New Passat! First time owner of B5.5!.... drove it home... P0741

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  1. #1
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    New Passat! First time owner of B5.5!.... drove it home... P0741

    Hey guys! I've been reading on the forum for a week! First time passat owner! I love VW small liter diesel! I have a few caddys (1.6D, 1.9D, 1.9TD) and I thought an 04' TDI Passat would be a great addition!

    As I drove the girl home(craigslist), engine code popped up: PO741
    This came from my crappy harbor freight OBDII scanner. I now realize I need to either buy VAGcom or the Lite version.

    I brought the new girl to a VW dealer on the account of further diagnosis.
    I was expecting to hear new trans, or we'd like to replace the TC. But no!
    The dealer informs me that I need a new TCM!, I asked if it was wet, carpet wet, etc. head mechanic explains no he first suspected this.
    He simply conveys that there is no communication to the transmission, he's checked for corroded wires, water damage.... NOTHING!
    They wanted me to spend $2500 for part & labor!

    After reading on the forum for hours (again with new direction) I end'd up ordering a used TCM from ebay with all matching numbers.
    It's coming in the mail.... once it does I'll bring it over to the dealer and see if they will install. If not, I'll install myself in the parking lot. Reading on the forum here there is multiple accounts of buying a used TCM and it being plug and play (no programming).

    Soon to be continued... I sure hope this is the trick. However spending some time reading on the forum... the Passat seems to be a troublesome platform. I sure hope my opinion changes!

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  3. #2
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    I don't work on diesels but I think the TDI engine has good longevity and is fairly trouble-free. It is however, still a Passat, so be prepared for frequent, regular maintenance as well as more in-depth issues with suspension components, ABS, HVAC, convenience items, etc. At least 90% of what you experience will be covered somewhere on the forums, just do a thorough search.

    As you have already discovered, it only takes one trip to the dealer to make you consider scrapping the car. DIY is the only logical route for anything beyond fluid changes and tires, unless you are in love with a low-mileage example. Even indie shops (if they know what they are doing) are going to rack up charges that can quickly exceed the value of the car.

    My daughter's '03 1.8T sedan with 190k miles just miserably failed a compression test and so will become a parts car for a V6 to 1.8T swap I am doing. She will takeover an '04, 1.8t wagon I have been reconditioning. Seems I'm able to stay just ahead of the family needs!

  4. #3
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    The 2002 GLX 4Mo 2.8L that I adopted was going to be scrapped for 200 dollars because the owner was told it wasn't worth fixing.
    I am in less than 300 into it, purrs like a kitten now. Everything works on it now (Like heat, horns, lift gate, seats, no CEL). I will do front suspension work and do the rotors and pads (It did sit for a winter in VT, also faulty ABS sensor had its ABS kicking on all the time before) for about another 200 bucks it will be able to pass inspection for the next few years....I think if you were to have a dealer/shop do what I've done it was over 4500.....i will be done at 500....

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  6. #4
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  7. #5
    PZ
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    That code is for the TC and it's quite common on TDI. A new or rebuilt TC is needed. I had the same issue on my 4Mo and replaced the TC around 10 years ago.

  8. #6
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    The dealership:
    ->would not install used TCM. so they closed me out. I installed in their service parking lot.
    ->opened a new ticket, said they ran a reprogramming which I'm not even sure why? but they confirmed all is good and sent me on my way!

    driving down the road @ mile 4 a P0471 again. so they must of killed my TCM? or just said it wasn't working? WTF!?

    New dealer:
    ->yes we've seen your car before, about 175 miles ago. (2 weeks ago!!!!)
    ->you need a new TC. please cough up.
    ->the seller didn't mention this to you?

    This new dealer tried very hard to sell a new transmission and new transmission cooler/radiator. (additional 4.6k)
    Claiming that the possibility of metal fragments from the TC being introduced into the system will cause these parts to go as well. The stressed many times that I'm making a huge risky decision by only doing the TC.

    Hopefully just the TC will bring this new girl back to no yellow dash glow

  9. #7
    PZ
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    No metal from a failed TC locking seal. I ran the new TC in my trans for several years, almost 50K before swapping the manual trans in. Then I put the TC in my son's car 4 years ago and he's put another 60-80K on it, still going strong.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MidnightBluePassat View Post
    This new dealer tried very hard to sell a new transmission and new transmission cooler/radiator. (additional 4.6k)
    Claiming that the possibility of metal fragments from the TC being introduced into the system will cause these parts to go as well. The stressed many times that I'm making a huge risky decision by only doing the TC.
    If the TC isn't making noise, then there isn't a risk of metal fragments. My old '96 A4 gradually developed enough TC clutch slip that I just got used to the tach moving a bit with throttle changes. The risk, besides lower fuel economy, seems to be hotter-running ATF. That's one of the reasons why I did my routine ATF changes, but the old fluid always came out looking pretty good.

  11. #9
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    The Torque Converter just has a funky seal inside that commonly goes bad. I vote you just replace that TC and enjoy your new ride! Some places can rebuild your original TC.

    I recommend you get that ross-tech.com VCDS tool. It can help save you money but I would purchase a used one that is not limited to just a few vehicles. Resale value is ridiculously high and I think is higher than when I purchased mine so keep your eye on ebay for one at a decent price.
    I am not sure how well those clones work and would not risk damaging my car using one!

    Oh and do not go to that same dealer that said you needed a new Transmission Control Module.

    good luck

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