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Problems with 99 VW Passat GLS



  • fatblokefatbloke Posts: 1
    TomVT, glad to hear that you are enjoying your Passat Wagon. We just purchased a 2000 Passat Wagon V6 - indigo blue/black and manual transmission. We enjoy the car very much so far with our 2-day old baby.

    I noticed that the rear anchor of the driver side roof rack has a gap between the roof metal and the plastic cap. The gap measures about 1/8 of an inch. The passenger side one is mounted flush to the metal. The car dealership where we bought the car looked at it and they tried to tighten it. The gap is still there. They said that the screw is already tight and they do not want to overdo it to warp the roof. I am not sure if water will leak under the roof - the dealership said no.

    Does anyone else has the same problem? Does it seems like a part manufacturing problem? Should I ask them to order a new roof rack to replace the one I have?

    Any comment will be appreciated.
  • jap393jap393 Posts: 2
    I have a 99 Passat with about 15,000 miles on it. I was driving in FL when my tire blew. While waiting for AAA (about 30 min later) my car caught fire from the tire area.
    Some seem to think it is mechanical while others blame the tire.
    Has anyone else had a problem like this?
    If I am not the only one then VW might pay for the repair under waranty.
    Please comment if anything is known.
  • mknightmknight Posts: 57
    Sounds alot like a bad wheel bearing to me.

    I've seen a utility trailer once which developed a similar situation. The bearing gets red hot, the heat transfers thru the hub to the steel wheel and the tire. The tire suffers a heat failure, you pull over with a blow out, and a fire develops because of all the heat still in the wheel well area. I suppose it could also be caused by a brake that wasn't entirely released.

  • skerewskerew Posts: 20
    I have a 99 v6 GLS w/ about 17,000 miles. I have had several problems that I was hoping others might have advice on since the dealer doesn't.
    1)When decelerating (ie: at a stop sign), the transmission makes a loud whining noise while downshifting
    2)Power steering seems to be on the fritz; in colder weather when the car first starts, there is a scraping sound with any turn of the wheel.
    3) when going over bigger bumps, the steering column makes what I perceive to be an unhealthy jolt (far more significant than what I have felt in any other car)

    Does anyone know what these problems could be? Additionally we have had other small problems like squeaky brakes, radio stopped working; rubber on the inside of door pops off. Should I trade this car in before the warranty is up? Any advice is appreciated.
  • Bought my VW Passat GLS tiptronic because my husband didn't like the Honda Accord, which I love and have never had a single problem with. The Passat has been giving me one problem after another, perhaps it is just a lemon. From pieces falling off the side of the door that they just snap back into place (makes me feel real secure), seats that collect all the lint in the world and won't vacuum off (leather next time), to the oil leak they say isn't there (just in time since the warranty is over, now 30K miles), to now when I start my car in the morning and back out of my garage the exhaust is smoky which my dad says shouldn't happen. Any ideas as why this is happening? or has anyone had this problem? Trying to get the husband to trade it in for a dodge dakota crew cab. we'll see.
  • jeffrey2ujeffrey2u Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Passat and was one of the first new body styles to hit the US market. I have had an enormous number of problems. Your steering problem is one I have had and my girlfriend has also had on her Jetta 2 times. As luck would have it my VW dealer is an Audi dealer too. The same day we brought in the car for the strange steering noise an A4 owners was reporting the same problem. We all had our Steering Racks replaced.

    I also had a strange noise that happened when I hit particular sized bumps. It was in the front of the car. I took it in and they could never duplicate it. Finally they looked and found that there are spacer blocks put between the frame of the car and suspension for shipment from Germany. Somehow they forgot to take them out during their "prep". That may be what you are experiencing.

    Overall I have never had this many problems with any other car. Here is a list of the problems I have had.

    Suspension spacers
    Dashboard computer (tach, speed, etc.) 2 times
    Lock system computer
    Trunk & glovebox lights (not a fuse, wiring let loose)
    Harsh Idle (changed oxy sensor at 5k miles)
    Rattling Glovebox (3 times and loose again)
    Oil Leak somewhere they have not located (it is on the garage floor!)

    I really enjoy driving the car when it operates correctly. I get over 30mpg on every tank and happy with the performance. It has the best sound system of any car I have owned, and rides beautifully. I am getting ready to buy another car and just can't bring myself to put up with going to the 4-5 times per year for problems. I just don't feel confident in the quality of the car.

    I am hoping they are getting the "bugs" worked out but the Audi A4 has been out for a while and has some of the same problems. They use the same engine and many other components.

    My last car was a 626 and I can't recall ever taking it to a dealer for anything other than routine maintenance.

    Hope this helps.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    "I have a 98 Passat and was one of the first new
    body styles to hit the US market."

    That kind of says it all. The 1998.5 was more then just a new body style, it was a whole new car. I think everyone would agree that buying early in the first model year is just asking for trouble.

    Not to belittle your problems, they do stink to have.

    almost 27k trouble free miles on my 99 GLS Turbo!
  • sush72sush72 Posts: 1
    I bought my Passat in 98. Was great, back then was a real head turner. It now has 42,000 mile and is in for repair every other week.
    Trouble did not start too long after that. My 1st oil change, asked them to adjust the lights, was told it was an European styling, now that the warranty is up and I took it to another dealership, I was charged for this alignment.
    2. A whistling noise started to come during the cold weather only, went away during the spring, and back again following winter. along with this the engine got noiser and sounded like a pick-up truck. The whistling noise was diagnosed as a power steering pump. The loud engine noise was not diagnosed properly and invloved replacing the alternator, power steering pump pulley and a generator. After this work was done I got a whistling noise every time I turn the steering wheel, I brought it back minutes after the repair, was told it was a air bubble will go away. By the time I drove off it was past the warranty mileage. The noise is still there and they refuse to fix it, saying its a power sterring belt and the warranty is over, even thought it was never there before the repairs. During this work they damaged my crusie control which worked fine before I brought it in. The dealer ship tried to blame me as it was shortly after the warranty period now. After much arguement they agreed was their fault and replaced for free/
    3. Shortly after that, airbag warning light - which needed resulted it being replaced. I later found out this is a common problem, but not reported to the customers.
    4. A rattle in the front end started around 23K miles, every bump a hollow rattle was coming from the front end It gradually got worse. Initailly they never fixed it. Each oil change at the dealership, they ignored it. It was so loud. ^ months later, and at 42k miles they found it to be the stabliser link and control arm. Which they tried to charge me for, and ened me digging my records out and showing them this was reported to them a long time ago.. They have this on their system and were able to pull the work order up. IF not for my records they were going to charge me for this.
    THis car has been a nightmare for me since the day I got it. It handle great, but I end up getting rides to and from the dealer ship every other week from fellow employees and its starting to be a big joke. Really fed-up with this car and the sale people or anyone at the dealership is not eager to help. I am in the process of taking this up with VW America.
    I must have just got a lemon, but they way it is being handled by VW is just not right.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I have to agree with sporin, your first mistake was buying the first year of a redesigned car. My 2000 has been perfect, no problems at all, VW has made a lot of running changes. I do think part of your problems are poor dealer service, that is an area VW could to a lot better on. I can't stand any of the VW dealers in my area, incompetent to say the least.
  • azileazile Posts: 1
    I also have a 2000 Passat Wagon and I just looked at the roof rack and yes, on my car, there is a small gap between the metal and the plastic. It looks pretty normal to me, although I did notice that the roof rack plastic meets the car above the driver's seat.
    I love our Passat. It does have a bit more body roll than I'd prefer at times, but it's a fun little car. I just hope the car continues to be problem free as I rack up more miles.
    Oh yes, I'm not sure about other 2000 models, but my Passat came with a 6 disk cd changer for free. It was advertised as a Volkswagon special, but I think it's cause so many people complained about not having an in dash cd player. Have other people with the 2000 models received this extra?

  • jayay1jayay1 Posts: 1
    I've driven my 1999 Passat V6 with tiptronic for 1 1/2 years and 27,000 miles in L.A. traffic and freeways daily. I haven't found a better everyday, economical car for a performance oriented driver like myself (I've owned a 911S, BMW 3.0, Lotus, Fiat 124 sport coupe and have been through the Bondurant Race Drivers School). I've had no real problems at all with the car that VW didn't promptly fix (steering pump or something like that). The car screams when you get the revs above 4000. My normal driving mode is in tiptronic. I only use standard automatic in stop-and-go traffice. When you need to pull onto the freeway and get to 80 mph fast, the V6 with tip gets you there mighty quickly. The car is very comfortable, and a high quality vehicle in all respects.

    Don't let these maintenance posts discourage you. The Passat is one hell of a performance automobile. You have 24,000 miles to get the bugs fixed.

    A final tip: when shifting the tiptronic, to get a rapid shift, make the shift first, then instantly back off the gas,then get back on it. This is the reverse of what you are used to with a standard shift, but it works great. You'll be able to shift with nearly the speed you would get out of a manual transmission.
  • cleoneconcleonecon Posts: 1
    Not certain if thisis relevent but I had a 1993 Passat station wagon that leaked oil for what seemed like years. The VW dealer kept telling me that it was no real problem and to diagnose the problem and fix it would cost me at least $250. Then I blew out a tire while traveling near the Poconos and ended up at a garage with all kinds of VW's sitting around and he says that he can fix "that oil leak ya got" for $30. It actually cost me $28. He said all he did was replace a gasket. I was in such a hurry that night that I forgot to ask him the details but it did not leak oil at all for the two years that I owned it afterward.
  • manchuzamanchuza Posts: 6
    Just bought my first VW--a beautiful new 2000 Passat 1.8T., and found this thread while browsing through Edmunds.

    Sorry to hear about your VW troubles.

    Not that it will necessarily make you feel any better, however, I would suggest that if that is the most trouble you've ever had with one car, then your'e not doing too badly--remember, it could be worse.

    As for your car--well, I must agree with the sentiment of others here--I would never, I say NEVER buy the first year of a redesign. WHY? I did this once with a '92 BMW 325i, and learned the hard way (I've mentioned my woes on other threads previously). My troubles outnumbered yours many times over, and was the worst nightmare my entire life.

    As for my car, only has about 600 miles as of today, but the initial quality and satisfaction is very high. If everything that I've read about the '98 Passats is true--which I don't doubt those of you who have posted troubles are not telling the truth--I would say that someone somewhere is paying attention.

    Live and learn, I suppose.

    READERS TAKE NOTE: NEVER, EVER, EVER BUY THE FIRST YEAR OF A MAJOR REDESIGN OF ANY CAR--unless you are very daring, patient, and have plenty of free time (you'll likely be spending lots of time at your local dealer). Just pick up a copy of the Consumer Reports Car Buying Issue, and compare all the repair records of different cars from the first year of their release to the most recent.
  • skurtzer1skurtzer1 Posts: 1
    My 1999 Passat has been a pain in the a** since it turned 24,300 miles. First the car died, after getting it towed, they said the plugs were fouled and needed replacement. Plugs $12.50 each, plus big $$$ for labor Not bad, only 25% of the scheduled life. At 28,000 the brain failed and left me sitting in traffic. Another tow and a $1000 plus bill. Now, my Passat has been at the dealer 28 days as of today. The timing belt went at 37,000 miles and ripped the engine apart in the process. Again leaving me on a busy Philadelphia interstate stranded. (not a real good place to get stuck). They are repairing the engine, not giving me a new one like I should receive. Volkswagen of America has been very unsympathetic and is a victim of its own growing pains. The dealer can't handle the workload. It will never be like it should, I don't care how good the mechanic is, and it will give the next owner a life of problems. I'm getting rid of it as soon as I get it back. I would not suggest this car to anyone shelling out the $25K+ for this thing.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    I have a hard time beleiving that post. A lot of unusual problems for one car. I belong to two websites devoted to the B5 Passat. Several hundred Passat owners report on every aspect of ownership, good and bad. Passats don't have problems with their computers, never heard of spark plugs fouling and never has anyone posted about a timing belt breaking, especially at only 37k. Either you drive the hell out of your car and don't maintain it or you are totally full of it (I strongly suspect the latter).
  • m9431m9431 Posts: 38
    Earlier today I visited my local VW dealer after I saw saw an ad that they would consider "any reasonable offer on in-stock VWs." Thought I'd offer $21.7k for a 1.8T with lux. package. I'm driving a 93 Accord EX 5-spd which has given NO problems to date. I took one last look at an Accord EX V6 which, currently, I can have for $22.6k. Pros and cons to each vehicle but the Passat is so much fun to drive. Gees...after reading posts on problems, I'm leaning toward the Accord...and I thought I had my mind made up?! I wasn't expecting the Passat to be as reliable as an Accord, but after hearing of some 'horror stories,' I just dunno (again)....
  • glsammiglsammi Posts: 1
  • 1611man1611man Posts: 2
    I just read through all of your writing about your problem with the brake pedal on your new VW. One thing caught my attention - if you car has 4 wheel disc brakes - there is no adjustment to be made on 4 wheel disc brakes that would lower or raise your brake pedal. Follow me on this - as your discs wear, the distance between your pads and the rotors becomes greater and your pedal must travel down further to push the greater amount of brake fluid to move the pads farther. Right? So, if your brake pedal now travels further than it did when you took it in to the dealer. it sounds to me as if he CUT the rotors to remove the rust spots and didn't replace them as he stated. That would account for the greater pedal travel you are seeing.
  • SporinSporin Posts: 1,066
    Spark plug fouling can be caused by overfilling the oil, causing "blow-by." This is something that dealer service "experts" have been doing fairly consistantly in the 1.8T despite multiple TSB's telling them not to.

    My manual says the timing belt change interval is 90k miles. If your's went at 37k then it would seem to be a defective part. First time I've heard of that particular thing happening. I have heard of a few isolated "bad ECU" complaints, but not many.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    m9431 - I suggest you do a Topic Search (on the left side of this page) for Passat and read up on the Passat topics in the Sedans conference. Keep in mind that this conference specifically focuses on maintenance and repair issues, so you won't find a very balanced viewpoint on the Passat in this conference.

    glsammi - You might want to do the same thing. Also, if you want to see what problems have been discussed here in this topic, use the "scroll up" or "jump to" features at the top of this page under the topic title to navigate through the previous postings.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • m9431m9431 Posts: 38 further investigate Passat topics; I realize that, statistically, I'm going to hear more about problems especially on this post. Admittedly, my earlier note using the word "horror" was an overstatement. (Shame on me.) The Passat really is a fine machine--certainly a lot for the money and soooo much fun to drive. (Love that VW still provides a 5-spd manual tranny and may go to 6-spd). Yet I see less "issues" with the Accord. You can see that I'm torn between which to buy as each has pros and cons. Hmmm...if only Honda and VW worked together to produce a vehicle.....
  • cgeraldcgerald Posts: 2
    My airbag light is on in my 1999 VW Passat. The
    dealer has changed the "clock spring". Next they
    plan to change the airbag itself, which I've read
    doesn't fix the problem. Does anyone have a
    solution to the problem?
  • jfriedljfriedl Posts: 3
    My wife and I bought a 1998 Accord when our 1996 Passat got totaled by a delivery van. We loved our Passat to death and "settled" for the Accord because nobody had anything on the lots (GM on strike, Passat just introduced & limited supply) as we were buying in between model years. There was an abundance of Accords though. Final summary, we both wish we leased instead of buying so we could get what we really want in less time. There is a nasty rattle in the trunk that was fixed once around 10,000 miles and has come back. They haven't been able to fix it since. It has come extremely close to overheating twice (not in hot weather) and the dealer has found nothing. It is boring to drive since Honda doesn't offer a sport package. It looks good but that's about all I can say nice about it. I can't yet figure out why it is touted as being so great with the issues we have had. I had less with my 1991 S-10 Blazer (now with 197,000 mile on it)!

    We are now in the market for me and it has been narrowed to the Passat and a BMW 3 series. While I don't like front wheel drive, I may wind up with the Passat solely for financial reasons. Of the cars I have test driven (limited to performance oriented sedans) the Passat has come out ahead of the non-BMW bread. If it provides an experience similar to that of our 1996 Passat, I don't think I will be too disappointed.
  • dwellerdweller Posts: 3
    jfriedl, i bought the jetta and love it , no issues so far . if i didnt already have a suburban to finish paying for, i would have liked
    to have bought a passat, but i would have loved to buy an AUDI s4 . these are awesome machines for the bucks37-40 k. If money is a major factor look at the A4 Audi it is a steal for around $25k.
  • rickroverrickrover Posts: 602
    Don't forget the Audi A4 and Passat are mechanically identical, suspension and all. The Passat's longer wheelbase is about the only difference underneath. I've installed an S4 suspension in my Passat. Eibach sport springs (lowered it 1.3") bilstein shocks, Neuspeed front and rear sway bars (in same diameter as S4) and 18" wheels with 225 Euro T/A tires(a little beyond an S4) the result is amazing, it's not rough at all, just very controlled. I'm obviously missing Quattro but I don't have the heavy bi turbo V6 in front, the 1.8t seems a lot more balanced.
  • thicks23thicks23 Posts: 42
    My mom has a '00 Passat GLX and for some reason a loud moaning noise comes from the right side of the dash when you switch to recirculation on the climate control. Is this normal? She hasn't paid much attention to it but I noticed it when I drove it yesterday. It switches to recirculation like it's supposed to so it does work but that noise is awful. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • myfriendmyfriend Posts: 1
    I am a Passat owner for life. I was recently in an accident where someone ran a red light going about 50 mph. They totaled my car and I managed to get away with non-life threatening injuries. The EMT told me that if I had not been driving a safe car, I would not have made it. Front and side airbags are critical!

    There was nothing left of my car. They also hold up on their value - the insurance company gave me about what I paid for it.
  • pat455pat455 Posts: 603
    Welcome to Town Hall.

    Glad to hear the Passat took such good care of you, so to speak. Have you bought another?

    Sounds like it must have been a terrible accident, and quite frightening. It's really good to hear that you are okay.

    If you are shopping for a replacement, you might like to visit our Sedans and our Smart Shoppers Conferences. Also, you may be interested in looking in on Our Turn, which is a conference devoted to women's automotive issues of all kinds.

    Glad to have you here in Town Hall.

    Community Leader/Maintenance & Repair Conference
  • oldslotsoldslots Posts: 1
    Hello. I picked up my 2000 Passat GLS a few days ago. This morning when I was looking it over I noticed a wet passenger floor. I dried it out fairly well, and called my dealer. I figured the "detail" guys that cleaned the car up before delivery had left the rug wet on that side from a shampoo job? They confirmed that the car was cleaned inside and possibly shampooed. SO today I go driving for a few hours, with the AC on most of the time. I'm noticing as the day goes on that the passenger floor is getting wet again. When I arrive home it's WET. I decide to turn on the engine, put on the AC and there it is. Water is dripping into the passenger side well area from under the dash when the AC is on. Anyone else have or hear of this problem and if so, did you or they have any luck getting it resolved? I've already arranged to drop off the car on Monday but want to be well prepared for the typical dealer BS. Thanks. Fred (Fred@Oldslots.COM)
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