Passat Oil Change

These oil change instructions have been used on various models of B5/B5.5 and B6 Volkswagen Passat, both petrol and diesel.

Theoretically these instructions could be applied to any make or model of car.

Please try to find any specific model-related instructions for your car. If in doubt, use the services of a decent mechanic who should be able to do this job quickly and cheaply.

Always dispose of old engine oil responsibly. Your local council tip should have facilities to do this. recommends the following items to make the job easier:

  • Wheel ramps to lift the front end up easily
  • Cardboard and/or rags to place around the oil collecting pan for the inevitable drips that miss it
  • Overalls

1. Warm the engine up for a few minutes at least. This will allow the warm engine oil to flow better.

2. Lift the front of the car either with a jack or using ramps. Make sure to use axle stands for safety.

3. Put car in first gear (or P if automatic) and pull on the handbrake.

4. Chock the rear tyres with bricks, large lump of wood etc.

5. Remove plastic underbody engine cover (if applicable to your vehicle). The plastic screws and the nuts holding it should be easy enough to see.

6. Locate the oil filter. Positions vary depending on model and engine type.

7. Position oil drain pan and cardboard/rags under filter. Ideally you’ll be able to remove by hand, but if not, attach filter wrench and twist it counterclockwise.

8. Clean filter area of dirty oil with a clean rag and make sure the rubber seal came off with the filter. If seal didn’t come off, be sure to remove it from the engine before installing new filter.

9. Place oil drain pan and cardboard/rags under oil sump. Remove the drain plug from the oil sump. Be sure to locate the correct plug for your model!

10. Go have a cuppa while the oil drains.

11. Apply a thin coat of fresh oil to new filter’s rubber seal and twist on new filter by hand in a clockwise direction. Filters only need to be hand tight, so don’t go wrenching it on with great force. Some filters have a guide on them to show how much you should turn it.

12. Put the drain plug back into the oil sump. It’s good to add a new crush washer to avoid leaks, but not essential.

13. Add your new engine oil to the car through the oil filler in the engine bay. Add 1 litre less than the recommended total for your car. Run the car for 3 minutes.

14. Put the plastic underbody engine cover back in place. Take your time to make sure it is well secured.

15. Lower the vehicle.

16. Have another cuppa to let the oil settle in the engine.

17. Using the dipstick, very carefully top up the engine until it sits in the right level on your dipstick. It’s very important not to overfill.

Please use the comments box below to let us know if how you get on with these instructions and also if you have any model-specific advice.



  1. VERY BAD IDEA to leave the car in gear on axle stands
    never ever leave car in gear whilst working on it UNLESS the job you are doing SPECIFICALLY demands it
    very easy to forget not put clutch down and on ramps whoops !

  2. Never use bricks/cinderblocks to chock the wheels of a car, these can crumble or slide under weight causing the car to shift. Best option is to use wood or purpose made chocks , always wedge shape wood never square shape. Allow the car to roll back on to wedged chocks before jacking so as to lock wheel and wedge securely. Always check wedges for slip while jacking.

  3. My 03 Passat diesel estate 130tdi problem. Installed cd player same as one that was in om as it broke with cd in it. Now the steering control buttons for both radio and cd not working,as well as forward and rewind buttons etc.

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