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Matt, Mechanical Engineer
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 22744
Experience:  BEng hons Mech engineering, in auto industry 22 years
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VW Passet tdi 2lit. 2008 are they reliable regards matt

Customer Question

VW Passet tdi 2lit. 2008 are they reliable 89000 0n clock  regards matt

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Car
Expert:  Matt replied 3 years ago.



Hello I'd stay away to be honest especially from the 2.0 ltr diesel


things to watch for:


8th Least Reliable 3-5 year old family car in 2012 analysis of Warranty Direct Claims records.


Spate of problems with PAS rack, replaced under warranty. Software problem with electro-hydraulic power steering system.


Emissions sensor fault putting 2.0TDI PDs into limp home mode. Stopping and switching off re-sets, but can happen 3 times on a 90 mile motorway journey. Dealer software download cures. PD injector failures starting to occur by October 2009 on TDI PD 170s at just over 3 years old.

Official VOSA recall R/2009/110/37E8 of VAG cars with 6-speed dual wet clutch DSG transmission built 1-9-2008 to 31-8-2009 because "In rare cases an incorrect interpretation of the clutch temperature can occur which results in the clutch opening unexpectedly with loss of drive." Remedial action was to update/reprogramme gearbox Mechatronic control unit.


Numerous reports of 2007 2.0TDI PD engines losing coolant. Diagnosis reveals porous cylinder heads. VW remedy is a complete new £5,000 engine with no goodwill assistance provided if the car has been serviced outside the VW dealer network.


The oil pump problem. Report from USA of oil pump/balancer shaft chain of 2.0 TDI failing at 80k - 100k miles. Early 2.0TDIs PD 140s and PD 170s with balancer shafts (up to end of 2005) have a chain drive to the oil pump and the chain drive can eventually snap. Later cars have a hexagonal shaft positive drive to the oil pump that is also a problem. Failed oil pump drives totally wreck the engines and if the car has not been 100% VAG maintained, VAG will not pay. Later oil pumps (from 2006) are driven from a balancer shaft via a short hexagonal shaft. The peaks of this hexagonal shaft locate in six corresponding but minute grooves machined within the otherwise circular-bored oil pump drive shaft. Thus, the oil pump drive relies entirely on an interference fit of little more than 0.010" along the peaks of the hexagonal shaft. After about 50,000 miles, the shaft can round off, resulting in a totally destroyed engine and turbo, plus a bill of up to £9,000. If the danger is known and the oil pump is removed by the garage in good time, a new replacement pump will cost over £500, plus the labour etc to remove and refit it. However, it is also possible to save the old pump and modify the drive at a fraction of the cost of a new one. Many local machine shops already have numbers of these pumps in for such rectification, the drive shaft of each having been on the point of rounding off. The non balancer shaft BKD, AZV and BMN 2.0 engines (which found their way into the 2.0 PD Octavia, A3, Golf, and various SEATs) used a chain driven oil pump very similar, but not identical, to the old 1.9 130hp PD engine. This never seems to give any problems. It's the balancer shafts that cause the problems on the 'posher' VAG 2.0 PD diesels eg Passat, A4, Superb. This 2.0 PD differs from the 1.9 in having twin Lanchester balancing shafts which contra-rotate at 2x crank speed. The first engines used a chain drive which was a complete disaster and the later engines a shaft drive. All 2.0 PD got the shaft drive towards the end of 2005. The problem with the 2.0 PD engine is the drive from the slave balancer shaft to the oil pump, which is a piece of 6 AF hexagonal bar that has inadequate engagement depth with the grooves in the slave shaft. It's the torsional oscillations caused by the balance shafts which destroy the oil pump coupling (the 6mm AF bit of hex) and the chain drive to the balancer shafts before the gear driven systems came out, though these still give problems with the hex key rounding. This creates a lack of concentricity of the drive socket into which the drive rod/hex fits. Checking shows that all the drive sockets in the failed units were off centre by at least 0.1mm. All the replacement balancer units were dead centre and have not led to a repeat failure. Some replacement balancer units have now done 100k+ miles. You will probably get this problem at some point if you have a 2006-2008 Passat 2.0TDi with balancer shafts. If your 2.0TDi does NOT have balancer shafts, you will be ok. If you fit the lastest balancer shaft/ pump assembley from VAG it will more than likely cure the problem for life as they have made the hex longer and centered it all properly. CR piezo injected engines are safe. Anything before that, Audi/VAG wont say when they started to fit the modified units that work properly.

Same door locking windows opening fault as on old Passat die to water ingress to the locking ECU in the driver's door or owners misunderstanding the keyfob functions. Tailgate lock of estate also prone to problems.

Spate of failures of fuel tank lifter pumps, sometimes described as "tandem pumps", on 2.0TDI has led to a shortage of the part and may eventually lead to a TSB. The mythical cause put about on forums is gasket failure of the main fuel pump body joint, which allows engine oil to contaminate the recirculation line back to the main tank, in turn causing failure of the Lifter Pump. This is a myth. The real reason is the Italian made pumps going 'open circuit' after a period of use. Some cars off the road for 6 weeks waiting for parts, but by early May 2008 new pumps were coming through. More on this at


Excessive and uneven rear tyre wear problem on Dunlop tyres.



DPFs of diesels can be coming to the end of their days after about 6 years.

Siemens Piezoelectric injector recall on 2006 - 2009 2.0 TDI BMN engines seems to be causing problems with DPFs. Several reports of this .



Warranty on 7-speed dry clutch DSG extended to 5 years or 150,000 kilometres in Russia and China. Followed by recalls in Australia, Singapore and Malaysia. Problem is with the Mechatronics unit, replaced in the Singapore/Malaysia recall. The transmission reportedly makes strange noises heard inside the car when shifting from 4th to 3rd, 3rd to 2nd and 2nd to 1st. Outside the car the noise is a metallic and repetitive sound, made when the car goes over speed-bumps. reports that an angry group of French VW owners claim that Seat, Skoda and Audi drivers are also reporting the same problems.


An engineer's explanation of the electric parking brake failures on 2005-2011 Passats: Apparently VOSA does not wish to take any action on these matters, despite the safety implications of vehicles running away when unattended, or the brake failing to release (with the risk of overheating of the brake, hub, or possible handling problems). One problem is failure to release, which is caused by corrosion of the bearings within the calliper. The bearing types are, in my view, as an Engineer, inadequately specified. The spec quoted is for a shielded bearing, where, knowing the location, and likelihood of water or dust ingress, my choice would be sealed bearings, (for this application, they retail at about £2.00 each inc VAT, so absolute peanuts on cost for the volumes that VAG will take). Reportedly, some or all of the calliper is supplied by TRW, who have a long association with the automotive industry, and so should have been wary of such problems. The other problem is one of cars rolling away after the brake has been set. Having seen the diagrams of the arrangement, I am not surprised. This is a repeat of the problem that Citroen had, and for the same basic reason. On the VW, and probably other marques, the brake is applied by an electric motor driving a nut/screw arrangement to press the pad against the disc. There is no compliance in the system (which was the cause of Citroen's problems with their lever applied disc parking brake). If the disc is hot when the brake is applied, as it cools the disc contracts, and the pad/disc pressure decreases, effectively releasing the brake. Inserting a high rate spring between the screw/nut and the pad would probably have prevented the problem. There is an ECU update available, (which I suspect raises the current draw at which the ECU shuts off the power to the motor).


This may exacerbate the following problem Another problem, which probably leads to the water ingress, is that the composite housing cracks. Whether this is due to the material stress relieving itself, a manufacturing process defect, or the long term effect of the torque reaction from the motor, is not clear. The craks appear to be straight line, which suggests the torque reaction? The essential thing is that it happens! I have been told that the 2014 M.Y. Passat for USA , has among all its other technological "firsts"; a lever operated handbrake!







November 2005: TSB to replace 20amp fuse for heater rear window of early cars with 30 amp fuse if rear window fails to defrost.

11-12-2006: Source: : Some 2006 model year VW Passats have a wiper motor that may fail during heavy rain due to excessive moisture entering the wiper motor. Also, some 2.0T engine-equipped 2006 and 2007 Passat saloons and some 2007 Passat wagons may have a power brake vacuum line that may fracture and become disconnected at low ambient temperatures. If this happens, the brake power assist can become inoperative, and the driver will experience increased effort to apply the brake and therefore possible increased vehicle stopping distance. UK customer notification is expected to begin in January 2007. A Volkswagen UK spokesman told just-auto that the defects have led to a 'dealer inspection' programme in the UK and Europe affecting around 43,000 cars in the UK. Owners to receive a letter inviting them to take their cars in for free rectification, taking about an hour, while cars booked in for routine maintenance will also be checked.

28-9-2011: VOSA Confirmation of Injectors Recall. Following detailed negotiations between VOSA and the vehicle manufacturer, VW-Audi Group (VAG) has agreed to replace all the injectors originally fitted to VAG group vehicles. If any of the original injectors has already been replaced, VAGwill reimburse customers who have paid for this work themselves even if thework was completed outside of their authorised network. If your vehilce is within the range of vehilces affected then all fourinjectors will be replaced free of charge. To progress repairs and/or obtain a refund you should now contact the relevant VAG Customer Service Centre. Ifnecessary, they will arrange to have your vehicle inspected at anauthorised repairer free of charge.

31-12-2011: Apparently, all VAG models with the 2.0TDI engine from around 2005 fitted with Siemens peizo injectors are subject to a recall which involves replacing all the injectors FOC. Job takes around 3 hours. A short circuit within the injectors causes the fuel system to shut down and engine cuts out.

28-1-2012: Manufacturer recall to replace Siemens Piezoelectric injectors of 2006 - 2009 2.0 TDI BMN engines. All the injectors from the the 2.0 TDI PD engines that use piezoelectric Siemens injectors and Siemens ECUs are affected by this problem. The most problems are on the Passat BKD 2.0 TDI 140HP. No problem from 2009 and the introduction of the common rail 2.0 TDI engine (CEGA).

18-9-2012: Notofied of North American s ervice action campaign SA4815 to repair a fault with the electric power steering. In the UK VW owners are asked to fork out £450 to repair it.

15-3-2013: Source InAuto News: China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine received some complaints about some defects in the direct-shift gearbox of Volkswagen’s vehicles. The costumers complained about unusual noises, vibrations and transmission problems in the DSG of Volkswagen vehicles. The company took action and on March 1st it submitted technology specifications to the watchdog for reference and said it plans to solve the hitches through technology upgrading. Since the reported problems pose no threat to vehicles’ safety, Volkswagen will not recall the vehicles. The watchdog experts believe that technology improvements cannot fully address the defects and they ordered Volkswagen to conduct more investigations and take effective measures to solve the issues. The General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine is conducting probes with some professional institutes and if the DSG is confirmed to be flawed, it will press Volkswagen to recall the products according to regulations. The watchdog demanded that Volkswagen China attach great importance to the problem concerning direct shift gearboxes and conduct extensive technical analyses. This year, in the first two months Volkswagen sold 818,800 units in China, up 8% year-on-year, which translates in a steady growth for the company in the Chinese market.

12-6-2013: Australian VW DSG Recall

and Australian VW DSG You Tube Video

Due to electrolysis, the DSG 7-speed transmissions are susceptible to conductive deposits forming in the gearbox control units, possibly causing the gearbox fuse to blow. Should this happen, the clutch will fully open due to power supply failure, causing the vehicle to roll to a stop if in motion. In the majority of cases, the fault occurs when the engine is started with the vehicle stationary. If the fuse blows while the vehicle is in motion, however, a sudden loss of power at the wheels could in certain circumstances occur while the vehicle is being driven. This may pose a hazard to the vehicle occupants and other road users. All other functions of the vehicle (steering, braking, etc.) remain fully active.


20-06-2013: - In response to a lawsuit from nearly one thousand VW owners, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine has officially stated that it is presently impossible to determine whether or not the DSG gearboxes require a recall, the Economic Information Daily reported today. Jiang Suhua, partner of Beijing-based Yingke Law Firm, received a letter from AQSIQ saying that, "following expert analysis, investigation and authentication of issues mentioned by consumers with the DSG gearboxes, [we] are still unable to determine whether or not [they] are defective." AQSIQ has previously stated that if they found that the DSG gearboxes were indeed defective, they would adhere to the appropriate legislation and issue a full vehicle recall in order to protect customers. An official from the AQSIQ's Defective Product Center, who wished to remain anonymous, personally believed that the main reason VW has received such a high number of complaints is that it did not fully consider China's driving environment. In Beijing and other large cities where congestion rates are very high, drivers are forced to constantly shift gears, placing a considerable amount of strain on the transmission. The climate in western Sichuan and other regions is extremely humid, while several cities boast high rates of pollution, both of which may have further exacerbated issues. "We are extremely concerned… about the issue with VW's DSG gearboxes," AQSIQ said, confirming that it had requested the manufacturer to promptly resolve the issue and satisfy consumer demands on numerous occasions. Its Defective Product Center, meanwhile, is conducting various tests and experiments on the gearboxes to analyze the source of the problem. AQSIQ stated that it will continue to analyze the problem in order to determine whether or not it poses a legitimate safety risk. Last month, VW issued an officially apology to Chinese drivers affected by issues with its DQ200 dual-clutch transmissions. It also announced that it would be extending warrantees for DQ 200 seven-speed and DQ 250 six-speed gearboxes to cover ten years and 160,000 km.