Volkswagen Passat Problems

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

The 2006-2017 Volkswagen Passat uses FSI and TSI direct injection engines. These engines are subject to carbon buildup in the intake system which can cause power loss, OBD codes and a check engine light, and a rough idle. In normal engines, the engine is cleaned by the gasoline flowing through the injectors and into the intake system, however, since the Passat uses direct injection, gasoline does not flow through common carbon buildup areas. 

Possible trouble codes include: P0300P0301P0302P0303P0304, P0305, P0306.

The solution is to remove the intake manifold and professionally clean the intake manifold, intake ports on the cylinder head, and the intake valves. This may need to be done in as few as 20,000 miles. 

The 2006-2008 Volkswagen Passat with the 2.0T FSI engine looses power if the turbocharging system has a leak. The most common turbo boost leak is a torn rubber diaphragm on the diverter valve, which is intended to open only if pressure gets too high. Common symptoms are increased turbo noise when letting off of the gas pedal, and power loss.

If there is a turbocharging system leak, the system will need to be inspected, and the defective seals and/or valve will require replacement. 

The flywheel for the 2006-2008 Volkswagen Passat with the 2.0L Turbo engine is a non-conventional "Dual Mass" flywheel. It is known to make light rattling noise when the engine is cold, and should subside once the engine temperature raises. If the rattle doesn't go away when the engine warms, the flywheel may have failed.

If the dual mass flywheel has failed, the only solution is to replace the flywheel.

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. 

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.

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.

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

The water pump and/or other cooling system may develop a coolant leak. Oil leaking from the  valve cover gasket is also common.

Ignition wire breakdown is common, resulting in misfires.

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.

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

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.

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.

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