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Discussion Starter #1
-157K Miles
-One owner who did regular maintenance and repairs
-Drives well, no problems
-No rust
-Tiptronic Transmission
-Leather Seats/Full package premium stuff

Purchasing my first car and wondering if this is a good deal.

Thoughs? Comments?
 

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2004 GLS 1.8T
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According to Kelly Blue Book, that's at the very top of the price range for that car. Unless it's in essentially new condition, that's kinda expensive. I'd be looking under $2000.

That said, much as I love the Passat, it's far from my best recommendation for a first car. An eighteen year old German sedan with 157k IS going to cost you some money; especially with all the doodads (Climatronic, etc) on the GLX.
 

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It’s a good car, and no one can argue with the price (even though many will). It is a heavy maintenance car, best suited for a DIYer.

Find out when these items were done:
Timing belt
ABS control module
Heater core
Front control arms (8)
Shocks and shock mounts
CV joints and boots
Driveshafts: carrier bearings and u-joints
Trans fluid and filter
 

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Why would the abs module and core be swapped out? If it was maintained none of those things should be a problem, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
According to Kelly Blue Book, that's at the very top of the price range for that car. Unless it's in essentially new condition, that's kinda expensive. I'd be looking under $2000.

That said, much as I love the Passat, it's far from my best recommendation for a first car. An eighteen year old German sedan with 157k IS going to cost you some money; especially with all the doodads (Climatronic, etc) on the GLX.
Thanks for the help. I will probably look at other car then.
 

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Why would the abs module and core be swapped out? If it was maintained none of those things should be a problem, right?
those are known problems, "Achilles heels" so to say, that almost always manifest themselves with these Passats......may I add at the worst possible time. i.e heater core on coldest day of the year with no garage.
 

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those are known problems, "Achilles heels" so to say, that almost always manifest themselves with these Passats......may I add at the worst possible time. i.e heater core on coldest day of the year with no garage.
right...I have a b5.5, buddy has a b5 a4 with the 2.8l...heater core issues in both of these cars were entirely due to not being maintained or being incorrectly maintained. Proper flushing, and using proper coolant both cars have plenty of heat (also after standard WP/TB replacement). No fault of the heater core.

ABS module on both (his b5 a4, my b5.5 Passat) is original from everything I can tell.
ABS module on my b6 A4 was replaced twice by the previous owner....there is nothing wrong with ABS module. I now have a spare. There was corrosion in contacts in the a-pillar causing it to not read the WSS properly.
Why was there corrosion there? clogged drains followed by an attempt by the previous owner to fix the water problems that made it worse. again, no fault with the ABS module itself.

so if the car is maintained properly
, these things should not need to be replaced...they don't wear out so to speak. Now I understand that I am relatively new to these cars and working on cars in general, but my understanding is that while there are certain "Achilles' heels" in these cars from what I have gathered they are almost entirely from a cascading series of events that are ignored as they happen.

ie: leaking gaskets, caps, etc. probably mostly due to PCV system that is super sensitive, gets screwed by not changing the oil in time, wrong fuel, etc etc etc, and then that leads to worse things
 

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that is just my opinion,whether observed or personally experienced, I'll let others "chime" in on this with their own viewpoints.
 

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that is just my opinion,whether observed or personally experienced, I'll let others "chime" in on this with their own viewpoints.
I understand, opinion as well (in terms of the discussion). I can understand asking about parts that wear and need replacing. my point is if the car has been maintained....then these parts should never need to be replaced unless they fail, which happens but way way way way less often than failing because of something the owner did or didn't do.
 

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Many times, the heater core will end up clogging, even with proper drain intervals. The design of the core internals has a little to do with it, but mainly it is coolant contamination or it losing its' additive effectiveness over time. Mine hasn't clogged yet, but I have done a drain and fill about 4 times in the last 176k miles. Supposedly within limits of intervals.
 

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At that age you should wonder why the guy is selling it.
 

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right...I have a b5.5, buddy has a b5 a4 with the 2.8l...heater core issues in both of these cars were entirely due to not being maintained or being incorrectly maintained. Proper flushing, and using proper coolant both cars have plenty of heat (also after standard WP/TB replacement). No fault of the heater core.

ABS module on both (his b5 a4, my b5.5 Passat) is original from everything I can tell.
ABS module on my b6 A4 was replaced twice by the previous owner....there is nothing wrong with ABS module. I now have a spare. There was corrosion in contacts in the a-pillar causing it to not read the WSS properly.
Why was there corrosion there? clogged drains followed by an attempt by the previous owner to fix the water problems that made it worse. again, no fault with the ABS module itself.

so if the car is maintained properly
, these things should not need to be replaced...they don't wear out so to speak. Now I understand that I am relatively new to these cars and working on cars in general, but my understanding is that while there are certain "Achilles' heels" in these cars from what I have gathered they are almost entirely from a cascading series of events that are ignored as they happen.

ie: leaking gaskets, caps, etc. probably mostly due to PCV system that is super sensitive, gets screwed by not changing the oil in time, wrong fuel, etc etc etc, and then that leads to worse things
The Bosch 5.3 and 5.7 ABS modules were known to fail. Early on in the B5 life cycle many people were experiencing mass ABS failures. Well documented here in this forum. At first some people were forced to spend untold amounts of money for fixing the issue. Then it was discovered that the electrical components were failing and causing strange issues that one would not normally expect from an ABS failure. Most notably your tachometer not working.
If your vehicle has the original ABS module, I can say with a fairly high confidence level, your running on borrowed time. I got lucky with my 1998 GLS. It lasted almost 20 years. Replaced last year with a rebuilt unit.
I really feel for all those masses of people that had to cough up hard earned cash to fix a problem that became common place and a reasonable priced fix became available.
All part of the Passat experience.
 
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$2500 for a 2002 GLX 4mo? I'd call that a pretty good deal, especially for a first time driver / first car owner. Yeah, everybody will tell about the maintenance issues and what's involved, albeit the truth.
Consider though that the Passat was one of the safest cars around. You'll be hard pressed to find a car as safe as the Passat for such a low price point.
Plus, when all the issues are taken care of, it's a damn fine car, PERIOD.
 

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If your vehicle has the original ABS module, I can say with a fairly high confidence level, your running on borrowed time. I got lucky with my 1998 GLS. It lasted almost 20 years. Replaced last year with a rebuilt unit.
Address 03: ABS Brakes Labels: 8E0-614-111-EDS.lbl
Part No: 8E0 614 111 A
Component: ABS/EDS 5.3 QUATTRO D10
Shop #: BB 24334

I still have the "A" version of the pump....but might have been replaced since the shop number is different than the one for most of the addresses in the VCDS scan.

What ABS issues did I have with the car (2002 V6/30v A/T 4Mo GLX Wagon) when I adopted it last year at 125k miles? 1 broken wss...replaced the sensor...had different issues....found out the sensor was not the proper distance away (was dropping signal at the low rpm, causing ABS to kick on as you stopped because it thought a wheel was locked). Again not a module issue.

You guys have forgotten more than I will ever know about these cars, so I am not saying that ABS modules and heater cores don't fail, they do. Obviously you guys know more about it than I do, but it seems that a lot of people replace the ABS modules on these (I count my b6 a4 wagon as one too) when it isn't the module.....like the previous owner of my a4 who replaced the abs pump twice...for no reason.

Plus, when all the issues are taken care of, it's a damn fine car, PERIOD.
Well yeah....that's why after the adopted 2002 Passat, I ended up with a 2003 A4 Avant Quattro with the 3.0L but this time a 6 speed manual instead of the Tiptronic on the Passat
 

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Plus, it's a wagon. If the timing belt, control arms and trans are good, it's worth $2500. I would not advise someone who cannot DIY to buy a Passat, especially as a 1st car.

I had a customer with a 2001.5 B5.5 1.8T brand new. I changed the suspension on it when it was 6 months old. I later changed the timing belt around 60K and used OEM coolant. It never leaked coolant and never had to be topped off, but the thermostat and water pump housings had some rust inside of them. Several years later, the heater core was clogged, again, only OEM coolant and distilled water was used in the car. After I showed the owner how to flush the heater core, he had to flush it every year afterwards.

For my car (V6), it had cruddy brown coolant when I bought it with about 72K in 2005. After the new timing belt idler roller failed at 94K (18mo). I took a hose and flushed the motor while the water pump was out until it ran clear. I did the same for the radiator. I never flushed the heater core, but I expect the hose flushed out the old coolant from there. I never had a clogged heater core, but the one of the outlets cracked around 2014, when I pulled the hoses off for the swap. Oddly, I never had a problem with the ABS and I don't think it was replaced prior to my purchase.
 
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The leak on my heater core was caused by a crack on the dumb plastic inlet pipe. Fortunately it leaked outside the passenger compartment, and because I’m in South Florida I just bypassed it.
 

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It’s a good car, and no one can argue with the price (even though many will). It is a heavy maintenance car, best suited for a DIYer.

Find out when these items were done:
Timing belt
ABS control module
Heater core
Front control arms (8)
Shocks and shock mounts
CV joints and boots
Driveshafts: carrier bearings and u-joints
Trans fluid and filter
I have a 2000 Passat V6 that I bought new. I'm no DIYer but have it worked on by a good shop where they know what they're doing. Over the 20 years that I've had the car, it has had very few of the issues that I read about on this forum. The only real trouble spot has been the window regulators. As a European car, a Passat requires a little more maintenance and TLC if you will than most Americans give their cars.
 

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^ there's a big difference between keeping a Passat well maintained and 'rescuing' one that has been neglected for a long period of time. I think if you buy a Passat new and keep the maintenance up to snuff, either by DIY or a pro mechanic, the total cost of ownership can be reasonable. That assumes you want to drive the car for 300k miles of course since under those conditions it will probably last that long.
 

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^ there's a big difference between keeping a Passat well maintained and 'rescuing' one that has been neglected for a long period of time. I think if you buy a Passat new and keep the maintenance up to snuff, either by DIY or a pro mechanic, the total cost of ownership can be reasonable. That assumes you want to drive the car for 300k miles of course since under those conditions it will probably last that long.
I agree on that front.
I know a lot of people that subscribe to the don't spend a damn dime on it until it breaks. Somehow they believe that saves them money.
But then those are the people that bitch the most because of how deep down they have to reach into their pockets for the repairs. :rolleyes:
 
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