2010 Volkswagen Passat Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2010 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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18
Known Problems

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.

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.

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.

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

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. 

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.

Drivers of the Volkswagen Passat 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.

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. 

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.

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.

Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.

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.

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.

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.