Strangeness With the Radio - 2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI Long-Term Road Test

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI Long-Term Road Test

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2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI: Strangeness With the Radio

February 13, 2014

2014 Volkswagen Passat TSI

After a fine weekend with our 2014 Volkswagen Passat 1.8 TSI (the one that takes gasoline), I encountered a curious problem with the audio system on my way to work one morning.

When I got into our silver family sedan, the radio was still on 101.1 FM (L.A.'s oldies station has become a compromise radio station for my husband and me). After a few seconds, the sound cut out. I then switched to my more usual 89.3 (yes, public radio), started listening to the news, and after a few seconds, the sound cut out again.

Eventually, I determined that when switching between stations, or from the FM to AM band (or vice versa), I'd get 5 Mississippis worth of sound and then, total radio silence.

Meanwhile, there were no issues whatsoever with the satellite radio, though our Passat apparently has an abbreviated trial subscription so we don't get all the stations. (Tragically, for example, we don't get Channel 122, which plays NPR programming.)

After the Passat was turned off for a few minutes while I was refueling, I switched from Sirius back to 89.3 FM and was heartened to get about 60 seconds worth of news. Then, the sound cut out again, and subsequently, we were back to the 5 seconds of news/music on any given station.

Maybe this was an anomaly. Or, maybe I've gone totally nutso and the VW senses that. We'll let you know if it happens again, in which case we'll make a service appointment.

Erin Riches, Deputy Editor @ 3,704 miles


  • pantherman5 pantherman5 Posts:

    had my tdi sel for 7 months now, no problem with radio (other than being slow at times). i suggest you do a soft reset by pressing left and right arrow and star button, wait until the screen turns black. if that still doesn't work, maybe a hard reset under (setup-system-factory setting menu. good luck....

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    Click and Clack should be able to make a good self-depreciating joke about this.

  • I was told that the radio with nav system had a "clunky" interface, though this sounds extreme. For that reason, avoidance of the fake wood trim, plus about $3,000 savings (2 after I added on a back-up camera) we got the SE. That system works very well.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    I think the technical term for this condition is "broken".

  • mnpassat mnpassat Posts:

    I've had my 2014 Passat TDI for a month and a half and have issues with the radio as well. The system takes what seems like forever to start and three times now when connected to bluetooth the music will cut out and be replaced by a high shrilled beep. Turning the radio off and on again seems to fix the problem but yesterday there was no sound from the radio what so ever, not even the beep tone when pressing the touch screen. Taking the car in Monday and hoping it's a loose wire rather than having to get the entire radio replaced.

  • I have had multiple problems with my Passat TSI radio/navigation system. The map getting stuck and not moving for days, no sound whatsoever from the radio, no response to finger tip control. Have had it to VW probably 8 times - they have updated the software, replaced the entire unit and the problem intermittently still happens.

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