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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#3149 of 3342 MIL (Malfunction Indicator Light)
Oct 01, 2010 (3:59 am)
Background: I've owned a 2003 VW Passat GLS 1.8T for about 2.5 years and the car currently has 46K miles on it. I've replaced ignition coils and the transmission control module (flooded interior compartment). Just a week ago, there was a torrential downpour and I've had to drive through about a foot of standing water and I drove through at a snail's pace. The engine was fine, but immediately the car's horn now sounds like a toy car honking and four days after the event the MIL (one with engine shape) light came on. In my Sienna I've experienced "check engine" light and all I've had to do was tighten the gas cap and drive about 30 miles for the light to clear. I've driven the car for more than 50 miles and the light is still on. The car seems to perform normally.
Additionally, after I've replaced the transmission control module about a year ago, the downshift from 2nd gear to 1st gear seems to be little rough, especially as I try to make it up a hill.This is a sporadic problem and I've originally thought that it might be the transmission. I've had the dealer inspect the transmission and replace the transmission fluid. The dealer didn't find anything unusual and the fluid was normal. I still have sporadic problems, especially as the car is warmed up.
Can you share some thoughts on:
1. Car's horn
2. MIL light (how do I clear it), because the car is running fine
3. Sporadically rough downshifting transmission
Navy guy who is stationed in Seoul, Korea
#3150 of 3342 Re: 03 Passat [rosie11]
Oct 01, 2010 (8:35 am)
rosie: It's difficult to determine brake replacement intervals without actually physically inspecting them (although I think your Passat would have a wear sensor on the front pads which would alert you when they are getting thin). I'm not a big fan of dealers. My advice? Establish a relationship with a good independent shop which specializes in German cars (where you can actually talk to, get to know, and trust your tech). These shops will have the diagnostics available to do specialized repairs, and including your 75k check. vwdawg
Oct 01, 2010 (9:41 am)
The horn was probably damaged by water.
MIL - are there any OBD II readers in Korea?
Transmission - no clue.
#3152 of 3342 Re: 03 Passat [vwdawg]
Oct 01, 2010 (3:42 pm)
There's a real good chance that the rear brakes will need to be replaced before the fronts (of course, it's the fronts that have the wear indicator - thanks, VW!).
The only way to deal is to pull the wheels to check. And be aware that it is possible the outer pad looks pretty good, but the inner pad is more worn. I had that happen on the rear brakes on my '03 Passat, with the original pads. At 20K miles, the inner pads were shot.
#3153 of 3342 Re: hmm [krzyss]
Oct 01, 2010 (3:43 pm)
x2 on Krzyss's post.
#3154 of 3342 I will probably stick with my Subys
Oct 03, 2010 (9:12 pm)
As long as people continue to buying these vehicals nothing will be done as far as quality or service. I wanted to purchase an Audi- A4 T Wagon and went to Edmonds section for Audi. After reading all the problems and seeing a Post from someone who has owned Audis sense the late 70's.He put it this way Buy these cars with the extended Audi Warranty and trade before the warranty runs out. If you don't you will Pay and Pay and Pay!! So sounds like the VW is the same. So I personally don't have the time or even want to fight with a dealer or company.I currently have a 08 Suby - 79 Porsche 911 SC - and 06 Toyota Tacoma. My husband does most work to all of these. But these Cars are too Technical!!
( VW - Audi that is ) Janice ////////////////////////////////////
Oct 04, 2010 (4:53 am)
The horn is back to normal. I guess it just needed to dry out. I'm going to get the repair shop on base to reset the alarm on Wednesday.
On Saturday, my oil dip stick funnel cracked and came up with the dip stick when I tried to check the oil. Good thing you guys advised me on getting a spare dip stick and the funnel set. The local mechanic installed the new set in about a five minutes for free.
The transmission is still a mystery to me. When the car is warmed up (driven for more than an hour), periodically the transmission downshift little rough. I'm guessing that the transmission control module needed a different programming. I think I can live with it.
Thank you for your comments. Sure appreciate it.
#3156 of 3342 +100k miles maintenance
Oct 13, 2010 (5:44 pm)
I have 03' Passat GLS 1.8t that just hit 106000k and the optimist in me is hoping to keep her running for at least couple more years. So, I am curious what kind of "do-it-yourself" tips there are out there that could help me hit my goal.
The car is in good shape. I got the timing belt/water pump replaced recently, oil changes have been occuring every 4 - 5k miles and I have been on top of all other basic maintenance issue. My coolant must have a leak because i'm replacing that every 3 weeks which is annoying, but I haven't noticed any serious affect on the car.
So, what can I be doing in addition to all of that to keep the car running? I noticed something about "CV joint" replacement...is that something I should start planning for? Is there something I can do at home to prevent this?
Anything would help, thanks!
#3157 of 3342 Re: +100k miles maintenance [nw_vwrider]
Oct 14, 2010 (9:41 am)
Hello vwrider: Sounds like you're taking care of this car...good move. A few notes from vwdawg, based on ownership of five or six Vdubs: 1) Be sure you are putting ONLY VW spec 502.00 synthetic oil in that rig (Mobil 1 0W-40 is best); 2) Make sure you keep a close eye on the CV BOOTS...once they crack and break, your joints will take in dirt and water and soon be ruined. I'm surprised you haven't had to replace the boots already..Vdub boots are notorious for premature failure; 3) If you have a sunroof, be sure to keep your sunroof drain ports clean. Plugged ports can allow water to drain into the floor under your carpeting and ruin the computer which is there; 4) I hope you are putting only G12 (Orange) coolant in the reservoir..do NOT mix green with it...bad move; 5) Look online and access a list of scheduled maintenance for the '03 Passat...would also be helpful to get at least a Haynes or Chilton manual for basic DIY repairs. Good luck....vwdawg
Oct 27, 2010 (9:49 am)
I had the engine replaced on my 02 Passat 5 months ago. There are now a few issues that my local mechanic doesnt know how to fix. 1.) The car doesnt start properly after adding gas, it sputters and i usually have to turn the key twice to get it started. 2.) When running if i give it a good amount of gas it sputters and the power goes drastically down (happens when going uphill a lot). 3.) When car is on and im waiting at a light in drive the car smokes out of the exhaust really bad. The car also sputters at this point. Any help would be splendid. Thanks.