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I've heard the jetta/golf automatic trannys are junk, if i buy a 1.8t passat am i going to end up putting a new tranny in it? It wont be a full blown project as it will be used to load it up full of ski crap, so it will see alot of highway miles in the winter and it'll tow a small trailer few times a month during the summer, should i buy it?
 

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I'd be more worried about the engine than the transmission. Passat 1.8t engines = :facepalm:
 

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Actually, the transmission is quite good. The problem is not function or reliability, it's the cost if something DOES go wrong. DON'T buy an automatic Passat that shows the slightest transmission trouble.

Oh, and the 1.8T is indeed total junk. 250,000, maybe 300,000 miles, then you need to fix the damned things :laugh:
 

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what oes wrong with the engines?
OK, trying to be a little serious, since the joke fell flat: Nothing. The Passat 1.8T is very strong, very upgradable, and if taken care of will last almost forever. Read that last bit again - "if taken care of." If you're casual with the maintenance, don't use the right oil, don't immediately attend instrument warnings - it'll turn around and bite you, right in the wallet.

The biggest issue is the so- called "oil sludge" problem. Early on, VW did not specify synthetic oil, which it turns out the engine needs. A lot of people got replacement engines (under warranty) over that. Assuming the engine isn't already smudged, and you take care ot, you'll be fine.
 

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The main problem isn't the synthetic oil, (although using it does help). Its the relatively low oil capacity and high heat transferred from the turbo and the catalyst that is bolted literally inches away. This overheats the oil in no time and causes the sludge. Also, the oil pumps are weak on their own to begin with. The plastics and rubbers that are used for most of the PCV system are sub standard for the underhood temperatures as well. This causes them to solidify and crack making them a giant pain in the ass to replace. Weak plastic impeller water pumps like most vw/audis come with that grenade and can cause subsequent damage like overheating/timing belt failure.

These are some of the major pitfalls with the engine. If you want to get into the electronics and other components I can list those out too.

300,000 miles? Yeah after two engines, as many turbos and a couple coil fires...
 
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