How to Inspect the Exhaust System on a VW Passat

Written by ehow cars editor
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The VW Passat is a family car built by Volkswagen. You should inspect its exhaust system every 20,000 miles. However, you should inspect it immediately if you think the exhaust system is damaged. Signs would include sputtering or rattling while the car idles, ticking when you accelerate or the aroma of exhaust fumes within your car.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Lift
  • Flashlight
  • Hammer

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  1. 1

    Locate the four tubular pipes of the exhaust manifold on the passenger's side of the VW Passat's engine. Check that the bolts are secure and the gaskets don't appear worn. Look for moisture buildup or cracks on the manifold.

  2. 2

    Raise the VW Passat on a lift and get under car. Shine a flashlight under the car to inspect the head pipe, which connects to the manifold. Pan the flashlight around to inspect the catalytic converter, muffler and tailpipe.

  3. 3

    Feel the hangers and clamps to make sure they're securely in place, and run your hand over the entire exhaust system to feel for holes, cracks, rust or other loose connections. Tap gently with a hammer along each piece to locate weak sections.

  4. 4

    Inspect the underbody heat shield. Volkswagen recalled over 400,000 Passat's manufactured from 1999 to 2005 because the heat shield could make contact with the exhaust system and a fire would ignite. Take your car to mechanic for a thorough inspection if you're unsure whether the heat shield is intact.

  5. 5

    Lower the car after your examination ends.

Tips and warnings

  • Spray under the VW Passat or run it through an underbody car wash to remove mud and grime that can corrode the exhaust system, especially after driving through muddy areas.
  • Don't inspect the exhaust system while it's hot. Let the car cool for at least an hour.

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