My Thread for Advice, Guidance & Stupid Questions

borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
i think it's high time i started a thread for myself. this site has been an incredible resource and i thank you all for your contributions that i have found through diligently searching.

my history:
i am a lifelong VW enthusiast, passenger and driver with a heavy lean towards the buses/vanagons. still have my first car which is a 71 Karmann-Ghia and i also currently own three vanagons, one of which is a Syncro. while i am no stranger to mechanics, repairs and maintenance, (was employed as a professional vintage VW mechanic for some years) i am on a learning curve when it comes to "new" cars and diesels and turbos and whatnot. this is my first "new" car. i LOVE it!



my car's history and current state:

B5.5 Passat Wagon
Purchased with approx. 150,000 miles
timing belt was "done @ 80k" and guessing by the slight vibration around 2k RPM, the BSM was deleted at that time. the belt looks to be in good shape and i will know for sure when i do it myself, which is coming up quick! (no documentation was provided with the car). i immediately replaced all the filters and drained the the engine oil/trans fluid with properly spec'd stuff. it needs very typical maintenance and repairs for a vehicle of its age: misc front end work, engine mounts, minor tears in axle boots, better shocks/struts. all things that i will address as time, money and necessity dictate. i do not have VDCS or a Bentley manual, but plan on purchasing both sooner rather than later.




my goal here is to to ask some questions that are not easily searchable and/or of relevance to my particular car or are of a general (Passat TDI) automotive nature...and of course to document my journey from TDI novice to TDI expert.



thanks for looking and first questions incoming :)
 

borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
so here is my current situation as i can best describe it:

CEL been on since bought. was able to clear it with a OBDII scanner, but it came back on as soon as i stomped it. only code the OBDII showed was "steering angle sensor, int"....whatever....it has really always been a bit sluggish off the line with a pretty noticeable "kick" @ 2000rpm. the quality of the shifting is a bit erratic as are the shift points. Ive had some hard starting when it’s “cold”, like below 40deg and in the same situation, i can hear one of the fuel pumps very audibly as if it's air locked. it will sound normal with a couple key cycles. Also, the torque converter lock-up acts strangely. As in, I can physically see the tach drop (in 3rd especially) when It locks up and when cruising, if it comes out of lock, it doesn’t want to go back in without some “encouragement” and sometimes not at all.

so here is where i begin to research, and as you know there is a TON of info on this site! and experiences that range from nightmare to run of the mill when you start searching out some of these well documented issues. Kind of intimidating. But, being who I am, I will troubleshoot and perform some maintenance to the best of my ability before I assume the worst.

My first query was to check out the CTS and unplug it to see if the glow plugs would cycle in “dumb” mode. I quickly found out was a real bear to get to the sensor and It became apparent that removing the ASV & EGR would provide better access. “great”, I thought. Perfect time to clean them up and once I had them removed, realized that if I just got the flex pipe off I could also clean the turbo with some oven cleaner. So that’s what I did. The EGR was FILTHY as was the ASV and once I got them cleaned up, I can see the EGR is not closing. The turbo actuator arm is working properly and just from the look of my trained eye, could be moving more than 10mm.

Upon reassembly, the car shows “emission workshop”, has ZERO power below 2000rpm when cold and It will puff smoke right when it takes off. White smoke when it’s lagging and then a big black puff when the turbo kicks in. I can modulate the available power by either easing into the throttle or changing position. Once warm, it will act like it always has…..but if I hit it right in the sweet spot, there is no power surge and the shifting is butter smooth. Running with the EGR unplugged will change the way it acts, but I’m not sure which way it acts “better”. If unplugged and plugged back in while running, it will do the EGR is fuct thing where it misses, surges and sounds like holy hell. It sometimes smooths itself out or it will just go back to normal when restarted. I took the MAF off and cleaned it, removed the snow screen. All filters are new. No change. Have not tried the EGR block-off yet, need to make a plate.

So, in continuing my research, here are the possibilities that I have formulated:
1) Intake leak: smoke test needed. Of course, I double checked all my work and everything looks to be in order. Judging by the condition of the EGR this car has had an intake leak for some time. RIGHT?
2) MAF or CTS not working/out of spec: is there a way to ohm test them? The glow plugs DID NOT cycle for 20sec with CTS unplugged…..hint here maybe?
3) N75 not regulating properly: N75 is the boost pressure regulator, RIGHT? Will be checking out test methods.
4) Throttle position input not being received: being drive by wire and a diesel, I’m not sure how this is even processed by the EMS, so I will need to get educated.

Some other things could come up if I have it scanned again, which I will do soon. I can also take it to a “good, reputable” mechanic who is not a TDI specialist and have it hooked up to VCDS, but I want to make sure I have all the info I can so we can share in eachother's knowledge and head down the right diagnostic workflow.

Sorry for being so long-winded but I feel full disclosure is important here! If I need to better organize the info here or isolate one issue from the next in individual posts, let me know. I will get to the bottom of this and am hoping you all can help!

Thanks :)
 
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1.9glstdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Location
J-vill,FL
TDI
2005 passat waggon BHW PD
Get your car VCDS scanned for sure.

As far as intake leaks common mass failure points are the 90 elbow on top of the motor splitting on the bottom side (you will have to feel for it or remove the hose to see), and the turbocharger outlet hose getting rubbed by the starter cable (check it every oil change and adjust as needed. But normally if it is an intake leak you will have a mess of oilspray around the fitting that is leaking.

But your lack of power before 2000rpm can cause your trans to not want to shift correctly, I had a soft shift condition I could not figure out until I got an under boost code. I replaced all the vacuum line to and from the n75 valve and the n75 valve and there was a drastic power improvement. The shift quality was also dramatically improved as well as mpg.

As for EGR I blocked mine off shortly after the n75 valve replacement. There was a fair amount of build-up in the intake around the valve 220k miles at the time. I used a shop vac to suck the larger pieces out of the intake. But when you block it off you will get a CEL unless you have the car tuned.(I have a malone stage 1 tune)

Good luck
Robert
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
You really need to embrace the car's OBD... it works. My guess is you have several problems. But a suitable scan tool is going to be required to get anywhere. Don't throw parts at it. Don't take things apart and look at them. Don't drive it. Don't guess.

Get a proper scan tool.

OBD works.
 

borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
having some trouble hooking up a Veepeak OBD adaptor through Torque PRO app on android. any suggestions?
 

borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
i'm quite aware of ross-tech, thanks.
just not into throwing down the $200 right now.

EGR blocked off with part of a guinness can and all is well.
i'm working with the valve right now to see if i can bring it back to life.
not sure if i want to take it all the way down to the solenoid.

still working to get this wireless OBD to work....

:):)
 

borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
i get it! ross-tech!

so as of right now it appears i was able to repair the EGR valve and it is currently working. engine is warm from the day, though. we'll see how it acts in the morning and how long it continues to function beyond that.

was able to get my wireless OBD to work and cleared all the codes and and so far, no CEL. assuming it will come back on when the TC starts acting up and comes out of lock. code i did get was the TCC solenoid stuck off, don't remember the number.

so....is the solenoid integral to the trans/TC?
down this rabbit hole now...
 
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1.9glstdi

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2010
Location
J-vill,FL
TDI
2005 passat waggon BHW PD
I would drive it and see if it was a lack of power issue or if the code comes back. If it comes back then like oil hammer said you need a tq converter(600-$900) or a 5 speed swap ($1200)from dutch auto parts.
 
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oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
List price on a new Sachs (ZF) converter from Volkswagen is about $1300. Just the part. You'll need another ~$100 worth of fluid, and of course you have to take the transmission out, which is 7 hours labor if you are paying someone to do that.

Many folks have had good success with a converter from Eriksson Industries, their number is 800.388.4418.

The price of a manual swap is much more variable, as it depends on what you are using, where you get it, and who installs it. There is no set price for this.

I suspect that either will be too much for the OP, as a VCDS purchase already has his pooper puckerin'. ;)
 
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borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
i like some salt just as much as the next guy, but jesus! why the negativity?

rest assured that i'll get VCDS and the best TC i can get my hands on when i have determined that i NEED it!
thanks :)

i am more than capable of using my brain and hands to diagnose & repair my vehicles, just like i have done for my paying customers in the past, who actually like me beyond being their "mechanic".

i know that a new TC is more than likely in my future, but i will not just assume that because someone says so.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
You are new here.... so you do not know just how common the converter issue is. VAG does. They have a TSB about it. This is VERY old news here. I have done about 50 of them (I just did one in one of my own Passats). And probably diagnosed 50 more.

We are just trying to save you the headache of messing around with it. Not being negative, just truthful. You titled this thread "advice, guidance, and stupid questions". ;)

Here is some more advice (and keep in mind, it is probably worth more than you paid for it): if you keep driving the car with the failed converter, you'll trash the transmission. And you do not even want to know what that'll cost you.
 

Zambee500

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Location
Atlanta, GA
TDI
2005 Passat GLS TDI
I kept my original (bad) TC when i had mine replaced 2 summers ago. If you're looking for a core to send to Eriksson, let me know. I think they charge $300 or $350 to rebuild, and then you have shipping costs in both directions, but rumor is Eriksson is the U.S. rebuilder for Sachs/ZF so it's probably the closest you can get to OE new. Quite a bit less than $1300 for OE replacement. PM me if interested.
 
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borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
cool.
very appreciative everyone's input and respect to those that are more knowledgeable than i. you know what they say about asking stupid questions ;)

it appears that my repair on the EGR valve is not functioning properly. guess it's back to the guinness can for now. looks like i can get just the solenoid for about $100 (OEM) or a new pierberg valve for around $150. guessing that a junkyard part would be a waste of time and be just as bad as mine.

that is a kind offer, zambee. i'm sending you a pm :)

lastly, i would like to pull the TCC control valve to inspect, clean and test it. i do know that the ATF that came out was dirty AF, had probably never been changed and that given that fact, i will probably need a rebuilt valve body to completely alleviate my problem. the TCC valve is located on the driver side, on top of the trans, correct?
 

Tom in PT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Location
Twilight Zone, WA State
TDI
2005 Passat sedan - SOLD; 2013 Passat DSG; both purchased new
My two cents here: your transmission is at 150,000 miles already according to post 1. You apparently need a TC or will in the near future. If the auto transmission in the B5.5 Passat TDI is not maintained religiously from day 1 they tend to fail, often between 150,000 and 200,000 miles. Lots of posts on here about that. Which is why those that want to keep the car for a long term and drive lots more miles eventually swap to a manual transmission.

If your long term plans for the car are to keep it for a long time and put 100,000 more miles on it, you really should consider a swap before investing in the new TC on an transmission with 150000 miles and unknown prior maintenance. If the OP's car was mine, and I did want to keep it a long time and drive it a lot, I would do a swap to the 5-speed manual without hesitation.
 

Tom in PT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Location
Twilight Zone, WA State
TDI
2005 Passat sedan - SOLD; 2013 Passat DSG; both purchased new
One other tidbit I will throw out about the B5.5 and its well-documented auto transmission issues: I look at the local Craigslist postings for this model for sale (2004-2005, BHW engine) just for laughs, and, by reading the postings, typically at least half of the cars for sale either a) have a bad transmission or TC and the owner is just dumping the car, b) have a rebuilt transmission, or c) are manually swapped. Of the cars with 150-200K miles the postings often say nothing about the transmission, but buyer beware . . .
 

borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
thank you for that, Tom. i wish that a manual swap was in the cards, but it's just not right now. i have however, taken up Zambee500 on his generous offer to provide a core TC to me for rebuild. it is in the works and should be @ the rebuilder sometime next week.

i do appreciate the slap in the face that this is a major issue that will eventually kill my trans and making this repair has become priority #1 for me.
 

Tom in PT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Location
Twilight Zone, WA State
TDI
2005 Passat sedan - SOLD; 2013 Passat DSG; both purchased new
'bus, I truly wish you good luck. There is a lot to like about these cars, once the issues are sorted out. As you go forward and ask more questions, trust what Oilhammer says, he probably knows more about these cars than anyone else on the planet.
 

JELLOWSUBMARINE

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Location
yes
TDI
2011 JSW 2.0tdi 6m 1983 VW p/u 1.6 IDI 5m
A TC should be less than that and a swap likely more.
Welcome and IMHO you have one of VWs best overall vehicles everbuilt. I regret selling my previous 1 owner 04 last summer. If I had it to do over Id 6m it. I can relate to your past experiances with owning older VWs. Ive had my share starting with a 59 Baja bug , 57 bus, 76, 87 vanagon, 80 something convertable rabbit, multiple pickups and presently a JSW and a 83 IDI 1.6 pickup.

These guys arent being harsh really just stating how vital money put toward the Ross Tech. It took me awhile to get how vital it is. Youre getting this input from some extreemly knowlegable VW guys

What part of Arizona are you located?
 
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Tom in PT

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2017
Location
Twilight Zone, WA State
TDI
2005 Passat sedan - SOLD; 2013 Passat DSG; both purchased new
One other thing I note about Post # 1: "timing belt was "done @ 80k" and guessing by the slight vibration around 2k RPM, the BSM was deleted at that time."

If I were you, I would not want to be "guessing" about whether or not the BSM has been deleted in the vehicle. If you go ahead with a timing belt job, verify and if it still there then go the delete route. Kits with the ALH style oil pump are available. That is what I did when I did my first timing belt at 60,000 miles in 2017, with new motor mounts, full service of the transmission, and other misc. maintenance while the car was apart.
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
If you replace the tc as soon as it shows failure by code, your chances of further transmission damage are far less. Trans will overheat not locking up in 5th and you'll be replacing whole trans rather than just tc. Eriksson tc's are very good, and are quite reasonable in cost. I parked mine as soon as it threw the code, replaced with Eriksson, and its been no problem since, that was 5 years ago.
 

thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
The friction material on the tc lockup are quite thin, when the tc is trying to lock up when they are worn through, its metal to metal which nicely contaminates the whole system. And the vb is in the bottom pan area. Dropping the pan , changing filter, fluid such as Pentocin is highly recommended, and look for chunkies, but any further let someone who knows. Eriksson will do as much or little as you want if you send it to them. Full rebuilds were mid 2k's.
 

borninabus

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 18, 2020
Location
Arizona
TDI
B5.5 Passat Wagon: RIP Chief Boy :-( 2013 JSW 6MT
thanks to all for your input.

i am able to keep the TC locked if i'm light on the throttle and have even pulled over to cycle the key when it won't go back into lock. the fluid & filter was replaced with Pento ATF1 almost right away after purchase. maybe i should consider another change with one of the cheaper options just to keep it fresh? i will have to drive it 100+ miles just to get it home, parked and to my preferred mechanic.

on another topic, i've been wondering about the fuel tank vent and how to use it. the owner's manual is pretty vague. when i press the valve i can hear it vent and then can fit in a bit more fuel. if i go slow with the valve pressed i can fit over a gallon of additional fuel, but how do i know when to stop?
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
You stop when the fuel (not foam) is visible in the filler neck.

for convenience, most remove the guts of the vent valve so that one no longer needs to press the little nub each time.
 
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thundershorts

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Jul 15, 2010
Location
west chester pa
TDI
2015 passat tdi sel premium 2015 golf s tdi gls tdi b5.5, 2002 eurovan,Peugeot 505 td,Citroen cx25 prestige
You didn't mention dropping the pan, changing filter when you changed the fluid. Your description of 5th lockup failure just confirms tc is shot and no amount of wishing will make it better. One way perhaps to tell if it still has bsm in it is that if it has been deleted, it will take 5L of oil to fill rather than the original 4L.
 
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