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.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety.

9.0

really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
$1,300.00
Average Mileage:
101,250 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. de-sludge engine (5 reports)
  2. not sure (4 reports)
  3. replace engine (1 reports)
2001 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2001 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #10

Jan 252010

Passat GLS 1.8t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles

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

I'm normally a calm, rational mid 40's kind of guy. Nothing much really raises my blood pressure. Until you mention 2001 Passat.

Then I'm Capone, "I want the car dead, the brand dead, and delaership burnt down to the ground". I bought this used, from a dealership in Circleville. Took it for a test drive..oooh the luxury, isn't this different..these are rare on the roads, as the delaer silver tongued me.

So, I paid up my $8,500 in 2006, and off I sailed, just like the Titanic. Within 5000 miles "Whats this CEL??". Got it reset a few times, and it went away. Meanwhile, drivers window collapsed when using an ATM. In the pouring rain. Nice huh?. $250 later, and the trunk latch decides to join the money party. Another $110.

Remember that CEL?..MAF sensor. $180 just for the part, and all the hoses had holes, and replaced. $265 dollars please. It was getting to the point where I knew all the mechanics buy their first names, and was given free donuts and coffee, as I walked through the door. Kid ye not.

Don't forget the cost of 93Premium..just another thing to bend over for.

Then Herr Passat decided the honeymoon was over, and brought out the big guns. Sludge. Chocolate fudge as my 10 yr put it. Oil pump collapsed, strainer went. $330 and that was cheap to replace. Then the heater core was packed like concrete, with coolant that was contaminated. Driving in -10F weather, swopping hands as you keep one warm under your butt, on the heated leather seats, to drive is no joke. Took three days to chip out all that c*ap from the cores, lines, and radiator.

Every garage in Chillicothe Ohio, knew me, and my car. They waved, and smiled as I drove past, knowing it was a waiting game.

Then more sludge, and the turbo was giving me nightmares, would not perform as well as it should, which in VW speak, "If at all". I was about $3300 out of pocket, on a $15ph wage. I was eating ramen noodles, and eating at Cici's pizza. I'm a engineer, not a student Jim. My kids couldn't look me in the eye. It was becoming embarassing. It was time for me and VW to part. It wasn't VW it was me..ok..it was VW.

Oh..don't forget the G12 purple coolant, that only VW supplies. $100 a bottle.

The best thing you can do with that body style of Passat, is to paint it bright yellow, drop it into a pool of crushed ice, and sell it for 5c a glass.

I have never darkened the doors of VW since then, nor will I ever dabble with the Dark Arts of Wolfsburg ever again.

Walk away..abandon all hope, ye that turns that expensive keyfob.

- , Bellefontaine, OH, USA

problem #9

Jan 092014

Passat 1.8L: Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

Read some other complaints and was amazed at how similar they sound to my current decision.

Took in our newest addition to our family. Had car for 4 months.

3 error codes were identified and a quote and repair of $850 for several vacuum sensors.

Then, just as we were leaving to pick up car. We received a call that the mechanic took our car out for a test run. Confirmed that it was a 6 mile ride. Evidently, while they were driving our car the check engine light came on with some change in the running.

They checked oil pressure and it is withing specs at idle and at 2000 RPM.

They recommended check for engine damage (remove valve cover $142) and a $1900 oil souping repair.

I am faced with a decision on what to do Monday. With their recommendations it appears $3000 or potentially new engine. Then the choice is to keep or sell. Sell is my current opinion.

This really pisses me off, similar to others. Hard to produce oil change history with only 3 months of ownership. Most reputable engine manufacturers do not need to hold owners accountable to very rigid oil requirements unless they have no margin to protecting engine with chosen design.

I can now see choice of buying this car was a very risky financial decision, especially without seeing this operating experience. I will not buy again without doing more research on site like this. Good site.

I am posting for the benefit of anyone else considering buying older VW's in this time frame where this engine or similar may have little margin to engine failure.

- , Albertville, MN, USA

problem #8

Feb 072011

Passat GLS 1.8L Turbo 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

VW Passat...I hate this word.....I bought a Passat around 2 years ago (70K miles on it)...I was getting a STOP ENGINE - OIL PRESSURE light came on at 104000 miles...I towed the car to my independent mechanic...he said the car has oil sledge issue and get the car to dealer...I towed again to the dealer....the dealer said they can fix the issue by replacing oil pump...it cost my $1300...at the time of delivery they said there will be some noise at the time of engine idle and there will not be any problem when the car is on highway...I got the same warning message with-in 2 miles from the dealer...I took the car back to dealer and they said they cant do anything other than replacing the engine and it will cost me $8000. I also have got a letter from VW about extending the warranty for oil sludge issue. but, the dealer said you need a all the oil change receipt (i have them) and I should have used only synthetic oil (I did)....but, looks like the oil should be VW recommended 5W-40....

However, all I can say is they are trying to find some reason...they don't want to fix it...VW is crap and VW dealers are really really stupid and they just want to take advantage of you...they are the devils...I hate all those guys...they dont even know how to respond to a customer....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE never ever suggest your friends to buy VW....

Update from Feb 18, 2011: VW Passat...I hate this word.....I bought a passat around 2 years ago (70K miles on it)... STOP ENGINE - OIL PRESSURE light came on at 104000 miles...I towed the car to my independent mechanic...he said the car has oil sledge issue and advised to send it to dealer...I towed again to the dealer....the dealer said they can fix the issue by replacing oil pump...it will cost my $1300...I said ok as I had no option…at the time of delivery they said there will be some noise when the engine idle and there will not be any problem when the car is on highway...I got the same warning message with-in 2 miles from the dealer shop...I took the car back to dealer and they said they cant do anything other than replacing the engine and it will cost me $8000.

I also have got a letter from VW about extending the warranty for oil sledge issue. but, the dealer said I need to have all the oil change receipt (i have them) and I should have used only synthetic oil (I did)....but, looks like the oil should be VW recommended 5W-40....I have used 5W-30 so far…

However, all I can say is they are trying to find some reason...they don’t want to fix it...VW is crap and VW dealers are really really stupid and they just want to take advantage of you...they are the devils of this world...I hate all those guys...they dont even know how to respond to a customer....PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE never ever suggest your friends to buy VW....

- , St Paul, MN, USA

problem #7

Oct 052010

Passat 1.8L Turbo

  • Manual transmission
  • 142,000 miles

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

My problem occurred with the check engine light flashing and a slight loss of power while cruising at 65mph...I took the next exit and the engine was idling rough and I began hearing loud metallic noise coming from the engine. After a tow to the VW dealer, they informed me that the cylinder head was not getting oil and for $950.00 they could do a diagnosis..come to find out they told me the oil screen was plugged due to oil sludge...the mechanic and service adviser know of this problem with this motor, but the dealership keeps it hushed! (The mechanic said "we see this all the time..but de-sludging the motor may work for you") What really bothers me is that I bought this car at their dealership used & they still wouldn't work with me on this and said VW wouldn't offer a free engine replacement because I am not the original owner!! THIS IS bullsh@t as I have kept this vehicle maintained through VW service!!

After they supposedly de-sludged the engine (which I think is a lot of crap because once the engine is starved of oil, no matter how short it is ran, damage has already occurred.), they tell me that even though they replaced the tube and oil is now getting up to the head, I have a cylinder that is missing (burnt exhaust valve)...because of the mileage (142,000 miles) they recommend a new motor at a cost of $7500.00 or buying a used one from the salvage yard for $4500.00!! To be really nice they said they would incorporate the $950.00 diagnosis cost in the engine replacement costs.

These people are killing me financially!! Three weeks ago, just prior to this engine problem, I spent $2300.00 at their dealership for preventive maintenance reasons...NEW timing belt, water pump, serpentine belts, radiator, hoses, and new rear pads and brake rotors, cam shaft seals and valve cover gasket...I would think that when the mechanic replaced the cam shaft seals and gasket, he would have made note about potential sludge in the motor incompetent I say and he and the service advisor were in "cahoots" the whole time...

If there is a class-action suit I would like to join this suit if anyone can send me information...my email address is: uno_yps_i@hotmail.com. After getting the quote for the repair to replace the engine, I told them to forget it!! I then told them to button up the engine and I would drive it away, which I did even though the engine is missing on one cylinder! I am not going to spend anymore money into this car!! The BlueBook value on this car is $4100.00 (before the engine problem) and I still owe the bank $4500.00!! With the engine failure, I can't get crap for this car and I am in the hole big-time & all the service manager and service advisor said was "oh we are sorry, but there is nothing we can do. we did give some discount on the parts and labor".

Thank you VW for the CRAPPY engineering design you so carefully thought out when designing this engine!! (Your product development SUCKS...it would help if your company considers real-use conditions and conducts 1000's of hours laboratory analysis/dyno testing/etc., BEFORE releasing products to the public if you would have done this you would have known about this problem beforehand...too be honest I now BELIEVE that VW knew of this problem even during development, but corporate management disregarded the issue due to getting the product to market first!!) Shame on YOU VW!!!

- , Sd, CA, USA

problem #6

Nov 242009

Passat GLS 4 cyl 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

This car is terrible! Volkswagen knows about the sludge problems but won't recall. Only option is to have sludge cleaned out and its costly and it WILL come back after a while. I'm buying american from now on.

- , Center Line, MI, USA

problem #5

Apr 292010

Passat 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

2001 VW PASSAT ENGINE LIGHT CAME ON LOW OIL PRESSURE LIGHT CAME ON ...SAYS "STOP CAR". TOOK IT DEALER, WOULD NOT HONOR WARRANTY WITHOUT PROOF OF OIL CHANGES EVERY 3,000 MILES. THIS IS A WIDESPREAD PROBLEM WITH VW.

- , Jamaica, NY, USA

problem #4

Dec 052009

Passat Wagon 1.8L

  • Manual transmission
  • 97,000 miles

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

Several problems lately with my 2001 passat! So far the last two months I have replaced the o2 sensors, temp sensor, air mass sensor, and vacuum hose all to the tune of approximately $900. Oil pressure light came on the other day, my mechanic flushed the oil system and did an oil change in order to buy me a little time, because with all other repairs I can't afford the $700 for the oil pump during Christmas time for heavens sake! I am afraid my whole engine is or will be ruined like so many others!!!! Still making payments on this car and I owe way more than this lemon is worth. I am afraid from here on out it will be one problem after the other......

- , Portland, OR, USA

problem #3

Mar 202007

Passat GLS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

My wife has owned this car since new. she was driving our baby boys out to Arizona from Cali to visit family, about 3 hrs drive. when out in the middle of the Mohave a warning light came on with the engine light saying STOP ENGINE OIL PRESSURE PROBLEM she had the car towed to the nearest dealer and thay said that it was some oil sludge problem and that she should ignore it and drive the car and have it checked by our regular dealer. our local dealer said that they said that the had fixed the problem after 1200 dollars of repairs. one month later the light came back on. the dealer told us that we should start to look for a new car and that the car was going to cost us a lot of money soon. but that it should be ok after the repairs that they had done. they said that it was probably a bad sensor or something to do with the computer and that we should just ignore it.

about a week later my wife was driving our boys over to visit a friend and the engine light came on accompanied with a weird engine sound.

we towed it to the dealer and they said that it would be 660$ just to drop the oil pan and look. This has been an outrage and I feel like Volkswagen should fix the problem for free.

- , Pomona, CA, USA

problem #2

Dec 012008

Passat GLS 1.8t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,500 miles

I just got the call from the dealer about my Passat wagon: oil sludge. When it was towed in, I left all the oil change records on the seat (only missing two records), knowing in advance what they'd want from me. The dealer had contacted VW North America and promised to cover all repairs. Thank God.

- , Sandy Springs, GA, USA

problem #1

Jan 022008

Passat GLX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

1/12/08

Volkswagen Passat GLX 2001 bought as a certified used vehicle from Rusty Wallace Volkswagen March 4, 2004. Mileage at time of purchase. 32,522 Major services as well as most minor services where provided by Boardwalk VW Richardson TX. 75080. As stated most of the service to vehicle performed by Volkswagen Dealerships. Some oil changes perhaps 3 preformed by third party oil and lube shops. All oil changes where either synthetic blends of oil or full synthetic oils, as recommended by VW. Specifically Castrol blend or Castrol Syntec.

At approximately 97,000 on January 2, 2008 my wife was driving the vehicle from her work to home late in the evening when the EGR light came on and almost immediately there after the message of �Service Vehicle Now� She said that after the light and warning message came on the engine quit. She pulled over to the side of the road and the vehicle would not start. So she sat there for approximately 10 minutes and tried the engine again. It started and she drove home. She was approximately 3 miles from the house when this happened. She informed me of the problem and I called BoardWalk VW and had the vehicle in the shop by Jan 3, 2008. After waiting until late Friday finally got the verdict. Vehicle engine need to be de-slugged at a cost of $2100.00. I informed the service person that I found it hard to believe that the engine was slugged up as stated when Castrol Syntec was the primary oil used since the vehicle was bought. I told him to check his service records on the computer in front of him. He did and was then asking me if I could provide oil change info for the times I got it serviced else where. I told him to check the glove box of the Vehicle in question. He then stated that he might be able to get me a discount on the procedure of de-slugging the engine. I told him I was going to have to have the procedure regardless of cost! What was I too do junk a car worth about $7000.00?? He stated that he would talk to his service manager about a discount or perhaps VW would pay for it? Monday the 7th of January 2008 was informed that his service manager would allow a 30% discount o the procedure. So now where at a price of $1470.00 this is much better than $2100.00 but still a large repair considering that all oil changes where performed with synthetic oil!

At the date I am writing this, the vehicle is waiting in line to be de-slugged. Yes waiting in line! Scheduled de-slugging Monday Jan 14, 2008. By the time I get my vehicle back VW will have had it for approximately 2 weeks. Almost all of this time spent waiting in line to have the procedure!

Roderick C. Stull

- , Plano, TX, USA

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