Volkswagen Passat Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Volkswagen Passat 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

The parking brake may not operate correctly. The correction involves addressing any stored anti-lock brake system (ABS) fault codes, replacing the rear brake pads if required, and following the basic settings procedure as per the scan tool. Our technicians tell us these procedures must be performed in the correct order for the parking brake to function correctly.

Premature wear in various multi-link suspension components can cause noises that are difficult to diagnose. Worn suspension parts can also cause uneven tire wear and create steering alignment problems.

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.

One or both head lights may not work due to premature head light bulb burnout and/or bulb harness failure. Care should be taken to inspect the head light harness connector for damage when replacing bulbs. Damaged connectors should be replaced.

Condensation may develop in the heater case which can cause a musty odor from the heating, ventilation and AC (HVAC) system.  Our technicians tell us a cleaner is available for the heater case. Also, the drain system should be checked for debris.

A coolant leak may develop after oil filter replacement. The coolant o-ring seal can be damaged if the oil filter housing turns when removing or installing the oil filter. The recommended procedure is to hold the filter housing when tightening or loosening the oil filter.

Because of issues with the glow plugs and/or the glow plug wiring harness from the control relay, the Check Engine Light may illuminate.

    Throttle body failure is not uncommon and can lead to shifting issues with the automatic transmission and other drivability concerns.

    To ensure longevity of the engine, our technicians recommend to follow the maintenance schedule for the timing belt.

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

    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 Check Engine Light may illuminate as a result of a oxygen sensor and coolant temperature sensor fail. Replacement if the failed part will be necessary to correct this issue.

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

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