I have read many of your comments about these Passats and even a comment about the Jetta. From what I now about VW (more than the average person) I know that there were a few issues associated with VW recommending the wrong oil... therefore many 1.8T motors had a oil sludge issue and they did break down, but this issue has been resolved and everybody should be up to date on this very important news flash.
I have a very good mechanic friend(Chris) who works on nothing but VAG vehicles, he is the best at what he does and has never lead me astray... he recommends these cars because of their excellent handling, large roomy interior and many vast upgrades and options that most other cars won't have. He also states that the 1.8T is indestructible if taken care of properly and maintained.
I have read here a lot of timing belts broke! I can't understand why or how you would let that happen... it's not rocket science. Just do the "proper" maintenance on it and it will never have a problem.
I have never seen a VW breakdown if it has been "meticulously taken care of" as you find a lot of ads say. If they really took care of their car, it wouldn't leave them stranded and might have a few issues, but nothing major that has been stated here.
My advice is to find an honest mechanic that will steer you right. I have personally owned over 13 VW Jettas, Golfs, Passats and Beetles, and have fixed and repaired even more. These are great cars and have had issues, but have taken some undue bad reputations because of their owners.
Fix your car with upgraded parts or performance parts, if you want it to last. If you guys love driving these cars that much, try putting the best parts you can find in them and they will go forever.
As for looks and style, they are perfect cars to modify or just leave them as they roll off the factory line. VW are one of the best vehicles makers in the world and have been for a very long time, as you can see with the economy the way it is... VW is one of the only companies NOT losing money. That in itself has got to mean a lot. That's my 2 cents worth, and I hope you give VW a fair chance before you write them off. If you drive one, you will love it!
1999 1.8T Wagon with 112,000 miles.
Ignition module replaced twice, ABS control module replaced once (so far), radio doesn't change stations, oil leak, water pump leak, door lock intermittent failure, rear wiper motor intermittent failure, some dash lights don't work, Tiptronic shifter not locking in place, broken center console lid, rear cup holder broken.
As you can see, I've had a whole bunch of issues with a car that is supposed to be high-quality. I don't know if I'd buy another VW. I'm looking at replace my wagon with a BMW 325i wagon, 2005 or later.
Thanks to my 1999 Passat, I'll never buy another VW again.
Corner lights fall out, window mechanisms break and the windows drop - on both the clips holding things in place are plastic - doh, of course they're going to break. Each needs a metal replacement.
But worst of all - turbo out $3k repair. Catalytic converter snaps in half, $700 repair. And I can't even remember what all my engine light problems were anymore - described by some above where the car shakes and runs poorly. Thankfully after a year of dealing with that, it hasn't come back in 18 months or so.
Passats are economy cars - which means cheap pieces of junk made of plastic with poor workmanship. Never again.
1999 Passat wagon.
I knew it was an omen!! About a week ago my temperature gauge just started working. About half way home on the freeway it jumps into action. It has been laying on the cold peg for about three years...
My wagon is sitting outside of a friends house 40 miles away. I parked it there about a week ago, and went inside for about 3 hours. I came out and it wouldn't start. It wouldn't even turn over. AAA came out with their start box and used the cables, and all it would do is click.
Everything else works great (stereo, lights, etc.). The driver said that it is probably the starter. After reading all of these very similar horror stories, I think I am in for the worst with a frozen engine.
I have had all of the usual electrical problems. It completely quit in the drive through at McDonalds once. Everything went dead in a split second. It took VW a week to figure it out. Not sure what they came up with, they were a bit tight lipped about the whole thing.
The car eats light bulbs of all types on a regular basis.
The passenger side back door randomly locks while driving on the freeway at 70 or so.
One morning I came out to go to work and BOTH of the back seat courtesy lights were hanging from the wires. All of the pieces and bulbs were strewn around the back seat? I think it was poltergeist!
And finally, the ABS brake warning light comes on and off and beeps at periodic intervals. I have a very good, 30 year experienced European mechanic (not a VW dealer) who plugged the computer in and it told him that there was a loose wire behind the dash. He says "good luck and just keep driving it."
Both front turn lights, and the little side marker lights have fallen out and have been GLUED back in.
The center console latch flew across the inside of the car once when I opened it, and is still broken.
Driving along about a month ago and the glove box door falls open. All of the mechanism inside the door broke and all of the pieces fell inside the door. Actually this makes it easier to get to the registration when the cops stop you repeatedly for having tail lights out.
I have recently discovered that I have a cup holder for the back seat (keep in mind I am the original owner since late '99).
I had to take the console loose because of a brake cable issue, and lo and behold out pops the cup holder. It was jammed into the console when it was new and I didn't even realize it was there.
Finally, I haven't adjusted the outside mirrors in over 6 years. The little plastic adjuster knob broke off (when no one was touching it) and VW wanted $200.00 to replace it. I've never been that concerned about who's behind me!
Last but not least, God Bless the belly pan! Mine partially fell off when my wife was on the freeway. Scared her half silly. Two hour round trip to get her and AAA to the rescue. Zip Ties are a VW owners best friend! No more belly pan bolt issues.
I fear that my beloved piece of crap (as an eloquent previous writer put it) is headed for the crap (or scrap) heap. If she's frozen, she'll never see another mile, and my driveway will never be haunted by those initials again. VW!
ANYBODY NEED ANY PARTS BEFORE SHE GOES TO THE CRUSHER?