Volkswagen’s acquisition of the Audi company in 1964 paved the way for a whole new line of front wheel drive cars with water cooled engines. The Passat, one of the earliest adopters of these technologies, saw development alongside the Audi Fox and filled a market between the VW Golf and the Phaeton. The Fifth Generation B5, produced from 1996 to 2005, introduced a sleeker body design and cutting edge independent front suspension. Some of the common problems a B5 owner can expect are:
Door Locking Problems: The doors will lock randomly, or the car will say the doors are unlocked when they are, in fact, locked. Sometimes the locks will activate themselves when the doors are open and set the alarm off.
Engine Sludge: Some Passat models equipped with certain engines were prone to developing engine sludge over time, particularly if regular oil changes weren't performed. This could lead to reduced engine performance and even engine damage. Be sure to take your B5 Passat to an experienced Volkswagen repair shop for routine oil changes.
Bad Engine Coils: VW issued a recall on these parts that sometimes develop cracks, resulting in engine misfiring, rough idling, and increased fuel consumption.
Catalytic Converter Failures: Some owners experienced catalytic converter failures, often due to underlying engine or exhaust system issues. Have your Passat checked by an expert VW technician for any issues.
All of these malfunctions and their indications must be fixed as soon as possible if your B5 is to remain in peak condition. An appointment made with a local VW repair expert will add years to your car and restore peace to your mind.
Search for a local, independent Volkswagen repair shop with Volkswagen mechanics that have dealer-level expertise at a fraction of the expense.