How to Change the Thermostat in a VW Passat

Volkswagen Passat is a favorite among new car shoppers who are looking for a bit more luxury and style than the average family sedan. Considered a "stepping stone" for the fans of German luxury cars, the Passat has an impressive and loyal following. Here is how to install a new thermostat in the Passat with the 2.0L Aba engine.

Make sure the engine and radiator are completely cool before starting this procedure. Disconnect the negative battery cable.

Drain the engine coolant into a suitable container that's securely sealed. Remove the thermostat housing from below the housing for the water pump.

Lift out the thermostat. Pull the old O-ring and discard it.

Set a new O-ring in position. Set the thermostat over the O-ring.

Replace the thermostat housing. Finger-tighten the bolts, then torque them to 84 inch pounds.

Refill the engine with the recommended type of coolant and mix. Fill to the proper levels.

Start the engine. Check for leaks. Add coolant as needed to achieve the recommended levels.


Drain the coolant into a sealable container. Dogs, cats and farm animals can drink coolant that is left in open containers or on the floor and ingestion is usually fatal. Reuse coolant if it's not contaminated and make sure to properly dispose of any leftover coolant.

Things You'll Need

  • Mechanic's toolset, including a full socket set, wrenches and screwdrivers
  • Replacement thermostat, new or rebuilt
  • New gasket for thermostat
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