19th Jun 2003, 06:32

To elaborate on the above review, I went the gambit on my dashboard with the factory and the dealer with outstanding results. I am an engineer and they knew I was aware of the shortcomings in the dashboard structure. I also wrote the original review.

To VW's credit, they use materials that last over time regardless of severe temperature swings. Unfortunately, the material the Passat's dash board is made of is highly sensitive to temperature (Swells when warm, shrinks when cold) and the problem is compounded by the clip design.

The two large clips in question are attached to the metal cross member under the dash, on either side of the center defrost vent. You can see the crossmember by removing the dashboard end cover that's visible when you open the passenger's front door. (Just pull the cover off, it's held by 3 clips) The crossmember is bolted to the front stucture, it's not welded. The clips are farther forward and upward and cannot be seen. Since the cowl area of any car will twist over extremely rough roads, there is small motion there that you would never be aware of if the dashboard was quiet. Since it will move, the art of the matter is to get it to move quietly.

This involves total removal of the dashboard to access and replace the clips. The dealer replaced the clips with clips from the Audi A6 which is a similar design, but uses padded clips. Also, they have a special felt that was used in the new beetle to silence that dash board and that was used between all the interfaces.

Have this work done by only the most competent dealer, as dash board work is a nightmare and pinched wires are always a possibility.

Another creak will come from the small metal bracket visible though the right cover mentioned earlier. It comes down from the right airbag area and is very close, if not rubbing above the glove box. Have insulation placed in between those interfaces as well.

To demonstrate all this to your dealer and factory rep, you can gently strike the dashboard with the heel of your palm on the right airbag, and over the instrument cover, also at the lower corners by the heater control. If you hear clanking and creaking noises, all the issues here need to be addressed by VW. It also will happen on rough roads, when turning bumpy corners, etc.

Mine was fixed with 98% success, meaning it is as quiet as any car now. Extremely harsh bumps hit with one wheel will cause a "Click" if the temperature is just right, but overall it is silent. And every car in the world will make a tolerable amount of noise, regardless of Make or Price.

Demand a fix because VW is aware of the problem. They just won't volunteer a fix because it is a very expensive one for them and it has no safety repercussions. It will make your Passat the enjoyable vehicle it should be.

At 23K miles my V6 Passat is still a flawless performer.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.


14th Aug 2003, 09:29

I have a 2000 GLS V-6 (31k miles) with the same annoying dashboard rattle, which seems to be from behind the instrument cluster. It occurs at essentially the same conditions as noted by others.

My warranty is over and I do NOT want to spend big bucks at my local VW dealer fixing the problem since I am currently trying to sell the vehicle. Will VW fix this for free? If not, are there any other suggestions on how to quiet this noise since it is not the greatest selling point?

Thanks for any suggestions.

15th Oct 2004, 21:29

The rattle by the lower right dash area "vent control" I assume you mean heater control area. The noise is probably the center console rubbing against the main dash board. It snaps into the dash with (2) plastic pins attached to the console. It if the pin (s) snap off because of impact or incorrect repair, the dash will make noise in that area.

It happened to mine. The center console was replaced under warranty and the noise went away.

6th Nov 2005, 06:28

Thanks for this thread. With this in hand I went to me local dealer (after trying others-luckily there are 6 dealers in my city) and they fixed the incessant dash creaking that I had for three years. Under warranty, they pulled the entire dash and relined clips and contact points with felt and re-torqued all bolts. This was an approximately 12-hour job so many dealers are reluctant to do it due to the labor involved to remove the entire dash. This can be done by yourself, but if you read the Bentley Service Manual, you'll soon realize that it isn't a job for the weekend hobbyist. Perhaps if the car was out of warranty, I had a second car to drive, I would tackle it cause the squeaking was enough to make me sell this vehicle. I love my Passat again!!! The engine is smooth and the ride is awesome. FYI, I own a 2002 V6 4-Motion GLS Passat Variant (wagon). There have been a few more warranty items that I would have expected for this vehicle, but they have been repaired without any hassle. I hope it performs well when the warranty expires.

16th Nov 2005, 22:12


I have the unique experience of having had two of these things as one of them was stolen 6 months into the ownership experience and replaced with the other. Great cars, but the two of them had the same incessant dash rattles in the right far corner with every turn and road imperfection. Thankfully, I dealt with one of NJ's best dealerships, DCH in Maplewood who took care of them both. I am now having the oddest problem... when I change the temp. adjustment on the driver's side heated seat from say, 3 to 4, it changes the radio from CD mode to FM mode, etc. Happens at least three times per week, at this point, I just laugh, but I will be bringing it in soon for a look see.

7th Nov 2007, 14:43

I just bought a VW 2002 1-8T, unluckily I did not read all these reviews prior to buying. Like many others my car got heated up in slow traffic. When I called my mechanic, we figured the fan is not working. I have yet to take to the mechanic to get it fixed. Any suggestions..??Hope this is not the beginning of the journey of dilemma and grief.