VW Passat Aficionados: Need some some information

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by DaveF, Nov 16, 2003.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I'm shopping for a car, and I found a used 2002 Passat GLX 4Motion V6. While there is much to like about the Passat, there are some features that I strongly dislike and I'm wondering if there are fixes for these. (I googled and didn't find any decent VW forums. If they exist, please point them out to me.)

    First, during my test drive, the steering wheel radio tuner buttons made the radio scan to each next available station, rather than cycle through only the presets. That odd design choice is enough to keep me from buying the car. Can it be set to cycle through just the presents?

    Another radio question: can the in-dash radio be upgraded or changed out for one with a single CD player? Having to open the trunk, then open the access panel, then eject the CD cartridge to access the CDs is just no good for me. And a whole new stereo would be nice; I find the '02 stereo controls to be a real mess especially compared to the clean design of the Accord and Mazda6. (They've cleaned this up in the '04 Passat, but that's out of my price range.)

    Finally, are there any aftermarket mods to increase the performance of the car? (I googled this and couldn't find solid information). If so, do they void the manufacturer's warranty? The 4Motion Passat is a bit sluggish compared to competitors such as the Camry, Accord, Mazda6, and Altima.

    A used '02 Passat is very appealing, but the poor stereo/CD design kills it for me.

    Thanks for your help and insights. [​IMG]
     
  2. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Here's a good VW forum: http://forums.vwvortex.com/

    I believe many VW's have the ability to add an aftermarket chip that'll boost the power of the engine, take a look at that..
     
  3. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    If the radio controls are like my '01 Jetta, nope, you can't change them. There might be some adapters that allow you to keep the steering wheel controls when you change out the radio but I'm not sure.

    As for the engine mods, that's the same engine used in some of the Audis, like the A4 and A6. I'm sure there's mods out for it. The warranty issue is touchy, as with any car manufacturer. It'll depend on your dealer and your mods.
     
  4. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Nick - thanks for the forum link. I'll check it out.

    Keith - so in your '01 Jetta the steering wheel controls scans through all stations, and not just presets? (if so, bummer [​IMG] )
     
  5. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Dave, yeah, but I made it work for me. I placed my presets appropriately, and it allowed me to get through a bunch of stations quite easily. I'd listen to more stations than presets, so this worked best for me.

    BTW, the vortex is a great place for info VWs. Lots of noise there too, but plenty of good info.
     
  6. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    1. On my Passat the steering wheel control scan each available station, not the pre-sets. I find this pretty stupid. A lot of things on this car can be changed using Vag-com, I wonder if the dealer could do something to change the function of the steering wheel controls.

    2. Are you saying that the installed radio has no in-dash CD player? I figured the GLX would have a CD player by default. My GLS has a radio and single CD player in the dash. It also has a cassette tape player, why I'll never know. I also have a Phatbox mp3 player in my trunk, it holds 20GB worth of mp3's. Much nicer than a trunk mounted CD changer. Check it out here, http://www.phatnoise.com

    3. I don't believe there are many perfomance mods available for the V-6 in the Passat you're looking at. The 4 cylinder, 1.8T engine is a different story. Don't forget that your Passat is also turning more wheels than the other cars you mentioned. It takes a bit more power to do that as opposed to a conventional front wheel drive design.

    As already suggested check out VWvortex and Club B5
     
  7. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    http://www.clubb5.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=61847

    Okay Dave this could be good for you. This guy in Austin is selling a 2003 4mo for 23K and has less than 14,000 miles. A steal in my opinion if everything checked out on it.

    I also have a 2003 4mo and I love it. As far as performance mods there are very few for the V6, but who cares it feels great to drive the thing. I love driving now! And you arent going to get AWD with the other sedans you mentioned.

    You can get a V6 chip but it gives you maybe 5-10 HP more. I don't have this, but maybe someday.

    a Vag com can re code the Triptronic to sports mode and it responds more like an Audi then. Also Tiptronic transmission chips are available which increase perfomance there.

    For about 4K you can get a supercharger and increase the HP to about 280-290. Perfect for the 4mo, probably not so good with a FWD V6.

    I haven't done much to my car, but I did recently drop it with H&R springs and Koni shocks. I'd recommend this to improve handling. Wheels will come someday.

    I've just ordered a duel exhaust from Brullen and will be adding this next month or so.

    I've also added an ITG air filter.

    Non performance mods include Kamei eyelids and a Kamei grill.

    Here's a pic of my other hobby right here . . .big pic so I didnt want to post here.

    http://hometown.aol.com/mboyd00000/m...age/photo.html

    I don't know what your price range is but if you want more HP and the 4mo system you might look at the 1.8 turbo which comes with 4mo in spring of 2004 (as well as nifty turn signal mirrors) This of course can be chipped and you will get around 210 HP. I've also heard of some used 2002 W8s recently in the 25-28K price range. And there is always the Audi A4. A pre 2002 3.0 A4 can probably be had pretty cheaply, with Quattro even.

    PM if you have any other questions and if I cant answer someone on clubb5 surely can. That site is definitely the best for Passat info.
     
  8. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    mmmmm.. supercharged V6 with AWD. [​IMG] There's got to be a lot of mods for those 6-cyl passats, they're a dime a dozen on the roads around here. On maximas we usually go for a cold air intake, and y-pipe. Good 15hp with that combination since most car makers make their Y so damn restrictive.
     
  9. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  10. Michael Boyd

    Michael Boyd Second Unit

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    Well if you can't get around the radio controls you just cant get around them, but here is how I look at it (and I was annoyed with the thing a few times too). Before this car I'd never even had radio controls on the steering wheel so what's there is still pretty neat for me. Also if you were on a long trip, you probably wouldnt want to only be able to cycle through your presets.

    I'll post over on clubb5 about the radio and see if it can be changed by vag com.

    Here's the thread I started if you want to follow it and see if you get an answer.

    http://www.clubb5.com/forums/viewtop...=590289#590289
     
  11. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I don't think there's any way around the radio controls, and there are no meaningful upgrades for that 2.8L V6. Sounds like the car is not for you.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Michael - thanks for asking the question at ClubB5. It seems there's no way around the radio tuner design. It's a little thing, but that tuner issue and not being able to change CDs from the drivers seat are just unacceptable for my tastes (especially if I'm paying >$25k).

    Philip - The Passat is such a neat car, but pre '03 it's not quite the car for me. (and post-'03 is more than I want to spend)

    Thanks for all the great help!
     
  13. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Dave, I just selected presets, then scanned a few channels, then selected the next preset. Granted I couldn't do it all from the steering wheel, but big deal. That just didn't bother me much.
     
  14. Dave Ma

    Dave Ma Stunt Coordinator

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    I heard they are selling 03's for like $2900 under invoice,1.9% finance.
    If you can get over the radio controls!
    There are tons of mods for the 1.8T and voiding warranty is touchie with any dealer on any manufacture. They want to blame the mod so you have to pay. I think the badly placed cup holders on earlier Passats is worse then the radio controls.
    Lots of cars do not have radio controls period!
     
  15. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  16. Michael Boyd

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    The cup holders were in the center armrest in the 1998-2001 Passats. Lots of little things were tweaked for the 2001.5 and beyond models including the addition of chrome molding. That and the tail lights are the most obvious difference to the models that are essentially the same.
     
  17. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  18. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Christ - I agree that the Passat has a excellent interior, overall. I was talking to a friend (an Audi owner) about this issue. The Audi and Passat have excellent fit and finish; though the irony is that Honda and Toyota have better quality and reliability overall though they might feel cheaper.

    Alas, Passat bungled their interior design with egard to the radio controls.
     
  19. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    The interior of the Passat may look nicer, but in my 2003 Passat that hasn't translated into better. The area around the drivers side door handle, specifically the handle you grab to close the door, is peeling like crazy. My dashboard has the most annoying rattle when it's cold outside. 1 of the interior lights on the dashboard has burned out already. Now in the last couple of weeks the rear dash has also started to rattle.
     
  20. Glenn_J

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    Others have covered the engine mods. Chips will yield a bit of a hp boot on the 30v V6. As far as intake, a K&N panel filter in the sock box is your best bet. Some drill out the stock box for better breathing. I'm not a bit fan of the open element air filters, I feel they just suck up a lot of hot air from the engine bay. I don't think the ones that reside around the fender lining area are any better because they're prone to sucking up water in wet conditions.

    Don't rule out an exhaust system for a modification. It would probably be on the pricier side for the 4motion Passat, but a good mod nonetheless.

    *Edit:

    A more "relaxed" VW site w/forums:

    vwenthusiast.com Just add a "www" in front of that.
     

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