2009 Volkswagen Passat Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2009 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 2006-2017 Volkswagen Passat uses FSI and TSI direct injection engines. These engines are subject to carbon buildup in the intake system which can cause power loss, OBD codes and a check engine light, and a rough idle. In normal engines, the engine is cleaned by the gasoline flowing through the injectors and into the intake system, however, since the Passat uses direct injection, gasoline does not flow through common carbon buildup areas. 

Possible trouble codes include: P0300P0301P0302P0303P0304, P0305, P0306.

The solution is to remove the intake manifold and professionally clean the intake manifold, intake ports on the cylinder head, and the intake valves. This may need to be done in as few as 20,000 miles. 

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.

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.

Our technicians recommend having the constant velocity (CV) boots and CV joints inspected at each service. Servicing torn CV boots early can prevent the need to replace the CV half shaft or CV joint.

A problem with the torque converter can cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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