangular light in your instrument panel or your cruise control system won't engage, it's definitely the brake light switch (approx. $50 to replace).

    I had the same switch replaced on my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta due to a factory recall.
  • I just came back and saw your message. I will get the info to you.
  • Sorry about the long wait, we had a death and that took me out of the loop. Anyway here is the dope. This will work for H7 bulbs, it is a new connector/bulbholder that replaces the melted plastic housing ( connector ) and melted wires. I will send you a VIN later as I forgot it at work. You may need it to order thru M-B as they may be trying to limit their use by non M-B owners. You will need part number 210 820 00 13 - quantity 1 for each light bulb. Also, you will need 002 546 14 41 - quantity 2 for each bulb. Double both quantities for both headlights. Basically you just cut off the old plastic connectors and splice in new ones without having to replace the entire headlight. The second part number is a solder/heat shrink repair tube connector that you use to join ( solder ) the wires together from the new connector to the wires you cut in your headlight. You will need a heat gun to get the solder tubes hot enough to melt and shrink the tubing. Just cut the old wires a little behind the melted portions and join the new connector/wires with the solder connectors. Tuck in the wires and install the covers on the rear of the headlights and you are done. Not too difficult if you take it one step at a time. A heat gun is essential, not a cigarette lighter. It blows hot air like a hair dryer, but much more hot. Don't melt the wires or your skin. Be careful around the paint too. Good luck and I will get the VIN for you to use when ordering.
  • sheep1sheep1 Posts: 1
    I think that I am being ripped off by my dealer. only 88,000 km and they tell me i need all new tires and brakes AGAIN. Is this normal? I have the front brakes redone at 60,000 and rear at 35,000 and now they say the rear need redoing. is this normal? thanks for any input. the car is on the hoist waiting my 'go ahead'
  • Hey here is the VIN you will probably need to order the headligt repair parts. It will work with H7 bulbs. You may have to transfer the metal retainer from your old connector to the new part. Good luck! WDBJF65F8WA653941
  • Hello,

    I just bought a 2003 Volkswagen Passat GLX. The other day I left work in a hurry. I must admit that I drove my car pretty hard that day having fun with the car, accelerating and breaking hard. Before driving into my driveway I noticed that the ABS light was on. There is no indication that anything is wrong with the breaks other than the light being on. I have almost new break pads, the engine and emergency brake lights are not on, and no noise coming from the breaks.

    One thing that sticks out in my mind is that I work at a place that is right next to a saw dust collection facility that blows saw dust everywhere when it gets windy.

    Could it be the dust or my driving habits? What would cause the ABS lights to turn on considering there are no symptoms with the breaks?
  • Hi to all. I own a VW Passat 00, 2.8L, 6 cyl car. Recently on a HW at 65 mi/h (I was not using brakes at the time) the display showed STOP and the other one showed ABS and flashing BRAKES. I stopped the car. A few days ago it also started showing a tracking control symbol. Sometimes these messages come up when I just turn the car on in the morning. Sometimes I see them after I start driving or no messages at all for the duration of the trip...My mechanic hooked up a computer (nothing was shown on the display), drove the car, cleaned the monitoring devices on all 4 wheels. The car drives the same. I did not experience any changes when I use brakes. Thanks to all for any suggestions you may have. Have a great day!
  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    You need a new brake light switch (usually around $40). It is tied into the braking, cruise control, and anti-slip regulation (ASR) systems. I believe there is either a Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) or an outright recall on the switch. If either situation is the case, you can have it replaced free of charge at the VW dealer. I would check with the dealership for this.

  • Thanks, 600kgolfgt. I called the VW dealership and they told me that there is a recall for this switch on the bug and getta. None for the Passat yet (strange, but it is VW after all). Good news that they were not surprised... I will try speaking to a service manager and see if he would change the switch on Passat. I will post an update. Thanks for your post and have a fabulous day!
  • jimram3jimram3 Posts: 2
    Hello Everyone!I own a 99 Passat.ABS light and flashing Brake light stays on all the time. Everytime I press my brakes the Tach needle drops to 0 and my oil light starts to blink, Meanwhile the car stays idle as if nothing is wrong. When I release the brake, all goes back to normal.(Until I need to stop again.) I replaced the Brake switch but that only worked for 5 minutes. I'm affraid to turn on the radio cause the wipers may come on.(Kidding)Please, Can anyone out there help me out. :confuse:
  • Hello, 600kgolfgt. I finally got the brake light switch replaced. It worked for a few hours. And today I saw the same messages again. My mechanic said that I need to hook up the car to the ABS dedicated computer and see if that shows anyrhing. Any thoughts on that? What should I do next? Thanks to all you, kind people, for reading and replying to the messages.

  • 600kgolfgt600kgolfgt Posts: 690
    Sorry - I just realized that you have the V6 engine, which according to conversations with my VW dealer, have a slightly different braking/ABS setup to accommodate the extra weight. I would have the ABS computer checked out - especially considering the age of your vehicle (2000 model). Driving around with a faulty braking system is not recommended - given the consequences.

    The brake light switch fixed the problem in my wife's 2003 Passat, but her car has the lighter 1.8T engine...
  • Hi,

    I recently posted a question I had about ABS Brake lights and modules in another forum. I have a 99 VW Passat. Had the lights come on and rather than replace the ABS Brake Module had the module reconditioned which did the trick. Saved close to $2k. The light however has returned about a year later. Subsequent reconditioning hasn't worked.

    Now I mechanic pulls codes:

    P1602 18010 Power Supply (B+) Terminal 30 Low Voltage
    P1606 18014 Rough Road Spec Engine Torque ABS-ECU Electrical Malfunction

    Reconditioner says these are not problems in the ABS. That it has to do with the ECU and that they are soft codes.

    What's a soft code?

    That they can be cleared. Anyone know anything about this?

    If you anyone has any questions about removing the module and reconditioning I can point you in the right direction. I've gotten super good unfortunately at getting this thing out of the car.
  • Hi, hdabe. I had this ABS and Brakes light flashing (see message #11). I changed the brake light switch (helped for 1 hr) and need to change ABS Brake Module. My mechanic will charge about $500 for the part and close to $100 for the work. Does it sound reasonable? Should I recondition instead? How is it done? Thank you for your help.

  • Hello, guys
    I have a Passat 2000, 2.8l, 6 cyl. See messages #11, #19. I had an ABS module replaced and installed a new brake light switch. The Brakes and ABS stopped flashing, but I have a traction control triangular symbol permanently displayed now (before I replaced the module it was occasionally seen). It does not disappear if I press the traction control button. Do you have any idea what maybe the problem now? How to fix it? Thanks.
  • I've a VW Passat 02 diesel. My brakes have been binding recently. My garagists changed the master cylinder but I got only a temporary improvement. New brake pads were fitted in but I still have the problem. Please what next can I check?
  • Hello to all. I have a '01 Passat GLS 1.8L FWD. At 113k, I got the 'check brake pads' light. I was pretty happy with how far I got with the original set of pads/rotors. (It turns out the pads were pretty good but there was a groove right at the contact point where the wire runs into the pads and wore that down prematurely) :)

    Anyway, I changed the front rotors and pads and all is working well ... except the 'check brake pads' message still comes on first thing at start up. Anyone know how to stop the message? :confuse:

    Thanks in advance -- Mike
  • You all know the problems that VW has with the ABS control module. You all know the prices they ask for them, well, I have found the Holy Grail for the failing ABS electronic module that every one has problems with. As you well know they always break down and there is no VW recall for it. The options are: get a new one which is very expensive, or get one from a junk yard. The third option I looked into is to have my ABS module rebuilt. The price is phenomenal. The company was nice enough to match another price I got from the internet from a competing company that I was truly not even able to get in touch with. I’d like to quote something I received from the company that rebuilt my ABS electronic module. “Hi
    Your are receiving this email In response to an online request you made for a used auto part, If you are searching for an Automotive Electronic Part such as an ABS Computer, ECU , Transmission Controller, Climate Controller , Digital Speedometer ,Air Flow Meter ,and many more Electronic Controllers ,than we can help you. You can call us toll free 1-800-***-**** for more Information or visit our website at www.*******.com ,Our rebuild service takes 1 to 2 business days we rebuild your original Control Module for a fraction of the price of new. We Implement our permanent rebuild solution in every controller we rebuild ,Did you know that if you are requesting a certain Electronic Control module it is probably on our List of High Failure rate Controllers these controllers if purchased used probably will fail in a short period of time or are failed when purchased, Did you know that the manufacturer of High Failure Rate Controllers have not Implemented a permanent fix for these known failures so buying new you may still experience this failure in the near future, Our permanent rebuild solution cures this Issue ,Since all controllers are updated with the highest quality components on the market.
    Thank You”
    Bottom line, the cost of rebuilt was $149. The company covers one way shipping to their destination, once they complete the work, they call you, and you pay via Paypal $149 plus shipping back to your house. The cheapest shipping I chose to have was $20 in this case because I was in no rush to get it back and I’ll later explain why. They offer over night delivery as well, for more money of course. So my total cost was $169. Try beating that price for a fully rebuilt and functional ABS control module. Originally they wanted $169 but were willing to match the price of $149. A good try on my behalf but it was worth it. The $20 discount they gave me actually covered the shipping back to my house. And I have to state that their costumer support if awesome. The reason I was in no rush to get back the ABS module is because once I removed it from my vehicle which by the way didn’t take too long, I was able to drive the car without it. So my point is, if you have the ABS module removed by a licensed mechanic no need to worry about not having a vehicle until you receive the rebuilt back. Makes sense? I believe that most people do not look into the option of having their ABS module rebuilt because it takes too long. Most mechanics (even the VW dealer) that I’ve asked about being able to drive my vehicle without the ABS module present did not have an answer as far as how safe it is to drive without it because they never encountered the situation. They told me that they always have a replacement ready when they remove the old one, therefore they couldn’t recommend what I should do. Once I removed the ABS control module, I got behind the wheel and moved the car just a bit, applied the brakes just to make sure those little pistons from the pump don’t move. So I was able to drive my car during the time my ABS was out to be rebuilt. I highly recommend the company that rebuilt my ABS control module and if enough interest is out there, I will release their private information since I do not know the exact rules of this forum, and because I’m new on this forum.
  • adrian, Can you please provide me with the vendor you had your abs control module rebuilted from? Thanks.
  • tele1tele1 Posts: 1
    could you please forward the company name and contact information for the ABS rebuild?
    Thank you!
  • I have a 2003 Passat 1.8T.
    I had the rear brakes replaced at the VW dealer about ~2 months ago. I was away for the holidays for about 3 weeks and just got back. I went to go start my car, no problem. However, when I used the brake I was so surprised.

    It feels like the back brakes are scratching, like the pads are old. But it's not a constant scratch, but like a wave, as iff there's a bump or the rotor. I hope that explains it well.

    Any thoughts?

    Help Please, Thanks!
  • kayciekaycie Posts: 2
    We have a 2002 VW Passat. It has the 1.8T engine and a manual 5-speed transmission. It has about 85,000 miles on it and has been a really great car for us. We have started having a problem when turning right. The display says "STOP Brake Fault" and a warning tone sounds. It goes off after a few seconds.

    The only other problem we have had with it is the left cv axle, which has been replaced. The right cv axle has just started making some popping noises and probably will need to be repaired or replaced.

    Has any one else had this happen to them? Thanks for any information.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,148
    I suggest that you check the level of brake fluid in the reservoir, I suspect it is low (I also suspect that it is low because you're probably due for front brakes).

    Best Regards,
  • I have a 2003 1.5T Passat with the same break fault error. On my car, it doesn't matter if you are turning or not and doesn't matter which direction you turn if you do. I took it into the dealership and they did a complete brake inspection and couldn't find anything wrong. It's still doing it and I'm becoming a little nervous about even driving the car. I don't think the fluid level is low or the dealership would have discovered that. I'm wondering if the fluid is being affected by the below freezing temperatures we've been having though.
  • sonciosoncio Posts: 1
    I own a 1999 passat 4cil. turbo I had it checked with my mechanic because the abs/brake light were flashing he used a computer and it turnes out that it´s the ABS control module but I was told that it´s not the main abs module under the hood that its one that is somewhere under the dash does anyone know where abouts this module can be found before they destroy my dash and that way they can go directly to where its at and if its in a particular color or any signs of how it looks like.Any help will be highly appreciated.thanks to all.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You didn't mention if the rotors were changed out when you had the brake work done. To me, it sure sounds like the rotors are warped.
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