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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Proud new owner of a v6 03 glx, 85k. First off like an idiot I bought it without checking the heater, this morning on my way to work I noticed it isnt working. Any easy conventional methods I could perform myself before I throw serious money into it?

Being as I have 85k miles is it time for a timing belt replacement? Is this a by ear or engine performance scale or is this a mandatory for engine life?

I am missing some plastic trim and the whole piece on u door that houses the handle and frames around the buttons like the windows needs a replacing.

What is the best oil to run in this?

Also this morning I came outside after letting it run for a little while and it sounded like water was dripping in the undercarriage, yet upon inspection I seen nothing. Now this could be an echo from the curb or could it be something more serious?

What are some things I could look for right now to save me $$ later? I know these aren't the lost specific questions but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks and thank you for contributing to strangers on this forum like myself.
 

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Welcome to the forum from a fellow 2003 GLX owner. I can answer 2 of your questions....

The timing belt should be replaced at 80k miles or thereabouts. Don't follow the factory recommendation of 105k. This is a major service in which you also replace the water pump. Search around here on the forum for V6 timing belt for more info. This is an interference motor so if the belt snaps you are looking at major damage (bent valves).

As for oil, I'd go with synthetic - 5W40 is recommended.
 

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For the heat issue you can try to reverse flush the heater core to get any built up crud that is clogging it up.
Here are some helpful instructions and if you search using Google you can find several videos and diys. Always include V6 in your searches. What color is your coolant and coolant tank? Pinkish is the correct answer. The correct coolant to use is G12 or G13 available at your local VW dealer and distilled water available at any grocery store. Their price is usually not bad on coolant. You can do the flushes with tap water.
http://www.passatworld.com/forums/b5-information-base/383113-diy-bleeding-cooling-system-heater-core-flush.html

VW has specific fluid recommendations for coolant, power steering, transmission, brake and oil. As on most modern(ish) cars it is best to follow these recommendations.

Oil, if you read the bottle of oil you are looking for VW502 approved. Mobil One 0w-40 and Castrol Syntec 5w-40 are the most popular two oils used. For oil filters use either Mann or VW filters.

You are in the window for your timing belt service and it should not be ignored. it is a big job and takes a skilled service tech most of a day to do the job. Parts that are (and Need to be) changed during this service are.
Timing belt
Timing belt tensioner roller
Timing belt idler/relay roller pulley
Timing belt damper
Timing belt Tensioning lever (optional IMHO)
Thermostat
Thermostat O-ring
Water pump & gasket
Serpentine Belt
Coolant flush with G12/G13

dripping water sound. Interesting, that's a new one.
The car came with a belly pan that protects the engine from road debris if it is still in place this would catch any dripping fluids so you would not see them hitting the ground. Sometimes the belly pans have been deleted from the car. It is a very good idea to have one in place.
But also Passats that have been neglected are prone for Water Intrusion into the cabin of the car. And leaking heater cores can also cause this. SO, You may want to pull up the carpet and check to see if it is wet. wet carpet is very bad. There are two computers mounted under the carpet neither of which like water and the same goes for their wiring harnesses.

http://www.passatworld.com/forums/volkswagen-passat-b5-discussion/336423-annual-reminder-clean-out-leaves.html

http://www.passatworld.com/forums/b5-information-base/230249-water-ingress-solutions.html

VW Passat Comfort Control Module harness repair | HeadFUZZ
 

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Hey thank you. Can I ask how many miles your passat has and how its doing mechanically, and what you put into it ?
I bought the car in 2010 or 2011 (can't remember) with 64,000 miles. It now has 86,000 miles. Only had 1 check engine light; I had to replace the coils last summer. Since I've owned it, it has new brakes, I upgraded the suspension and wheels, replaced the cv axle boots and the battery. I did the full timing belt service at 79,000 miles. I thought about selling it but it runs like a top. I don't daily drive it - it is more of a weekend car/winter beater.

These cars can get pricey with service; if you are expecting an Accord you may be in for a shock. I will eventually need to replace 1 catalytic converter assembly on the passenger side and my car is a 5-speed....very expensive. But so far no check engine light.
 

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Timing belt would be at the top of my list. (Recommended maximum interval 7 years or 80,000 miles)

When you do the timing belt, I suggest you replace the following:
A) Timing Belt
B) TB Tensioner Damper
C) TB Tensioner Roller
D) TB Idler Roller
E) Water Pump & Gasket
F) Thermostat & "O" Ring & maybe the Housing

Also consider replacing:
G) Serpentine (Accessory) belt
H) Serpentine belt Tensioner
I) Check all coolant hoses, replace if required
J) Coolant
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am so worried about the timing belt I don't even want to drive it. I spent nearly every last dime I had on this car...$4200. I'm more than a little worried at 85k and no foreseeable timing belt change. Located a vw specialist in my small city and going to bring it to him for an inspection. Praying I can drive it for another couple months before I save up the money for the labor and kit. Half tempted to try it in my garage first...looks a little complicated though. I don't understand the use of a belt vs a chain when given the circumstances of an interference motor and what happens when they break...
 

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There are lots of very knowledgeable people here so I am sure any problems you run into, someone here will be able to quickly answer. I have a 2000 VW Passat with 140,000 miles, runs like new.

Regarding oil, I would go with Mobil 1 0W40 European Formula Full Synthetic. One of the best places to buy it is Walmart stores, they carry 5-quart jugs currently for $23.88: Mobil 1 0W-40 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 qt. - Walmart.com

Mobil 1 is running a rebate and Walmart is in fact a participating retailer so you can get $12 back per 5-quart jug purchased (limit two rebates per household). This promotion ends May 31, 2015:
https://mobiloil.com/en/promotion/mobil-promotions/up-to-15-dollars-off-with-mobil-1-and-mobil-super

Also, if you got a participating Mobil 1 dealer for an oil change (take the above oil with you for them to use), there is a $15 coupon Mobil 1 will send to you to use on your next oil change too. Just have the oil change place type out in their computer on your invoice that you used the oil by name that you take in as it will work:
https://mobiloil.com/en/promotion/m...our-next-oil-change-with-mobil-1-lube-express
 

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I am so worried about the timing belt I don't even want to drive it. I spent nearly every last dime I had on this car...$4200. I'm more than a little worried at 85k and no foreseeable timing belt change. Located a vw specialist in my small city and going to bring it to him for an inspection. Praying I can drive it for another couple months before I save up the money for the labor and kit. Half tempted to try it in my garage first...looks a little complicated though. I don't understand the use of a belt vs a chain when given the circumstances of an interference motor and what happens when they break...
Look on the timing belt service, I think you will be fine driving the car for a few more months before you do the service. Many people have gone 90-100K on the original timing belt, but is it a good idea? No, because some do fail. You can only do what you can afford to do, so, when you can have it done and until then just drive the car. Once or twice a week just go for a drive and listen to your car(RADIO OFF), open the hood and listen to the engine idling. If you hear a new noise or something doesn't sound correct, or you start loosing coolant, have the car serviced.
But, as in life, no guarantees. It's a good idea to have it looked over by a VW specialist even though a visual inspection will net you little unless the belt is is really bad condition. It's usually the associated parts (rollers, tensioners, water pump) that fail and cause the belt to either fail or jump timing.

One thing I have learned about cars is they usually will tell you when they need your attention, IF you listen to them. Ignore them and you will pay a much higher price.

You can also open the hood and take some pictures of your engine removing the pretty black covers and post them. As well you can remove one of the timing belt covers and take a picture of the belt. Sometimes, people here can see things you may overlook. Plus it will give everyone an idea of how the last owner cared for the car.
 

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You probably would get away with driving it for a few months, providing you don't drive it too hard.
But there is a risk, and the risk gets greater as time and miles increase; and you are already 5k and 5 years over.
Only you can decide whether or not to take the risk of a considerably higher repair cost.
 

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About once a year I have my car (2001 GLX V6 5-speed manual) inspected. It catches things that are developing before they go too far. It costs about $150 but it is worth it for peace of mind. Nobody likes being stranded. I had mine inspected in January and that inspection found that ball joints and motor mounts were needed.
 

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Welcome to the club, I ran both of my V6 Passats up to the 100K mark before changing the belts.
Worked out OK, as long as you get quality parts.
2nd failed at 115K ish due to pooly designed replacement tensioner.

If your semi skilled with hand tools and working on an engine you could easily do this over a weekend taking your time.
Parts for a good service kit are around $400.

Heater is a whole other issue. Probably a blocked heater core.
You can try cleaning it yourself, some people have had success.
I tried on my current, no joy. Ended up replacing the core. 3 days work and the whole dash ripped out.
But, my car was nice and toasty over this past winter. :)
 
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