Passat Coolant Leak

Passat coolant leak

For months now I have been struggling to find a coolant leak on my 2000 V6 Passat. The leak has gotten so bad that I can no longer drive the car.

The leak appeared soon after I replaced a cam tensioner. However the leak was on the opposite head than the one I removed. I assumed the leak had something to do with parts that were disturbed by removing the head.

The leak was at the back on the engine dripping off the driver’s side of the bell housing. Access to this area is very limited due to all the stuff that comes in here.

I removed the intake manifold and noticed that the two water lines to the throttle body were cracked. I could not see any holes but I replaced them anyway. This change did not help the leak.

I was finally able to track the source by dusting he entire area with baby powder. With the powder in place, I was able to see where the drip came from. I saw it was from the coolant pipe at the back of the engine; however I was still not sure of the exact spot.

I removed the manifold again and used my brake pressure bleeder to pressurize the system. I attached to one of the tubes that goes to the throttle body and blocked the other one with a plug. So I was able to see the drip coming off the quick connect from the heater hose.

I was able to pull the clip and work the hose off the tube. I tried cleaning it up and brushing the metal part. But it still leaked when pressured up. On closer inspection I found, that the O-ring inside the quick connect was flat and hard. I priced the new lines and decided to give a try at refurbishing this one. I was able to use a pick to pluck out the old O-ring and then match up one from my kit.

I cleaned everything up well and put the line back in place. I pressurized the system again and this time it held. I left for a bit and the pressure was still on the system when I got back.

Not to get it all back together and give it a test drive.

Fuel door release VW Passat

Jennifer’s fuel door suddenly without warning failed to open.  Unfortunately she was out of gas and had no warning before pulling up to the pump.

On her 2000 model B5 the gas lid release is located in the trunk behind a carpet like cover.  The is a small plastic screw that holds the cover in place.

With the screw out, the carpet can be pulled away enough to reach the actuator. Using two fingers, you can pull the actuator back to release the fuel flap.

Testing it in the shop, I found that with the connector off the actuator there was 12 volts when the button was pushed,. However with the actuator in the circuit there was no power.

I removed the actuator and tested it on 12V it worked fine.  Based on internet research I suspected the button in the door.  I removed the door panel and tested the switch. It was fine the voltage was being lost before the switch.  After attempting to find the power source for the circuit, I gave up and jumped power from the courtesy light circuit which was nearby.

She can now put car in her car again without having to open the trunk.

Replacing Cam Tensioner Seals 2000 VW Passat 2.8

Replacing Cam Tensioner Seals 2000 VW Passat 2.8


We began on the left side of the engine as that tensioner is at the front of the engine.  We were actually able to do the swap on that side without using the 3366 tool.

We began by removing the water bottle to get access to the valve cover.  We used various extensions to get to the 10mm nuts that hold the cover in place.  It took quite a bit of prying to get the seal to break so the cover could be removed. Even though the gasket is less than a year old it broke and had to be replaced.  Our local advance auto had them individually so we just got one set and replaced it.

Once the four torx bolts that hold the tensioner in place were removed, I was able to use a pry bar to carefully lift the tensioner and compress it enough to get the gasket and half-moon out.  There was some interference with the front timing cover but instead of removing it, I used the pry bar to bend the interfering part away.  Cleaning the gasket surfaces took some time with various small tools.

When pressing in the new half-moon, I stuffed a rag in the head under the area in case I dropped it.  We were able to get it seated with the aid of small fingers and various screwdrivers.  Sliding the new gasket over the mounting studs took some finesse with pick but eventually I was successful.

Once that side was done we started the car and noticed that the right side was now leaking even more than before. We were only half way done.

Access on the right side is much more restricted as it is against the firewall and under the fuel lines and mass air flow sensor.  We decided to order the 3366 tool and it was needed.

We began by removing the top of the air box and the offending air hose.  Next we removed the fuel lines. The dip stick had to come out as well.  Like the other side, we ended up breaking the gasket so we had to go buy another half set. It would have been cheaper to have just bought a whole set to start with. With the vale cover off, the tensioner is accessible.  However the power steering line keeps it from being lifted up.  I broke the screw fitting but the metal line is still in the way so I had to lift both as a unit to get the old gasket out.  Having the 3366 tool made it easier as the tensioner stayed compressed when lifted up.  Access to press in the half-moon was much more difficult on this side. I was finally able to press it in between the end of the can and the slot and work it into place with two picks.  Getting the gasket in place seemed easier after learning on the first one and also having the 3366 tool holding the tensioner helped as well.

After that, it is just a matter of putting in a new gasket and putting the valve cover back on. Then the lines removed will have to be reconnected.

VW B5 Passat Power Steering Pump Replacement.

VW B5 Passat Power Steering Pump Replacement.

Jennifer’s power steering pump has been acting up ever since she was in an accident and the steering fluid reservoir was broken.  The damage may have been caused by the pump running dry or by having the wrong fluid put back in after the bottle was replaced.

To replace the pump, we began by flushing the system.  I disconnected the return hose and placed it in a bottle.  I then poured in the new fluid while Jennifer started and stopped the motor and turned the steering wheel.  After almost a quart was poured in, the fluid coming back looked clear and green like the new fluid. Next, we disconnected the other hose and removed the bottle for a thorough cleaning.

To access the power steering pump on the 2.8 V6, the coil pack has to be removed as the pump sits right under it.  We had already marked the wires from the coil pack replacement done a few weeks ago.

I discovered that with a long ratchet and a 17mm socket, I could loosen the belt tensioner without placing the car in service position. This saved a lot of time.

With belt off, I used a strap wrench to hold the pulley while removing the three hex head bolts that hold the pulley to the pump.  Next, I removed the bolts that hold the power steering pump bracket to the engine.  Leave the pump to bracket bolts in place until the bracket is off the engine.  Also, loosen the banjo bolt before removing the bracket bolts.

With the pump and bracket off the engine, you can separate the two parts and swap in the new pump.  I filled the new pump with fluid and placed it back on the engine.

The shop manual says to always replace the crush washers at the banjo bolt.  We had a very difficult time finding any in town and the new pump did not come with them.  I ended up using one 16mm copper washer and reusing one of the aluminum washers. It is leak free for the moment.

Once it was all back together, I filled the system with the proper fluid.  It is called Pentosin and was in stock at our local NAPA store.  It comes in a green metal can.  It is available cheaper from internet sources.

To bleed the system, we first lifted the car and turned the wheels lock to lock 5 to ten times with engine off.  After no more bubbles came out, we started the engine and repeated the turning.  After 5 or ten times back and forth, there were no more bubbles and we set topped up the fluid to the mark.

The steering is now back to normal and actually feels smoother than before the accident.  Possibly the pump was going bad for a while now.

Replacing an axle in a 2000 Passat

How to change a CV axle in a 2000 VW Passat

Begin by removing the hub cap and loosing the axle bolt.   It will be very tight. I had an assistant hold the brake while I stood on the breaker bar.

If the original axle nut is in place, it uses a 17mm hex key.  I did not have one but Autozone did.

With the axle nut out, I then lifted the car and removed the wheel. This step may not be necessary but it made the later steps easier.

I used a screwdriver in the vanes of the brake rotor to keep it from rotating. I then used a 10mm VW star bit to remove the bolts that hold the axle to the transmission.

Next, I used a support to compress the spring as much as possible.  This allowed the axle to tip down and I was able to remove it form the car without taking anything else out.

The new axle slipped in easily. I tightened down the six small bolts and then torques the center bolt to 140 ft lbs still using the screwdriver to hold the brake rotor.

I put the wheel back on and and lowered the car.  The Bentley manual calls for an extra half turn on the bolt but I was not able to get a full half turn.  I called it good and put the hub cap back in palce.

A test drive showed the clicking and vibration was gone.