I leased my VW Passat 1.8T in Feb 2004. I have kept up with the maintenance including the oil changes- more or less on schedule, though not always at the dealsership. I have a heavy commute so I am...
I leased my VW Passat 1.8T in Feb 2004. I have kept up with the maintenance including the oil changes- more or less on schedule, though not always at the dealsership. I have a heavy commute so I am at 2 years and at 56,000 miles. The oil pressure light came on telling me to turn the motor off and after I checked the service manual and the oil level, and then took it to the dealership I found out the 2004 turbo Passat's dirty little secret.
I was supposed to have been sent a warning (which I did not recieve) by Volkswagon of America, issued to all Passat owners up to the 2004 models that it is ABSOLUTELY critical that ONLY synthetic oil be used, ONLY an extra large filter be used and that oil and filter be changed WITHOUT exception every 5,000 miles.
And why? Because the turbo engine will create sludge, block the oil intake and then your engine will seize up completely. [ I am giving it a "2" on reliability because the possiblity that the engine might just lock up while I am driving troubles me somewhat. It may not happen often, but if it does..........]
If your engine seizes up anyway, and some do, VW has extended the warranty on these models but only if you can produce written proof of every single oil change, including the type of oil used and the exact mileage. (Woe betide the do-it-yourself types.)
An engine re-build is around $3,000 - replacement runs a little higher. Most dealerships will fight tooth and nail to avoid providing the work under the extended warranty.
So if you like the car (and I do- overall) fork out the $75+ for the special oil and filters EVERY 5,000 miles and lock the receipts in your safety deposit box - just in case. If you buy used, get the proof of those oil changes from your seller or walk away.