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I bought a 2000 GLS 1.8T from owner about 5 months ago. On the way home oil light came on. I stopped the car, called my mom and had her bring me some oil, topped off the oil and took the car to midas for an oil change. The next day everything was fine. No oil light or funky noises... just a happy car with a happy driver.

The next day I started hearing a shhhht shhht noise, almost like air, every time I hit a pot hole or bump. I stopped the car, looked underneath and saw nothing. The next day a huge flap of plastic (a large piece of plastic that located below the engine) ripped right off while driving to work. I removed what was left of that plastic part and checked for any further damage.

About a month went by and the oil light started getting on my case again. Popping on every now and then. I took it to the dealer and needed a new oil pump ($700.00).

Now it has been just about 3 months since my oil pump change and I'm hearing a really weird noise when I start the engine. It only happens for about 30 seconds when I start the car and goes away after I've heated the car up.

This story was written to ask an important question: how reliable are VWs? Have I gotten a lemon or do most VWs start having trouble when they start reaching high mileage? It's almost coming up to 80,000 and I can't afford to make its payments and also service major repairs every few months.

Finding Club B5 REALLY makes me want to keep my Passat. You guys have an awesome forum here -- seriously. It is a great place.

Please help.
 

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boozymcdrinky said:
Now it has been just about 3 months since my oil pump change and I'm hearing a really weird noise when I start the engine. It only happens for about 30 seconds when I start the car and goes away after I've heated the car up.
Boozy, tell us more about that sound. From what you've described, you are talking about the secondary air pump that recirculates warm air back through the engine/emissions system to accelerate warmup. The louder than normal noise for about 30 seconds is normal and occurs even with newer cars.

As fae as your belly pan (the large plastic piece) ripping off. I would point fingers at Midas, the last people to remove/replace it. Probably didn't replace it properly when they changed your oil. When you drove at high speed, it proabably flapped and caught on something and ripped off. I don't know if that could have contributed to your oil pump failure though.
 

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Unfortunatly, things happen. I have a 2003 Toyota Tacoma and the water pump fried at 18000 miles. Luckily, the warranty covered it. I don't think you got a lemon, but when you buy a used car, you just don't know how often the prior owner(s) changed the oil. Also, the fact that you took it to the dealer is something you need to think about. I believe dealership service depts are only good for warranty work. Once your warranty is up, you either find a really dependible mechanic or buy yourself a Bentley manual and have at it yourself. Oil pumps aren't too hard to change and you should be able to find one for about 150.00 bucks on your own. Places like: http://shop.carpartsdeal.com/ are a good example.

I purposely have a spare 87 Golf GTI specifically for the purpose of working on cars. First, it only cost me 300 bux to purchase and it makes an excellent backup car when I have to work on my other cars. Secondly, when things break on the old GTI, I work on it myself and chalk down points for experience. If I ever run into trouble, I go to my friendly Vwvortex and search around.

My point is that these cars don't have to be that expensive if you are willing to put a little work in. If the dealer quotes you 800 bux for an oil pump, find an independent mechanic that will do it for 500 bux.
 

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Well Midas didn't secure your belly plate correctly after the oil change. I don't have mine on (it came that way when I bought the car) and haven't had any problems so I don't think it's a biggie. Maybe you can go back to them if you want it replaced.

As far as the racket when you start your car, I'm hearing it's pretty normal during warmup. I don't get alot of noises when I start my car that some other people are reporting, but I've also owned almost every VW that's been out there, so I could be used to it.

One Rabbit to 291,000 miles
One GTI to 212,000 miles
One Corrado to 138,000 miles

I'm nervous about the timing belt (never changed them on the Rabbit or Corrado), but there's a first for everything.

Keep checking the threads... I've learned alot about this car.

Hope it helps...
 

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Boozy, I think you discovered why the previous owner sold the car (oil light).

If it were me, I'd get the belly pan replaced.
 

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The only thing I would be concerned about is the timing belt. If it hasn't been changed, it needs to be. They seem to be notorious for giving up between 60,000 and 100,000 miles. It will run a little money, but a locked up, ruined motor is really expensive.

Like everyone said, the big piece of plastic was your belly pan and Midas probably didn't fasten back up correctly. The ssshhhht sound over bumps was probably the plastic flapping down and scraping the ground. I would replace it but you don't have to. Just make sure the wheel well liners are secured somehow. As for the oil pump, well things happen. I wouldn't worry but you might want to try a different (cheaper) shop. And the noise at startup is normal (as far as I can tell from the description). The air pump (and maybe some other emissions parts) make a bit of a racket on these cars. If it helps at all, my 02 SS does it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you guys.

You might be right about Midas not fastening the belly pan properly after changing the oil.

The shhhhtt sound was the belly pan scraping the ground whenever the car caught a big enough crack or bump. I couldn't see anything under the car, but eventualy it just ripped right off.

I am definately worried about the engine locking up. Getting the oil pump fixed was the first step I guess, as that could have ruined my motor as well, but the timing belt is definately second in line. I've read a lot of horrific stories written by Passat drivers with engines that are no longer running.

I guess I am just worried about how expensive repairs will be in the future. After getting the noise under the hood fixed I will need to replace the timing belt. Repairs done on the Passat are reletively expensive and it seems that there might be many.
 

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stuff happens and it seems to always be within the first 5 or 6 months of ownership, my vws have been reliable, take my 1994 GTI i say its reliable, it has never left me stranded or not started. i drove it hard enough, and i would always do the regular maintenance and beyond, i replaced till now the clutch,second gear hub and syncro, reverse gear,have had the head rebuilt(and had it ported and polished) replaced both CV shafts, the brakes front and back,the inner and outer tie rods, ball joints, and so on, i feel that a good car is going to have things break or wear out on em after time and mileage kick in but as long as you deal with em before they get out of hand your safe. don't go to the dealer if you don't have to, they charge twice as much as anyone else and are no better, i all the work on my cars and save a bundle, hell, i've spent about 24k on my GTI till now and thats with me moddifing and doing all the work myself, if i would have gotten all the stuff that is done on it by mechanics, bodymen and tuner shops i would have close to 35k in it if not more.

its all how you spend the money on your car.
make sure that all the major services have been done on it, and do the premptive maintanance on it too, that way you'll save the trouble later in life :wink:
 

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I wouldn't worry about it. The timeing belt is a must, but it seems like many people are seeing 100,000 plus miles out of their passats. Trying to make it 100,000 miles on a timing BELT is not a good idea. Of all the cars that I've owned, 2 had timeing belts (as apposed to a chain). Both had 60,000 miles service intervals for the belt. The oil pump didn't do any damage to youre car. Thats what the oil pressure sensor is for. The pump STARTED to fail and you replaced it. Had you driven with the light on it would be different. The only other thing you might want to replace are the oil lines to the turbo (could be getting a bit clogged - cheap insurance for your turbo.

After getting the noise under the hood fixed I will need to replace the timing belt.
So youre pretty sure its not the normal startup noise?
 

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I bought a 99 1.8t and thankfully havent had any problems... The only thing the car has wrong is that the steering wheel is not indexed rite.. I have to re index it... The car has almost 70 000 and i need it to take more 50 000 :) it would thought piss me off if i bought a car and it would give me problems.. You should have taken it to a mechanic... I cant really talk cuz i didnt and got lucky...

godd luck man...
It sux that reparing imports is soooo expensive... :) they are thoguth better and look much better ;P
 

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The plastic that ripped off was just the lower engine cover, doesent really do much but help protect the engine, mine came off a while ago and i havent had any problems yet, as for the car my dads 1.8t passat has 120,xxx miles on it and we have had little to no problems with it. :thumbup:
 

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Certainly replace the belly pan! :eek:h:

Not only does it protect the parts under the car, it has aerodynamic affects too. It's there for a reason. Would you drive without a hood? Ok, not as important as a hood, but important none the less. Get one, don't wait :nervous:
 

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REPLACE IT. Unlike some people think :lol: , it does help for a few things. The first is any debris or anything from the road won't hit the bottom of the car or any components in the engine bay, you never know. You can be fine for 2 years or 10, but do you want to take the chance for $70 :???: . The second thing is, like Trlyka pointed out, is the drag affects, aerodynamics mostly. As for why it ripped out, just ask Midas :crazy: . I went to Jiffy lube ONCE, on a road trip (not able to do it on my own at that time) and about 150 miles in the return trip, all the sudden, huge noise followed by a drag/scratchy sound. Got out of the car and only 1 bolt was holding the pan in place, it flipped under the car!!! :mad: . They did not put it back on right :evil: . Good luck, and keep the car, you will enjoy it :thumbup: .
 
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