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Discussion Starter #1
Gentlemen,
I am a complete newbie to this forum and have little to no experience with VWs. Years ago, I owned a 74 super bettle. Did a little work on it - oil changes, plugs, etc. Since then, I bought a 02 TDI and and trying to learn about it.

My neighbors daughter just came home from out west for years and brought her 02 Passat GLX V6 4Motion with her. Last week the car decided not to be driven above 3 mphs. She is not available for more history of car. Father is going to junk it but has offered it to me if I want it. Here's what I know:

I know nothing about things indepth VW.
Car has 202K miles
Flawless cosmetic condition.
Starts and runs and drives normal for me yesterday. Started and stopped it removing the key 3 times.
Drops into reverse, neutral, drive, and park immediately and smoothly.
Absolutely everything works correctly - every switch, button, functionality, etc. -no lights in dash at all. Don't know about any codes since I don't have a reader yet.
Recent oil change
Same one woman owner since new. This was her baby. No accidents. No rust.
Car was taken to seller dealer in 2012 for scheduled service. Don't know what was done.

Is this a transmission Control module - TCM - intermittent failure?
Searched internet and talked to one used parts vendor. He seemed to say that "I'm selling you this part but I want you to know your issue might be bad shift solenoids in the transmission itself that the TCM is sensing and triggering the protection mode. I'm selling you a used part that is good but don't complain or bring it back to me for refund if it doesn't solve your issue". Hmmmmmm...

He went on to say that the TCM had to be electronically calibrated to the transmission.

Don't know if any of this was correct but decided to include that information here.

Am I dreaming and crazy to think that this car could be saved without major expense? Sure do hate to see this beautiful girl get raped and destroyed in the junkyard.

Any advice you can give me will be greatfully appreciated.

Thank you,

WunderBug
 

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My Passat has 240k and runs like a dream. They are really great cars!
You're problem could be many reasons. First I would check the transmission fluid, could be low, causing it to go into "limp" mode.
It could also be the speed senor. The engine and transmission is not communicating correctly.
Or, it could be your MAF sensor (which do cause a lot of issues)
In my own opinion, I'd say buy it. If the price is right. Sounds to me she a keeper ;)
These passat are a pain in the you-know-where to fix. But its alll worth it!
Also another thing is that if you are going to buy it, I would steer away from "experience" mechanics that say they know how to fix them. They probably don't. And are going to start wanting to replace the working part (like the TCM)
As always; check EVERYTHING before buying (unless you're getting it dirt cheap) than by all means buy it.
:thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you Doriangr3y -
See you're from AZ. Great state. Lived there as a kid and learned to ride western. great memories. Dad was in AF based at Luke AFB.
I agree with your advice. Seems like I should buy it. Think I can get it for $900. Crazy? Fool?

Since my post this morning, I've done some more reading and talked with one VW mechanic. He refuted the comment from the parts reseller. Says the TCM is a plug and play module and does not have to be 'set or calibrated' to the car. Sound right? He could not give any reason for the intermittent nature of the issue. Says if the TCM was toasted, it would stay in limp mode and would not be operating normally now. All or nothing?
Although he was highly recommended by another mechanic as his "go to" VW guy, sounds like he does a lot of tuning and mod work. Did say his experience with Passats was inheriting one from his family.

I'm stunned to read that this is a no dip stick transmission. I have some general experience with late eighties MBs and this is surprising to me. Oh well.
Going to run and drive car again today and update this post. I'm very curious to find out what servicing the transmission will reveal. I can only hope this is the problem. Trying to talk with the daughter to see if she can relay the maintenance history (or lack thereof).

My paradox is that from what initial research I've done, once the car has a limp mode problem, it sticks. I'm VERY NEW and trying to learn from you guys - but I've yet to read any post that says limp mode comes and goes. And OBTW, the battery is 9 months old, has not been disconnected to clear anything, and car came limping home at 3 mph two weeks ago but now is not in limp mode. Again? Yet? Don't have a clue. Depending on you guys.
I'd really be great to think that servicing the transmission - doing standard maintenance - would bring this girl to life reliably
Stay tuned and thank you again.

WunderBug

That's all I know.
 

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Posting this in the B5 section will get more responses.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thank you Urlik. With this post, my third, I should be able to 'get the door up' on the B5 Garage and repost my original request for help.

Wunderbug
 

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Thank you Urlik. With this post, my third, I should be able to 'get the door up' on the B5 Garage and repost my original request for help.

Wunderbug
You should have full access already. Let me know if you don't.
 
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