hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
66,855 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.

2004 Volkswagen Passat cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2004 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #6

Nov 202010

Passat 4-cyl

  • 59,000 miles


My 2004 Volkswagen Passat is part of the "VW oil sludge settlement". I have done all scheduled oil changes, maintenance, etc. I have all receipts. I had to replace the engine coils, the underbody heat, etc. Nov. 20th 2010 I took the car in because a performance light related to the engine came on. I did not know at the time the warranty of the vehicle had been extended. I had to pay $ $654.11 for repairs and spent 4.5 hours at the dealer, VW South service, waiting for my car. Now, I have to take it back in for the same light coming on as in November. I have 2 years to pay for the car approximately $ $8000. A car that is known has major issues with oil sludge and the engine. I cannot afford to continue to pay Volkswagen for a car that is going to give me headaches in the next 2 years, a lemon. And will continuously cause me to miss work. I have the settlement letter and a file with all receipts. VIN# [xxx] - 2004 Passat gls 1.8T information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #5

Oct 122010

Passat 6-cyl

  • 84,300 miles
The owner's manual states that the engine coolant is not to be replaced. However, I now have a heater core that is clogged and that causes no heat in the passenger compartment of the car. The instructions given to consumers in the Volkswagen owner's manual is in error and leads to expensive repair costs.

- Houston, MS, USA

problem #4

Jan 052010


  • 80,499 miles
Purchased a used 2004 VW Passat in April 09. Did not purchase an extended warranty for the vehicle, however, such would not have covered this issue regardless. The Passat heating/air conditioning system is a climatronic. The vents and airconditioning operated as they should. After purchase, noticed on cool mornings that vehicles heat ws not operating correctly necessary for defrosting/defogging windshield and windows. Took vehicle back to dealership and requested diagnostic. Diagnostic was no flow through heater core and recommendation was replacement of heater core in order to receive heat. No indication of any posed danger or threat was indicated by dealership as to this issue. Three months after the diagnosis, having operated the vehicle with no heat for 6 months, the vehicle has now begun to leak massive amounts of antifreeze/coolant, however, the coolant is not leaking out of the car, I cannot see any coolant or very little coolant anywhere underneath, therefore I can only assume that the antifreeze is leaking into the vehicle, possibly posing a fire hazard and risk of being burned should the pressure of the coolant system become to great and the volume of antifreeze in my vehicle is unknown. I am not operating the vehicle at this time. I contacted VW customer care and informed them of this problem, the indicated my vehicle is too old and has too many miles on it for any goodwill replacement. However, there was a recall on VW jettas for a similar issue with the heater core.

- Delmont, PA, USA

problem #3

Oct 282008


  • 75,001 miles


We have a 2002 and a 2004 Volkswagen Passat sedan and wagon. Both have suffered motor mount leakage and both have broken water pump dispellers. We have replaced the water pump parts and are saving up to replace mounts on both vehicles. This seems to be a weak part for Volkswagen. We are constantly going to get something fixed which is not a typical repair for automobiles from other companies.

- Hudson Oaks, TX, USA

problem #2

Sep 012008


  • 55,999 miles
Incident description = 2004 VW Passat had been previously report several fuel consumptions problems at hoy fox VW and gas ended up leaking out of fuel tank and cause a spill in my garage and drive. Hazard was inhalation gas in a closed in area caused head aches/ nausea/dizziness/ for my family and I I have had mutiple problems with vehicle since then has broke down on me twice in less than 1 day's time. On 01 Sep 08 my wife noticed and oil spot in driveway after I left to go out of town granted we have brand new home and the VW was only vehicle parked in that spot she could reach me because no service with my cell phone but I ended up broke down outside big spring, tx the care was sluggish and leaking oil this time and on 03 sep08 in /texarkana after being in shop allday 2sep08 it broke down for a previous condition with ignition coils. Hoy foxvw not admitting that may have put the new oil filter to tight to cause to breakdown after having the oil change on 28aug08/29aug08 for other neglected maintenance. Please look into this matter I'm sure it's not just my vehicle they trying to assume because it just had went out warranty. The engine oil cooler was damaged and bursted when put on at hoy-fox VW by a VW technician after putting the oil filter on entirely to tight. Leaked in yard and I was not aware of it and the spilled out all over the ground at a high temperature vehicle (overheated) which make it hard for me stop while drive because of the slickness of mixture between the coolant and oil. Almost ran off the road but ended up shifting to neutral and letting coast over to median.

- El Paso, TX, USA

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problem #1

Dec 282007


  • 46,332 miles
On 12/28/2007 the oil cooler on my 2004 Passat failed and allowed large quantities of oil to leak into the coolant. The oil cooler repair was covered under VW's powertrain warranty. Per the Passat owner's manual and per verbal confirmation from VW, when a part covered under warranty fails and causes damage to other parts, those other parts are covered under warranty as well. In this case the dealer, flow Volkswagen of greensboro, nc, replaced not only the oil cooler but also the coolant reservoir, and flushed the cooling system 3 times. During the service they telephoned me at work and gave me a quote of nearly $300 to replace the thermostat because they felt it could have been damaged by the fouled coolant. At that time I was not aware that the thermostat was covered under warranty, nor did I know that the dealer already had the thermostat completely out of the vehicle. The dealers service technician noted that the coolant was the consistency of mud. The $300 quote that the flow Volkswagen dealer gave me involved a double charge on the labor as well as violated VW's warranty policy that the thermostat should have been covered. The dealer was already going to charge VW for the removal of the thermostat and other cooling system components, yet they were calling to ask me to pay for the labor as well as for the warranty covered part itself (the thermostat) that was damaged by the oil cooler's leak. During the phone call when I was given the quote the flow Volkswagen service personnel told me that the thermostat might be okay since they were cleaning it. In August of 2008, the Passat's check engine light came on. According to flow Volkswagen this time, the thermostat needed to be replaced and the total charge would be $478.

- Jamestown, NC, USA

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