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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like the posting says, I have an 03 GLX 5 speed, with 68K miles.
I had the timing belt replaced about 3 weeks ago, and had my mechanic check into a rattle at that time. The report came back that the radiator fan is beginning to fail. There are 2 fans in the bay, but I believe that the fan that he is referring to is the one that mounts directly to the radiator. Since I was aout of funding (odd that a Passat and 2 kids can do that:hmmm: ) I will be having it done on MLK day. The quote came back as under $350. He will also be tracking down a squeal that is there at start-up, but goes away by a couple of blocks. Is this a pretty decent cost? The cost for the timing water pump and cam tensioners was $250 less than the stealership, and I got the full timing kit with the pistion tensioner and all...
I am also curious as to the amount of work that has to be done to get to the radiator fan? it looks pretty tight in there, fors the front have to come loose to replace this fan?
Thanks
 

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It depends on what part of the fan is bad. I would expect the belt driven fan to go bad, not the electrical fan. On the belt driven fan, the clutch can be removed with the fan without the car in service position. The bearing is more complicated and service position would be needed.

Is he sure it is not the tensioner pulley? They will squeel and will be loud when they are bad. I think mine is starting to go too. I have seen several go bad, but have not seen too many fans go out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Is the tensioner pully just part of the multi rib belt system? If so, would it just squeal until it heats up? Mine really only squeals for 1-2 minutes, then quiets down. The fan will be addressed at that time anyway. With the limited space in front of the motor, it really is hard to determine precisely where the sound is coming from. I tried hand spinning the fans with the motor off, but they both felt normal (just guessing since I work on PCs and have to work with thier fans), no grinding or restricted movement. The sound dies away when the Climatronic is not on. I was told that the electric radiator fan is active as long as the system is on.
I really love this car, but there are days that I miss my 96 Jetta, which was much simpler to diag and work on. The greater the technology, the greater the headache, and the deeper the money.:hmmm:
I will post once the solution is completed, but before the next damage bill comes to visit.
 

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Is the tensioner pully just part of the multi rib belt system? If so, would it just squeal until it heats up? Mine really only squeals for 1-2 minutes, then quiets down. The fan will be addressed at that time anyway. With the limited space in front of the motor, it really is hard to determine precisely where the sound is coming from. I tried hand spinning the fans with the motor off, but they both felt normal (just guessing since I work on PCs and have to work with thier fans), no grinding or restricted movement. The sound dies away when the Climatronic is not on. I was told that the electric radiator fan is active as long as the system is on.
I really love this car, but there are days that I miss my 96 Jetta, which was much simpler to diag and work on. The greater the technology, the greater the headache, and the deeper the money.:hmmm:
I will post once the solution is completed, but before the next damage bill comes to visit.
If it only happens with the Climatronic, then the Electric fan diagnostic is correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks to all for the assistance!

I will post on the result of the squealing if it is able to be found.

As well as the fan outcome.

:thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, I got my gar back after replacing the electric radiator fan, and that is now quiet again. :thumbup:
On the squealing at startup... repalced the accessory belt tensioner, but still have the problem :banghead: . BUT the sound is now a bit different. I will try some belt dressing to see if that removes the squeal, even for a short while. If it does, I will know for suer that it is not the mail crank or something equally a PITA.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wellll
It looks like my problem is with the pilot bearing in the trans :icon_eek: ... No clutch problems yet, but the squeal is really there when the clutch is pressed in, and that is only when the car is just started after several hours of sitting.
Is it normal for the bearing to fail after 70K? The prior owner was this lady that drove it from Ohio to Maryland every other week, mainly highway.

Is there any way to "grease" the pilot bearing without dropping the tranny? I will have it on a lift this next week, getting a trans fluid change (could this help) and an oil change. My dad says that his Toyota has a grease nipple for that on his 4Runner:hmmm: .

I hate to think that I have to drop the tranny just for this one part:banghead: , since I might as well change the clutch while I am there, even though the clutch is working fine (currently). I guess that it would be a good time to teach the wife to drive a stick if I have to go the whole 9 yards...:thumbup:
Recent repairs:
Timing belt, WP, cam seals, multi rib belt ... preventative, I did not snap it.
Electric radiator fan (bearing failing)
Multi rib belt tensioner
Trans fluid swap this monday
 

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There is no grease port for the Passat throw out bearing as there was on your dad's truck. That is the bearing that pushes against the clutch throws when the clutch pedal is pressed. It is uncommon for this to happen at 70K on a car that is mostly highway driven. If the original owner rested their foot against the clutch, it would wear quickly. The trans fluid change will not affect this at all. It will get worse over time.

The pilot bearing is a different part. It sits in the back of the crankshaft and the front shaft of the trans is riding in it. It used to be a simple brass plug, not sure if that has changed in the 20 years since I last replaced one.

Either part requires the trans to be pulled. Might as well change the clutch at the same time.
 

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I'd let the bearing squeal until it fails, then pull it.

Ugh, dropping trans to fix a squeal.....gotta love those Krauts....
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
PZ & Sharky
Thanks for the input. I am going to hold off on the trans fluid swap for a bit. I realized last night that I still have 1000 miles left before the oil is due. It looks like I will get to enjoy Monday off of work just for slacking.

By the way... what happens when the bearing fails? The throw out bearing failing means the clutch "stops" right? What about the pilot bearing? Same thing? or can it damage something? Just imagining shredded copper in the trans box...
 

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The clutch will still work when the bearing finally seizes. It will squeal like mad and I would replace it at that point. Not sure how long it will take to get that bad.

The pilot bearing does not fail. It will wear and you may get a rattle in the trans.
 
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