Looking at 05 Passat TDI


Well-known member
Jul 31, 2005
2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2015 Golf Sportwagen TDI (previous 05 Jetta TDI, 09 JSW TDI, 05 Jeep Liberty CRD)
All - I'm going to be looking at an 05 Passat TDI near me that is for sale with approximately 72K miles on it. I've had a PD car before (05 Jetta) but it's been several years - hoping any Passat owners out there could help out with a few questions before I look at the car:

1 - Is there a simple way to tell is the Balance Shaft chain is the original setup or if it has been modified to a gear system or deleted?
2 - Where are the common rust spots on a B5.5 Passat that I should check out?
3 - Since all of these came with a traditional automatic, I've seen some mentions of transmission failure - is that a common fail point on these cars?
4 - Any other advice of what I should be looking for specifically with this car or engine?

Thanks for your input in advance!



Top Post Dawg
Dec 24, 2004
Sheboygan, Wisconsin
2015 Golf TDI SE, 2005 TDI GLS, RIP
1. Some say that there is a subtle difference of feel of the dipstick. But if you have the marbles in a blender sound at idle after being warmed up, I would say not.
2. Fenders. VW put sound insulating foam under the fenders where salt brine gets to stay year round and accelerate rusting. If not rusted through, take those insulator/rusters out.
3. If you get one with that low miles and it shifts fine, make sure you get the fluid and filter changed out.
4. Suspension is pricey when things go on these. You better be getting this car at a good price as you will be throwing literally thousands on it to get it to work well long term.
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Top Post Dawg
Apr 1, 2006
05 B5V 01E FRF
1 - I deleted mine - this dipstick feels the same, so I would say not. The only way is to ask and be provide receipts.
2 - Fenders as above, but also the hatch around the license plate lamps, roof rack mounting holes (if wagon), doors around the rub moldings running down the middle of the door, leading edge of the hood and windshield.
3) at 72k miles, you are probably OK for some time - they start to fail at higher mileages. Torque converter clutch wears out, reverse can stop applying, and the pump seal and/or bearing can let go.
4) in addition to above (BSM, suspension, auto-trans, inspect the camshaft if possible for worn lobes.


Veteran Member
Nov 6, 2006
sugar land tx
05 Passat sedan and 05 wagen
Passat TDI

Matt: buy the car don't worry about any issues, if its running go pay the guy and drive it home, you won't be sorry...or you can give me the address and I have my brother in Trenton pick it up.


Top Post Dawg
Oct 20, 2004
Northern Virginia (NoVA)
Passat GLS, 2005, Stonehenge Gray
I doubt the TB has been changed yet, although it should, due to age and not mileage. Take the TB cover off and look at the bolts. If they are factory pristine, then it is doubtful the BSM has been changed out.