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Problems with 99 VW Passat GLS



  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    FatherTuff, the best place to find an answer to your question would be over in our Sedans conference, or perhaps Smart Shopper. You can use the Topic Search feature on the left to find lots of discussions about the Passat.

    Good luck!

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • newwestdnewwestd Posts: 157
    I would recommend that you start at A lot of people are saving great amounts of money, eliminating the whole dealer "experience" and having the exact car they want delivered to their door.

    Please see the CarOrder topic here for a LOT more information on this and check their page.
  • bdovelbdovel Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a 4cyl, manual Passat GLS and I love it. I do hear the wind noise but no noise from the engine or roof. The 4 cyl. handles great, it has good acceleration, better than I expected for a 4 cyl (my previous car was an 8 cyl Firebird). I haven't had any problems listed here. I use 93 octane fuel, it costs more, but its worth it.

    I would highly recommend this vehicle, it's awesome. Every car manufacturer has its share of problems but I wouldn't let the complaints here keep anyone from buying one. I purchased mine new from from Cook Motor Cars in Aberdeen, MD.
  • nietzenietze Posts: 1
    I repeatedly had the "check engine light" on my 97 jetta GT, i noticed it only happened on after rain on really humid days. It appeared to me that they used single insulated plug wires and it would miss fire when first running, enough to make the light go off. I moved a year later (to a less humid garage) and it never happened again. It happened so frequently i gave up going to the dealer, it eventually went off. (if it did not miss fire for a while)

  • hashanhashan Posts: 2
    Hi, just read through most of the comments here and couldn't find an answer to my question. I just bought a 2000 1.8 Automatic Passat. Love it, but on the 2nd day of driving the car, started to hear a very noticeable rattle coming from the dash. Took it back to the dealers until they heard the noise too! But, now have to wait until mid May for my service appointment! Does anyone have any thoughts on this? The car has to be in drive and or slowing down to stop. Really annoying noise that requires turning the radio up! Not good! Help!
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    You should register on the forums. Do a search for "rattle" and you will find a fix. It seems that a few cars came through with a piece of insulation tape misaligned. The jist of the fix is that you take off the pass. sided dash end-cap and you can adjust the tape. You should be able to find the full details on the vortex.

    Welcome to the family!
  • myvwlemonmyvwlemon Posts: 14
    Submit your problems. Welcome to the real world!
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    A small rattle hardly qualifies a car as a lemon.
  • Just went to Not impressed. Actually, I'm shocked someone would recommend them. There prices are way over invoice. I checked other cars as well as Passat. Ridiculous!!! I'd rather go to dealer and haggle them down to invoice. Just my opinion.
  • squantosquanto Posts: 12
    now that's funny...

  • tonyc7tonyc7 Posts: 2
    Wonderful, I thought the check engine light problem was limited to 96 models when OBD II first came along. My 96 Jetta GLX's light has been on more than off. I was considering a new Passat but now I see there are problems with the Passat's check engine light too.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    I haven't seen my check engine once. (22k+ on the odo) This is quite common with new, high compression engines...Volvo is going through the same thing.

    For a MUCH larger sampling of Passat owner experiences, check out and
  • I'm wondering if anyone else has had this trouble - I have a 2000 VW Passat V6. When I am driving on windy areas on the freeway and going 65 mph the body of the car moves with the wind, but the wheels seem to hold on to the road. It's a bit scary...
  • iljeepiljeep Posts: 3
    I bought my Passat GLS brand new in April of 1998. My previous car, I bought new was a 1994 Honda Accord Coupe. I will use the Accord as a comparison, only in reliability because as far as style, performance the Passat blows it away.

    In 4.5 years, the only time my Accord had seen the inside of the dealership after purchase was for the scheduled maintenance. (I am a firm believer that one must follow the manufacturers recommended maintenance) I never, repeat NEVER had a problem with my Accord. I only changed the oil and did the maintenance. Whether that is luck or not, this is my only means of comparison.

    In exactly 2 years I've owned my Passat, it has been back to the dealer a record 10 times. It feels like I've had a loaner Jetta longer than my Passat. Now, this includes the scheduled maintenance in those 10 visits, however I was never able to bring in the Passat to get an oil change without having them fix a problem also. It was actually an annoyance because it was such an inconvenience to bring the Passat in, they would ask me to wait to have the problem fixed at the next oil change, unless it was major.

    The major problems I experienced in the past 2 years are: (Not in order)

    1) Spacers removed
    2) Drivers power window button failure
    3) Replace sunroof door because window was off the track and ruined the felt door flap.
    4) Temperature gauge malfunction.
    5) Check engine light.
    6) Blown baring in the engine (complete engine failure).
    7) Replaced ignition coil.

    Problems they are unable to detect:
    1) Vibration in the dash (Drivers Side)
    2) Vibration in the steering column (I found this one, that I will have them fix next time I'm in).

    I'm at 23K miles and I'm about to schedule my last warranty visit. I am scared to find out what the future brings as far as problems and what it is going to cost me.

    Now that I have extinguished the issues, lets talk about the good times.

    This car looks HOT! It drives like a typical German masterpiece. It handles beautifully, gets great gas mileage and is very fast. From what was written above, it would sound like I hate y car, but I don't. I actually love it and would recommend it to my friends. It sounds crazy, but you can't get a greater car for that price. It blows away all its competition in its price range. A lot of you might think this entire message is one huge contradiction, however this is my opinion and I'm entitled to it.

    Another thing, It's impossible to get very upset when your dealership is SOOOOO customer focused. They bend over backwards for me and I really appreciate it. Also, I was able to express all of my concerns on the multipage questionnaire VW sent to all owners. I was able to scream, so to speak, at them without having to invole my dealership.
  • My 1999 GLS Wagon with 11,000 miles recently suffered a complete engine failure, later diagnosed as a defect from the manufacturer (VW Dealer's words, not mine). Remedy was a complete engine replacement (pursuant to the warranty). To my surprise (although I am new to this kind of thing) I received a re-built engine, not new. Approximately one week later it started leaking oil (the rebuilt engine that we had driven 100 miles) and now learn it needs a new head gasket.

    Has anyone ever had this problem or did we get "the lemon"? Also, do I have any rights regarding a new vs. rebuilt engine, or is this typical of warranties? Are rebuilt as good as new as VW has told me they are?
  • iljeepiljeep Posts: 3
    disgruntled2- I've never heard of such a thing. I can't believe they would give you a rebuilt engine. But I've never read the fine-print in my warranty, though.

    I also forgot to include an oil leak in my engine at 3k. They had to replace the head gasket also.
  • i1jeep- Thanks for the comments. You reminded me we also had a head gasket replacement at 10k, prior to the complete engine failure ( incidentally the engine failure was discovered when they replaced the oil pump after discovered metal parts in the oil and filter).
  • Clarification-- I stated we had a head gasket replacement at 10k, it was actually a valve gasket or valve gasket seal. Sorry, I am an engine novice. The remainder of my prior comments are accurate.

    Also, I must say the dealer is doing their best considering all of the problems--cannot blame them. It is VW I take issue with giving us a defective new engine at new then a defective rebuilt engine at 11K.
  • iljeepiljeep Posts: 3
    I'm having my VW service manager call me back. He will give me the lowdown on your rebuilt engine. I have a feeling he will say the same thing. I've noticed that these service shops all sing off if the same sheet of music, somehow. It's hard to catch them in a lie. I really have to try extra hard to catch em.

    OK, I just got off the phone with my VW service manager. Just like I suspected, his response was that you're probably better off with a rebuilt new engine anyway. He says to treat it like its's brand new, meaning, it has to be broke in like the original. Also, it will come with the 10/100k warranty to original owner. I'm sure you heard the same thing. He also wouldn't answer my question directly, if replacing with re-built is normal practice. They sure are smooth with their answers.

    If you got your VW questionnaire, please fill it out and tell them your problems and opinions. If enough of us do that, they might actually listen.
  • i1jeep-

    Thanks for the response, it is helpful.

    We have not gotten the questionnaire, but certainly this whole issue will be covered.

    One postscript-- I just picked up the car from the dealer. When I turned the ignition, the fuel light went on. Turns out they ran the car out of gas when they "tested" the car after installation of the new haed gasket (let it run "for hours" they told me.) And, they had the guts to suggest I fill out the questionnaire favorably (after rushing to get me gas). Amazing!

    Needless to say, my wife and I have commenced looking for a new auto-- not VW. It's a shame because the Passat looks great and drives well when its on the road, but the rest speaks for itself.....
  • tonyan--Thanks for the link. I will repeat my story there for benefit of fellow sufferers.
  • jrnattajrnatta Posts: 7
    I have a 98 Passat GLS with 40k on it. We have had the valve gasket seal go bad (at 5k), the driver's window switch went bad causing a problem with our security system, multiple check engine lights--some attributed to too much oil in the car causing mis-firing (we only go to the dealer for oil changes by the way), we had an engine coil go bad that almost led to a total loss of the engine according to one mechanic, the sensor in the coolant expansion tank has gone bad, we have a funny rattle in the dash, etc. etc. etc....

    The crazy thing about our experience though is that I would buy another one of these cars. No, I am not sadistic. I have been treated so well at two separate dealerships that I would go back to either one. My wife and I still love the way the car drives (although at 40k we already need new tires (I get them rotated every 5-8k.)

    All the problems that I mentioned above were fixed under the normal waranty or the extended waranty that I thank God I purchased. I would recommend to anyone thinking about buying a Passat to get the enxtended waranty.
  • jrnattajrnatta Posts: 7
    I forgot to mention that our passenger side trim on both doors also came loose and had to be replaced. The dealer did this for us under waranty because he had personally seen a ton of Jettas with the same problem (we had about 38k on the car at the time.)
  • sindicosindico Posts: 2
    Volkswagen's motto is 'driver's wanted'. They are currently doing a decent job of not fulfilling that request. I have had a myriad of problems:
    1. Driver seat was left unattached (noticed after I was ejected into the backseat while driving) from factory-hmmm...can we say safety issue
    2. sunroof tracks fell off
    3. seat track covers fell off
    4. flat spare tire
    5. rear cup holder broken
    6. passenger door switch fell off
    7. new transmission @ 25,000
    8. currently need new control arms after noticing loud cracking (squeaky bed springs) in front passenger side- tech said there was no lubrication at the joint!
    9. cant get parts! always on back order
  • sindicosindico Posts: 2
    by the way, volkswagen of america is completely uninterested in assisting me with the problems or costs of repairs after the warranty lapsed
  • manishrbmanishrb Posts: 10
    I have just bought a fully loaded GLS V6 2000 Passat 5 days ago and I just noticed a kind of metal cranking noises on the rear side of the car. Its quite loud and mostly when i have passengers in the rear seat. It comes every time a rear passenger tries to get out or get in the car. I took the car to the dealership today but they said its quite normal and said its the disc brake noise. To me it sounded like a suspension problem. As if the metal springs are rubbing againt each other. Does anyone else has had this problem ? I love the car but cant accept the fact that a $29000 car should make noises like that.

  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    If you have the e-brake applied, but not very tightly, it is common to hear a "groan" or "creek" when someone get's into the car.

    Could that be it?
  • manishrbmanishrb Posts: 10
    I noticed this noise first when i had just parked the car and my friends came out of the rear seat. As one of my friend came out the car started cranking loudly as if something had broken down. the same noise comes when i drive the car on a slow speed and suddenly come to a halt or give the car a jerk by applying the brakes. I dont think its the brake noise cause i am aware of that coming from the front wheels. this is louder than the brake noise and to me seems like a suspension prob.

  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Well that's not your problem then.
This discussion has been closed.