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4.9

definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 1
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
20,574 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

1998 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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1998 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #23

Jun 232006

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,230 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

: the contact stated while driving 60 mph on the expressway, the timing chain fractured prematurely and caused the engine to stall suddenly without warning. The vehicle was towed to the dealership where it was determined the timing chain should have been replaced at 105,000 miles. The vehicle only had 91,000 miles at the time the timing chain broke. The owner's manual did not indicate when to change the timing belt. Updated 09/19/06.

- Hauppauge, NY, USA

problem #22

Jan 032006

Passat 4-cyl

  • miles
1998 Passat timing belt prematurely failed causing vehicle to die. ** ans required***

- Arlington, MA, USA

problem #21

Nov 192005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 92,000 miles
While cruising at highway speed in my 1998 Volkswagen Passat, 3 events occurred simultaneously: A 'pop' sound from the engine area, copious white smoke (not steam) from under the hood, and the engine check light activation. Immediately pulled over, and white smoke increased substantially from (closed) hood, followed within 5 minutes by open flames from the passenger front wheel well. Fire crews were on scene within 10 minutes, but the entire vehicle was engulfed and a total loss.

- Union City, CA, USA

problem #20

Jul 222005

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 95,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

While driving on I95 (md) southbound from elkton, md to aberdeen proving grounds, md, the car suddenly stalled. Obviously, without engine power, the steering and brakes were difficult to operate. Traffic was however avoided due to aid of a highway patrol right behind me. The vehicle was picked up and towed within a couple of hours and taken to a local garage. Cause of the problem was failed timing belt. Car has less than 100,000 miles and it's onnly 7 years old. However, VW refuse to honor the 100,000 miles/10year power train warranty.

- Apo, AE, USA

problem #19

Apr 012003

Passat

  • 53,978 miles
Nar 04/07/2003 Mr. The timing belt, cylinder heads and the mass air flow had to replaced and the consumer is requesting reimbursement. In the past the consumer had to replace 2 window regulators, the sun roof opened and closed for no reason, the rear door would not lock, the windshield wipers did not work.

- High Point, NC, USA

problem #18

Dec 292004

Passat 4-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
I was just told by the VW dealer that my 1998 VW Passat with 1.8T engine needs to be replaced because of sludge problems. I change the oil more frequently than the required 5000 miles (usually between 3000 and 3500), but don't have every receipt, and don't have the oil change receipts from the previous owner, so they won't honor their warranty. They want me to pay $8000 when it is their recognized design flaw. Nothing has been done to correct it yet.

- Solon, IA, USA

problem #17

Apr 042004

Passat 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Like many, many others, my 1998 VW Passat 2.8 liter with tiptronic (automatic) transmission has the following problems: 1) ABS light on (ABS not working); 2) brake light on (both before and after all rotors & pads were replaced and fluid changed); 3) tachometer not working; 4) oil light on (but oil level and pressure are okay). This was an intermittent problem that began early this year but is now almost constant. All problems appear to be caused by a bad ABS controller, which is also used in Audi A4 models (part # 8E0 614 111R). VW dealership quotes over $1000 for the part alone. Sometimes, if the car has been sitting a few days or if it is cold outside, the lights do not come on and the tachometer works correctly for awhile. Then, all of a sudden, all the above-mentioned problems happen. Or, I will be driving the car with the problems, then the tach jumps to life and all the warning lights go out. As I said before: There are numerous people who have the same problems. This is a safety issue (no ABS could lead to accidents) as well as a quality issue: ABS controllers should not fail so frequently on such relatively new vehicles. A recall should be performed by volkswagon and Audi to replace defective ABS controllers in their 1998-on Passat and 1996-on A4 models. Thank you, marc jacobi.

- Bridgeport, CT, USA

problem #16

Jan 052004

Passat

  • Manual transmission
  • miles
Vehicle lost all power on freeway traveling at 65 mph. Would not turn over. Linkage to timing belt malfunctioned @ 100,710 miles. Found out that both timing belt and linkage are not due to be changed until 105,000. Faulty prior to VW's specifications.

- San Ramon, CA, USA

problem #15

May 092003

Passat 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles
The timing belt on my 1998 VW Passat with the 1.8T engine failed at 75,000 miles stranding me by the side of the road. The car has been regularly maintained by VW. The VW maintenance schedule requires replacement of the belt at 105,000 miles. VW denied my warranty claim stating that the original warranty applies only to the first owner. However, my research shows that this is a well known problem and VW refuses to do anything about it.

- Orlando, FL, USA

problem #14

Jan 142003

Passat 6-cyl

  • Manual transmission
  • 66,000 miles
My car died suddenly while I was driving on route 9. my car started to lose acceleration, but I was unable to pull off the road before the engine died. The problem turned out to be related to the timing belt. Apparently the timing belt tensioner failed, causing the timing belt to go into the engine and damage cylinder heads. My local mechanic has informed me the manufacturer has issued a service bulletin that recommends replacing the part. I had the part inspected at 55,000 miles by my local dealer and was not told of the problem or advised to replace the part. At 66,000 miles, the part failed, causing the engine failure during highway driving. The manufacturer is refusing to cover the cost of repair, stating that the car is out of warranty as I am not the original owner.

- Natick, MA, USA

problem #13

Jul 011999

Passat

  • Manual transmission
  • miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Consumer has complained on 3 occasions about the transmission, there was a noise when shifting through gears, when releasing the clutch pedal and driving on an incline, dealer could not duplicate the problem, however in Feb 2000 the dealer did find the engine cover to be loose that may have been the cause of the noise being heard when shifting gears.

- Staten Island, NY, USA

problem #12

Feb 012002

Passat

  • miles
Head gaske leaking oil can cause slick freeways causing accidents. Lower control arm failure can cause sudden death of vehicle in motion.

- Saratoga, CA, USA

problem #11

Feb 022002

Passat

  • miles
The timing belt tensioner fails causing the belt to become loose and fail prematurely. VW is aware of this problem. They have in fact issued an updated part that correct this problem. However I know of many people who have complained about the same problem, and this should be recalled. It is goingt O cost me more than 1,500 dollars to fix this and I am doing it myself. If I were to have taken this to the dealership it would be double that. When the belt fails the valves get bent. I love this car, but htis is a joke. The whole reason I bought this car was so I would not need to work on it.

- Salt Lake City, UT, USA

problem #10

Jan 012001

Passat

  • miles
Catalytic converter replaced early on in ownership. Water pump, oil pump, timing belt replaced two months ago. Turbo replaced twice and still defective. Electrical problems with driver's side window, heated seat, trunk light. Suspension system bushings need replacement @ only 56,000 miles. Steering column replaced early on.

- Sussex, NJ, USA

problem #9

Jan 012001

Passat

  • miles
Catalytic converter replaced early on in ownership. Water pump, oil pump, timing belt replaced two months ago. Turbo replaced twice and still defective. Electrical problems with driver's side window, heated seat, trunk light. Suspension system bushings need replacement @ only 56,000 miles. Steering column replaced early on.

- Sussex, NJ, USA

problem #8

Dec 302000

Passat

  • miles
Bearing failed in water pump caused timing chain to loosen. This resulted in a valve bending while driving on the interstate highway. There were no warnings prior to engine halting while driving at 70 mph. Dealer ended up replacing engine at no cost.

- Haslett, MI, USA

problem #7

Jan 222001

(reported on)

Passat

  • miles
While driving at 70 mph the engine dust cover flew off, this happens right after the oil has been changed, the engine dust cover has flew off a total of 3 times.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Feb 082000

Passat

  • miles
I have this problem of the check engine light going on/off for 3 months, & I took the car to the dealer, he is always giving a temporary fix, after 2 or 3 days the problem again pops up.I reported this to the manufacturer too. One more thing I want to mention here, once I met with an accident in which both the front air bags deployed.but the car has been fixed well. More over I am going out of warrenty next month, I don't know what to do if this problem comes up after that. Please help me in this regard.

- Cary, NC, USA

problem #5

Mar 142000

Passat

  • miles
The vehicle has been in for each recommended 5000 mile service. On two of the five occasions, the engine cover has come loose on the highway, causing considerable distress. It is my and others view that there is a serious design defect.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #4

Jan 181999

Passat

  • miles
Oil pump went out as well, too many problen in two years!

- Texas City, TX, USA

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