really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
92,051 miles
Total Complaints:
49 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (22 reports)
  2. not sure (13 reports)
  3. dealer cleaned engine and replaced some unknown parts (8 reports)
  4. synthetic oil must be used (3 reports)
  5. remove the oil lift tube on pump and clean screen (2 reports)
  6. oil sludge removal machine (1 reports)
2002 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2002 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #9

Feb 122008

Passat GLS 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,000 miles


I love my Passat. I bought it used because my sister totaled her car, so I gave her my Nissan Altima and decided to get a used car. I'm a college student and I needed something safe with good gas mileage...and was enjoyable to drive. So, after several weeks of searching, I found my Passat at a Lexus previously owned dealership. My first sign of trouble should have been like two weeks after I bought the car (76,000 miles, 1 owner, all service receipts) when the check engine light came on! I immediately took it back to the dealership...and they said it was some sort of frayed wiring. They "repaired" it for free and reset the engine light. No problems, for about four months. Then, one day when I was driving to work my car stalled...completely at a red light. Took it to a family repair shop (my mistake) and they replaced the fuel filter or something. The problem happened again immediately after I picked it up...again they "flushed" the fuel system. Picked it up and it was fine for about another month. One time I got the whole "STOP" , Turn off engine!! Oil pressure...message. It didn't come on again when I turned the car back on. Unfortunately, about a few weeks after that, I was in a car accident...I was stopped and a lady didn't realize (on a highway!) and she ran into me! I hit the car in front of me and so on. After my car being in the shop for 6 weeks, I went to pick it up...and the check engine light was on and it was making a noise I had never heard in the 5 months I had owned the car. The repair shop couldn't figure it out and sent it to a Volkswagen dealership. After 2 weeks of nothing...I got the answer I had seen after researching several internet articles ---Engine sludge! The previous owner had luckily had her car serviced at that exact dealership, so they had all her records and I had only had one oil change since I bought the car (I did use synthetic oil and it was at 3,500 miles). So, the dealership is using the extended warranty for the engine sludge issue to repair my car (we had to pay $62 for an oil change). After that, the insurance and the repair shop stopped paying for the rental car, which is not their responsibility at this point. So, I had to pay about $500 for a rental car for the 2 weeks it was at the Volkswagen dealer. It's been about another week and I've been driving my Mom's van to her inconvenience. I've contacted Volkswagen of America about reimbursement/supply of rental car and they said no. My car is supposed to be ready today...but got no call. I'm really nervous that I will keep having problems once it is fixed...I would rather have a new engine than a de-sludge. I've also made 2 car payments for a car that is undriveable. What can I do???

- , Carrollton, TX, USA

problem #8

Mar 272008

Passat 1.8t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles

I've gotten the same problems - just like others have gotten for vw passat,OIL SLUDGE.

I just missed 2 oil changes recently ,so I'm gonna have to pay for all that...Unfair,it is not my fault.

I am pretty sure, I'll never have another vw.

- , Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

problem #7

Oct 312007

Passat GLS Wagon 1.8T

  • Manual transmission
  • 106,188 miles

It is a shame that VW has known about this problem and has not covered EVERYONE who has had this difficulty. They should already know that the pick up tube for the pump is too small, and that the engines should have been running on synthetic oil from the beginning. There should be a VERY low threshold to getting a new engine out of the deal.

- , Gtwn, TX, USA

problem #6

Mar 032008

Passat 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


This problem was to be covered by my extended drive train warranty but the warranty company wanted a service report first. My car dealer really did not have much of a service report to provide. Anyway, the Volkswagen repair shop stated that there was sludge buildup on the engine and the warranty company would not cover the repairs since this was a maintenance issue. I hardly see this has a maintenance issue and had to fork over $1178 out of my pockets. I saw that their were some reported problems on this same issue so I plan to take this issue up with the warranty company, tomorrow.

- , Riverdale, GA, USA

problem #5

Jan 152008


  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,000 miles

My car had the oil pressure light come on, then the engine light. The car had to be towed. I was in a different state at the time. Had to call several Volkswagen dealers before I could find one that would even consider looking at the car within the next 24 hours. I had to leave the car in Minnesota for over two weeks waiting for Volkswagen to approve the repairs. Yes, I did have to provide proof of all oil changes and work done to the car before Volkswagen would approve the repairs. The engine should have been replaced, but Volkswagen would not pay for that. Instead they repaired the car. By the time it had been driven back to Wisconsin the engine light was on again. This time the car went to the local Volkswagen dealer and I ended up with a bill of $1200. It isn't over yet. I still need another $1000 of work.

I really liked my Passat and was planning on driving it for a long time. No longer.

- , Plover, WI, USA

problem #4

Sep 262006

Passat GLS 1.8t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,615 miles

Practically out of the Major Auto dealership lot, the check engine light started going off. I took it back and was told it was coils and sensors. After several trips to Major, they finally told me my time with them was up and I needed to go to away. I should have got out right from the start but it was my first car and I was absolutely clueless. People were telling me that the check engine light often fails due to sensor problems and I shouldn't be that concerned. Little did they know. I could't pass my first inspection because of it. The mechanic at the inspection site sent me to another auto mechanic and told me to pray that it was my catalyic converter. Thank God it wasn't because I was quoted a couple of thousand to have it fixed. I'm not sure what the mechanic did but the light went out for a while (at least to pass inspection). After my first oil change, the oil pressure light came on with the ominous STOP! turn off the engine. I was terrified until this became a common occurrence and no one could find the cause. Finally, the car broke down on 9/26/06 and had to be towed. My first dealing with Big Apple Volkswagen, the rudest (that's your problem tone of voice) customer service center. Initially they wanted to try and charge me but luckily I had a tough talking insurance adjuster who told me to leave them to him. $5000 dollars( covered under extended warranty), several phone calls and no loaner later, I happily had my car back. Or so I thought.

- , Bronx, NY, USA

problem #3

Jan 172008

Passat 1.8L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,000 miles


This freakin wagon has turned out to be a recurring nightmare! The first # of months it spent in the shop on & off should have told me-guess im slow. The turbo in this 4 cyl. engine is trash! Come to find out its advised you add premium gas. Now this oil sludge thing has created an entire new headache...bringing back the fact i need to fix the turbo AGAIN! 2002 Passat turbo is a great little wagon for those who don't have a problem & are in search of one.

- , Merriam, KS, USA

problem #2

Nov 272007

Passat 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

Bought this Certified Pre-owned Car 20 months ago. I have put less than 24K miles on it but it has been in the shop at least 16 times. Most recently the oil pressure light came and the engine sounded horrible. I have had 3 estimates and they are wildly different and incredibly expensive.

Spoke with the Service Manager, Mario at Pasadena Volkswagen and he informed me that they have to have all of the receipts for the car before they can make the repairs that are under warranty. I have NEVER heard of anything like this. At this point, it appears that they will do nothing with the vehicle until they receive the receipts

- , Sierra Madre, CA, USA

problem #1

Nov 232007

Passat TD 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 83,000 miles

I've owned 15 cars and i must say this is the worse automobile I've ever owned. From day 1 the annoying warning lights, water leaks the engine sludge, just too many other problems to list. was really looking forward to buying a Toureg but i will never own another VW. very disappointed.

- , Hiram, GA, USA

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