Volkswagen B6 Passat

The 6 Most Common Volkswagen Passat B6 Problems

Chandler Stark

Meet Trey

Trey is an automotive enthusiast and has a huge passion for Volkswagen and Audi vehicles of all kinds. His enthusiasm started with the MK5 GTI, and he has massively expanded his knowledge over the years. When Trey is not delivering high-quality and in-depth content, we can usually find him working in his garage on his modified Genesis coupe. Trey created VW Tuning several years ago, and he is the primary visionary behind the content.

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Volkswagen’s B6 Passat was first introduced in 2005 at the Geneva Motor Show and was in production from late 2005 – 2010. The B6 generation featured a transverse engine layout compared to its predecessor, the B5 Passat, which features a longitudinal engine layout. It was built on an updated PQ46 platform. In 2008, Volkswagen announced the CC, which is a 4-door coupe Passat that was supposed to be more stylish and luxurious. In 2010, Volkswagen also released the Passat Alltrack, which is like a wagon.

Like most Volkswagen vehicles, the B6 Passat had over 15 different engines with many modifications, see table below for reference. Since Volkswagen put a lot of engines into this model, it would be hard to pinpoint the engine problems exactly, so we’ll try to limit it down to the 2.0 TSI and the 2.0 TDI. However, if you happen to have another engine in your Passat and need help looking for parts or guides, reach out in the comments. For all replacement parts linked below, PLEASE ensure they fit your vehicle before purchase.

Volkswagen B6 Passat Engines & Engine Codes

B6 Passat Engines

Common B6 Passat Volkswagen Problems

  1. Ignition coil pack failure
  2. Faulty injectors
  3. Camshaft and HPFP failure
  4. A/C Compressor failure
  5. CV (Axel) boot failure
  6. E-Brake disengaging

1. Engine Misfires: Ignition coil pack failure

Ignition coil failure is very common in most car engines. Ignition coils enhance the battery’s voltage into the thousands of volts needed for the spark plugs to ignite the fuel. Typical reasons for ignition coils failing are two things: normal wear and tear or tuning an engine. When they do fail, 9 times out of 10, the engine will have misfires. If the vehicle is not tuned, you will experience this at least once throughout the lifetime of the vehicle. However, when it is tuned, you are pushing the engine past its normal levels which may cause more coils or spark plugs to fail.

Symptoms of Coil Packs Failure:

Coil Pack/Spark Plug Replacement Options:

When you are needing to replace your ignition coils or spark plugs, we highly advise changing them all at the same time. This may seem tedious in the short term, but it’ll save you many headaches when you’re needing to change coils or plugs one by one over time. This DIY is not too difficult, but if you are planning to take this to a dealership or local mechanic, expect to spend around $400-$550.

Buy Here: B6 Passat OEM Ignition Coil Pack Replacement
Buy Here: B6 Passat OEM Spark Plug Replacement

DIY Difficulty: Easy

2. Engine Misfires: Faulty Injectors – B6 Passat

Fuel injectors play a big role in many direct injection engines today. Fuel injectors, as it sounds, inject fuel into the intake manifold which will then create combustion. Without proper opening and closing of the fuel injectors, the air to fuel ratios could be off causing minor to major engine damage. Most of the time when fuel injectors fail, there is either a leak or they are clogged. Both can be resolved relatively easily. However, there are also times that the injectors themselves are faulty and need to be replaced.

Luckily injectors usually fail one at a time, meaning you won’t have to replace all of them at once. The symptoms listed below are very similar to failing ignition coils or spark plugs, so we would advise first addressing coils/plugs and if you are still experiencing those symptoms, then move to the injectors.

Symptoms of Faulty Injectors:

Fuel Injector Replacement Options:

Unfortunately, replacing fuel injectors in either a 2.0 TSI or a 2.0 TDI is rather difficult and expensive. Where you can save money is either by cleaning them or if one or multiple have leaks, fix the leaks, and clean out the intake valves while you’re at it. Again, this is a difficult DIY, and if you are wanting to take it to the shop to get the work done, you will be paying a hefty price.

Buy Here: B6 Passat OEM 2.0 TSI Fuel Injectors Replacement

DIY Difficulty: Difficult

3. Camshaft, Cam Follower, and HPFP Failure – Passat B6

A common problem with Passat’s BPY engine is the cam follower and HPFP. More than likely, this has been replaced on most BPY engines today as there was a TSB to address the issue. So now what do all these parts do and why are they important? The (intake) camshaft opens and closes the intake valves which is important because it ensures the air/fuel ratio is at optimal levels. The HPFP (high-pressure fuel pump) takes in regular fuel and compresses it to optimal levels for the direct injection system. The cam follower basically serves as a barrier between the camshaft and the HPFP, so they don’t rub together and cause major internal engine damage.

The cam follower is the main reason for this problem because they were not manufactured properly out of the factory. Cam followers should never have holes, but as your engine goes through normal wear and tear, so does the cam follower and it will start to create a hole. When this happens, metal pieces can get into the HPFP and flush metal throughout your engine, which obviously is not good. Generally, if you have a BPY engine, take a look at the follower if it hasn’t been replaced to avoid further engine damage.

Symptoms of Camshaft, Cam Follower, and HPFP Failure:

  • Check Engine Light (CEL) illuminating
  • Fuel pressure fault codes – P0087/P0192
  • Slow engine acceleration
  • Metallic noise in the engine bay

Camshaft, Cam Follower and HPFP Replacement Options:

If your Passat is experiencing any of the symptoms above and you think it may be a faulty cam follower or camshaft, reach out to your local VW dealer to see if it is covered first. If not, then you may want to take it to a mechanic or dealer to get repaired because it isn’t the easiest DIY, unless you know your way around the engine. You will be looking at over $1,000 depending on if the HPFP needs to be replaced.

Buy Here: B6 Passat OEM Cam Follower Replacement(FSI Engines)
Buy Here: B6 Passat HPFP Replacement

DIY Difficulty: Intermediate

4. A/C Compressor Failure

Another common failure on BPY engines is the A/C compressor. An A/C compressor provides the circulation of refrigerant in your vehicle’s air conditioning system. Without a functioning A/C compressor, your A/C will push out hot air because the air conditioning system doesn’t have the proper amount of refrigerant to function properly. If your Passat has a BPY engine, we advise replacing it if it hasn’t been replaced. Nobody wants to be in a hot car without A/C.

If you are lucky, you will only have to replace the A/C compressor. However, if this is left unattended for an extended amount of time, you could end up with a hefty mechanic bill having to replace the compressor, the condenser, the expansion valve, the receiver dryer, and an A/C flush.

Symptoms of A/C Compressor failure:

  • Odd sounds after turning on the A/C
  • Hot air coming out of the vents when it should be cold
  • Compressor clutch stuck
  • Fluid leaks (Refrigerant)

A/C Compressor Replacement Options:

These were common to go bad on Passat’s before 2008, so if you have one or are looking at one before that, make sure that it’s been changed because you don’t want to be driving on a hot summer day with hot air blowing at you. Compared to the other repairs on this list, replacing the A/C compressor is not that bad, but you will also want to replace the filter and expansion valve. However, if you were looking to take it to a shop/dealer you would be looking at a cost of $800 – $1,500 or more depending on what they tell you needs to be replaced.

Buy Here: B6 Passat OEM A/C Compressor Replacement

DIY Difficulty: Intermediate
Written DIY Guide

5. CV (Axel) boot failure

This is also a pretty common occurrence when it comes to Audi’s and Volkswagen’s. A CV (Constant-Velocity) boot holds the grease needed for the CV joint in one place. Without the proper amount of grease, this could cause serious damage to a vehicle’s powertrain. Common ways for the boot to fail is by splitting or ripping of the rubber itself or leaks due to clamps failing. Aside from hearing your vehicle click when turning, you will find a failing CV boot by a visual inspection.

When there is a failing CV boot that hasn’t been addressed, this can cause moisture and debris from the road to get into the boot and ruin the axel joint, which will be a costly repair.

Symptoms of CV (Axel) boot failure:

  • Inside of the wheel covered in grease
  • Fender liner covered in grease
  • Grease on the axel itself
  • Vehicle clicking when turning

CV Boot Replacement Options:

Mainly when diagnosing CV boot failure, you will be visually inspecting all four to see if there is grease exposed around the wheels. It can be an easy DIY if you have the proper tools, but if you would rather take it to the shop to get it fixed, you’ll be looking at a cost of around $400.

Buy Here: B6 Passat OEM CV Boot Replacement

DIY Difficulty: Intermediate

6. Volkswagen Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) Fault – Passat B6

Unfortunately, this is a very common occurrence in Passat’s, but it typically is an easy fix. The parking switch out of the factory came with reliability issues and we would be surprised if you haven’t experienced this in a Passat earlier than 2010. When the switch fails, you will start your car and won’t be able to disengage the parking brake, your parking brake light will be on in your dashboard, and there will be a loud beeping noise in the cabin.

Symptoms of Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) Fault:

  • EPB Fault Code P0320 or E538
  • Parking brake light illuminating on the dash
  • EPB not engaging or disengaging

EPB Replacement Options:

9 times out of 10 the solution to this problem is to purchase a new parking switch button. This DIY is definitely the easiest to do on this list and should only take about 30 minutes. We highly recommend doing it yourself because you will be charged one labor hour at the shop which is 10x the price of the part itself.

Buy Here: B6 Passat EPB Switch Replacement

DIY Difficulty: Easy

B6 Passat Reliability

Although there are many different engines, a B6 Passat is very reliable. Overall, just like any other engine, if it is maintained like it’s supposed to be and fed the best fuel, it could last 150,000 miles or more. If we had to say which engines we advise, it would be a VR6 or a newer (2008+) 2.0T. Now, this is just a personal preference, but there are many possibilities to choose from.

Also, if you want to check out more Volkswagen content, here is our write-up on the common engine problems of a 2.0 TSI.

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  1. I just bought a used 05 Passat with a 2 litre TDI
    It is a USA market vehicle – the chain driving the oil pump packed in – 170,000 on the car- not happy

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