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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at buying a used 2003 Volks Passat GLX AWD 2.8L V6 Gasoline.

This will be my first ever Volkswagen and I was just wondering what sort of Tips you guys have for me.

I read about the recall for these cars but it seemed like the oil sludge problem only applied to the Diesels. Am I correct?

I will include a link to the ad and hopefully someone can let me know if they think this is a good deal.

Thanks in advance!

(2003) Volkswagen Passat GLX AWD | used cars & trucks | Kelowna | Kijiji
 

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The oil sludge problem was largely (~99%) confined to the 4 cylinder 1.8T engines that ran conventional (dino) oil. Of course if the PO left the V6 oil unchanged for long enough, the engine would have issues. Check the cleanliness of the dip stick as an indicator.

"Really good on gas" is a joke...relative to a W8 perhaps. The thirstiest V6 Passats are wagons with 4Motion and Tiptronic transmissions. I would've tried to talk you out of 4Motion but you're in Canada.

I'm sure some V6 4Motion owners will chime in on the relative value.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Electron Man!

It will probably be really good on gas for me. I have been driving a 1977 Toyota Hi Lux with a camper on the back for the past 3 years. Approx 15 mpg at the most.

Why don't you like the 4motion?

I feel the AWD is good for me going up to the ski hills and stuff buy I am still curious.
 

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Find out if it's in fact been serviced at the dealer it's entire life.. Get service records from the current owner and or whoever worked on it. Take it to the VW dealer and have them look it over. You might be able to split the cost with the current owner to have this done but you want someone that knows VW like the back of their hand... It will be worth the cost... Trust me!!! If it looks like a good deal then you have to determine if you are willing to work with VW's issues which could or couldn't be issues. I just purchased my 1st VW. A 2001 Passat V6 and I actually love the car!!!I knew it had some issues and suspected it was going to have others. But it has taken a lot of Time Effort and $$$$ so far. (it was pretty neglected by the previous owner) I know my way around a lot the mechanics of cars but VW is a learning curve lol. This is a great place to get and ask for help. Had it not been for this place I would have un knowingly spent 1000's on this car in parts and repairs.
 

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It will do better on gas than the old Toyota, but don't expect better than 14L/100 km in city and 8L/100km highway in PERFECT weather and good engine tune. The V6 lets you use regular so that saves some too.

Have the fluids in the AWD inspected or replaced. Price seems about right if the service history is without gaps. Be prepared to have some repairs...goes with the VW territory :eek:)

It will be nice to drive, these b5's are still much loved for their driving dynamics even when compared to much newer cars.
 

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Mtech!!

So I don't have to use Supreme fuel in my 01 V6 30V with almost 160,000 miles???? Advantages/ Disadvantages on this compared to you in Canada and me in the States??
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If it looks like a good deal then you have to determine if you are willing to work with VW's issues which could or couldn't be issues. I just purchased my 1st VW. A 2001 Passat V6 and I actually love the car!!!I knew it had some issues and suspected it was going to have others. But it has taken a lot of Time Effort and $$$$ so far.
Price seems about right if the service history is without gaps. Be prepared to have some repairs...goes with the VW territory :eek:)
It will be nice to drive, these b5's are still much loved for their driving dynamics even when compared to much newer cars.
Thanks everyone.

I am just curious why you guys love VW's so much if so many warnings are given out about repairs and problems?

What kind of problems should I be expecting?
 

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There's a long list of fairly common B5/5.5 V6 problems, most of which I've experienced with my '00 V6 - fuel pump (2 so far), torn CV boots, clogged PCV system causing oil leaks, outer tie rod ends, coolant temperature sensor, O2 sensors (all 4 of mine replaced), exhaust system flex joints(both of mine replaced), failed ABS control module, leaking power steering pump, failed power window regulator - you get the idea. And none of these problems are due to neglected maintenance. So buyer be forewarned. I don't recommend Passats of this age to friends even though I love mine I've owned 10+ years unless they are DIY's. Every time I start thinking about replacing it I come up empty.
 

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It looks like a fair price for an AWD with 130K miles, esp. with the weak Canadian $, I htink it's around $US 3K. Heed the comment about needing to be able to DIY a good bit - the info is all buried here in this forum. I would check the underside for rust too.
 

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I concur ref the gas, a V6 of this weight is never good on gas.
Check all 4 CV boots, if any are split use that to get a price drop. (No price is ever firm)
With the service especially the timing belt and water pump (Check for receipts) don't just take the owners word.
Check all fluids. Check that the coolant is pink. Green would be a bad deal.
Check all the carpets. Especially the rear. (any water leaks run to the rear)
Make sure everything works electrically.
Make sure the AC cools and heats ! Heaters are prone to blocking up.

I have a similar car but the fwd version.
All in all that looks like a nice deal if it's as advertised.

As a previous poster mentioned I would never recommend a VW of this age to a friend, but your not a friend so I say go for it ;)

Let us know how you get on.


 

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Thanks everyone.

I am just curious why you guys love VW's so much if so many warnings are given out about repairs and problems?

What kind of problems should I be expecting?
It is, at this point, approx. 13-ish years old. Any car of that age is going to start having little things go wrong. Will every single one of those "common" problems be wrong with the car you are looking at? No. We are just trying to tell you of some things you need to watch out for.

As with any Used Car purchase, have a Pre-Purchase Inspection done at a mechanic you trust; preferably a VW/Audi specialist that is familiar with the platform.
 

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So I don't have to use Supreme fuel in my 01 V6 30V with almost 160,000 miles???? Advantages/ Disadvantages on this compared to you in Canada and me in the States??
(Sigh...) For some values of "have." This has been discussed 5,000 times here; but VW doesn't specify 91 octane for their cars just to mess with you. The car will run safely on other grades of fuel, but almost certainly won't get quite the power (or possibly gas mileage) that it would on the factory specified fuel. Your call on whether to make the compromise.
 

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Mtech!!

So I don't have to use Supreme fuel in my 01 V6 30V with almost 160,000 miles???? Advantages/ Disadvantages on this compared to you in Canada and me in the States??
The V6 can better tolerate the regular versus the turbocharged 1.8 engine. Lots of VW V6 drivers swear that use of 91 gives them more power, but that might be hard to quantify by the butt dyno.

In the end, the use of the higher octane also give you more cleaning ingredients in the fuel, so you don't need to use added fuel injector cleaners as would be recommended for lower octane fuel. So, does it cost much more to use 91 versus 87 or 89 ? maybe, maybe not, YMMV.

It's not a Canada vs USA thing. Our beer vs your, well that's another discussion :eek:)
 

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I own 3 V6 Passats and the difference in performance and mileage between 91 and 87 is negligible at best. My wagon around town manages between 20 and 21 mpg with stop-and-go and short distance driving. On the highway at 65-75mph it averages closer to 29-30 mpg. This is all on 87 octane gas. Add 5-7% to mpg with 91 octane. Here in NJ the gas tax is low and regular is running about $1.69 to $1.85 a gallon, super is approx. 40 cents more per gallon. There's just not enough of a difference in performance and mileage for me to justify dropping 3 gallons of gas on a $20 fill.
 

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Mtech!!

So I don't have to use Supreme fuel in my 01 V6 30V with almost 160,000 miles???? Advantages/ Disadvantages on this compared to you in Canada and me in the States??
You see what you have started, go ahead I dare you to ask what oil you should use in this car :)
 
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The V6 4MO wagon is a great cruising car. Quiet on the highway, powerful enough to get out of it's own way. As others have said, the mpg is not great, but better than your truck. On long distances, I have averaged 22-23mpg at 80mph. Close to 70mph it would see 25mpg.

The main concerns with the car would be the torque converter as they tend to have a failing lockup clutch. Replacement is not an easy job. Other than that, the 4wd section of the car is pretty simple and pretty reliable. Just check the gear oil in the 3 differentials every couple of years and watch for leaks. The center differential tends to leak at the rear seal, but replacement is not too hard.

The engine tends to have oil leaks, mostly the valve covers, cam chain tensioners and cam bore plugs. The PCV piping is fragile when it gets old, like all plastic parts will do. Once repaired, the leaks are not an issue for another 5 years or more.

The suspension bushings in the front tend to wear out over time, if they have not been replaced already.

You can run regular gas without an issue. I did notice the throttle was less responsive with regular. It was worse during the summer, so I ran premium as it gets quite hot here and I don't drive much.
For oil, if the car has not had a steady diet of at least synthetic blend, the cam chain tensioner pads will start to wear. I replaced mine at around 150K, but I am sure my car had regular oil for half it's life. My son's car with 147K and all synthetic oil changes had no wear on the pads at all.

An old Passat is not the most reliable car out there, but it still is a pleasure to drive. I've had two and bought one for my son and did a ton of preventive work as he lives 1200 miles away.
 

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I am just curious why you guys love VW's so much if so many warnings are given out about repairs and problems?
See the last line of Mtech's post #5 in this thread: the B5 and B5.5 provide a great driving experience.

One other item not mentioned is the timing belt, which must be replaced (along with the water pump and a few other bits) every 90-100K or so. Has this job been done on the car you're considering?
 

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You see what you have started, go ahead I dare you to ask what oil you should use in this car :)
Give me some slack Eh' lol...... I'm a newbie to VW. I will try the next step down on octane and will see what happens. I haven't really pushed this car since buying it. I will once I fix it then I'm hitting the streets to see what it'll do lol

On a side note...What kinda oil? :poke:
 

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On the premium gas it does make a difference with the manual tranny V6 cars. I can't speak to the auto tranny cars. Never owned an auto tranny. Don't trust em; heck they just started putting those things in cars in 1940 and I'm not so sure they have all the bugs worked out yet.

On buying the used Passat all the advice above is good and should be taken under serious consideration. But, look any 13-15 year old car is going to have issues and unexpected repairs. And all German cars anyway have their own issues. I work on my brothers 2003 BMW 530 every time I go to Charlotte and it has it's issues as well. And there is a BMW specialist that sends him Christmas cards! And my nephew bought a used BMW that had not been maintained very well and finally had to put it down.
 
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