How to Keep Your Volkswagen Passat For Years to Come
The Volkswagen Passat is a larger, family-sized sedan that some might consider the Jetta’s older, more grown-up sister (you know, the kind that wears pantsuits to work and enjoys happy hour cocktails). It was first released in 1973, has seen six generations since then and remains one of the most beloved vehicles on the road today. Chances are good, if you own a Passat, you adore your car. What is it that inspires such devotion, though? The fact that it’s from reliable Volkswagen stock? The stylish, head-turning good looks? The high-quality materials and luxurious amenities it offers? The answer is probably all of the above!
As with any relationship, if you want your bond to last, you have to nurture and give as good as you get. Your Passat works hard to get you to work, to the kids’ soccer games, to your parents’ house across the state, but it can’t do the job alone. As a responsible owner of any car, and a Passat specifically, there are ways you can help keep your much-adored vehicle on the road for years to come.
Schedule Regular Maintenance – with the Mechanic and You!
Actually, all car owners take note: your mechanized chariot of fire comes with maintenance rules for a reason. A man in New York State was nearing his three millionth mile with the same car he’s had since the 1960s and his mechanic credits attentive, pro-active day-to-day and week-to-week care as the cause of its extraordinarily long life. Keep up with oil and other fluid changes, check the air in your tires, and have your tires rotated according to the instructions in your owner’s manual and keep all your Volkswagen Passat parts in tip-top shape.
Take a damp cloth or multi-purpose wipe to your interior to keep dust and dirt from collecting in potentially hazardous nooks and crannies throughout, and also regularly wash the exterior, or at least take a hose to the wheels after a muddy drive. Mud can cake up, dry and become a clogging presence.
Regular maintenance is just one of the best, and simplest, ways to keep your vehicle purring like a kitten.
It’s recommended if you drive a gasoline Passat, that you use Mobil 10W-40 synthetic engine oil, as synthetic oils are the best choice for all gasoline VW makes and models. Diesel Passat engines should only see “505.01 VW certified” engine oil; you may have to turn to your nearest VW dealer or a specialty import store in order to get this, but it’s important that you do.
For owners of Passats from the years 1998-2004, double-check with your dealer about an engine oil sludge issue that occurred in this range of model years. If you have gotten or need to get an engine replacement or repair, you can be reimbursed for your troubles.
You should also be aware of the type of transmission fluid being used on your Passat, as the manufacturer’s brand, Esso LT 71141, can only be suitably replaced with a few different lower-cost types (Quaker State/Pennzoil ATF or Valvoline MERCON V). The pricier stuff hits your wallet harder, of course, but in the long run, having a car that you love that lasts is worth it.
Distilled water on your battery cells will replenish their life if they seem low. Each cell must be checked and filled individually, and you should take care not to overfill.
Your power-steering fluid should be checked every 15,000 miles, but of course you should examine it, or have it looked at, sooner if you suspect some kind of problem, like a leak. Make sure you’re parked on level ground to get an accurate look at your fluid levels and know that they will also read differently depending on whether the engine is hot or cold (so you should record both and use the appropriate level reading). The reservoir for your power-steering fluid is in the engine compartment of your Passat, with a labeled cap. Depending on a hot or cold engine, take the fluid level and add more fluid – preferably Pentosin brand – if applicable.
With its abundant popularity (you can even buy Volkswagen Passat parts online), this vehicle can, if properly maintained, give back the love and fidelity you put into it for years.
About the Author: Alexandra Meschewitz is a contributing writer who learned how to drive on her mom’s stick-shift 1967 Volkswagen Beetle. Since then she has owned a Jetta (during her college years) and now owns a Passat.