Engine oil leaks are common from the valve cover gaskets and camshaft chain tensioner gasket.
Resources for the Repair and Maintenance of your 2003 Volkswagen Passat
2003 Volkswagen Passat
2003 Volkswagen Passat Problems
The anti-lock brake system (ABS) control module may fail causing the ABS light to illuminate. Failed modules should be replaced to restore ABS operation.
The digital display portion of the instrument cluster may fail. Our technicians tell us the entire instrument cluster will need to be replaced to correct this concern.
Clogged sunroof drains can allow water to enter the interior and accumulate under the carpet where various control modules are mounted. Over time, the accumulated moisture can damage the control modules.
Our technicians recommend having the constant velocity (CV) boots and CV joints inspected at each service. Servicing torn CV boots early can prevent the need to replace the CV half shaft or CV joint.
2003 Volkswagen Passat Recalls (Recent)
Summary: ON CERTAIN PASSENGER, WAGON, AND CONVERTIBLE VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH OR WITHOUT CRUISE CONTROL, A BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH MAY MALFUNCTION IF IT WAS INSTALLED INCORRECTLY.Learn more »
RepairPal Expert Overview:
The heat shield may become damaged and the fuel line/fuel tank ventilation valve may fracture and leak. Both of these conditions are potential fire hazards. Dealers will install an additional underbody heat shield and inspect and replace affected fuel components.
Summary: ON CERTAIN VEHICLES PRODUCED FROM SEPTEMBER 2002 - MARCH 2003, EQUIPPED WITH 1.8L TURBO, 2.8L V6, OR 3.0L ENGINES, A CHANGE IN THE ELECTRICAL MOTOR COMPONENTS IN THE FUEL PUMP CAN LEAD TO AN INOPERATIVE FUEL PUMP AND, ULTIMATELY, STOPPAGE OF FUEL SUPPLY TO THE ENGINE CAUSING IT TO STALL.Learn more »
Summary: ON CERTAIN VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH 1.8L TURBO, 2.8L V6, OR 3.0L ENGINES, A CHANGE IN THE ELECTRICAL MOTOR COMPONENTS IN THE FUEL PUMP CAN LEAD TO AN INOPERATIVE FUEL PUMP AND, ULTIMATELY, STOPPAGE OF FUEL SUPPLY TO THE ENGINE CAUSING IT TO STALL.Learn more »
RepairPal Expert Overview:
Volkswagen has recalled certain 1998 Cabrio, 1997-1999 Jetta, and 1998-2003 Passat models because the fuel tank filler neck can suffer abrasion damage if the rear tire goes flat and the vehicle is driven until the tire disintegrates. This may lead to fuel leakage, which can result in a fire. Depending on the model, there are different solutions to the problem. Contact Volkswagen at 1-800-822-8987 for more information.
2003 Volkswagen Passat Questions and Answers
getting brake warning light coming on pads are fine so is brake fluid and sensors seem ok what cud problem be
my windsheild wipers have always been very loud, even when replaced and brand new. Has anyone else had this problem and can it be solved?
I just had the front half axles replaced because the both CV boots were leaking. Now when I put the car in gear or accelerate I notice quite a bit of vibration.
My emergency flasher module clicks continuously, without actually flashing. I think it's a ground issue. How do I remove it?
2003 Volkswagen Passat Reviews
Have had my 2003 Passat 1.8l wagon for nearly 97,000 miles. Its been one of the nicest cars I've ever driven - especially the reassuring feel on the road - very safe, very stable, very solid, very German. I've had very few issues, but I'm also very religious about maintenance and have a great guy, Sergey at Absolute Auto in Alpharetta, working on it - he's talented and reasonably priced. I'd recommend this car to anyone, especially as opposed to a traditional German luxury car - which I think mine really is!
I've owned my 03 Passat, 1.8T for 4 years now. I've had pretty much all the same mechanical problems as everyone else. There is 1 very expensive repair I have to do soon and that's to replace the secondary air pump. VW wants over $800 to do it. I can do it for $350. Ignition coils were covered by a recall as well as the brake light swich. Oil leak is embarrasing when I park in a friends driveway. The only other issue I have with this small engine is turbo-lag and the drive by wire accelerator. I can't rely on a quick burst of speed to get into traffic. Throttle response is very slow. Also, the sealed transimission worries me that I can't monitor the fluid level and condition. Overall I think this is the safest car on the road. My wife was T-Boned on the driver side rear. I didn't know VW put airbags in the seats! Although expensive to repair comfort and safety earn high marks.
We have had 137,000 pretty much trouble free miles with ours (knocking on wood) Agree with one of the other reviewers about the outrageous cost of service at the dealerships. I wish we were getting better city driving milage as well.
1st new engine 35,000 miles. Second new engine 70,000 miles. V6 model. An absolutely beautiful lemon.
This is a great car, reliable and fun to drive. The only issue is the outrageous cost of service. Nobody knows how to service or repair them except a VW dealership, and they charge a jaw-droppiing amount. I'd be a VW customer forever if I could get reasonable servie costs, but as it is, I'll never buy another.