Adjust your parking brake when your car starts to slip down the hill. Use this technique on your VW Passat years 1997 to 2004.
Press the brake pedal down with your foot and release it. Put the parking brake lever in the lowest position. Locate the parking brake lever between the driver's seat and the front passenger seat.
Take off the rear ashtray with your screwdriver. Locate this between the center console between the driver seat and the front passenger seat.
Pull off any plastic pieces that you see installed around the compensator or parking brake component. These do not need replacing.
Hold onto the compensator with your screwdriver. This prevents it from turning while you work on the adjuster nut. Take off the locking nut.
Turn the adjusting nut by hand until the grooves on the cable are completely covered. Push the sleeves of the cables together while turning the adjuster nut.
Unscrew the adjuster nut by hand until the grooves are visible, then replace the locking element. Pull the cables sleeves until you tighten the cables.
Remove your screwdriver from the compensator. Pull up on the parking brake three times to set the brakes.
When the adjustment is successful, you will not see the colored O-ring on the adjuster cables.