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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.

Erratic turn signal operation can be a result of a failing turn signal flasher relay which will require replacement.

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.

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. 

The flywheel for the 2006-2008 Volkswagen Jetta with the 2.0L Turbo engine is a non-conventional "Dual Mass" flywheel. It is known to make light rattling noise when the engine is cold, and should subside once the engine temperature raises. If the rattle doesn't go away when the engine warms, the flywheel may have failed.

If the dual mass flywheel has failed, the only solution is to replace the flywheel.

One or more power windows may fail. Our technicians tell us this is commonly due to a failed window regulator which will require replacement.

The water pump may fail resulting in engine overheating and possible timing belt damage. Overheating and/or timing belt failure can result in very expensive engine repairs. As a precaution, it is recommended to inspect the timing belt and water pump at regular intervals.

Poor drivability symptoms—including hard starting—can be caused by coolant temperature sensor and oxygen sensor faults.

One or more power windows may fail. Our technicians tell us this is commonly due to a failed window regulator which will require replacement.

Drivers of the Volkswagen Tiguan 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.

Cars using biofuel typically have problems with injection pump failures; symptoms can include a "no start" condition or external pump leaks.

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.

Reverse gear failures in the manual transmission models are common.