Last post on Dec 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM
You are in the Volkswagen Passat
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Volkswagen Passat, Sedan, Wagon
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#2504 of 3342 Re: 2003 VW Passat Battery [blitzg99]
Jan 23, 2008 (4:53 pm)
My wife has a 2003 Passat GLS 1.8T. The warranty is 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. Looks like your four years are up, so unless you have an extended warranty, I doubt if the dealer will replace it for free.
Now on to your battery question. I just had the battery changed on her car with an Interstate battery (which I highly recommend - I also replaced the battery on my 2003 Wolfsburg Jetta 1.8T with an Interstate battery). I don't know if it was just me, but the factory batteries don't seem to last as long as they used to (only 4 years on both cars). Maybe its due to an ever increasing number of electronic components, computers, and sensors that are in most cars nowadays. I replaced the original battery on my 1997 Jetta a couple of years ago (the original battery lasted 8 years).
I would stay away from the factory batteries - as they are outrageously expensive, and don't seem to last as long as a reputable aftermarket battery.
#2505 of 3342 About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS
Jan 24, 2008 (1:06 am)
I'm a US Naval Officer stationed in Seoul, Korea and am about to wrap up a deal for a 2003 VW Passat 1.8T GLS. The car appears to be in pristine condition with 36,600 miles and thought it was a bargain at $11,000. The seller claims that she has used synthetic oil since new, so I'm hoping to avoid any possibility of engine sludge.
The VW emblem on the engine cover fell off, because the adhesive melted from the engine heat. Is this normal?
I'm purchasing this vehicle in lieu of 2003 Toyota Sequoia, because of reported reliability issue with the Sequoia.
What are the most common problem area that I should focus on.
Appreciate your insight.
#2506 of 3342 Re: About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS [navyguy1990]
Jan 24, 2008 (4:21 am)
Is this a US spec car? I've got a 2003 1.8T GLS, too.
About the emblem - yeah, they fall off. Look around under the hood, though. They often get caught on the passenger side of the engine, down by the heat shield. That's where mine was!
Here's some random thoughts:
So you already know about the sludge issue. Use 502.00 or better yet, 503.01 full synth oil (M1 0w-40 is what is commonly available in the States). Use the larger spec'd filter (the old VW diesel filter). Don't exceed 5,000 miles between changes.
It's a turbo - let it cool down a couple of minutes after harding running before shutting it down.
Clean the drain plugs in the plenum area. There's a drain under the battery and one under the brake booster. This will keep water from accumulating and leaking into the car. The transmission and comfort control modules are in wells under the front carpet - big issues if these get wet or corroded.
Expect the rear brakes to wear out before the fronts at about a 2:1 ratio.
TIming belt needs done around 60K. Have the water pump, tensioners, t-stat, and rollers done then, too.
My CV boots started cracking around 45K. Catch 'em before they actually rip and you can get away with just having the boots replaced rather than new driveshafts.
Stay on top of the maintenance. VW's need more TLC than most cars and probably lots more than the other cars you see in Seoul.
Watch the door bumnp strips on the front edge of the rear doors for any signs of lifting. The tolerances on the doors is very tight and if they start to lift you will hear a crunch and be looking at some body work on both doors.
Use the OEM spark plugs for this engine. NGKs, but I can't recall the number. They're pricey but seem to work best.
Clean the slush filter regularly. If you follow the air intake before the air filter box, you might find a fine mesh screen - a few leaves or a piece of celophane can really starve the engine for air.
That's about it....good luck with the purchase!
#2507 of 3342 Re: About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS [altair4]
Jan 24, 2008 (4:33 am)
"So you already know about the sludge issue. Use 502.00 or better yet, 503.01 full synth oil (M1 0w-40 is what is commonly available in the States). Use the larger spec'd filter (the old VW diesel filter). Don't exceed 5,000 miles between changes."
I believe that in Korea the best oil is the Shell Helix (I don't remember the grade), but it is a full synthetic and is both 502.00 and 503.01 certified.
#2508 of 3342 Re: About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS [altair4]
Jan 24, 2008 (4:39 am)
Thank you for your insightful advice.
I'm suppose to pick up the vehicle this coming Monday.
It is a U.S. spec vehicle and the lady told me that she bought it new in California and had it shipped here two months after the purchase.
The emblem was turned into a local VW service shop for reattachment, but the shop didn't attach it back on. She's suppose to get them to reattach this weekend. The seller couldn't remember the name of the synthetic oil, but she told me that it was more expensive than Mobil 1 and cost about $7/quart at the military exchange (purple bottle?).
I'd be sure to check the trouble spots that you've pointed out. The seller told me that she replaced the brake pads every 15,000 miles and that the car is on it's 3rd set (36,600 miles thus far on the car). She also complained about the brake dust build up on the alloy wheels.
Do you take your vehicle to a local dealer? I'll be forced to order the replacement parts online and provide them to VW-Korea service center, because replacement parts run about 2-3 times the U.S. price. The labor runs about 1/3 of U.S. mechanic labor, so I'm trying to take advantage of both worlds.
There are plenty BMWs, Mercedes, Volvos, and Hyundais on the military base, but VWs are quite rare.
Thanks again for your advice.
Navy guy in Seoul, Korea
#2509 of 3342 Re: About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS [shipo]
Jan 24, 2008 (4:42 am)
Does Shell Helix come in a purple bottle?
The seller keeps mentioning purple bottle that costs about $7/quart.
Thank you for your advice.
#2511 of 3342 Re: About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS [shipo]
Jan 24, 2008 (5:12 am)
Thank you for your advice on the synthetic oil. I'll carefully check the military exchange shelf for the right oil.
#2512 of 3342 Re: About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS [navyguy1990]
Jan 24, 2008 (7:09 am)
The "Purple Bottle" sounds like Royal Purple if she bought it at the military exchange, but I'm just guessing. Royal Purple is one of those "boutique" oils...Shipo may have more thoughts on that. I'm not sure if they're compliant with 502.00 or 503.01 or what they have. I'm sticking with M1 in my engine.
About the brake dust...the OEM pads can be pretty dusty, but some of the after-market ones are much worse (Ate pads, for one). Others are much less dusty and the dust they make is lighter in color. Specifically, I'm thinking of PBR brand, Deluxe Plus pads. They're about equivalent to OEM for stopping power, dust less, and last longer.
I get some service done at the dealer (mostly oil changes to keep the sludge warranty fully in place). Other stuff I take to a local independent garage that specializes in German makes.
You might want to check out the following for parts:
There are others. You'll need to make contact with them about shipping to you there.
Thought of something else about maintenance:
VW recommends that the brake fluid be changed out every two years regardless of mileage. I'm following that guideline, too.
If you get a BRAKE Failure message, start searching the web for places tht will refurbish your ABS module.
#2513 of 3342 Re: About to buy 2003 Passat 1.8T GLS [altair4]
Jan 24, 2008 (7:15 am)
As far as I know, Royal Purple is NOT certified to meet any VW standards of any kind.
Regarding Mobil 1, yup, great oil, I use it too. I was just trying to give our buddy in the Navy different options just in case it isn't available in the PX.
Regarding brake pads, I used the PBR/Axxis Deluxe Plus pads on my 530i and they were wonderful. Good stopping power, no noise and no dust. I wish they were out for the Audi A3 as it looks like a good possibility that my wife and I are going to be filling both of our garage bays with a pair of 2008 Audi A3 2.0Ts.