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VW Passat Wagons (GL, GLS, GLX & W8)



  • davew5davew5 Posts: 4
    Good news. After posting the above, instead of picking up my un-fixed car, I called the dealership and told them exactly what to look for (based on previous posts in this thread). They called back that evening, and told me they had been able to confirm the brake problem, that the drain hole was plugged, and that the brake vacuum booster would need to be replaced. Yesterday they confirmed that VW would cover the cost of the replacement, and I just picked up the repaired car (they replaced the brake vacuum booster and bled the master cylinder). So I am once again pleased that they got VW to cover the costs, but more than just disappointed that they didn't figure this out when I first took in the car with what turned out to be a serious safety flaw.

    My main problems now are

    1) I remain somewhat anxious about the brakes. They stop the car well, despite the well-below-freeing. However, the brake pedal feels different from the other car I've been driving --- it feels good when actually stopping, but when I'm stopped, if I keep pushing on it, it slowly moves toward the floor. The VW mechanic says this is normal for Passats.

    2) that the water in the car is apparently due to a bad door seal ($1100 to replace it and do an extinsive carpet cleaning). I'm going to take the car to my regular mechanics to have the door seal replaced and perhaps a more modest carpet cleaning.

    I'll also ask my regular mechanic for his opinion of the brakes, but out of curiousity, could anyone else with a Passat confirm that the brake pedal slowly moves away from you if you continue strong pressure when stopped and the engine is running?

    Thanks for any data you can provide!

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    You wrote:
    However, the brake pedal feels different from the other car I've been driving --- it feels good when actually stopping, but when I'm stopped, if I keep pushing on it, it slowly moves toward the floor. The VW mechanic says this is normal for Passats.

    Sounds like the brake system still has air in the lines. I can only tell you my pedal DOES NOT slowly move to the floor while I'm stopped. I've never had a car that did that...ever.

    IMHO, you need to find another dealer or repair shop. First, they don't know that the brake booster can suck in water if immersed from the clogged drain plug and now this about the brake pedal. Are we allowed to "call BS" within the TOS agreement here? ;)
  • Hi Dave,

    I also have just had an independent mechanic review the problems with my car (in the UK). Having been informed by the VW authorised dealer that the cars in the UK have different parts and that they had checked the plenum and that a blockage did not exist my local mechanic had approx 2 gallons of water emptied from the plenum when he cleared the blockage. He also then removed a significant amount of water from within the Servo - recommending that this be replaced as this is the second case of this that he had found - the other having significant internal corrosion following water in the servo.

    With regard to the sinking brake pedal he again informed me that he has seen this several times on VW's and that the problems has normally been due to a problem with the master brake cylinder.

    I am having both servo and cylinder replaced and will be raising this matter with VW (UK), my local VW retailer who failed to test for the condition when I had given them the copy of the US recall and a couple of UK Consumer bodies.

    Watch this space.

    Thanks to everyone who has contributed to this thread.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    I like your idea about the ruined master cylinder. Very likely candidate for the sinking pedal problem.
  • krzysskrzyss Posts: 848
    shows that VW does not operate as a global unified company. Left hand knows not what right does. Which is fine when donating money but bad if you run corporation.

  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Might just be an issue of stonewalling on VW's part. The US recall wouldn't have happened without pressure from NHTSA. Maybe the UK equivalent hasn't had enough complaints to hit VW with a recall (if they even do such things in the UK).
  • davew5davew5 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the note about the brake pedal feel. Based on this, my recollection that it was _not_ like this before, and a general impression that mushy brake pedals can mean bad master cylinders, I took the car to my regular mechanic (not the VW dealer). They confirmed that there was a problem, but were not able to identify it without really taking it apart and replacing pieces, and recommended I take it back to the dealer (just what I _didn't_ want to hear -- Piazza VW of Ardmore let me leave last August without replacing the Vaccum assist, then the told me this winter that they thought there was nothing wrong, until I told them exactly what to look for, at which point they did replace the vacuum assist, but then let me leave with something else wrong with the brakes... this seems to me like three life-threatening situations).

    Anyway, I'm going to call VW of America and talk to them about the problem and having it covered by them if I go to a different dealer, and then hope there is another dealership not too far from Ardmore, PA. Until then, I continue not to drive the car. Fortunately my dad was able to let me use one of his cars. It's good to have family around at such times. Thanks also to Rod and everybody else in this discussion, for critically important information.

  • Hi Dave,

    With regard to the sinking brake problem, my mechanic, in the UK, has changed the master cylinder and the old one shows signs of corrosion/rusting - whether this is a sign of the problems caused by the water in the servo and other problems I cannot tell.

    However the result is now that the brakes all feel OK and do not sink when continually pressed.

    Hope this helps.

  • Once again, many thanks to Rob and the rest of the folks in this thread. The short version is that it looks like things are fine now, and I'm driving my Passat again.

    For those who want the gory details of how I managed to get from bad brakes to working brakes without paying a lot of $$$, here it is, starting a few days after my last posting: before calling VW of America, I went back to Piazza VW of Ardmore (where I had been taking it), and asked them to check the brakes. They confirmed that the master cylinder was bad, and quoted me a price to fix it; I had the impression they wanted me to pay this in order to get the brakes fixed.

    I spent a day or two being annoyed about this, and then called the service manager, identified myself, and said I wanted a chance to stop by and talk to him in person before I went to complain to VW of America. He was very agreeable about scheduling, and I was able to stop by on my way to work about 15 minutes later. He described in detail what was wrong with the car; my recollection is that his theory is that the bad vacuum booster caused a problem in the mechanical side of the master cylinder, without any water getting into the hydraulics, or fluid leaking out of the hydraulics. I said that I thought this should be covered under the P9, and he agreed, indicating that this had been the plan all along. They then replaced the master cylinder (and the vacuum booster) without charging me. The brakes have felt fine since, and not failed in the half a dozen times I've driven it (in a variety of conditions) since.

    I'm not sure whether I just misunderstood the original statement about fixing it, or whether the manager of the service department made other calls to VW of America (or the regional VW manager) to convince them to consider this part of P9. But either way, it was fixed on their dime, and now seems fine. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping for the best, driving the car again.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    Or the third choice: the dealer gets less money from the recall program than from charging the uninformed customer. If you had paid, they would have been ahead of the game. Congrats on getting it (appropriately) covered under the recall! :shades:
  • Hi,

    I have since contacted the MD of VW(UK) and the MD of the dealership. They are currently "investigating" the issue. VOSA (the UK vehicle and Operator Services Agency) say that the issue is not enough to warrant a recall although thay have informed me that a Service note went out to garages regarding this in September 2007, about a month after the USA. So much for my garage not being aware of it in December.

    I am awaiting calls back from VW and the dealership to see how we progress this - I'll keep the thread updated.

  • I just bought a preowned 2005 Passat. What I have missing is the owners manual. Being a previous owner of a Jetta TDI wagon, I find they are quite similar but a few items onn the Passat are a mystery to me.

    The first item: on the instrument panel, on the LED readout I have , on the top line above the temperture readout, I hr/min numbers indicating trip time I imagine. Is there more options I can access?

    2nd item: On the sunvisor, driver side, I have a panel with 3 buttons. I press each one and a light indicates the selection. What is this panel for?

    3rd item: In my TDI manual, synthatic oil is recommended. What is the recommended oil for the Passat? (Florida driving)

    4th item: Where can I get a second key? (other than $250 dealer cost)

    I would appreciate any help anyone can give me.
  • altair4altair4 Posts: 1,469
    In order:
    1) Average MPG Ø, Instanteous MPG, Trip Odometer, Miles until Refill, and elapsed time - you can toggle these via the rocker switch at the end of the right hand (wiper) stalk. There are two sets of each of these items that I listed. One will reset if the car has been off more than 2 hours. The other won't reset until you tell it to, or until really high values have been hit. You can toggle between the two computers by pressing the rectangular button on the bottom edge of the wiper stalk. The rectangular button will also reset either computer, if you hold it in long enough.

    2) That is the Homelink system. It can be used to open garage doors, turn on lights, etc. I don't have this so I can't tell you any more about it. Try here:

    3) Say "yes" to syntheitc oil - and it must meet at least VW Spec 502.00 (look on the back of the bottle) or, even better, 503.01. Most readily available is Mobil 1 0w-40. Castrol Syntec 0w-30 (must say Made in Germany on bottle) may be available at Autozone in your market. Look for the specs on the back of the bottle. MAXIMUM oil change interval is 5,000 miles. Follow this or risk sludging (coking) your engine if it has the 1.8T engine.

    4) Can't help on the key.

    BTW, did you look in the slot under the steering wheel for the manual? That's where it's supposed to be. Good luck with the new car!
  • mdollmdoll Posts: 1
    We bought a Passat Wagon - 2.0T Turbo model in April and found out the next month we are having another baby. So we bought a minivan and are trying to sell the Passat. We paid close to 28k with options and I'm asking less than 20k now (it is in perfect/new condition with only 10k miles). It's not selling and I'm starting to wonder if I would have trouble giving this thing away. What a waste of money... almost 30% depreciation within 6 months. I will never buy another new VW again in my life.
  • lspivalspiva Posts: 49
    It is not a car's having a poor resale value. It's US economy in general. Consumers are spending less, that's why you can't sell it. You should have trade-in Passat for minivan.
  • jwb18tjwb18t Posts: 45
    I actually don't think they have had bad resale value either, at least in the past, I had a 2003 Passat GLS Avant(wagon) that I traded after 4 years and 50K 48% of original value. What state are you located in and what options do you have on yours? Thx.
  • Hi,

    I have the same problem. I bought the car in spain and I am now in Ireland.
    First they said that I had to drive the car back to spain and get it fixed there (with a brake problem and 3 kids i the back !!) Anway, then they told me this was not a recall but a service, still waiting for their answer (ie from vw ireland).
    Did you have any luck with your letter?
  • In Canada we did have a recall that replaced the plnum filter, and in my case VW ended up paying for the towing, repairs to the brake booster, and rental car costs during the downtime. In all, I think VW Canada handled the situation well .. once they had been nudged. I did point out that the car had been deliberately crashed into a snow bank when the brakes failed, so that may have caught their attention.

    Not sure i would want to drive to Spain to get it fixed. Is VW organised into sepaate operating ubits across the EU? That may be the problem. Easier for them to pass off to another business unit.
  • mochev70mochev70 Posts: 3
    I'm experiencing difficulties passing smog. I read that the egr valve can be cleaned, so I did. I also read that to check the egr valve, you should NOT be able to blow air through it unless vacuum is applied at the small port. I tried to blow air while drawing on the vacuum port and I couldn't.

    Another article stated that to check the air injection pump, remove the hose at the egr valve and with engine running, air should be blowing through the hose. I tried this and there was plenty of air flow. With the engine running, I checked to see if the hose from the egr vacuum solenoid was drawing vacuum and didn't get an indication that it was at any rpm.

    Before I spend a considerable amount of money on a new egr valve I need to know if the egr solenoid should be drawing the vacuum or does the port on the block where the egr valve mounts provide the vacuum necessary to allow the air to flow through it?
  • dslm09dslm09 Posts: 4
    Interested in ANY feedback...
    We are a family of four (two young boys) and really like the practicality of the above stated vehicle but I have never owned a VW (ok, I did have a '72 Westfalia back in the day) and need to be $ conscious (both now and with regard to future repairs).
    So..the specs: 97k miles, Black clothe interior, 4WD, ABS, 2.8L, CC, A/C, Tiptronic Auto Transmission, power windows and locks, sun roof and luggage rack.
    clean title, no accidents and clear car fax. Body in excellent condition, inside is very clean. Seller is asking $4900...
    Anyhow, like I said, I could really use some advice.
    Thanks in advance!
    btw, what does CC mean??
  • KCRamKCRam Mt. Arlington NJPosts: 3,516
    As an option, "CC" usually means cruise control.

    kcram - Pickups/Wagons Host
  • ncsebancseba Posts: 14
    CC is almost certainly cruise control (I can't think of anything else it would be).

    We have a GLX 2000 4motion Passat wagon (that's a higher trim level) that we bought used about 4 years ago and we have really loved it.It's very comfortable and convenient for us and our toddler now, and the drivers seat adjusts nicely to both me and my husband although he is 6'4" and I am 5'2". We have had a couple of expensive fixes (catalytic converter, new timing belt, valve cover gaskets) this year which weren't great for our budget but to be expected considering the age of the car, so keep that in mind for budgeting. You will also need to budget for all regular maintenance if you want to keep it going, VWs don't thrive well on neglect.

    Take a long test drive and see how comfortable you feel with it, look at the maintenance and repair records of the current owner, and have an independent mechanic with VW experience check it out to see if any big fix seems pending. For price, see what Edmunds True Market Value appraiser thinks.

    Good luck with your decision!
  • dslm09dslm09 Posts: 4
    thanks, that makes sense. But I've seen something about VW Passat CC, is this something that just describes the model?
  • dslm09dslm09 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the input. It sure is a nice driving vehicle. Going to have my mechanic look at it monday.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    You are right. It means "Comfort Coupe." :)

    Sometimes it is listed as a separate model and sometimes it is considered a trim level of the Passat.

    Edmunds lists it as a separate model (see link), but further confusing whether it is a Passat or a separate model is this introduction to Edmunds' review at that same link:

    The 2009 Volkswagen Passat CC is not a Passat for the hearing-impaired. Instead, the name stands for Comfort Coupe, but it's not a Passat coupe either -- it has four full doors. No, the CC is a sleeker, restyled version of VW's midsize sedan, intended for folks who want something more stylish and different than the typical family four-door. What's in a name, anyway?

    Hope this helps. A little. :D

  • Does anyone know if you can get a replacement wheel emblem which is missing on my new 03' Passat wagon that I just bought?
  • Thanks a bundle...Just what I am looking for. :) if I can just find a cheap version of the owner's manual or a cheap/free ( < $25 ) down load.. :confuse:
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