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Volkswagen Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems for 26 Volkswagen models based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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Known Problems

Shifting issues due to internal problems in high mileage automatic transmissions can be difficult to resolve without transmission replacement.

Due to an ignition component and/or engine coolant temperature sensor failure, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Replacement of the failed component will be necessary to correct this concern.

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.

Engine oil leaks are common from the valve cover gaskets and camshaft chain tensioner gasket.

Due to an ignition component and/or engine coolant temperature sensor failure, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Replacement of the failed component will be necessary to correct this concern.

A damaged water pump impeller may cause an engine overheating condition. Our technicians tell us the repair should include replacement of the water pump, thermostat, and flushing the cooling system.

Clogged drains can allow rainwater to accumulate in the plenum tray (at the base of the windshield). The water may leak into the vehicle's interior, brake booster, or electrical components, which can lead to major problems. Our technicians recommend keeping the tray clear of leaves, pine needles, and other debris.

Popping sounds from the rear of the vehicle may be heard moments after starting the engine, or when slowing to a stop. This noise is from the leak detection pump filling the fuel tank with air, and releasing to retest the system when it finds a fault. The sequence of faults identifying this issue are as follows:

  • Succession of loud pops from rear of vehicle
  • Pops go away, and fuel economy decreases 
  • Check engine light illuminates
  • OBD trouble code P2404 and/or P0441 is stored
  • Engine will not start after refueling (must crank for over 30 seconds)
  • Vibration when slowing to a stop

The cause is a valve which is mounted on the front of the intake manifold, commonly called the N80 valve, or EVAP system purge valve. The valve is designed to open under specific circumstances, but a worn valve will remain open at all times, preventing the pressurization of the fuel tank. 

Correction of the issue is to replace the N80 valve with the latest revision. 

Extensive transmission damage can occur in some of the automatic transmission models when the transmission oil cooler fails and allows coolant to mix with the automatic transmission fluid.

The engine may develop an overheating condition due to a damaged water pump impeller. Our technicians tell us the repair should include replacement of the water pump, thermostat, and flushing the cooling system.

The water pump and/or other cooling system may develop a coolant leak. Oil leaking from the  valve cover gasket is also common.

An ignition coil or spark plug may fail unexpectedly resulting in an engine misfire and possible illumination of the Check Engine Light. Vehicles equipped with spark plug wires may also develop a misfire caused by a failed spark plug wire.