Now do you believe VW suck?

Hmm, odometer on my passat says 4.2 litres / 100km, but I’m not getting that good. Also the driveway stinks like exhaust fumes after parking the car.

Maybe VW lied about the fuel economy? Oh, yes they did.

Ah well, I’m sure it was just an accident.

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Getting headaches driving your T5? It’s exhaust fumes.

Until mid-2006, the  VW Transporter T5 with with 2.5  litre engine had a well known design fault with its exhaust manifold. The manifold is not made from cast iron, instead VW use a thin, sheet steel, alloy. The welds at the points where it attaches to the block freqently fail and exhaust leaks into the cab.

Sometimes only one weld fails, sometimes all the welds fail. Depending on how bad the leaks are you might not actually smell the fumes but just be getting headaches and coughing a lot. If you smell exhaust fumes when driving, you almost definitely have this problem.

This problem is expensive and time consuming to repair. VW will not pay for any of it. After 2006 VW switched to a cast manifold which has no welds to crack.

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2.5 TDI waterpump seal failure

Buying a used T5? Check for black oil in power steering resevior first and save yourself a lot of hassle.

The power steering pump connects directly to the engine. It is sealed against engine oil ingress with an O ring seal. This seal fails and oil contaminates the steering fluid requiring an expensive pump replacement. If the steering rack is badly contaminated it needs to be replaced too.

I visited the VW dealer and asked them to repair it. The mechanic said I’m not sure what you mean, show me the problem. As soon as I opened the bonnet and started to open the power steering resevoir to show him the black oil,  he said – oh yes, this is a well known problem.

The seal should never fail. It is not a moving part subject to wear and tear. It fails because it is a bad design. VW are well aware of the problem but refused to repair it. Instead they let customers pay for their mistakes.

After over 30 years of owning VW’s,  I’m sorry to have to say, my next vehicle will not be a VW.

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