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common problem, mine was cured by a simple transmission fluid change, i am using valvoline max life atf and my buick shifts smoothly, but their can be other causes, go to the buick lesabre forum for advice/fixes, plenty of info on this problem on the internet.
You may have a clogged up heater core, go to www.passatworld.com post your problem and the guys there will help you fix it,advice and write ups on most problems.
go to www.passatworld.com post in the forum and the guys there will help you sort your car out.
The 1.8t engine can and does sludge up if you dont do regular oil changes with synthetic oil, i hope it is just the sending unit, do a internet search.
its as easy as changing spark plugs, you can get the special socket from harbor freight for around $5 or get a loaner from advance or auto zone, the socket has a split in it so you can put it on (passing thru) the o2 sensor wire, you can spray the sensor with some pb blaster to aid removal, sometimes its best to tighten a little before undoing, it helps it break free. Its very easy, but on some cars access can be a little difficult, but by using extension bars etc it can be done. Ive done mine on the vw passat twice front and rear.
if you replace your intake gaskets (upper and lower) use the latest updated lower gasket that is aluminum, my mother in law had this done then gave us the car, within 3 years it had failed again, the repair shop had used the old style plastic lower gasket, so this time i did it and flushed all the dex cool (bad stuff)out of the engine and replaced with peak antifreeze,also replace the two plastic coolant elbows but get them from the dealer do not use the doorman ones from auto stores as the rubber o ring is slighty smaller and WILL fail within 4 months.
more than likely the cable has snapped to the hood release, a few people have had this problem go to www.passatworld.com and search the forums for your answer.....it can involve drilling into the hood
it could well be your idle air control valve an easy and cheap fix, also check for vacuum leaks
ignition coils, find a new shop. what codes are they getting?