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.
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Repairpal verified 1997 Volkswagen Passat TDI problems
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.
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.
Shifting issues due to internal problems in high mileage automatic transmissions can be difficult to resolve without transmission replacement.