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Greetings to All,

I've just bought a 2004 Passat Wagon 4-Motion with the W8 engine and automatic. This vehicle has the Sport wheels and suspension. Carfax reports regular service has been performed over the life of the car and the general condition of the car is, in my opinion, visually quite good. Total mileage is under 70K.

I'd like to do a thorough analysis of the car before declaring it to be reliable. I have OBD scanners, a VAG-COM (borrowed) and the general tool complement that most Car Guys have. I'd like to have some suggestions from the group about what to check - known problems associated with the W8 and 4-Motion Auto drive-train - and wear items that may not be well known to the average dealer service techs. Any checks that must be done by a dealer or are just more economical to have a dealer perform would be nice to know also.

I plan to do the following, at least:

  1. Oil filter, etc.
  2. Air filters if needed
  3. Check plugs - visual exam, check gaps
  4. Examine / replace vacuum hoses, belts (I know it's quite a job), other rubber parts that wear or crack over time
  5. Hunt for vacuum leaks, gasket separation, etc.
  6. OBD code capture
  7. Trans fluid examination, possible change
  8. Brake fluid flush/replace
  9. Brake pad/rotor visual exam and functional test
  10. Steering fluid flush/replace
  11. Coolant test/replace
  12. Visual exam of cooling system, including water pump seals
  13. Pressure test of cooling system
  14. Ball joints. suspension bushings and other articulating attachments visual exam
  15. Wheel bearing play
  16. Exhaust system hangars
  17. Examine and clean A/C condensation drain
  18. Examine and clean sunroof drainage lines and check/clean/lube tracks
  19. Battery age check, charge test, replace if necessary - clean/replace corroded components if any
  20. Tire age check, visual wear check
  21. Struts and shocks examine for leaks

Comments, hints, tips and "heads-up" alerts are all welcome!


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