Common VW Problems is an independent publisher. You will find affiliate links which means we may earn a commission if you purchase through these links. It doesn't cost you anything & it helps us keep the site running.

Volkswagens have a 3.5 out of 5 rating for their reliability and are the 12th most reliable brand out of 32 car brands in the auto industry. The average cost to repair Volkswagen models each year is $676, which is higher than the average. The average cost to repair most cars is $652. VW cars have an 11 percent chance of needing repair service at some point each year.

Are Volkswagens Reliable Cars?

VWs visit repair shops an average of 0.5 times each year for unscheduled repairs, which is .01 higher than other models. 11 percent of all repairs made are considered to be severe.

VW models with diesel engines are at a higher risk of encountering problems, mainly with the non-engine electrics. The diesel Tiguan with more issues that are reported than other models.

German models often have higher repair costs, and the parts can be more challenging for dealerships and repair shops to find. This causes it to take longer to repair the vehicles. Some of the minor parts and pieces on the car can also break more frequently.

What Problems Do Volkswagen Jettas Have?

40 percent of VW owners experience problems with the engines after buying their model. The axle and suspension are also common problems drivers have with the vehicles, specifically for those who own the VW Golf. Approximately 22.73 percent of Golf owners experience issues with the axel and suspension.

One of the most common issues is the check engine light, which can come on frequently due to sensors that malfunction and problems with the software installed. There can be a lot of bugs present in the software that makes it difficult to diagnose the problem.

Oil sludge can also accumulate in the engines of Passat models, specifically those that are older. Many people experience this issue when the cars reach 70,000 to 90,000 miles. The problem is less likely to develop for those who schedule frequent oil changes and follow the guidelines recommended by the manufacturer in the owner’s manual.

Wiring harness shorts are also common in 2006 VW Jettas when the model exceeds 100,000 miles. Some drivers even notice the airbag malfunction light can also turn on at random times in 2006 Jettas that have driven more than 100,000 miles. The airbag may not be capable of deploying correctly and should be inspected by an auto repair shop.

Those who own the 2004 Passat can encounter coil failures when the car reaches 75,000 miles. This is a quick and easy fix because most repair shops have the necessary parts on hand.

Fortunately, VW owners don’t have many issues with the air conditioning, steering, transmission, or braking system. The electrical system, fuel system, cooling and heating, and gearbox also seem to be more reliable. Cars that are two to three years old are the most reliable. Older vehicles tend to have more frequent repairs that are needed.

Many of the issues that VW models experience are due to more technology that is now integrated into each model. With virtual cockpits, sat-nav, and infotainment systems, the technology can break down easier, which affects the reliability of the cars.

Many consumers also have difficulty trusting the brand because of a cheating scandal that occurred when 11 million diesel-powered cars were equipped with technology to cheat emissions tests.

Why Are VW Passats So Cheap?

VW Passats are priced lower than similar models in its class because there’s a lower demand for sedans. There’s also a higher demand for Japanese brands like Toyota or Honda, specifically the Camry and Accord.

A Summary of Common VW Problems

Oil leaks are common with VW vehicles, especially if the owner doesn’t schedule regular oil changes or the car is used in a location with an extreme climate. Low RPM driving and condensation or moisture can also accumulate in the engine, leading to sludge that leads to oil leaks. Oil tends to leak from the weakest points on the engine, specifically the camshaft seals and plugs, valve cover gaskets, front and rear crankshaft seals, O-ring, and cam chain tensioner gasket and seals. The O-ring is likely the issue if you see oil covering the filter and cooler.

Coolant leaks are also common when the internal bearing and seals become weak. The coolant flange may also experience problems if you notice smoke coming from the engine due to the radiator. In some cases, the coolant hoses in VW models become damaged easily as they age and can lead to coolant leaks.

Many VW models also overheat due to a failing coolant reservoir, leading to pressure issues. The engine fan may also suffer from damage and require a replacement to prevent the car from overheating while driving at lower speeds.

Suspension problems are also reported with VW models because of faulty ball joints, which leads to a lot of noises as the car hits potholes and bumps on the road. If the vehicle looks like it’s lower on one side as it idles, it may be due to loose screws close to the rotors, issues with the springs, and problems with the brake pads.

A minor repair problem is when one of the power windows fails to move up or down and even makes crunching noises. The regulator can work harder than necessary to operate due to debris that accumulates between the parts. Water leaks can also occur when it snows or rains due to low-quality seals that are installed on VW models near the sunroof. They often get too clogged with dirt and debris, allowing water to leak into the vehicle and cause damage to the seats and upholstery.

Additional problems that are common with VW models include electrical issues, specifically when the battery continues to die. There is often too much drain on the battery due to a faulty seat control module.