Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
116,857 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (3 reports)
  2. engine replacement (2 reports)
  3. replace oil pump & oil feed line (1 reports)
2000 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2000 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #6

Feb 252014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles



- , Kirkland, WA, USA

problem #5

Sep 052011

Passat GLS 1.8L T

  • Automatic transmission
  • 134,000 miles

Ok... where to start? The 2000 Passat GLS I drive daily as a commuter car was actually purchased by my wife. I helped her decide on the purchase before we were married. The car had its issues over the life of its service but this latest problem is way too major to not complain.

Oil system h3ll. The problem started as many have described with the infamous STOP ENGINE message that makes you think the car is seconds away from eminent doom. Of course as many of you probably found out this is not initially the case. I did have the car checked and the first time no mention of sludge or oil was brought up. However about 8 months ago when I noticed the engine had a funny sound (this was after months of driving it with the STOP message coming on every few minutes) so I went to my trusted Mechanic.

He and I discussed the issues and after his diagnosis we agreed the sludge problem had finally become a serious concern. He went ahead and pulled the pan and filler tube and did some major cleaning and put it back together. I drove it for another 5 months and then the STOP returned. Same deal, every few minutes, and the oil/engine always seemed too hot when you lifted the hood. Well this time I just pushed it till to the brink of failure considering the mileage and that the only real solution was probably a new car (or motor) We paid the car off in 2005 so I was not concerned with payments. It is very frustrating that a car made by a supposedly great German Engineering team could have such a simple Achilles heel.

I decided despite my anger at VW to go ahead with a motor swap. As bad as the failure was, and the way other items have failed when the car is running good it really is a smooth, fast, decent handling vehicle. In my search to find a motor and options for repair I discovered the 1.8L T engine despite its fatal flaw, has a reputation in the Hi Performance world. So during my engine swap I am adding several hi end components and hope to have a significant (30~35%) increase in HP and Torque. I am also going to take the old engine back and probably rebuild it personally and either sell it (rebuilds fetching ~$5K) or hold it for the next sludge failure (since my mechanic says the swap is easy ~$700).

Obviously I like to take bad situations and try to find the silver lining. I hope I did, we shall see soon enough when the "silver bullet" (my new nickname for it) rolls out of the shop and I take it to the track and the country roads of Central NJ (yes there really are some!). I feel bad for those who saw this failure at much earlier intervals. Granted 134K is no great life but if the swap goes well and I get another 100K (now that I know to use strictly Mobil1, add a massive oil cooler and real time pressure gauge) I will feel like I got off easy. Swap for me was about $3K in motor and labor. I do not count the Hi Perf stuff in that since it is add ons ($1K). I just thought for anyone out there bummed over this that maybe they to could get a little more life out of the car by hearing my story.

By the way, we did attempt the warranty route but were shot down by the time frame. We managed to get 11 years and 134K so VW was like others have said. If I ever buy another new car.... Honda or Toyota, they seem to be the workhorses. At any rate if you see an old 2000 GLS 1.8T that seems just a bit more peppy than you expected, it might be me!

- , Mount Laurel, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 102011

Passat 1.8t

  • Manual transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Low oil pressure light..looked it up and see that it is very common with VW Passat to have oil sludge build up...Class action says they will pay only if you keep all receipts,,,,problem. We do all our own oil changes and never thought about keeping the oil and filter receipts. We log everything so we are basically to tow the car to a dealer to fix....Will update with info...from what I hear it is a 2-3000.00 dollar problem...arrgggg

- , Fairplay, CO, USA

problem #3

May 252010

Passat GS 1.8L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,800 miles


Engine light came on - Low Pressure Warning with STOP on dash. Stopped immediately and let cool down. Drove 3 blocks to Jiffy Lube and was told oil level was fine. Suggested I use a Full Synthetic oil. He showed me a document from VW to use Full Synthetic oil with a large can oil filter.

After reading about the horror stories of other 1.8T owners with similar problems I will probably not get this fixed. NADA value of car is approx. $2,000. The fix for this problem could cost as much as $1,000.

Update from Jun 17, 2010: Ever hear the one about the heater core needing replaced and 40,000 mi., or about the ABS electronic module needed rebuilt at 50,000 mi. or the secondary air pump and combo valve replacement at 70,000 mi. or the auto shift linkage breaking at 60,000 mi. Of course there are the normal wear and tear items like the dual upper control arms, timing belt, water pump, trunk latch and sensor, window regulator, mass air flow sensor, vacuum hoses and filmed over headlight lenses.

Is this car a Porche or Mercedes? It sure costs like one.................

- , Westminster, MD, USA

problem #2

Aug 012005

Passat GLS 1.8L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles

I've had 3 VW's and will NEVER buy one again. I currently have a 2000 VW Passat 1.8L Turbo. At 62000 miles "STOP ENGINE" light and oil pressure light came on. I was next to a gas station so I pulled in and turned the engine off within 30 seconds. I called AAA and had it towed to VW. A week later they informed me that oil sludge had blown my engine and they would be glad to replace it for $9800. I still owed $6k on the car so I had to get it fixed. I found a used engine in Wisconsin, had it shipped and installed for $5200. Fast forward to 2006. Smoke coming out the tailpipe. Once again, stopped it and had it towed. This time the turbo had blown. Another $2550. VW would not pay for my engine because they found a real slick scumbag way to get around paying by saying you had to have all oil change receipts since purchase of the car. I got the oil changed every 4k miles (the dealer told me I could go 5k) but since I didn't get it done at VW, REJECTED!!! Then, in 2005 my heater core blew while I was driving, releasing steam into my car and I almost had an accident. They did replace that. Next, my remote key had to have the battery replaced 3 times. The 4th time I took it in they told me it was no longer the battery and I needed a new $267 key. Are you kidding me?? I think it's reasonable to believe your car key will last while you own the car. In a nutshell, if there is a class action lawsuit, let me know, I'm in. VW should be ashamed of themselves. BUNCH OF COWARDS.

- , Boca Raton, FL, USA

problem #1

Jan 182009

Passat 1.8L Turbo

  • Manual transmission
  • 122,340 miles

I had no idea that when I bought this used VW Passat 1 year ago that oil sludge build-up is a common problem with turbo engines; perhaps especially VW's? The mechanic that is a VW specialist even quoted VW and AUDI cars as 'sludge-cars'.

My first quote from the dealership in Knoxville, TN to clean the engine was $2400. Being that my car is 9 years old, I have surpassed the only responsibility they offer- which is a 8 year window with ridiculous conditions.

My next quote includes replacing the oil pump and oil feed line and will cost $830.

This 'quick fix' is not a guarantee. The engine is still good because I did what the car computer told me to do- STOP; TURN OFF ENGINE- check OIL PRESSURE; YOU'RE SCREWED!

- , Knoxville, TN, USA

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