pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
79,746 miles
Total Complaints:
44 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (15 reports)
  2. not sure (11 reports)
  3. class action law suit (7 reports)
  4. vw to pay for $8000 for a new engine (5 reports)
  5. had to pay dealer $2000 to fix, but no garantees! (3 reports)
  6. complain to warranty co./dealership until they agree to fix (1 reports)
2003 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2003 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments (Page 3 of 3)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #4

Aug 142007

(reported on)

Passat GLS 1.8 T 1.8L T 4CY

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles


Driving on I-65 on a very hot August 13, 2007 day, a warning came came on the dash board and an alarm signaled to "STOP" ... "DO NOT DRIVE". I pulled into a VW/Audi dealership in Mobile, Alabama.

I was told there was no oil pressure due to oil sludge and there were two resolutions suggested by Volkswagen; 1. a de-sludge proceedure or 2. a new engine.

I was asked to find all oil change receipts since the car was new and told that the dealership would consult VW on how to proceed.

The service assistant told me this was a common problem on this engine in VW and Audi models. He told me that he once changed three engines in one month due to this problem.

I called VW at 800-822-8987 and was told there is an extended 8 year warranty on the problem and to gather oil change receipts.

The dealership told me that it would take between one week to one month to resolve the problem.

The express oil change place where I have my car serviced in Atlanta was very helpful and faxed copies of oil changes to the dealership.

The oil change place in New Orleans was wiped out by Hurricane Katrina so there are no records available.

I had the car in the Atlanta dealership at 49,000 +/- miles and no mention was made of this issue.

I had to rent a car and am awaiting resolution.

- , Alpharetta, GA, USA

problem #3

Jun 172007

(reported on)

Passat 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

I was returning from a vacation when my STOP engine light came on. Turned out to be sludge. We contacted VW and they refused to help. denying it was a problem of the engine. They also stated that they sent out letters saying that we needed to use synthetic oil in the car. I never received such a letter. So after months of stalling on VW part I am having the engine replaced myself and I will never own a VW again. Can't recommend them to anyone either. How can you spend a so much money on a car with no back up support from the company when it's their faulty design.

- , Little Falls, NY, US

problem #2

Jun 282007

(reported on)

Passat 1.8T

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

My problem is as other 2003 Passat owners. Oil strainer fills up from sludge. Loses oil pressure. Car is in VW Dealer at this time. This is the fourth trip same problem. I'm looking for a current Class Action Law suit that is currently in process. I've read so many complaints from this problem. I'm currently contacting the Consumer Agency to see if and why they have not gotten involved with this scam. You should also contact them by internet to complain. This is the only way we can deal with this injustice.

- , Key Largo, FL, USA

problem #1

Feb 042007

(reported on)

Passat DL 1.8T

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,000 miles

Apparently, from web searches I've done too late, this is a rampant problem on Passat turbo engines. VW allegedly sent out letters in 2004 extending warranties to 8 years, but they require ALL receipts of oil changes per their maintenance schedule at "authorized" facilities. Missing one receipt, you're out of luck. Allegedly they also sent out letters increasing the frequency of oil changes, stating turbo engines should switch to synthetic oil, and they had dealers use a larger oil filter; none of this was communicated to me. Now I have a worthless dead car with a fried engine and who knows what else from the engine seizing up, have had to lease another car, and have no justice.

- , Laguna Niguel, CA, USA

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