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Volkswagen Passat Problems

RepairPal has identified the most common problems with the Volkswagen Passat based on complaints from actual vehicle owners. We'll tell you what the problem is and what it'll take to fix it.

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35
Known Problems

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.

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.

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

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.

Throttle body failure is not uncommon and can lead to shifting issues with the automatic transmission and other drivability concerns.

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.

This engine (2.0L FSI) uses direct injection which requires very high fuel pressure. This high fuel pressure is achieved by using a high pressure mechanical fuel pump (HPFP) that is driven off of the camshaft.

The HPFP may fail due to damage from a camshaft manufacturing defect. The defect causes abnormal wear of the mechanical barrier between the camshaft and the fuel pump. This barrier, the cam follower, will wear down and cause failure of the camshaft and the HPFP.

Symptoms include illumination of the check engine light, engine running roughly, and loss of power. Engine codes associated may be P0300, P0301, P0302, P0303, P0304, P0087, P1093 and P2293.

To correct this issue one or all of the following will need replacement: the camshaft, high-pressure fuel pump, and/or the cam follower.

To help prevent this issue from occurring, the cam follower should be inspected every 10,000 - 15,000 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 and/or other cooling system may develop a coolant leak. Oil leaking from the  valve cover gasket is also common.

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.

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.

The parking brake may not operate correctly. The correction involves addressing any stored anti-lock brake system (ABS) fault codes, replacing the rear brake pads if required, and following the basic settings procedure as per the scan tool. Our technicians tell us these procedures must be performed in the correct order for the parking brake to function correctly.

To ensure longevity of the engine, our technicians recommend to follow the maintenance schedule for the timing belt.

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

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