1999 Volkswagen Passat turbo from North America


Not worth the headache


Where do I begin...?

This car drives actually pretty awesomely - WHEN she's working. Unfortunately, I continue to run into PROBLEM AFTER PROBLEM with this vehicle.

Brakes = If you don't get new brakes at the first sign of needing them - then you're screwed, and have to replace the rotors as well.

Coolant/Head = I blew my head gasket one day - the car began to overheat while driving - about 5 miles later - the head was blown.

Now it seems as if the transmission went out.

This is a vehicle that you should own ONLY if you are a Volkswagen mechanic or are married to one. Otherwise there's no way the average American can afford the upkeep on it.

General Comments:

Interior is comfy.

Overall the mechanics/engine are faulty.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 16th August, 2011

17th Aug 2011, 21:16

Why would you continue to drive if the engine was overheating? In this case, the cause of the blown head gasket was the person behind the steering wheel.

28th Aug 2011, 22:44

+1 if the car overheats, you stop. Period.

15th Aug 2012, 21:52

I have to third these guys. You should never leave the engine running when the car starts overheating. Turn it off and coast to a stop.

16th Feb 2014, 19:52

My serpentine belt went one day on the Passat I was driving at that time. One of the pulleys was making that squitch squitch noise for quite a while; it finally gave up one day.

If I remember correctly, the belt was driving the water pump (no confusion here with the timing belt). When the belt went, the engine temp quickly started to rise. I believe the person who wrote the review never realized the temperature gauge was going up. I suggest that all drivers get used to this gauge, locate it and have a look at it from time to time on an older vehicle.

When the temperature started to rise, I stopped the engine, let it cool a few minutes, then since I didn't want to pay for towing, I started driving the car slowly while checking the gauge so it didn't go into the red zone. Got the car to the garage this way.

It only cost me a belt, instead of a $2000 engine repair.

1999 Volkswagen Passat GLS 1.8 turbo from North America


Comfort during long distances + high MPG + turbo + good hauling capacity = equals fun family car


Runs like a top!!! Excellent MPG average 30+.

Recently passenger side window motor works great, sounds like a blender on low.

Complete control arm kit, with hardware for left and right.

Broken oil dipstick funnel.

Mirror control module.

Catalytic converter gasket.

Rear wheel hub.

Cabin air filter.

Timing belt and tensioner.

Rear hatch piston.

CVT complete driver and passenger side (DRIVE TRAIN).

Power steering pump (from junk yard) $40. Make sure to flush.

Car stereo, apparently so useless and faulty you can go to the junk yard and get them for FREE, and then pay $25-30 to get the safe code!!!


A/C compressor belt.

Rack and pinion.

Mind you, I got this from a dealer who got it from auction. It was in a minor front end collision.

Replaced all parts for less than 2G's by doing it myself.

Don't be afraid to do lots of research. Research saves lots of $$$$$. Had I taken it to the dealer, it would have cost at least 6G's.

General Comments:

Note: make sure you upgrade your oil to specs 5w-40. Not many manufacturers make this oil, however it will save you from a blown engine. It will also take away any of the pinging or knocking you hear, almost immediately. When you switch over to the new oil, go for a long drive 1000 miles. If you have any sludge in your oil, you will want to heat it up as much as possible for as long as possible. Make sure you change the oil filter when you change the oil.

It's a good idea after your long 1000 mile road trip to change the oil filter, not the oil. Wait another 1000 miles, then change the oil and filter. This will ensure you will not clog your the screen on the oil pick up. If it gets clogged, your temperature gauge will let you know; it will spike!!! Turn off the engine immediately!!! This will save your engine. Don't let it get close to 260 degrees.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th March, 2011