Coleen's 2000 VW Passat - it might be a lot worse!

A gal named Coleen from Pennsylvania called in with some problems on her 2000 VW Passat. She mentioned that the problems appeared one-at-a-time. The items she listed were:

ABS light on

Brake light on

Stop warning displayed on information readout

I have a 1999 Passat and can say for sure that the first two are related, but the third one is completely different.

The ABS modules on these cars are notoriously unreliable. Some of the internal wires fatigue over time and break. The modules can be repaired by third-party re-builders, but VW insists that you have to replace them (to the tune of $1500 in parts alone). Coleen could just have her module rebuilt for about $150 to $200. I agree with Tom and Ray that Coleen needs to get this taken care of ASAP.

However, the Stop message in her car’s information readout may be much more serious. That warning might not be because there is a brake problem, but because there is no oil pressure! The 1.8 turbo engines in the Passat can develop a sludge problem that can block the oil passages. If Coleen does not heed this warning, she WILL ruin her car’s engine and turbo.

I don’t know if the 2000’s and 1999’s behave the same way, but my 1999 did not display a “Stop” message when the ABS module went bad.