Cleveland Volkswagen Repair Specialists: Keeping You on the Road!

Volkswagen is a widely recognized brand, and for good reason. This German brand has a reputation for strong engineering and a wide variety of car models for consumers to choose from. In fact, there are over three dozen different ones that fall under Volkswagen’s umbrella! Some are very widely known like the Jetta, Passat, and of course the small but mighty Beetle.

With so many Volkswagens on the road and so many models that have been or are still being produced, it’s only going to be a matter of time before any European auto specialist is going to run into a few. Let’s dive into this classic automotive brand and learn more about the ins and outs of owning a Volkswagen.

Understand the Variety of Models

Right off the bat, it is important to note that making a general statement about Volkswagens is a pretty difficult thing to do because there is such a vast library of models. There are over 36 models of Volkswagen still commonly seen on the road, and that’s in addition to the differences you’ll find in similar models from year to year.

With that many different options, obviously models are going to differ widely from one another. An issue that might plague one model might almost never occur in another. Additionally, some of the models on here might not have more repair issues than the less well known models, but if one model sells a million cars and another sells 10,000, the first model will have more reported issues even if it is the superior vehicle.

This is touched upon a little bit in the Humble Mechanic Podcast titled “Is Volkswagen reliability a problem, or just perception?“.

In order to keep things easy to handle and useful to you, we’re going to focus on the traditionally best-selling Volkswagen models as well as the ones with the most common repair issues.

White 2015 Volkswagen PassatIn this case that means we’ll be looking at problems that most often pop up with the following Volkswagen models:

  • Beetle
  • CC
  • Jetta
  • Passat
  • Routan
  • Tiguan


So what are the worst models of Volkswagen? Based on common customer complaints from constant repair issues, there are five models that seem to come up the most, all from the Jetta and Passat brand.

Those are:

  • 2002 Passat
  • 2003 Passat
  • 2006 Passat
  • 2006 Jetta
  • 2009 Jetta


These are the specific year-based models that will most often need additional maintenance and repair work from your local European automotive specialists.

Oil Sludge Rears Its Ugly Head

Oil sludge is one of the most common issues that comes up when looking at Volkswagen’s problems, and it’s one that appears across multiple years and brands. When oil sludge takes place, this doesn’t just make thorough maintenance and oil changes all the more necessary but that sludge buildup is incredibly hard on the engine and can cause additional issues.

The longer sludge builds up without getting fixed and cleaned out, the worse your eventual engine issues will be. Checking the engine for sludge buildup should be a mandatory part of every maintenance check. This is especially important for 2002 & 2003 Passats, but this problem appears with other models as well.

Electrical & Software Problems with Engine Lights

There are multiple light related issues. These are usually electrical or software related in nature and require a certified Volkswagen technician to locate and fix. This can result in error messages with the engine, fluid lights, or even air bags when in fact nothing is wrong. Potentially, although less reported, there’s worry this could lead to the lights not being on when they should be. These systems definitely need to be checked out.

Coil Failures

This comes up usually around the 75,000 to 100,000 mile mark if it is going to appear at all. Your check engine light will normally be triggered by this failure (and possibly others), but is fortunately a fairly easy and painless fix as long as you have a professional familiar with Volkswagens taking care of it.

Volkswagen being driven at nightHeadlight Issues

Some models have had issues with headlights going out earlier than they should, or having an issue with one headlight blinking, going in and out, or even burning out while the other is still fine. There are a variety of different issues that could be causing these glitches. Whatever the base cause, you definitely want this fixed before your next bit of nighttime driving or a bit of bad weather comes in.

If your lights seem funny at all, bring your Volkswagen in for a diagnostic check and maintenance. Whether it’s something defective with the headlight, the setup, or the electrical system, that’s not something you’ll want to leave alone.

Fluid Leaks

You never want to see any of these, but sometimes they do come up. This can be guzzling through windshield wiper fluid, an engine overheating because the coolant is getting where it shouldn’t, or something else entirely. There are some leaks that are going to be a bit more common than others, and each one has its own signs.

Of these, one of the most problematic can be a coolant leak. One of the major signs you can use to catch this early is keeping an eye out for smoke coming from your exhaust. If you see this or anyone tells you about it, make time to get checked out for this. This is one of those “small issues” that can become a huge problem over time.

Some Suspension Issues

If you start hearing clicking and clunking, there’s a pretty good chance you might be dealing with one of Volkswagen’s infamous suspension issues. This tends to be particularly true when there are clunking noises after going over bumps or loud clicking when you turn. Those aren’t good signs and you definitely want to bring in your VW at that point.

Getting these issues fixed not only leads to a smoother ride, but a safer one, as well.

We’re the Volkswagen Repair Service Station You Can Trust

No matter which style of Volkswagen you prefer, we have the right training, experience, and tools to properly diagnose and fix any problems you may be running into. Volkswagen has long been a popular brand, and they have many models of vehicles that are outstanding. Especially when they work as designed.

Like any car though, you’re going to find yourself needing maintenance or repairs on it eventually. When the time comes, bring your Volkswagen in to our experts and we’ll make sure to get to the heart of the problem so you can get back on the road once again!

Larchmere Imports is proud to serve the greater Cleveland, Chagrin Falls, and University Circle areas!

Larchmere European Imports Cleveland Location: (216) 229-8000

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