Common VW Passat ('05-) problems

  • VW Passat problems 2005-2011
  • Reliability issues and recalls explained
  • Read before you buy
Read the full Volkswagen Passat saloon ('05-) used review
Read the full Volkswagen Passat saloon ('05-) used review
The Volkswagen Passat is one of the car maker's most established models. Launched in 1973, it's now in its sixth generation. Here, though, we look at fifth-generation cars on sale from 2005-2011.

Fifth-generation models are available in either saloon, or estate bodystyles, while engine options include 1.4-, 1.6-, 1.8-, 2.0- or 3.2-litre V6 petrols, along with 1.9- or 2.0 diesels.

An automatic gearbox could be paired with the 1.6, 1.8, 2.0 or 3.2 petrols, or the 2.0 diesel.

While the Passat has superior build quality compared with that of many rivals, there are some common problems to watch out for when buying a used example. These issues should have been fixed by Volkswagen, so make sure the work has been done before you buy.

Volkswagen Passat steering problem (2005-2011 cars)
Some Passats built between February and May 2005 had steering issues. The track rod locking nuts may not have been tightened properly and could work loose over time.

Volkswagen Passat flywheel problem (2005-2011 2.0 TDI manual cars)
The flywheels on some 2.0 TDI Passats built between March and June 2005 were faulty. Because of a poorly designed through-flow restrictor in the clutch pressure pipe, the dual-mass flywheel can be damaged. This could lead to its failure.

Volkswagen Passat wiper problem (2005-2011 cars)
A number of cars built between March 2005 and August 2006 had problems with their windscreen wipers. They fail to work on some models due to faulty software.

Volkswagen Passat clutch problem (2005-2011 cars)
Some Passats built between September 2008 and August 2009 have problems with their clutches. In some cases, an incorrect interpretation of the clutch temperature can occur, which results in the clutch opening, unexpectedly resulting in a loss of drive.

Volkswagen Passat fuel leak problem (2005-2011 2.0 TDI cars)
Some 2.0 TDI cars built between January 2009 and December 2011 have suffered from fuel leaks. A faulty material used on the high-pressure pipes is to blame.

Volkswagen Passat power steering problem (2005-2011 cars)
Some owners have reported problems with their power steering. On your test drive, listen for unusual noises when turning to full lock. Also, be sure that the power assistance remains effective and consistent throughout.

More What Car? Approved Used Volkswagen Passats >>


Read the full Volkswagen Passat saloon ('05-) used review >>


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By Rory White
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