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Old 09-27-2011, 07:37 PM   #1
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Default Anyone own a Passat?

So, I'm looking into a decent daily cruiser, and I think I like Passats. Problem is, I can't seem to find a forum with people who know their ****. More like miata.net than here.

So, I come to the tards that I know and love, and ask you, have you ever owned a Passat (B5 97-05)? What did/do you think? 1.8t (which will probably sludge up and die) or 6cyl (which sucks for modifying)? I'm thinking 6, because I'll be less likely to modify anything.

Can find some pretty good looking examples for around $4k with around 100-130k miles. That's a lot of car for cheap.
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:50 PM   #2
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I can't offer anything really valuable to the conversation. But I can tell you that my inlaws (owned/driven easy by older lady) have an early 2k model - 1.8T.....nothing but problems with it. Multiple oil supply catastrophes and the typical COP ignition failures. IMHO....it's garbage.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:20 AM   #3
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I don't know dick about them. Do have a friend who's all about Diesel vehicles of any kind who has a 2002 turbo diesel (Guess that'd actually be a Jetta? **** if I know) and averages about 43mpg highway driving..

That'd be a good cruiser IMO.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:28 AM   #4
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Good cars when they work, they usually don't. I highly advised my friend away from one, but he bought it anyways, late 90's or early '00s, I forget. Sure enough less than a month after buying it it stranded him with electrical issues. Twice. Completely different issues too. Avoid at all costs unless '08 or newer.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:28 AM   #5
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my ex-girlfriend has one.

list of things I fixed before it broke 100k miles?
  • timing belt
  • water pump
  • tie rods
  • axles
  • wheel bearings
  • o2 sensors
  • ABS sensors
  • catalytic converters (I just removed them and deleted to code with VAG COM, she moved to Cali after graduation... oops)
  • uhhh... a lot of other **** I'm forgetting right now

yeah, don't buy one
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:37 AM   #6
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I've only heard bad things about latish model VW's. I would think that diesels would have better mechanical reliability as far as the engine goes, but the electrical problems would still be there.
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Old 09-28-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Fandamntastic then. Guess I'll start a new thread about what car to get.

Thanks all!
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Old 09-28-2011, 11:00 AM   #8
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It's one of the most sold cars in Norway, and have been for a loooooooong time.

I assume they're put together by the same parts here..

If you buy a Skoda, Seat, Audi or Volkswagen, you get the same car and engine with a different shell and badge.
Their reliability seems to be individual, but in general, Norwegians are pretty pleased with them. It's a LOT of bang per buck.

I drive a 2003 Audi A6 2.5 diesel myself as a family cruiser, and I really love the car.
When I swap it, I'll buy a newer Audi A6.

The car experiences are usually individual, and they're also very subjective. Mercedes is regarded as the most reliable car out there, but I never hear anything but bad things about them. They're still represented in 90% of the taxis in Norway..

I've had a 2000 Seat Leon and the Audi I drive now, and I've been very satisfied with both.
I'd recommend to get the car checked out by a pr0 before you buy it, so you can get a to-do list if there is anything wrong.
I'm sure you have some kind of organization that does car checkups unbiased..?

As for VW in general, in Europe they rock
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:29 PM   #9
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European car parts cost significantly less in Europe.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:35 PM   #10
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My best friends wife has one.
Its a 02 1.8t I think.

BIGGEST PIECE OF **** IN THE UNIVERSE.

No joke, the past year he's had it he's dumped about 4k into replacing stuff that broke and its been down at least 6months of that year. I dont know about the 6cyls, but the 1.8 in theirs developed the sludge problem, a handful of sensors needed to be replaced, the bearings were shot and needed to be replaced, the chain tensioner broke, and iirc the water pump took a dump too.

He said if one more thing breaks he's seriously driving it off a cliff.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pusha View Post
European car parts cost significantly less in Europe.
Not so sure about that :P
Norway is a sick sick country when it comes to all kinds of prices.

A new NA/NB Hardtop from Mazda Norway costs $7-8000. Not kidding.
Japanese yes, but they're cheaper then the european parts.
I just bought the bolts and brackets for the HT side of the Frankenstein bolt, and it ran me almost $200. That's 4 bolts, 4 washers and 2 brackets. The washers cost $10 a piece..

But yeah, the undercarriage has some issues, VW has always been like that.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:56 PM   #12
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Well, the ****** that was going to sell me the car sold it out from under me, cocksuckingcraigslistpieceofshit, so please see

https://www.miataturbo.net/showthrea...threadid=60720

To help me pick a car.
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Old 09-28-2011, 03:31 PM   #13
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I know I am late to this, but I was a VW main dealer mechanic when these cars were still new. The 1.8 deserves the reputation it has so far in this thread, but the V6 is a VERY reliable engine. reasonably powerful too. FWIW I wouldn't hesitate for a second to buy a V6 as they are very nice to drive, but you couldn't give me a 1.8t, they are too small an engine for that car and just end up overworked and burned up.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:42 AM   #14
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Gotta agree on the engine comment, I don't understand why people buy Passat/A6 with petrol engines at all, and at least not the 1.8 T/NA.

I'd recommend the 2.0 TDI or a 2.5TDI with a manual gearbox. Chip it, and you have 200+ diesel hp and more torque then you can handle.
Just watch out for the Multitronic gearbox, it's weak and can't handle more power then the 2.5 TDI. It rocks to drive with though, since it's CVT <3 (I have the shittiest combo there is, with the pre-2004 2.5 that is said to have weak camshafts, and the CVT gearbox. And I STILL love it)

If you go for a petrol engine in such a big car, go for the V6, so you get low range torque. The turbo engines are just dumb on 1500+ kg of car. (The A6 is like 1700 kg or something)
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:06 AM   #15
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Totally agree Loki, but neither of those engines are available in the US. All they ever offered in the b5 over there was the v6, 1.8T, and 1.9TDI. And the diesels are rare as hens teeth over there anyway. In the US Market, the v6 is the only way to fly on those.

Last edited by Blaize; 09-29-2011 at 06:02 AM.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:11 AM   #16
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I was an Audi tech around that time frame as well. The 1.8t were "nice" in concept, but didn't go long without some weird problem. Gotta love the plastic rubber pieces that just disintegrated and clogged the oil pick up.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:29 AM   #17
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I concur.

The difference in engines in Norway and USA is just sick. You can't find a V6 in a Toyota in Norway, but 70% of all new cars sold here last year were diesel powered.

We have massive taxes on cars based on engine size and power though, so I guess it's logical.
Still a bit weird that the diesel powered cars haven't been successful over there, since they're as good as they are. A friend of mine owns a BMW 325 coupè, and he runs at 4l/100km on the highway, and that's just sick. (**** the Prius)
And that's with 270ish hp and over 660 nm..
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:27 AM   #18
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Ok I do not own a passat but I do have a 2003 VW jetta 1.8T. It is my fiance's car but I do all the work on it. I have two freinds with 1.8t passats bone stock dd's and they love them. I would first like to say like most other people when we first got the jetta I was thinking maintenance will be super expensive and it is gonna break all the time but she likes it so I will deal. I was very wrong about this. The 1.8t is a great engine and the whole car is great. We bought it at 60k and it now has 199k on it. I have put one turbo on it, two timing belts ( because I did not know about the updated water pump), a clutch, and the normal stuff tires, brakes, oil changes. All I can say is I would buy another in a heart beat. The timing belt everyone says is a total nightmare is no harder than a miata, the clutch was easy and only cost me $300 with a new flywheel. There are some wierd VW specific problems that if you know about you will be fine.

1. Sludge problems in early 1.8t
2. Coolant migration
3. dual mass flywheel
4. turbo goes bad every 100k give or take 25k
5. Coil pack.


Starting at the top the 1.8t is a great engine and I personally know two other people that have 250k plus on the stock motor and have never been inside it. The later the version you can get the better IE the new the car the better. Somewhere around 2001 they seemed to get rid of the sludge problem. Also always always use synthetic and change it every 6k at most.

Coolant migration I had never heard of until I owned a VW. It is where one of three sensors leaks coolant internally through the connector slowly pumping the harness and anything else full of coolant. Easy way to check for this and or solve this is remove the connector from the over flow bottle and the coolant temp sensor and see if the little o-ring seal is still there. If so remove it and you are done. I would go into more detail about this but it is a weird problem and if you want more google it.

The flywheel. The stock fly wheel in most 1.8t's is a dual mass non machinable piece of ****. It weighs 35lbs. and is super expensive. I freak when I thought I was gonna have to buy a $400 flywheel and a $250 clutch to replace the stock clutch. ( witch lasted 130k and 30k of those miles with a bigger turbo and tune). The good news is that the 1.8t has been out long enough for companies like ECS tuning to have made a hybrid clutch kit. Witch has a 15lbs. flywheel with slightly bigger clutch out of a VR6 and it all bolts up perfect to the 1.8t and its only $300 delivered for all of it.

The turbo is a turbo it is really really small and a stock one will last about 130K and a borg replacement will last another 100k+ just something for some reason people think will last forever they do wear out eventually.

The wonderful coil packs of the 1.8T. The coil pack are the only thing I do not like much. My latest set have lasted a long time so maybe they have it figure out. Since 2003 the 1.8T jetta coil pack has had 13 updates. This is good and bad. The good is if you take your car to the dealer and it has an update you get 4 new coils for free bad is if you have some of the older coils they are prone to catch fire and burn the coil harness. I had this happen but took the car to VW and they fixed it for free and it had 150k on it. WIN!!!


All in all they are not hard to work on. The parts are not really expensive especially if you can buy online ahead of time and they hold up really well. I have had a great experience with this car and plan to continue that as long as the car will last, and when the motor blows I will put a new one it.
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Old 09-29-2011, 09:17 AM   #19
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I agree with 90% of what you said but I respectfully disagree on one major part: the timing belt is much harder to change on an mk4 than on a miata. Unless you have kid sized hands and arms. As long as you get one where the owner changed the oil, didn't let the timing belt snap, and didn't crack the oil pan - you're good. if you buy one just get ready for faulty regulators and replacing every freaking hose. Aside from that I've never been stranded in my mk4 gti, nor has my friend or cousin.
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thegrapist View Post

I agree with 90% of what you said but I respectfully disagree on one major part: the timing belt is much harder to change on an mk4 than on a miata. Unless you have kid sized hands and arms. As long as you get one where the owner changed the oil, didn't let the timing belt snap, and didn't crack the oil pan - you're good. if you buy one just get ready for faulty regulators and replacing every freaking hose. Aside from that I've never been stranded in my mk4 gti, nor has my friend or cousin.
I have to say I agree with what you said. The timing belt is harder than the miata but is not bad. The only bad part is the dumb *** side mount you have to fight with. Also a good point on previous owner not being a retard and doing maintenance.

As far as the hoses go. I forgot to mention the best thing to do is to redo the PCV system, remove the SAI valve, remove the N245 valve, replace pcv valve with billit check valve and block the SAI off. Only problem with this is you will need a $600 tune to make the check engine light go away. I am in the process of do thing right now.
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