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2003 B5.5 Passat 1.8t tiptronic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I have a 2003 b5.5 Passat 1.8t with the tiptronic transmission. I’m looking at getting either a stage 1 APR tune rated at 215hp and 247lb ft or a Unitronic stage 1+ tune rated at 220hp and 250lb ft tq. The car is at 142,000 and has been a single owner car it’s whole life. Well maintained, and the transmission fluid and filter was just changed less than 5k miles ago. What are your thoughts on the longevity of my transmission with responsible/moderately spirited driving? Thanks!
 

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It should be fine, but there's always a risk of the torque converter seal failing eventually. It may take another 50-80K depending on the driving, but on the higher-powered engines and 4Mo, they fail sooner.
Despite that risk, it's well worth the added power.
 

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2003 B5.5 Passat 1.8t tiptronic
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It should be fine, but there's always a risk of the torque converter seal failing eventually. It may take another 50-80K depending on the driving, but on the higher-powered engines and 4Mo, they fail sooner.
Despite that risk, it's well worth the added power.
I agree. Definitely worth the upgrade because that sounds like some pretty sweet power gains. My car doesn’t have 4motion and it shifts good so I’m just gonna send it. Thanks for the reply!
 

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2003 B5.5 Passat 1.8t tiptronic
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If and when you do go through with it, post the results. I'm thinking of doing the same thing to mine, since ours are the same setup. Mine has almost 214k miles though.
I’m contacting my local tuning shop today and I’m hoping to get tuned by the end of the month. I’ll let you know how it goes!
 

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I would not scan it until a CEL is on. I don't like being paranoid about a car.
 
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2003 B5.5 Passat 1.8t tiptronic
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, I got tuned today, and so far, no complaints! The car definitely feels more powerful and even with the AC on in the 82 degree sun the car is much more powerful than when it was on its stock tune with the AC off. I’d say go for it! I personally do not feel like I’m sacrificing my reliability with this tune either which is a big plus for me. I still have some supporting mods Incoming such as a silicone turbo inlet pipe and a downpipe and exhaust to put a little more pep in my step then I’ll pretty much have my car where I want it power wise. In the future it’s a possibility I’ll go APR stage 1+ with bigger injectors but for now the power feels great!
 

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2003 Passat GLS Wagon
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Glad to hear! I'm considering letting mine go. It's leaking trans fluid from above the cv axle and idk where it's coming from. I also don't know if I have the funds to keep tossing into it.
 

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2003 B5.5 Passat 1.8t tiptronic
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Glad to hear! I'm considering letting mine go. It's leaking trans fluid from above the cv axle and idk where it's coming from. I also don't know if I have the funds to keep tossing into it.
Yeah it’s a pain keeping these things running sometimes but it’s very gratifying when you got them running good. These cars are definitely maintenance heavy especially as they age because they are 20 year old turbocharged European cars lol, the two don’t go together well unfortunately
 

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2003 Passat GLS Wagon
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You ain't kidding. I'm debating currently whether to stay the course and keep fixing the known issues. Or to get another car with its unknowns. I just hate that this car requires premium gas, that stuff is expensive!

How is your fuel economy after getting the tune done, better when driving sensibly?
 

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2003 B5.5 Passat 1.8t tiptronic
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Did you get the 91 octane tune, I was considering the 93 one. They cost the same where I want to go so I figured go big.
I got the 93 tune. My mpg is basically the same when driving normally although lately I’ve been gettin on it a lot more because I’m still having fun with this new found power lol. But driving to and from work and the gym and stuff normally I get around the same as I used to. Hope this helps
 

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Mpg should be the same under the same driving conditions. How much you use your right foot with the new found power determines your fuel economy😉.

If you don’t hot-foot it all the time, there should be no problems with the auto trans. I beat mine up for 140k with the 93 tune and no issue. When it became a second car, I decided to manual swap.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Mpg should be the same under the same driving conditions. How much you use your right foot with the new found power determines your fuel economy😉.

If you don’t hot-foot it all the time, there should be no problems with the auto trans. I beat mine up for 140k with the 93 tune and no issue. When it became a second car, I decided to manual swap.
If I ever did end up having problems with the tiptronic I’ve thought about 6 speed manual swapping it. Although I can’t lie I love the tiptronic in this car. Perfect for daily driving and for spirited driving when in tiptronic mode. How hard is it to manual swap cost wise and parts wise? Do I just need to swap out the axles and transmission or is a lot more required?
 

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2003 Passat GLS Wagon
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If I ever did end up having problems with the tiptronic I’ve thought about 6 speed manual swapping it. Although I can’t lie I love the tiptronic in this car. Perfect for daily driving and for spirited driving when in tiptronic mode. How hard is it to manual swap cost wise and parts wise? Do I just need to swap out the axles and transmission or is a lot more required?
He has a post in the forums, I looked it up. It's well informed. Make sure you have a buddy and case of your favorite beverage handy. I'm planning on doing the swap on mine WHEN the tip poops out. Among other things. Ha ha
 

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I suggested watching for slip, but the 5HP19 transmission is pretty robust. We've had a '99 1.8T Passat with one, a '96 A4 2.8 V6, and my current '05 A4 with the 3.0 V6. The '96 had 270,000 when I sold it, the trans working just fine, and my 3.0 is now at 273,000, and also working like a champ.
 
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