really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,826 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (7 reports)
  2. engine was replaced (3 reports)
2004 Volkswagen Passat engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Volkswagen Passat Owner Comments

problem #10

Apr 172010

Passat 1.8t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 101,000 miles


Oil light came on...engine seized ...complained to VW OF American at there 800 phone #,took it to a local dealer for repair,after many conversations with dealer{who wasn't any help}Finally got vw of America to call the dealer,after producing oil change receipts they finally covered engine... FREE REPLACEMENT.... just have to complain a lot to the right people at VW, don't give up...

- , New Bedford, MA, US

problem #9

Mar 262011

Passat V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,453 miles

I purchased my 2004 Passat 2 1/2 years ago and I have been having on going problem after problem with this car. My first issue was the drainage problems from the sun roof, every time it would rain the inside of my car would get soaked. For a while my husband and I had no idea what was happening until we took the car back to vw and they repaired it at no cost to us which was fine. But that was only the beginning of our nightmare with this vehicle.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #8

Mar 262011

Passat V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,843 miles

My third complaint about this piece of crap of a car is that now it does not work. Like so many of you I am having that same problem with the engine going bad. That big STOP sign came on and said oil pressure low. The car would not start and has not started in about two now, had it towed to the mechanic and he is saying that I need a new engine. WTF, this car isn't even that old. The engine thats in it now still looks brand new. At the moment my husband and I can't afford a new engine so we going to have the car towed back to the house where it will just sit. The sad part about the whole thing is that we are still paying for this piece of you no what. VW should be ashamed of selling faulty vehicles and I will never buy another one.

- , Washington, DC, USA

problem #7

Jun 012007

Passat 1.8L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


I want to point out that owners of the 2001-2004 Passat w/1.8 liter turbo engines are about to get the final death blow. This car is well known for the famous "engine sludge" issue and the money it has cost VW and the owners of the Passats.

The cleverly disguised "sludge issue" is not the true cause of the problem, the real issue is caused by a major design flaw of the engine. The engines were assembled in Turkey and when the failure issue started showing up, VW blamed it on the assembly of the engines being faulty from the Turkey plant.

Once the procedures at the plant were investigated and found as being followed properly, VW finally took an X-ray look at the engine. They found that the cause was a design flaw with the openings where the oil passes between two parts of the engine, the openings are not aligned properly! Therefore the engine is always operating under a restricted flow of oil.

Nowhere has this been made public. VW is trying to settle a class-action lawsuit (in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, Docket# 1:07-md-01790. This suit is VW's way of possibly washing their hands once and for all of this issue. VW is about to get away without having to publicly state the real issue and provide the owners the true financial compensation we should receive. Just pay us for our loss instead of the lawyers.

My 2004 Passat (bought certified used from a VW DEALER) cost me $1,800 in labor to replace the engine and I lost $6,000 in trade-in value. The replacement engine was backed by VW for only 12K miles or 12 months. That is VW's real acknowledgment of what they knew about the issue. I traded the vehicle in because the replacement engine was going to have the same issue and fail again, therefore costing me even more money.

The lawyers for the class action suit want to settle and quickly because the court has the right to award the lawyer up to $37.5 million in attorney fees and $1.75 Million in related costs. Whose best interest do the lawyers hold?

So for me, this means, VW and the lawyers are willing to give me $900 for the $7,800 ($1,800 labor bill and $6,000 hit on trade-in value) the car cost me because of this issue.

- , Urbandale, IA, USA

problem #6

Dec 282009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I will never buy another VW again. This oil sludge problem is absolutely ridiculous. I am so careful about oil changes...always at the dealer and with the right oil. Yet, my car sits in the driveway and I can't drive it due to the STOP MOTOR, oil pressure light coming on due to oil sludge. I cannot afford to fix my car and I have no way to get to my job. VW has done nothing but propose expensive repairs. I am so frustrated. VW will never have my business again.

- , Due West, SC, USA

problem #5

Aug 142009

Passat 1.8L Turbo

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,500 miles

took our car in to get a new headlight and coil wire they did some recalls. within 24hrs our oil light came on. we took it to the dealership who said we needed a new engine(cost between $8000 and $9000). found out a week later about oil sludge problems online noone told me this was the causer could be the cause ive talked to VW they wont help because we used the 15000 mile mobile 1 and changed it every 10000 or so going over it once to12000. they said we voided our warranty. the problem is we bought the car new in 05 and neither VW nor the dealership ever notified us of the possible problems or the 8 year extended warrenty that was on the car if they had we wouldn't have bought it we were looking for something reliable or so we thought. so if anyone knows what or where i should go to get help on solving this i would appreciate it thanky you.

- , West Branch, IA, USA

problem #4

Aug 202009

Passat 1.8L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,465 miles


We purchased this car used in January 2008. We have had it to the dealer ship several time for recalls and repairs. Prior to this most recent event, I was driving home from work when the whole car starts to vibrate. This was at the end of June. We take it to the dealership and we asked them to run a diagnostics on it and was told it was an ignition coil problem. No other problems noted. Cost of repairs around $400. On August 20, 2009 my husband was on his way to the hospital to pick up his dad when a large STOP came on the dashboard warning him of engine problems. He checked the oil and it was fine. We had the car towed to the dealership. The dealer called stating they thought it might be a sludge problem but the Turbo had also went out of it and would have to be replaced prior to the Sludge test. The cost $1700. The next call was to inform us that the engine would need to be replaced for $6000-$8000. The technician advised my husband to get a new car. Which we would love to do, however we still owe for this piece of JUNK. The dealer advised that VW may cover some of the repairs if we could provide them all the maintenance records but as it is a used vehicle that wasn't possible.

So we paid another tow bill and the car is currently sitting in the driveway taking us space and I plan to shop for a Clunker that will get me from point A to point B as I can't afford another car payment at this time. I will NEVER own another VW product. I will tell everyone I know that they are a piece of junk. This is the worst vehicle we have ever owned.

- , Georgetown, KY, USA

problem #3

Jul 112009

Passat 1.8L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles

My 2004 Passat engine just quit working. My wife was driving the car when the stop running light came on. The car started shaking. She pulled over immediately and got out of the car she said oil was running onto the ground underneath the car. The tow truck driver said it doesn't look good. We have the oil changed ever 3000-4000 miles. I hope VW STANDS BEHIND THIS PROBLEM. I will let you know what happens. If you have any help for us please email us at burkelands@msn.com

- , Deerfield, WI, USA

problem #2

Jul 162008

Passat 1.8t

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

I bought my Passat 1.8T used with 15k and at 36k my light came on to Stop because of oil pressure, no warning light came on before this to check the oil. I had to tow it to a VW dealer, at first I was told it was covered under warranty if I produced my oil change receipts which I did and then waited after three weeks I was told that the receipts were not valid enough for the warranty. Better still I was made to feel like I did nit care for my car and was threatened with VW going after my garage because idf insufficient oil changes. I have been using this garage since I had my first car and my family and husbands family uses it also and I am the only one with oil sludge. I am now finding out that this is a common VW fault which VW does not like to stand behind the warranty fix. I had bought the VW after a car accident I had with my Subaru that had close to 100k on it. I will never buy a VW again I am going back to Subaru at least I know that the car is solid and they stand behind all their work.

- , Hop Bottom, PA, USA

problem #1

May 062006

(reported on)

Passat GLS Wagon

  • 27,000 miles

The oil pressure light went on while we were traveling on the highway, and the engine seized. The dealer is saying they can't identify what caused the problem but they are refusing to cover the cost of the engine replacement under the warranty because we failed to keep to the maintenance schedule.

- , Northampton, MA, USA

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