Because of issues with the glow plugs and/or the glow plug wiring harness from the control relay, the Check Engine Light may illuminate. Our technicians tell us there is a service bulletin, not a recall from Volkswagen regarding replacement of the glow plugs on 2004-2005 model years only.
Car problem reports
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Most reported 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDI problems
Oil and carbon tend to build up, creating restrictions in the intake manifold. Symptoms will be loss of power (sometimes severe) and poor fuel economy.
Reverse gear failures and noise in the manual transmission models are common.
Cars using biofuel typically have problems with injection pump failures; symptoms can include a "no start" condition or external pump leaks.
To ensure longevity of the engine, our technicians recommend to follow the maintenance schedule for the timing belt.