Volkswagen Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Volkswagen as reported by 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

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. 

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. 

Drivers of the Volkswagen Jetta and GLI may experience a clunking noise associated with acceleration from a stop, or downshifting for hard acceleration. This will also be accompanied by a light impact sensation under the drivers feet. Drivers may also notice unexplained changes to their front end alignment while driving. 

This issue is commonly called " VW Subframe Clunk", and is caused by the gradual stretching of the bolts that secure the subframe to the vehicle. The subframe is a large plate that secures to the bottom of the engine bay, and connects the body of the car to the engine and suspension. Over time, the bolts that secure the subframe stretch, allowing the subframe to move and hit the bottom of the car when accelerating.

There are many aftermarket kits that can be installed to correct the issue, and Volkswagen has issued a correction including better bolts, and spacers which fit between the subframe and the car.

2.0L turbo charged engines may develop a hesitation on acceleration and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light due to a failed high pressure fuel pump or a worn camshaft follower or camshaft. To help prevent this issue from occurring, the cam follower should be inspected every 10,000 - 15,000 miles. The camshaft lobe pushes on the follower to operate the high pressure fuel pump. 

To correct this issue one or all of the following will need replacement: the camshaft, high-pressure fuel pump, and/or the cam follower.

 

Because of issues with the glow plugs and/or the glow plug wiring harness from the control relay, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Our technicians tell us there is a service bulletin, not a recall from Volkswagen regarding replacement of the glow plugs on 2004-2005 model years only.

    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.

    An issue may develop where a window will not roll up after a short pulse down. Our technicians tell us this is a normal condition. Cycling the power door lock followed by the key switch will reset the programmer and restore proper window operation.

    Check Engine Light illumination can be related to a catalytic converter fault. Our technicians tell us a re-flash of the ECM may correct the concern. If not, replacement of the catalytic converter may be required.

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

    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 mass air flow (MAF) sensor may fail, resulting in drivability issues and/or illumination of the Check Engine Light.

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

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