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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all - excited to be back with a VW in the driveway. A friend parked their 2001 Passat GLS 1.8t 10 years ago and hasn't touched it since. They gave it to me, and I plan to bring it back to life for my kids to drive. What should I expect with it? It has around 100k, needs a timing belt for sure, that was one of the reasons it was parked. Invoice I have says it needs valve cover gasket and cam adjuster seals, spark plugs and O2 sensor. Shouldn't be too bad, right?? It is an automatic trans, how are they? Are they known to be solid? It was driven by a chill mom, so it wasn't hot rodded at all.
I have a manual for my old '00 VW TDI New Beetle, so I would guess the 1.8t engine part applies to this car, which is useful! The green paint is simply awful, all the clearcoat is peeling off, not sure if there's an easy way out of that other than buffing it and calling it good.
So, any suggestions, tips, warnings, etc for me and my new car?? Thanks in advance!
Scott P
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Just FYI, that is a B5 (2001), not a B5.5 (aka 2001.5). There was a model update in 2001 so be careful when ordering parts to get the right ones.

I'd recommend getting a Bentley manual for the B5 generation Passat. It's very detailed and will be much more useful than the Beetle manual.

As for the car,

timing belt for sure. be sure to replace the water pump, pulleys, etc, ie just get a 'timing belt kit' since all those other parts need to be updated as well
The tiptronic trans often last 300k or more but at 100k and after the thing sat for 10 years I'd replace the transmission fluid. It's a bit of a PITA since you need to fill the transmission from under the car while the engine is running. Check here or at PassatWorld for the procedure, or check the Bentley manual.

In fact, this might seem obvious, but I'd change all the fluids, brake fluid, transmission fluid, oil, coolant, etc. 100k is about the lifespan of an O2 sensor so do that too.

These cars are pretty reliable when properly maintained but there are a lot of vacuum lines that can break so be ready for that. Ditto for the PCV system. The valve cover gaskets usually do not leak unless the PCV system is clogged up and that is a common problem.

As for caveats, the turbo requires fully synthetic oil. After you get it running it wouldn't hurt to check the oil pressure with a mechanical gauge to make sure there are no 'sludge' or oil pressure issues that can develop if non-synthetic oil was used.

Have fun with it. It's a solid vehicle and worth putting some time and effort into IMHO, especially if it only has 100k on the odo and was not neglected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just FYI, that is a B5 (2001), not a B5.5 (aka 2001.5). There was a model update in 2001 so be careful when ordering parts to get the right ones.

I'd recommend getting a Bentley manual for the B5 generation Passat. It's very detailed and will be much more useful than the Beetle manual.

As for the car,

timing belt for sure. be sure to replace the water pump, pulleys, etc, ie just get a 'timing belt kit' since all those other parts need to be updated as well
The tiptronic trans often last 300k or more but at 100k and after the thing sat for 10 years I'd replace the transmission fluid. It's a bit of a PITA since you need to fill the transmission from under the car while the engine is running. Check here or at PassatWorld for the procedure, or check the Bentley manual.

In fact, this might seem obvious, but I'd change all the fluids, brake fluid, transmission fluid, oil, coolant, etc. 100k is about the lifespan of an O2 sensor so do that too.

These cars are pretty reliable when properly maintained but there are a lot of vacuum lines that can break so be ready for that. Ditto for the PCV system. The valve cover gaskets usually do not leak unless the PCV system is clogged up and that is a common problem.

As for caveats, the turbo requires fully synthetic oil. After you get it running it wouldn't hurt to check the oil pressure with a mechanical gauge to make sure there are no 'sludge' or oil pressure issues that can develop if non-synthetic oil was used.

Have fun with it. It's a solid vehicle and worth putting some time and effort into IMHO, especially if it only has 100k on the odo and was not neglected.
Thank you very much! That's good advice all around. I plan to do all belts, fluids, I'll do the trans too. I'll check pcv per your recommendation, I had a Volvo 240 that leaked only because of its pcv being plugged. Easiest fix ever! 😄 I'm hoping the abs system works, I see that it's often an issue and it's an expensive module. I'm pretty confident this was reasonably well taken care of until it was parked.

Thanks again, I'm excited!
Scott P
 

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ABS modules often break but can be repaired for about $60 if needed. There are some very tiny wires that can break and if that happens, you just pull the electronic part out and send it in for repair. The car can be driven without the ABS unit but it won't have ABS. I think CHEAP Bosch 5.3 ABS REPAIR VW Passat Audi A4 A6 A8 S4 is the one I've used in the past but there are others also.

Have fun with it. I've had 4 of the wagons over the years. I do like them:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ABS modules often break but can be repaired for about $60 if needed. There are some very tiny wires that can break and if that happens, you just pull the electronic part out and send it in for repair. The car can be driven without the ABS unit but it won't have ABS. I think CHEAP Bosch 5.3 ABS REPAIR VW Passat Audi A4 A6 A8 S4 is the one I've used in the past but there are others also.

Have fun with it. I've had 4 of the wagons over the years. I do like them:rolleyes:
Awesome news! I'll certainly look into that if I have ABS issues. I pick it up tomorrow!
Thanks for the info, I miss the generosity of the VW community too. Everyone wants to offer some kind of help! Glad to be back!
Scott P
 

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Congratulations!!

I have a vested interest here as well. We have a B5.5 ('03) wagon that has been holding down the driveway for two+ years now. I start it every once-in-a-while and she pops to life almost immediately every time. Though, it does sound a bit more reminiscent of a TDI for a minute. 😁

Gonna get it towed-in because I just don't trust the t-belt for a trip down the highway after sitting for an extended period. Mileage wise it's got 40K+ left on it...any damage caused by sitting has me a bit skeptical, is all. Curious as to what kind of gremlins pop-up as you sort yours out.

Have fun with it! Ours has been a great car to own, just got sidelined due to lack of need. We picked ours up from a fellow member here and have had some issues, but nothing monumental. Fan clutch and stuff like that. My only note is around the transmission. There is a magnet that follows the shifter so the car knows what gear you want. Due to age and grime, it doesn't always keep track of where the shifter actually is, which causes it to go into limp mode (gear indicator on dash goes solid and you get R + 3rd, that's it). I've only had this problem in the extreme cold, though. Once it warms up a bit, things are fine. 🍻
 

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Congratulations!!

I have a vested interest here as well. We have a B5.5 ('03) wagon that has been holding down the driveway for two+ years now. I start it every once-in-a-while and she pops to life almost immediately every time. Though, it does sound a bit more reminiscent of a TDI for a minute. 😁

Gonna get it towed-in because I just don't trust the t-belt for a trip down the highway after sitting for an extended period. Mileage wise it's got 40K+ left on it...any damage caused by sitting has me a bit skeptical, is all. Curious as to what kind of gremlins pop-up as you sort yours out.

Have fun with it! Ours has been a great car to own, just got sidelined due to lack of need. We picked ours up from a fellow member here and have had some issues, but nothing monumental. Fan clutch and stuff like that. My only note is around the transmission. There is a magnet that follows the shifter so the car knows what gear you want. Due to age and grime, it doesn't always keep track of where the shifter actually is, which causes it to go into limp mode (gear indicator on dash goes solid and you get R + 3rd, that's it). I've only had this problem in the extreme cold, though. Once it warms up a bit, things are fine. 🍻
Had a 2003 sedan that I had several transmission issues with:

Shift position controller went bad, which I believe is the item you're referring to. It mounts to the exterior of the transmission on the driver's side. Bought a knock off item off Flea-Bay for less than $60, was about an hour long repair...worked perfect for the rest of ownership (about 3 years).
Shift solenoid went bad. Was bad when I bought the car, would have a horrendous 'hard' downshift when decelerating from 45MPH or so. Felt like someone was dropping the trans right out of the car. I think it was numbered N90 or N91 solenoid, you have to remove the valve body from the trans to replace it. Not extremely complicated, but also not for the faint of heart. I thought initially that I could just flush/fill and replace the filter, but after doing so it still misbehaved so wound up doing the repair. After that, the transmission was fine.

The biggest issue I've found with these cars are 1. The cooling systems are generally never maintained, or owners use the wrong coolant, causing the heater cores to clog. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of these that I've owned (6 total) has had a problem with heat inside the car. The heater core is the high point of the system, and the design does not provide good flow through the unit to begin with. Consequently, they are prone to clog, even with proper system maintenance. To compound matters, the unit is about as inaccessible as you could possibly make it. Thanks to some a$$hat engineer somewhere in Germany.....2. The cars NEED synthetic oil, and it needs to be changed regularly. 5000 miles would be ideal. Most people didn't do that. This lead to another host of problems.

Good luck on your reclamation!
 

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Had a 2003 sedan that I had several transmission issues with:

Shift position controller went bad, which I believe is the item you're referring to. It mounts to the exterior of the transmission on the driver's side. Bought a knock off item off Flea-Bay for less than $60, was about an hour long repair...worked perfect for the rest of ownership (about 3 years).
Shift solenoid went bad. Was bad when I bought the car, would have a horrendous 'hard' downshift when decelerating from 45MPH or so. Felt like someone was dropping the trans right out of the car. I think it was numbered N90 or N91 solenoid, you have to remove the valve body from the trans to replace it. Not extremely complicated, but also not for the faint of heart. I thought initially that I could just flush/fill and replace the filter, but after doing so it still misbehaved so wound up doing the repair. After that, the transmission was fine.

The biggest issue I've found with these cars are 1. The cooling systems are generally never maintained, or owners use the wrong coolant, causing the heater cores to clog. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of these that I've owned (6 total) has had a problem with heat inside the car. The heater core is the high point of the system, and the design does not provide good flow through the unit to begin with. Consequently, they are prone to clog, even with proper system maintenance. To compound matters, the unit is about as inaccessible as you could possibly make it. Thanks to some a$$hat engineer somewhere in Germany.....2. The cars NEED synthetic oil, and it needs to be changed regularly. 5000 miles would be ideal. Most people didn't do that. This lead to another host of problems.

Good luck on your reclamation!
Thanks for the insight on the transmission. I think I am going to throw the mechanic/checkbook at it and get a bunch of that stuff checked out. I know it was starting to blow blue smoke coming off the highway (not at start/otherwise) so am wondering if it's PCV or turbo.

Either way, the thing is sorely missed. Seems like you can pack more in that car (wagon) than we can get in both the Touareg and CC combined. Plus it's lowered on 18's and STILL gets compliments everywhere it goes.(y)
 

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Bentley Manual
Fresh fluids, all
in addition to the oil change I would suggest Liqui Moly 2037 Engine Flush
Inspect brake friction surfaces.
New battery.
New Tires, a must, regardless of tread depth. Tires that old are a danger.
Does that engine have a timing belt? IF Yes, change it.
My SOP is timing belt, tensioner, water pump, thermostat, coolant cocktail
cooling system hoses, all
wiper blades

and for sure grease the muffler bearings and only OE VW muffler bearing grease
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks everyone!

Picked it up today, 137,000 miles. Timing belt done at 102,000. Was then parked for 10 years. Lots of documentation on the work done on it - things like MAF, control arms, hazard switch, window switch, timing belt, water pump, coil packs right before it was parked... Tires are so good, excellent tread depth, but I know I shouldn't drive on them with them being so old.
So my question now is if I should do the timing belt even if it was done 35k ago? I'm leaning to yes ... I'll start it, see how it runs etc then end up doing the belt. Is this a good idea? A waste of money?

The other thing - it has 1/2 tank of gas. I want to drain the gas out and put in fresh. How would I go about emptying the gas easily?

Thanks!
Scott P
 

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I recommend you replace the timing belt based on age. Like the old tires, rubber such as the timing belt does not age well. Timing belt should be changed roughly every 100,000 miles or 8-10 years.
Congratulations on your new Passat. Enjoy!
 
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Thanks everyone!

Picked it up today, 137,000 miles. Timing belt done at 102,000. Was then parked for 10 years. Lots of documentation on the work done on it - things like MAF, control arms, hazard switch, window switch, timing belt, water pump, coil packs right before it was parked... Tires are so good, excellent tread depth, but I know I shouldn't drive on them with them being so old.
So my question now is if I should do the timing belt even if it was done 35k ago? I'm leaning to yes ... I'll start it, see how it runs etc then end up doing the belt. Is this a good idea? A waste of money?

The other thing - it has 1/2 tank of gas. I want to drain the gas out and put in fresh. How would I go about emptying the gas easily?

Thanks!
Scott P
I concur with the recommendation to change the timing belt along with the tires. It's impossible to judge how the timing belt will hold up at that age.

Regarding the fuel, there is no easy way to drain the tank - it's not designed with a petcock in the bottom, LOL. You'll have to open the access port inside the car (located in the rear of the vehicle, underneath the carpet in the trunk), and then you can use a suction pump to remove the fuel.
 

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+1 on replacing the timing belt. It's a great opportunity to get to know your car, update a few other parts while you're in there and then you will be set for a long time.

For the old fuel, you can probably drain it underneath at the fuel filter. Or maybe not....I guess you'd have to supply 12V to the pump but that might be easier than trying to siphon it out. Oh, and maybe a new fuel filter would also be a good idea since it's been sitting there for 10 years.

Don't let the pump run dry, better to keep a gallon or two of old fuel than to burn out the pump.
 

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+1 on replacing the timing belt. It's a great opportunity to get to know your car, update a few other parts while you're in there and then you will be set for a long time.

For the old fuel, you can probably drain it underneath at the fuel filter. Or maybe not....I guess you'd have to supply 12V to the pump but that might be easier than trying to siphon it out. Oh, and maybe a new fuel filter would also be a good idea since it's been sitting there for 10 years.

Don't let the pump run dry, better to keep a gallon or two of old fuel than to burn out the pump.
Me, I don't think it's too difficult to open the access port on the top and siphon out.....I feel that would be easier than trying to rig up some device to make the pump run continuously while trying to catch the fuel in the engine bay being pushed out at volume under pressure, LOL.

Plus you can see how much fuel you have left and not risk running the pump dry.
 

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My first thought was to just use the hose that connects to the fuel filter. Hopefully that would work but it is possible the pump won't let the gas through unless it's running. I'm not sure about that, which is why I suggested rigging up a device (aka a wire....) to supply 12V to the pump.

Either way, I'd change the fuel filter, which requires disconnecting it from the fuel lines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks everyone - I got a new battery and fuel filter, started working on getting the fuel out and found the fuel pump isn't getting voltage. Checked all fuses and they're good. Didn't check the relay yet, nor have I jumped the pump to see how it works. I need to look at a schematic to figure out the polarity - seems it's the larger two terminals that provide the DC power.
I put a cheapo scanner on it and I'm getting a P0600 code. From the research I've done this leads me to believe it could be a bad TCM, ECM or ABS module. Or even a temp sensor or crank sensor.
Tach doesn't move when I crank it, check engine light only comes on when I first turn the key on, then goes out. Shouldn't it be on with the key forward and the engine but running? Looks like I have my work cut out for me. I'll take any and all advice. If it's an ECU, that requires the dealer to code the immobilizer, right?
Thanks!
Scott P
 

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Sounds like the ESS (engine speed sensor) is bad. That will prevent the fuel pump from running when cranked although I think it should still prime the fuel line with pressure before cranking, although I'm not sure of what drives that. In any case, no tach when cranking is a bad ESS or wiring to/from the ESS or bad ECM or cluster. 90+% chance it's the ESS, IMO.

If it is the ESS, the ECM should over-ride it and allow the car to start after 7 seconds or so of continuous cranking. I'd give that a shot.

You can re-code the immobilizer with VCDS or the Xtool Vag401 scanner. VCDS is the gold standard tool but the Xtool will do just about everything VCDS will (and some other shady stuff...) but it's display is just a small window while VCDS runs on a laptop. VCDS also has great documentation and support that Xtool lacks.
 

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I would think all shocks/dampers are gone after 10+ years. Tires' age? If more than 6 years old, replace and not with the cheapest ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks Goldbrick and Barrier12 -
I'll take a look at the ESS and see what I find.
I used to have VAG COM, looks like I'll potentially be getting it again!
As for the tires they are in great shape, other than their age. They are 10 years old so I'm going to replace them as soon as I decide this thing isn't going to the junkyard.

Thanks again!
Scott P
 
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