1997 Volkswagen Passat TDI Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 1997 Volkswagen Passat TDI 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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6
Known 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.

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.

    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.

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

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