14th Aug 2009, 08:51

I just looked at a lovely 2002 VW Passat wagon with only 90k miles on it, but after reading all these reviews, I think I better look elsewhere! I can't take the chance of having all these problems and I sure can't afford to make all the possible costly repairs! Thanks to everyone for your warning. I'm very sorry to those who didn't know what I now know about these VW wagons!

21st Oct 2009, 13:07

My 92 Passat Wagon has 87,000 miles and I really like the car. I have been worried about problems, even though I have had none as of yet... I have kept up all maintenance, and seen that the car is very expensive to maintain. After reading these comments, I am thinking about trading it in on a PT Cruiser before something goes wrong that I can't afford.

6th Mar 2010, 19:29

I'm glad I read these reviews about the 2002 Passat problems. I was set to buy a used one, at a "great price", then after reading about the same consistent problems, decided against it. Thanks to you all for posting your comments.

9th Apr 2010, 10:03

I have owned a 1999 Passat now for a couple of months. Reading all the comments on here, I'm a little worried. The car's not been maintained by the previous owner/not by VW anyway. Nor will I ever take any car I own to a dealership. Only because I know the bills are very very high.

No problems yet!!! It's the TDI as well, so a bit worried. Should I get rid before the problems start, or is the 1999 model OK?

I'm in the UK, so would appreciate the response. Maybe VW/UK aren't as nice as in the USA. No offence intended.

21st Apr 2010, 20:00

Read this whole post; there is important info that may help many of you.

I have owned a 2002 GLS Wagon (V6) since new. It was built in Germany, not North America. It currently has 130,000 kms (80,000 miles) on it.

Recently, the Check Engine light came on. Took it to the dealer. Their computer pointed them to a valve gasket that needed replacing. On the way home after the repair, the Check Engine light came on again. Not happy. Took it back to the dealer and asked them to keep it until they were absolutely certain the light would not come on again.

Ten days later (!) they called to say they had definitely found the problem; a problem they had never seen before, AND never repaired before (and this is a big VW dealer). When I asked them a few questions, I got the impression this was a discovery they had wished they'd known about for other Check Engine alerts in the past.

So, here's the good news; these particular engines (only certain ones made in Germany in early 2002) have two oil plugs hidden away somewhere. I don't know what they're for because you don't need them to do an oil change. Anyway, one of mine was slightly corroded and was leaking. The dealer replaced both of them and the problem went away. No oil sludge issue, no engine replacement, no huge bill.

24th Apr 2010, 11:22

We have a 2001 Passat that we bought in 2003 with 12K on it. We got the car because it handled nicely and was "different" than the multitude of Hondas and Toyotas on the road. At 19K, the heater core blew (11 hours of labor at the dealer to access a $150 part for a total of $1200 to repair). I should have trusted my instincts and traded it right then. Since that time, we have had numerous "check engine lights" that were all at least $300 a pop at the dealer to replace various hoses, only to appear again months later (finally I started to ignore them at $75K) and have had costly suspension issues crop up as well. More recently, the oil sludge beast reared its ugly head, and it is now in the shop for $350 of diagnostics, with the best possible outcome of an $800 oil pump replacement; worst case an engine replacement (which I will not do). All in all, this vehicle has been a maintenance NIGHTMARE. I will NEVER own another VW, EVER AGAIN.

19th Jul 2010, 13:45

I too started experiencing the same stop! Oil Pressure Check manual warning. It scared me to death, thought I was in for one heck of a repair bill.

I bought the car used a little over one year ago. I returned the car to the dealer from which I purchased it, they had it three times over the winter of 2009 and luckily I had a loaner car.

It was fine until now (July 2010) and it's started again, and yes I've done the regular oil changes every 3k to 5k miles. It's not working for me.

26th Jul 2010, 14:18

2002 Passat Wagon - Same problems: "Stop engine" and "Low oil pressure" light came on. I stopped the car, engine had plenty of oil, still had another 1,000 miles until 5,000 mile oil change. I was not so lucky; I got back in my car, drove another 6-7 miles, the light came on again, I stopped the car, turned it off, and it never re-started. The engine is locked up. I called VW of America, they said they could have helped me if this had happened a year ago. My car is outside the extended warranty for this exact problem with the sludge! Thanks a lot VW. Gotta love that fine German Engineering!

11th Aug 2010, 08:16

I have a 2001 Passat V6, 4 motion, 130K miles- and this car has been a nightmare!

I have been driving with the Check Engine light on for 2+ years and have a catalytic converter issue which will be $2K ++ to fix. I refuse to fix it simply because I just don't have the cash. I brought it in a few months back when a frightening "STOP" alarm went off while driving. $400 and some plastic water pump connections replaced, and I was back on the road.

I recently broke down at 11pm at night on the highway when the water pump went, another pleasant "STOP" alert, with steam pouring out of the hood, another $1700, plus towing 30 miles back to my house.

Last night I was driving home late after work down the very congested Garden State Parkway in NJ, and every 10 minutes the "Alternator Workshop" light went off with a loud beeping noise. I continued to drive home for 55 miles, since at this point, I was willing to dump it if it failed me again. Now it is sitting in my driveway, interior falling apart from poor craftsmanship, and I am in a dilemma.

Take it to my mechanic again, and have him tell me I will probably have to shell out more of my savings account funds for this piece of sh**? Or sell it to someone for the remaining balance of my loan, and find a reliable vehicle for my job?

I will never buy a Passat again, actually I will never buy a VW again. To be quite honest, I just don't have any money left after owning this one to buy anything.

3rd Nov 2010, 00:28

My fiance and I purchased a 2003 Passat GLS 4 motion wagon in October 2008 from an individual. The car had 55,000 miles.

Until I just stumbled upon this site, I had only heard of electrical issues with some models, but my fiance really really wanted a Passat wagon - he had owned a Passat before (I was for a Volvo). Before I have owned Nissans and Hondas, but we liked the feel, the style, and the extra space of the Passat.

There have been no check engine lights coming on...yet, and now I'm freaking out, because we just reached 83,000 miles, and just spent over $1,800.00 unexpectedly for a timing belt replace (VW now suggests 80,000 mile replace), and sure enough, as if on cue, we started hearing this clicking sound at 82,000.

We have done regular oil changes at 3-5,000 miles, using only synthetic oil, but as soon as my fiance paid the timing belt replace bill, and drove it away from the mechanic, the alternator went (?). So back in, and 600 more dollars later... I am starting to think twice about this car. Maybe trade it in for that Volvo?