hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 3
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
95,776 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #15

Aug 052016


  • miles


I start the car up and it started making funny noise my check engine ligh came on the engine shaking act like it's going to cut off

- East Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #14

Feb 132016


  • miles
My vehicle has been nothing but a nightmare! first the thermostat housing broke got that fixed and then everything else went down hill! oil pressure light started going and then it started overheating. The hoses all break and leak the coolant out plus the transmission code P742 which the transmission is stuck off is on. I can't afford the car worst car ever. It is fine if idle but once your driving everything starts beeping and when I'm turning you hear a noise on the side that your turning!

- Lehigh Acres, FL, USA

problem #13

Nov 152015


  • miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Passat. When starting the vehicle, it jerked and the engine warning light illuminated intermittently. The failure recurred numerous times. The vehicle was taken to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the engine and cooling pump needed to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The vehicle was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 14E007000 (engine and engine cooling). The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was unknown.

- Humble, TX, USA

problem #12

May 072014


  • 85,000 miles


The Passat ignited in our driveway at 4:00 a.M. it had not been started/driven in a week. We woke to the sound of the tire bursting. There is a houston police department /arson case # 140397V - phone # 713-247-8900. Inspector gee. He said the ignition area of the car was the start of the fire. I think he was arson department. The car was totaled. We are lucky we did not loose our house and neighbor's if we had not heard the tire blow. I am not exactly sure of the mileage but know it was low for the year and think it was below 90,000...updated 05/02/16

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #11

May 202014


  • 65,000 miles
Ignition coil has failed 3 times in last 12 months.

- Alexandria, VA, USA

problem #10

Mar 082015


  • 81,000 miles
March 8 at approximately 10pm: On a trip back from out of town with my 2 young children and puppy, the rpms in the VW Passat began escalating yet no additional power was coming into the engine. I tried shifting to a lower gear and also attempted cruise control to minimize the RPM racing. Cruise control did not respond and the change in gear did nothing for the racing rpms. A few more miles down the highway the car began losing momentum -? it was similar to the feeling of running out of gas though I had a full tank. I moved the car into the service lane before the engine shut off. Within seconds of pulling over, the engine began smoking. I felt the need to get out of the vehicle, even though I was on the highway late at night, pregnant, with 2 small children and a puppy. We left everything in the car, got out (I called 911) and were about 8 feet away when flames became visible escaping from the hood of the vehicle. A state trooper was passing through at the time and noticed the strong smell; he quickly circled back and then saw the fire.two fire trucks and 2 more state troopers arrived at the scene -"? but by that point -?? the entire front end of my car was in flames. The tires were so hot from the fire that they had melted to the road. The front end of the car was completely destroyed, the driver'??S side window was blown out, and the dashboard melted. Everything in the car experienced chemical smoke damage and/or water damage from the fire trucks. The insurance company ??totaled?" the car this morning. Sunday night I noticed that NHTSA was at one point investigating VW Passat engine fires. I would encourage you to continue that investigation. Though my children and puppy were not physically injured (I don't know if they have suffered mental trauma) -?? I am pregnant and do not know if the fumes will be toxic to my unborn child...updated 06/01/16

- Arlington, VA, USA

problem #9

Nov 272014


  • 128,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that while driving 15 mph, an unusual sound was heard and smoke started to emit from the engine compartment as the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where the technician diagnosed that the timing belt had become fractured and the cam shaft pulley failed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 128,000.

- Bronx, NY, USA

problem #8

Jun 272012


  • 112,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated while driving approximately 60 mph, the engine stalled. The vehicle coasted to the shoulder of the road. The vehicle failed to restart after several attempts. The vehicle was towed to an independent mechanic who replaced the radiator, the water pump, and the timing belt. The failure recurred. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 112,000.

- Saint Cloud , FL, USA

problem #7

Jul 082014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 133,000 miles
The vehicle heated up due to a fault in VW's Passat cooling system and smoke started to come out from engine. I was driving at around 25 miles / km only. I towed the car to mechanic and had to do a costly repair for water pump, timing belt, etc. I see there is an open recall for this kind of issue in water pump in Passats, so I truly believe the water pump was faulty from manufacturer side. I would like to be repaid for the money I have already spent on this.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #6

Jun 142014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 257,700 miles
Steam came blowing out profusely from all HVAC vents while driving on freeway. After the steam, then came the dash warning to stop driving. After pulling over, the car was shut off and because all coolant was gone, the car was towed to a repair facility who is determining the exact damage and cause.

- Fresno, CA, USA

problem #5

Jun 042013


  • 114,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Passat. The contact stated that while driving at low speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic. The technician diagnosed that the water coolant system and the timing belt had malfunctioned. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 114,000.

- St. Cloud, FL, USA

problem #4

Feb 142014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 117,000 miles
2004 Volkswagen Passat with 117000 miles on this car with 1.8 turbo, stop oil pressure low, took to a local mechanic and oil sludge was detected, was cleaned and started running normally again but emitted a white smoke that smelled from exhaust. Two weeks later stop oil pressure low on car again took to another mechanic and oil sludge build up again. Another $500 and this was yet again cleaned and white smoke still coming from exhaust. Was told that if the turbo is going out that the oil sludge will continue to build up and that it needs to be replaced.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #3

Feb 072014

Passat 4-cyl

  • 74,934 miles
I noticed my coolant reservoir was low and added coolant. I had also noticed the smell of coolant in the car. The next day I check coolant level again it was low with no leaks noticed under car. I opened rear passenger door and found at least 1" of coolant on top of the carpet. I started looking online for this issue and found hundreds of people that have experienced this on Volkswagen. I think they should have recalled these or at least have to correct the problem case by case. My granddaughter has to ride in the back of this car and I don't believe it's safe anymore. I will have to bypass heater core to stop this until repairs can me made. What can be done to get Volkswagen to fix this?

- Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA

problem #2

Jan 312013


  • 117,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Volkswagen Passat. The contact was driving approximately 40 mph when the oil pressure warning light illuminated. The vehicle was taken to an independent mechanic for diagnostic testing. The mechanic stated there was pressure building up in the oil, causing the engine to seize. The mechanic advised the contact that the engine would need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The approximate failure mileage was 117,000.

- Madison, CT, USA

problem #1

Feb 012013

Passat 4-cyl

  • 152,000 miles
Flashing engine lamp/mil light, violent shaking, loss of engine power, foul odor, misfiring, pinging.

- South Gate, CA, USA

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