2003 VW Passat Opinion?

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So there's one 2003 passat with ~120K miles, but in non-running condition in my area for ~$1200. Seller is advertising it as a fuel pump issue, which doesn't seem too bad in terms of replacement. Was wondering how are these vehicles and are they money pit in terms issues(electronics)or good cars? Any thoughts?
 
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Great Lakes
Which engine? 1.8T? 2.8 V6? How do you know there are no other issues apart from fuel pump? When was the timing belt and tensioner last replaced? Not knowing all the things that may be wrong with it or the maintenance items that may be overdue, it's a big gamble, IMO.
 
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1,549
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SW Ontario Canada
Can be a money pit. Very safe car, amazing ride & handling. I had a 2004 for 14 years and 187,000 Km. The reliability of the car is more about the drivetrain, 1.8T FWD or V6 with AWD, or Diesel?. If the past owners have skimped on maintenance and used non VWAG parts and approved fluids, walk away! Toyota's can tolerate skimpy maintenance and non OEM parts, but VWAG is not in this category. The fuel pump is a straightforward DIY, but you could be seeing the elephant through the keyhole....beware!
 

maverickfhs

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QP, that's exactly what I was after watched a video about it where guy was covering all the issues with that generation, I'll stay away from it.
 

maverickfhs

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MURICA
Originally Posted By: KGMtech
Can be a money pit. Very safe car, amazing ride & handling. I had a 2004 for 14 years and 187,000 Km. The reliability of the car is more about the drivetrain, 1.8T FWD or V6 with AWD, or Diesel?. If the past owners have skimped on maintenance and used non VWAG parts and approved fluids, walk away! Toyota's can tolerate skimpy maintenance and non OEM parts, but VWAG is not in this category. The fuel pump is a straightforward DIY, but you could be seeing the elephant through the keyhole....beware!
I believe it's a V6.
 
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Great Lakes
Originally Posted By: mx5miata
Vr6 nice engine good torque
AFAIK, there was no VR6 available in a 2003 Passat. There was a 4-liter W8 option though.
 
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MA, Mittelfranken.de
Great car and worth owning with 120K on the clock, the V6 uses a timing chain with a couple of small hydraulic tensioners and slippers and are no too bad. They are generally good cars, fuel pump failure is common. Check the maintenance history if there is one. Buying anything you cant hear run is always a gamble so you kind of have to go by what the owner tells you and how much info you can drag out of him. Ask a lot of questions about, transmission, brakes, suspension and of course the engine. Did it run good, smoke, use oil, when was it last serviced and that sort of thing. Use your gut, is he believable? Look the rest of the car over, look at body panels for damage or repaint, exhaust, rust underneath, look for obvious maintenance fails like fogged headlights, neglected interior, pedal wear, handbrake function, make sure everything electrical is working including the gas door and trunk release, radio reception, these use an amplified antenna make sure the reception is good.
 
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2,143
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Texas
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
So there's one 2003 passat with ~120K miles, but in non-running condition in my area for ~$1200. Seller is advertising it as a fuel pump issue, which doesn't seem too bad in terms of replacement. Was wondering how are these vehicles and are they money pit in terms issues(electronics)or good cars? Any thoughts?
I'm pretty sure that there is a good reason for why this person is getting rid of the car at this point. You have no way of knowing what other issues the car has if it doesn't run, and at 15 years old and 120k miles you can be sure that there are other issues. The fuel pump issue may be the "straw that broke the Camel's back". Money pit is an understatement, 15 years and 120k-140k miles is about the end of life for most of these because of this sort of thing. A/C is an issue with VWs, and in Texas it usually dooms the car at this age/miles. I would PASS on this one.
 
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12,394
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Indiana
$1200 for a non runner seems high. See if you can talk him down before walking away. If it's just a simple fuel pump, why isn't he fixing it?
 
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2,653
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San Rafael, CA
Originally Posted By: dlundblad
$1200 for a non runner seems high. See if you can talk him down before walking away. If it's just a simple fuel pump, why isn't he fixing it?
This. If you get it for $500 if you can't fix it you can sell some parts and send it to the junkyard and make a few bucks. Any more than that, it's another garbage VW.
 
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4,108
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IL/GA ,USA
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
Thanks everyone, I am GOING to stay away from it.
OP, what is your budget and what utility are you looking for? (I noticed you posted couple other threads....)
 
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Location
Phoenix, AZ
"Needs a fuel pump". That's what they always say. Who knows what the real reason why it doesn't run is. Or "A/C just needs to be recharged". Yeah, right.
 
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6,093
Location
Connecticut
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
"Needs a fuel pump". That's what they always say. Who knows what the real reason why it doesn't run is. Or "A/C just needs to be recharged". Yeah, right.
+1 Very rarely do cars for sale that need simple fixes actually need simple fixes. It could very possibly be a decent car, but with the age and issues present it is hard to tell, and finding an older car that has actually been maintained is difficult these days.
 

JC1

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5,013
Location
Oshawa, Ontario Canada
Originally Posted By: maverickfhs
QP, that's exactly what I was after watched a video about it where guy was covering all the issues with that generation, I'll stay away from it.
That's a smart move.
 
On the subject of the Passat with unknown issues, RUN as fast as you can. On the subject of "a/c just needs a charge" I had one instance where that turned out to be true...bought a 97 Volvo V90 wagon that "just needed a charge" and after I had the system vacuum checked and charged, it worked just fine. Can't count on that happening but it was a pleasant surprise the one time it actually happened.
 
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