28th May 2003, 09:49

My experience is very similar. One month after purchase, the radio went. Then the cruise control. Both replaced by dealer under warranty. However, just yesterday, both headlights went. I'm hoping its the bulbs and not the circuit. Overall, great car, but the collection of little annoying problems at just 45k miles is really frustrating. Thinking of trading it in for a Tuerog when it comes out, or for an Audi wagon.

Also, the gear shifting is weird, as the previous post noted. I tend to use it in Tiptronic mode to better control it. The car seems to be constantly trying to get to 4th gear, and stay there.

13th Sep 2003, 09:59

I just bought a 99 Passat and at first it drove really nice, but I had to replace the brakes and come to find out that the rotors were a one time thing. My mechanic was able to turn down the rotors one time. then come to find out that I had a broken transmission mount, which was odd to me. Took the car to a transmission mechanic and $3800.00 later, the mechanic is having problems adjusting the oil flow rate throughout the transmission. This has been an expensive quest and if I don't keep the car now, I would loose too much money by getting rid of it.

12th Sep 2004, 09:08

My '99 1.8T GLS Wagon had the same problem w/engine light flashing and running bad. It was running on 3 (of 4) cylinders. Turned out to be 'final stage controller' - basically the electronic distributor. $561.

I've also replaced the brakes on this car more than any two other cars I've owned. In addition to replacing the rotors every time the brakes get done, I've had a stuck caliper in the rear and a broken caliper bolt. Lesson - if they squeal - get them checked. If they say the pads are OK, but they still squeal, something's wrong.

The timing belt broke at 86000 while I was driving it so the cylinder head and water pump also had to be replaced - $3200. VW was kind enough to reimburse me for most ($2900) of this one under warranty. Thank you VW. Save your maintenance records, and use Mobil 1 oil!

I've also had transmission cooling hoses break costing hundreds of dollars to replace.

And those screws that hold the belly pan under the engine keep falling off - $30.

It is expensive to maintain, but I love driving this car. I'm looking to trade it now, but every time I wash it and vacuum the interior and then DRIVE it - well the VW commercials nailed it - it's great to drive.

22nd Jan 2006, 18:58

I loved my 99 Passat turbo until the engine seized abruptly. The cause, according to the dealer; not using synthetic oil, although the oil has been faithfully changed every 3000 miles since I bought it used at 30,000 miles. Apparently the turbo burns too hot and causes sludge, which caused the oil take-up hose to become clogged & the engine got oil-starved. The cam gear was damaged, leaving shredded metal though out the engine. I had to replace the engine, turbo and catalytic converter, and if I had let VW do it it would have cost almost $9000-more that the car is worth, PLUS I still owe $6000 on it! VW has been extremely unhelpful, and I've now found many blogs about this exact same problem. I wish I had looked into the car a bit more before I bought it. Now I just hope it lasts long enough to recoup the costs.

13th Jul 2007, 10:40

My wife & I bought a 1999 VW Passat Wagon 9 months ago from a friend at work. It had about 90k miles on it, but they had kept meticulous records and were current with all services. We continued servicing it on schedule with the VW dealer, but unfortunately at 99k the timing belt broke and now the motor needs $4k worth of work. VW recommends replacing it at 100k. Also, the ABS computer went out so now the car doesn't have ABS until we drop an additional $1300 on a new computer module.

Bottom line: If you don't mind being stranded, have AAA Premium membership and like spending money at the repair shop look no further, this is the car for you.

7th Jan 2008, 14:09

I got my car at around 96K. It needed a repair in the right axle seal on the transmission. Did that. Car ran great until 106K when the timing belt broke off. Repaired that, when the mechanic informed me of a small leak in the turbo. Right after the timing belt issues were fixed the turbo began to give me trouble. Now I'm looking at a $1500 fix right after I just performed a $2400 fix for the timing belt and head work.

7th Feb 2008, 18:16

We got our Passat last spring and were pretty excited... we have been big VW fans for a while, and our '82 Westy has been a pretty faithful friend without costing us too much money in repairs. Well... the passat has been another beast altogether. It looks nice, drives nice and you can legitimately feel "cool" driving a station wagon, but it has come at a price. The turbo blew this summer, and while it was all apart we decided that it would be a good chance to do the timing belt. $3000 later we were back on the road. Then we moved provinces. To get the Westy to pass the provincial inspection cost us $500. The Passat was another $3000.

Anybody want a Passat... cause I got one you can have for around $6000.

1st Apr 2008, 19:47

Have a '99 Passat-Bought at 90k, now has 125k but not without several problems. Tach quit working, ABS light and oil light stays on and it has an infernal beep when you start it to warn that the computer module is out of whack. Tech wants $1500 for oil pump and ABS computer module. Of course the belly pan went belly up. Don't they all? Did I mention fan belt pulley locked up? Don't try getting a local mechanic you like to work on it or you will lose a friend. Dealers lick their chops when they see one towed to their shop. Last straw? Alternator generator diagnostics 1k and they had to remove the bumper to work on it!Never another V dub in my driveway.

11th Mar 2009, 16:16

I have an 2002 and I hate my car.. I have had so many problems with the stupid thing.. I will NEVER buy another VW again. Multiple people at work have Passats or Jettas and they all hate them also!! I would like to push mine off a bridge.. or just trade it in!

19th Apr 2009, 11:25

I have a '99 Passat wagon, and have had nothing but problems with this thing.

Sure it handles great, and I love my leather heated seats, but after the pan bolts fell out and couldn't stay on, the leaf clogging situation which lead to water seeping into the passenger side floor screwing up the electronics, and now what seems from other owners to be an electronic distributor issue, I am done with VW all together

I have always been a pre 1965 kind of guy for the sake of how easy it is to fix, but out of all new cars I have owned, this is the worst!!!

A sealed transmission case! You have no way of checking your AT transmission fluid and they say it's lifetime. Who wants to run the same transmission fluid for over 100k? Not me, not anymore.

Like other owners past and present, I am looking to trade this thing in since due to the economy, it would never sell, and anybody who does their research on this piece of crap would never buy one, I am left at a loss.

Thanks VW, you have been no help at all. I will never buy VW EVER AGAIN!!!