2004 Volkswagen Passat TDI Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the 2004 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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13
Known Problems

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.

    The 2.0L TDI engine used in the Volkswagen Passat TDI very commonly faces camshaft lobe wear issues causing:

    -Pronounced loss of power

    -Backfire through the intake (heard under the hood)

    -Rough vibrations while the engine is running

    -decreased fuel economy

    - OBD trouble code P0101

    Correction for this issue requires substantial internal engine work including replacement of the camshaft, hydraulic lifters, and possibly fuel injectors

    To help avoid this issue, ensure you are using the correct oil for your engine, as listed in your owners manual. 

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

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

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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

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

    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.