Volkswagen Touareg Frequently-Asked Questions


This is the unofficial Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document for the Volkswagen Touareg. If you have any questions about the Touareg, this is a good place to start looking for an answer. This document focuses mostly on Touaregs sold in North America, although hopefully it will grow to become a comprehensive FAQ for all Touaregs sold worldwide. This document is not intended to function as a replacement for the owner's manual, but does identify and correct several mistakes and deficiencies in the official VW manual.

If you have more questions and would like to interact with other Volkswagen Touareg Owners, please visit


Only a cursory effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of this material. It is provided for information purposes only. It is not intended, and should not be relied upon, as any form of warranty, representation, undertaking, contractual , or other commitment binding in law upon the maintainer of this FAQ or any respective servants or agents. The maintainer of this FAQ takes no responsibility for anything you do as a result of reading this document.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

FAQ Revised: Wednesday 10 March 2004 15:23:50

Table of Contents

1. Document Description
2. Touareg Information and Specifications
3. Hints, Tricks, and Features
4. Known Issues and Troubleshooting
5. NAV System / Radio Questions
6. References

1. Document Description

1.1. What is this?

This document is a list of the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Volkswagen Touareg. The purpose of this FAQ is to provide answers to common questions about the Touareg.

1.2. What version of the FAQ am I reading?

Version 0.1.8

1.3. How old is this document?

Please see the header of this document for the revision date.

1.4. Is this an official Volkswagen document?

No. As far as we know Volkswagen neither knows about nor endorses this document.

1.5. Who maintains the Touareg FAQ?

Members of

1.6. What makes you such an expert on the Touareg?

The maintainer of this FAQ makes no claims of expertise on any subject whatsoever. Rather, he is just a curious Touareg owner and is not employed in any automotive capacity. Most of the questions in the FAQ are actual questions that have been asked on var ious online discussion boards and Usenet. The answers are researched by various means including finding answers on the internet, asking Volkswagen directly, reading relevant literature, and talking to experts when possible.

If you're wondering about the accuracy of this FAQ, please read the disclaimer.

1.7. Where can I find the latest version?

You should always be able to obtain the latest version of this FAQ at You may also find it floating around the Internet.

1.8. How can I suggest changes or additions to this FAQ?

Please feel free to email suggestions to [email protected].

1.9. Can I copy or redistribute this FAQ for commercial or non commercial purposes?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License. We only ask that you give the moderator (Jason Sewell) credit for compiling this FAQ, and that if you alter, transform, or build upon this FAQ, that you distribute the resulting work only under a license identical to this one.

1.10. I sent email to the moderator, but he never responded. That's rude. Is he some kind of jerk?

Yes, it is rude to ignore email. The moderator apologizes and is making an effort to go through a backlog of email and respond to them all.

2. Touareg Information and Specifications

2.1. What is a Touareg?

The word Touareg is an alternate spelling of Toureg, which is a diverse group of people who share a common history and geographical area in the African Sahara. The Touareg people are known for their traditions, pride, intelligence and dignity, and the abi lity to adapt to difficult conditions. It has been said that Volkswagen choose to name the Touareg after these people because of these traits. Literally, Touareg means "Knight of the Desert" or "Free Folk" depending on who you ask.

In the context of this document, The Touareg is a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) sold by Volkswagen.

2.2. How do you spell Touareg?

Touareg. The most common misspelling of the VW Touareg is "Toureg".

2.3. How do you pronounce Touareg?

There are various ways to say the word Touareg. Volkswagen seems to have settled on a pronunciation that sounds a lot like "tour egg". Volkswagen's web site for the Touareg, which can currently be found at has audio samples of different people saying the word Touareg. The samples include the following variations:

Various owners and automotive press have given various phonetic spellings for Touareg, including the following variations:

Several Francophiles have suggested that the correct pronunciation of Touareg is "twah rayh" with the accent on the first syllable.

2.4. When did the Touareg come to market?

From what we can tell, here is the timeline:
September 2002 - Touareg unveiled at the Paris Motor Show
December 2002 - Touareg goes on sale in Germany
May 2003 - Touareg goes on sale in the UK
July 2003 - Touareg goes on sale in US
September 2003 - Touareg goes on sale in Australia

2.5. How do you spell Touareg?

Touareg. The most common misspelling of the VW Touareg is "Toureg".

2.6. Where is the Touareg made?

All Touaregs are manufactured in Bratislava, Slovakia.

2.7. Where is the Touareg sold?

The Touareg appears to be currently available in the following countries: UK, US, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and quite possible other counties.

2.8. I've heard that the Touareg is similar to the Porsche Cayenne. Is this true?

Yes, it is. Porsche and Volkswagen jointly developed the Cayenne and the Touareg. They are built on the same chassis and share many components.

Although the two vehicles were largely co-developed, Porsche and Volkswagen parted company two years before the introduction of the pair to work in secret on the remaining aspects of the cars.

2.9. What components do the Touareg and Cayenne share?

The Cayenne and Touareg share the same chassis, transmission, AWD system, suspension, windshield, doors, and some sheet metal.

It should be noted that the Cayenne is more focused on paved-road conditions, whereas the Touareg was designed to be equally capable on pavement and off-road. Consequently the Porsche transmission is tuned with more rear power bias than the Touareg. Under normal driving conditions, the Porsche sends 62 percent of torque to the rear wheels, whereas the Touareg splits torque 50/50 front and rear. Both vehicles are capable of sending 100% of the torque to either the front or the rear wheels if traction condi tions warrant.

2.10. What models of the Touareg are available?

In various worldwide markets, the Touareg is available in the following configurations:

In North America, the Touareg is currently available as a 3.2-liter V6, a 4.2-liter V8, or a 5.0-liter V-10 Turbo Diesel, all with 6-speed Tiptronic transmission.

Various sources have claimed that Volkswagen has either built or intended to build Touaregs with a W8 gasoline engine. The consensus now seems to indicate that Volkswagen has decided not to pursue continued use of their W8 in any vehicles, including the T ouareg.

2.11. Does VW currently sell a V-10 TDI Touareg anywhere in the world?

Yes, they do. See the previous question for more information.

2.12. When is the V-10 TDI Touareg going to be available in North America?

Although Volkswagen's web site does not make reference to a V-10 TDI Touareg being available in North America, at least one person has purchased a V-10 in Florida. It appears that the V-10 is currently available for sale in North America at this time.

2.13. How much does it cost?

Although Volkswagen has not yet published North America pricing information for the V-10 TDI Touareg, the consensus indicates that it starts in the low US$50,000 range.

2.14. What kind of gas mileage does the V-10 TDI get?

Volkswagen claims that the V-10 TDI Touareg will get 28.8 MPG "extra-urban" and 23.2 MPG "combined" according to UK figures.

An owner of a V-10 TDI Touareg in Florida reports a running average of 19.7 MPG in mixed driving and 28.5 MPG at a constant 50 MPH.

2.15. Should I get the V-10 TDI Touareg?

Good questions. According to Jamie Vondruska's, article on, the V-10 Touareg is "the one to get." It has been said that people buy horsepower, but drive torque. The V-10 TDI engine has a very high torque output. This may make the vehicle more suitable to towing, although the official towing rating is the same on all models. The higher torque output will also allow the V-10 TDI equipped Touareg to accelerate faster than the gasoline V8.

Additionally, the Touareg equipped with the V-10 TDI will get better gas mileage. Volkswagen claims 23.2 MPG average for the big diesel. However, don't let the mileage figures alone influence your decision. Let's do the numbers.

Assume that the V8 Touareg gets 17 MPG and costs $45,000. Assume that the V-10 TDI gets 24 MPG and costs $51,000. Also assume that diesel and premium unleaded both cost $1.50 per gallon. Based on these assumptions, you would have to drive the Touareg 233, 142 miles to make the TDI more cost effective based on mileage alone.

2.16. I've heard that the V-10 TDI Touareg makes 553 pound feet of torque. Is that a lot?

Yes, 553 pound feet of torque is a lot. You would be able to drive the Touareg straight up a cliff face if traction allowed. Very few other vehicles on the road make anywhere near 553 pound feet of torque.

Another interesting fact: In 1st gear of the Tiptronic, with the transmission set to low-range, the V-10 TDI Touareg produces 27,836 pound feet of torque at the wheels.

2.17. Does the Touareg include a flashlight / glove box shelf / rear glass sunscreen / auto-closing hatch / hill climb or descent assist / parking assist?

It depends of the date of manufacture, the vehicle configuration, and the market. Unfortunately, Volkswagen does not provide a way to easily determine whether or not any given Touareg should come with any or all of these options.

For example, according to US product literature, all Touaregs sold in the US should include a flashlight. However many Touaregs sold in the US did not include a flashlight.

VW product literature disclaims accuracy with the following statement: "Specifications, standard features, options, and colors are subject to change without notice. "Volkswagen customer care is more than happy to refer you to this disclaimer if you call t hem asking for your flashlight.

The glove box shelf, which is designed to hold the Touareg owner's manual, is included with V8 Touaregs sold in the US.

The hatch closing assistance and rear sunshade were originally intended to be included in all Touaregs sold in the US, but were subject to delayed introduction.

There is a lack of consensus on whether or not the early production US Touaregs include hill climb or hill descent assist. Product literature indicates that all US Touaregs should include both.

Parking assist is an option that was subject to delayed introduction, but should now be available as an option.

Many owners have reported that Volkwagen has sent the missing flashing to them in the mail. Other owners have been able to obtain a $25 gift certificate for the Volkswagen accessory catalog in lieu of the flashlight. Others still have reported no success in obtaining any concessions for the missing flashlight.

No Touareg owners report any success in obtaining any concessions for the other "missing" or delayed introduction features.

2.18. Is the Touareg a capable off-road vehicle?

Volkswagen designed and built the Touareg to be a very capable off-road vehicle. Specifically, they benchmarked the Range Rover for its class-leading off-road performance.

Further testament to VW's design goals is the inclusion of full time all wheel drive, a low-range transfer case, ABS and Traction Control that include an off-road mode of operation, available locking center and rear differentials, and an optional air susp ension with adjustable ride height.

Other measurements that illustrate the Touareg's off road ability include:

Most automotive publications that have reviewed the Touareg in off-road environments give it almost universal praise, placing it equal to or just behind the Range Rover in rough-terrain performance. Complaints regarding the Touareg's off road ability include:

  1. Weight. The Touareg's curb weight is a substantial 5300 pounds.
  2. Lack of full-sized spare. The Touareg's temporary spare or "breakdown kit" are wholly inadequate for true off-roading. Many off-road clubs require that entrants have a full-sized spare tire before allowing participation in events.
  3. Limited axel articulation. Despite what the Touareg's marketing material shows, the preferable way to cross terrain is with all four wheels touching the ground.
  4. Factory tire and large wheels. 18 or 19 inch wheels are not suitable for off road use. However, the Touareg is available with 17 inch wheels.

2.19. How does the Touareg compare to similar vehicles?

Quite well. It has been said that Volkswagen built the Touareg to be competitive with the BMW X5 on the road, and with the Range Rover off the road. The general consensus is that the Touareg comes very close to meeting, if not exceeding both of these goal s.

2.20. What does the automotive press think of the Touareg?

The automotive press almost universally loves the Touareg.

Car and Driver magazine named the 2004 Touareg the best luxury SUV of 2003.

The Auto Channel says "I was impressed beyond my expectations"

In the November 2003 issue, Car and Driver compared the Touareg to The Cadillac SRX V-8, the Infiniti FX45, and the Porsche Cayenne S. The Touareg finished in last place, which seems inconsistent with their earlier praise of the vehicle. Car and Driver de fends their test results by pointing out that none of the other vehicles were available during the previous Touareg review, and that this review did not involve any off-road driving.

2.21. Does Volkswagen provide loaner cars to Touareg owners?

In the US, loaner car provision is at the discretion of the individual dealership. Some Touareg buyers have successfully included a clause in their purchase contract that guarantees a loaner car be made available by the dealership in the event their Touar eg requires service.

2.22. I've heard that Volkswagens aren't very reliable. Should I be concerned about the Touareg's reliability?


2.23. That answer seems based on anecdotal evidence. Do you have any hard-numbers to back up your claim?


2.24. Does the Touareg have third row seats?


2.25. Is Volkswagen working on a bigger / smaller / improved version of the Touareg?

Volkswagen currently makes a car called the Touran, which is Golf-based compact "MPV". However, it doesn't bear much resemblance to the Touareg. The Touran is not currently sold in the US.

Some rumors have suggested that Volkswagen is working on a larger version of the Touareg that may a third row of passenger seats.

Audi has also shown a prototype of their "Pike's Peak" which is built on the Touareg / Cayenne chassis. This Pike's Peak is said to be larger than the Touareg and includes a third row of passenger seats.

2.26. I've heard that the Touareg uses an Audi engine. Is this true?

The Touareg V8 and the Audi A8 both use the same 4.2 liter, 40 valve, all-aluminum V-8 engine. The Audi's engine is rated at 330 horsepower, whereas the Touareg's V8 is rated at 310 horsepower.

2.27. Who makes the Touareg's transmission?

The 6-speed automatic transmission was developed and is manufactured by Aisin Co., Ltd in Japan. Volkswagen's designation for this transmission is "09D".

2.28. What is Tiptronic?

Tiptronic is a function of the Touareg's 6-speed automatic transmission that lets the driver manually select the gear. It offers some of the advantages of a manual gearbox such as increased control.

The Touareg's 6-speed automatic transmission will override driver input to prevent the engine from turning at an inappropriate speed.

The Tiptronic can be controlled one of two ways depending on the vehicle. On Touaregs sold in the US, the driver can only select gears using the gear change lever in the Tiptronic position. On some Touaregs sold outside of the US, the driver can also util ize steering wheel mounted paddle shifters.

2.29. Will the transmission shift by itself if I forget to?

Yes. If you accelerate while in Tiptronic mode, the Touareg's 6-speed automatic transmission will automatically shift to the next higher gear if you forget to. Also, the transmission will automatically downshift to 1st gear when you stop.

2.30. I've seen pictures of the Touareg with paddle-style shifters behind the steering wheel. Is that feature available in North America?

This feature is not currently available on Touaregs sold in the US. It isn't clear whether or not it will be possible to retrofit paddle shifters onto US Touaregs at some point in the future.

2.31. Should I purchase a Touareg?


2.32. Will it tow?

Yes, when equipped with the Volkswagen tow hitch.

2.33. How much weight will it pull?

Volkswagen claims that all Touaregs have a maximum tow rating of about 7700 pounds.

2.34. But the maximum tongue weight isn't consistent with such a large trailer. What's up with that?

Early speculation suggested that while the Touareg may technically be able to tow 7700 pounds, its relatively short wheelbase would make for an unstable rig. Furthermore with the Volkswagen-supplied hitch, the Touareg's maximum tongue weight is 616 pounds . Some felt that a 7700 pound trailer with only 616 pounds on the tongue of the tow vehicle will make the trailer become less stable.

Others have pointed out that Volkswagen's literature contradicts itself regarding the Touareg's towing capacity. Volkswagen claims in numerous pieces of literature that the Touareg can tow 7700 pounds, but the owner's manual indicates that the Touareg sho uld only tow Class I or Class II trailers which are a maximum of 2000 and 3500 pounds respectively. [need to confirm owner's manual quote] It's conceivable that the Class II limit is a function of the hitch, not the vehicle itself. If this is the case, it 's possible that Volkswagen may eventually introduce a different hitch that allows the Touareg to realize its full towing potential.

In an article in RVlife magazine, the author tows a 30 foot, 6,700 pound Air Stream travel trailer with a V8 Touareg. The hitch weight was 760 pounds, which seems to be significantly more than the Touareg's published maximum tongue weight. The author repo rts "This is one fantastic tow vehicle that can tow a substantial trailer like the Airstream without any effort and in complete comfort".

2.35. There's no way a V-6 Touareg can tow that much.

Volkswagen rates Touaregs in all engine configurations as having a maximum towing capacity of 7700 pounds.

The FAQ maintainer welcomes any reports of towing with the V6.

2.36. Does the Touareg have rear seat cup holders?

Some Touaregs come with cup holders for the rear seats, and some do not. At first, it seemed that only V8 Touaregs included these cup holders, but recent reports indicate that some V6 models do included them as well.

Touareg owners who did not get the cup holders have reported that they have been able to obtain them and have a dealer install them. We suspect that there was a cost associated with this upgrade.

2.37. Is the leather in the Touareg real or synthetic?

The leather in the Touareg is real.

2.38. Is the wood in the Touareg real or synthetic?

All wood surfaces in the Touareg are real. Walnut, Myrtle, and Vavona wood are used depending on the configuration of the specific vehicle. Vavona is the root wood of sequoia trees.

2.39. Does the Touareg, when equipped with bi-xenon lights, use the Xenon lights for high beams and low beams?

Yes. In Xenon-equipped Touaregs, the outer most lights in the Touareg's headlight assembly are high intensity discharge lamps, and are used for the low beam, the high beam, and as the daytime running lamps.

In Touaregs that are not equipped with Xenon lamps, the out most lights in the headlight assembly are for low beam only. [need to research DRL in non-xenon Touaregs]

2.40. If that's the case, then what are the inner lamps in the headlight assembly used for?

In Touaregs equipped with Xenon lamps, the inner lamps in the headlight assembly are traditional high-beam halogen lamps, however these are only used for the "flash to pass" function, which is activated by pulling back on the headlight lever on the steeri ng column. Volkswagen decided to put these additional halogen lamps on Xenon-equipped Touaregs because rapidly turning Xenon lamps on and off during the "flash to pass" function significantly reduces the lifespan of the lamp.

In Touaregs without Xenon lamps, the inner lamps in the headlight assembly are high-beam halogen lamps and are used when high beams are engaged and during "flash to pass".

2.41. What kind of gas mileage are people getting in the Touareg?

We have not received many mileage reports, so this answer is based on anecdotal information only.

That said, on average, Touareg owners have reported about 14 MPG for the V8 in mixed driving. Average in-town mileage for the V8 appears to be about 12. The average reported highway mileage for the V8 is about 18.

We have received a report from a V6 Touareg owner who has averaged 14.5 MPG in mixed driving during the first 800 miles.

2.42. Does the Touareg require premium fuel?

For the gasoline V8 and V6 engine, Volkswagen recommends premium fuel, but does not require it.

2.43. What happens if I run it on regular unleaded instead of high octane?

The Touareg's engine management system will retard ignition timing sufficiently to prevent predetonation (knock or ping). This may or may not be noticeable to the average Touareg driver, but theoretically should reduce the performance of the engine.

Some have suggested that premium fuel has benefits beyond its octane content. One claimed benefit of premium fuel is that it includes better detergents to prevent the build-up of deposits in the engine's combustion chamber. It should be noticed that in th e US, Federal law requires that all gasoline contain detergents. According to the AAA (American Automobile Association), it is very rare for premium gasoline to contain a different detergent than regular-grade gasoline from the same manufacturer.

2.44. I've heard that the Touareg uses something called a CAN bus. What is this?

CAN stands for Controller Area Network. The Volkswagen Touareg uses three distinct CAN busses, one for the drive train, one for convenience functions, and one for infotainment.

2.45. I just noticed that my Touareg doesn't appear to have any antennae. Isn't that odd?

It would be odd if it were true. The Touareg actually has several antennas, including AM radio, FM radio, long-range remote control, four short-range remote control, four tire pressure monitor, and in some vehicles, GPS, and OnStar antennas.

Some of these antennas, including the GPS and radio antennas are in the rear glass on either side of the vehicle.

[research other antenna locations]

3. Hints, Tricks, and Features

3.1. How can I disable the daytime running lights?

Your Volkswagen dealer's service department has the ability to disable the Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), but it is unlikely that they will perform this service for you (it never hurts to ask).

Another way to disable the DRLs is to change a setting using a VAG-COM. Without going into too much detail, you can disable the DRLs as follows:

Address 09 (Elect. Ctrl)

Function 07 (Recode)

Subtract 1 from the existing coding.

Presto, no more DRLs.

Doing this will add a menu item to the convenience settings in the Touareg's MFI that will subsequently allow you to turn the DRLs on or off without the use of a VAG-COM.

It may be illegal to disable the DRLs, or to drive a Touareg with the DRLs disabled. You are encouraged to check your local laws and regulations.

3.2. How can I make the overhead clock / compass stay on?

Your dealer can do this for you, or you can use a VAG-COM.

Note that recently, some Touareg buyers have reported that their overhead clock / compass stays on all of the time without any modification.

If your Touareg's overhead clock / compass does not stay on and you want it to, you can modify it by making the following changes with a VAG-COM

Address word 6E

Function 10

Channel 1

Rest to 0 0

[need to clarify these instructions.. what does "rest to 0 0" mean?] Your overheard clock and compass will now stay on with the car.

3.3. What is a VAG-COM?

A VAG-COM is a tool developed by Ross Tech that allows a standard Wintel computer to interface with the diagnostic system in Volkswagens, Audi, Seat, and Skoda automobiles. It consists of a cable that connects your computer to the diagnostic port in your car, and a piece of software that provides the interface to the various systems in the vehicle.

The VAG-COM allows the user to capture data from various sensors in the car, perform output tests of various functions, and effect changes on those systems.

The VAG-COM basically emulates the Volkswagen 1551/1552 or VAS-5051 scan tool, but costs a fraction of price of these official tools (computer requirement for the VAG-COM notwithstanding).

3.4. Can I accidentally break or disable my Touareg with a VAG-COM?

Yes. You can disable your Touareg with a VAG-COM by running an Output Test (function 03) on the Airbag Controller. This output test simulates getting into an accident. The Touareg will not deploy its airbags, but it will do everything else that would norm ally occur after an accident, including opening a battery isolation switch that supplies power to the engine management system and the fuel pump.

It is possible that there are other things you can do to your Touareg with a VAG-COM that will disable the vehicle.

3.5. Oh heck, I did that and now the Touareg won't start. What do I do now?
  1. Use your VAG-COM to clear the "Crash Data" code from address 05 or 25.
  2. Reset the yellow battery isolation switch under driver's seat. This is switch is visible/accessible if you remove the carpeted "step" trim panel at the front of the seat (an operation requiring some dexterity, but no tools).

3.6. What else can I do with a VAG-COM and a Touareg?

Take a look at the Treghacker web site for an up-to-date list of Touareg VAG-COM hacks.

3.7. Where can I find more information about the VAG-COM?

3.8. Why do I have to pull the inner door handle twice to open the door?

The first pull unlocks the door; the second pull opens the door.

3.9. Is it possible to lock my keys in the Touareg?

Yes, it is. First, exit the vehicle and lock it. Next, approach the rear of the vehicle and open the glass hatch. The glass hatch will only open if your key is within a few feet of the back of the vehicle. Once the rear glass hatch is open, throw your key inside the Touareg. Close the rear hatch. After a few seconds, the Touareg will re-lock the rear hatch, thus locking your key in the car.

It has been suggested that Touaregs with the keyless start system (not sold in North America) are less susceptible to locking the keys in the car.

3.10. Why does the air conditioner get louder when I put the Touareg in reverse?

When you engage reverse, the Touareg's climate control system enters recirculation mode. This is designed to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the cabin while backing up.

3.11. Why does the air conditioner get louder when I spray the windshield sprayers?

When you engage the windshield sprayers, the Touareg's climate control system enters recirculation mode for a few moments. This is designed to prevent the smell of the window washer fluid from entering the cabin.

3.12. What is the knob in the back of the glove box for?

This knob opens and closes the AC / Heat vent in the glovebox.

3.13. What are the very small buttons on either side of the steering wheel for?

The small button on the left side toggles the lights in the steering wheel. The button on the right toggles the steering wheel heat, if the vehicle is so equipped. When turned on, the steering wheel heater will maintain the steering wheel at 77 degrees F.

3.14. How can I make the center armrest slide forward?

The armrest must be closed. Press and hold the left-hand button on the armrest while simultaneously sliding the armrest forward.

3.15. Do the windshield wipers work with the hood open? Why not?

The windshield wipers do not function while the hood is open to prevent damage to the hood or windshield wipers. If they were to function, the windshield wipers would strike the open hood.

3.16. If I leave the door open, do the interior lights turn off after a while?

Yes. By design, the Touareg will turn off the interior lights after a set period of time, or if the battery voltage drops to a pre-determined level. [research time, voltage]

3.17. Does the Touareg include a full-sized spare tire?

As of the time of this writing, no Touaregs sold in the US includes a full-sized spare tire.

3.18. Do all Touaregs come with an air compressor?

All Touaregs sold in the US include at least one air compressor. For Touaregs without the air suspension, the air compressor is located in the back of the car, near the spare tire. For Touaregs with the air suspension, the air compressor is part of the su spension system and has an accessible outlet under the front passenger's seat.

3.19. Where is the hose to inflate my tires?

Depending on which Touareg you own, the hose to inflate your spare tire is in one of two different places. If your Touareg has air suspension, the hose is underneath the left rear passenger seats. If you have the steel suspension, the hose is attached to the air compressor below the floor of the trunk.

3.20. What does the "REST" button do on the climate control?

"Rest" is the German word for "residual". The "REST" button enables the Touareg's residual heat function, which uses an electric pump to circulate engine coolant through the heat exchanger for a maximum of 30 minutes after the car is turned off. This allo ws interior of the vehicle to stay warm even after the engine is no longer running.

3.21. What is the electric motor sound I hear when I open the door?

The sound you hear when you open the door is the fuel pump charging the fuel lines to allow the Touareg's engine to start easily.

3.22. What is the scratching sound I hear when I drive off in my Touareg?

It has been suggested that the quiet scratching sound that is heard when you drive off in the Touareg is part of the security system. Specifically, it may be the Immobilizer system reading the transponder in the key.

Another person has suggested that the sound is the ABS system being tested

4. Known Issues and Troubleshooting

4.1. Are there any recalls for the Touareg?

Volkswagen also announced a voluntary recall to inspect the routing of a wire for the Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) on its 2004 Touareg model. Only about 620 cars are affected by this action in the U.S.

4.2. Are there any repair campaigns for the Touareg?

It has been suggested that there are several repair campaigns in effect for the Touareg. One of the campaigns concerns the improper placement of the antenna used to receive signals from the remote key fob. However, owners that have had this work performed report that it doesn't help much

Please send an email to the maintainer of this FAQ if you have access to official Volkswagen service bulletins or repair campaigns. Anonymity is ensured.

4.3. How many batteries does the Touareg have?

There are three different battery configurations in the Touareg.

1) Touaregs with the V-10 TDI engine come equipped with two batteries, the additional one of which is normally dedicated to the engine start procedure exclusively.

2) Some Touaregs without the V-10 TDI engine come equipped with two batteries. In these vehicles, the extra battery is always dedicated to an additional water heater.

3) Some Touaregs without the V-10 TDI engine come equipped with only one battery.

Currently, all gasoline engine Touaregs sold in the US include only one battery. All diesel engine Touaregs sold in the US have two batteries.

4.4. Where is the Touareg's battery?

In all Touaregs, the main battery is located under the driver's seat. In Touaregs with two batteries, the additional battery is located beneath the floor of the rear storage area, occupying the space that the spare tire would normally occupy.

4.5. How can I jump-start a Touareg with a dead battery?

There are positive and negative lugs under the hood to which you can attach another vehicle's battery.

Volkswagen sternly warns against using battery chargers that supply in excessive of 14 Volts DC to the Touareg. Electrical system damage can result.

4.6. My windshield appears to be fogging up. What's going on?

Your window is probably not fogging up on the inside.

When the ambient relative humidity is high and the Touareg's air conditioner is engaged, cold air blows on the windshield causing the temperature of the glass to drop below the ambient dew-point. When this happens, condensation forms on the outside of the windshield. You can clear this condensation using the windshield wipers.

Touareg owners have reported that this condition only occurs when cold air is directed through the large mesh vent in the middle of the dashboard. By manually selecting the 'lower vent' setting on the climate control system, you can prevent air from b lowing from this mesh vent thereby reducing the amount of condensation that forms.

4.7. My windshield glass looks wavy. Is this normal?

Many Touareg owners have reported a distorted view through the front windshield, and it appears to affect all Touareg windshields. This distortion can be best observed when turning.

4.8. I've programmed the Touareg to unlock all of the doors when I unlock the driver's door, but it keeps losing this setting. How can I make it stick?

There appears to be a flaw in the Touareg's locking system that causes the Touareg to lose the comfort settings when the car is turned off.

Some Touareg owners have reported that the following steps will cause the Touareg to retain its comfort settings:

1) Get in and start the Touareg.

2) Program your comfort settings using the menu system in the MFI.

3) Save your seating position to one of the three memories using the buttons on the side of the driver's seat.

4) Turn off the ignition, remove the key, and exit the Touareg.

5) Close the driver's door, and lock the door by physically inserting the metal key into the door and turning it.

4.9. I've followed the directions in the owner's manual, but I can't seem to assign a saved seat setting to my key. How do I do this?

The Volkswagen Technical Bulletin: Group 57 Number 03-04 Date Oct. 14, 2003, contains instructions that supersede those in the owner's manual for programming the seat settings.

The instructions are as follows:

Insert Fob
Start Engine
Change Settings
Press Set and position number
Remove Key Faub from igntion
Press Unlock within 30 seconds

4.10. How can I program the Homelink system?


4.11. My remote control range is short. How can I fix this?

There is a recently published Technical Service Bulletin (TSB) that addresses this issue.

Extended Descriptions for Item V570401
Technical Bulletins
Group: 57
Number: 04-01
Date Published: 02/11/2004

Volkswagen Technical Bulletin Subject: Folding Key Radio Remote Control, Functions Only at Close Range. Supersedes T.B. Group 57 Number O3-03 dated Sept. 16,2003 due to change in procedure.

Model(s): Year(s):
Touareg 2004

4.12. What is the MFI?

The MFI is the multifunction indicator located between the speedometer and the tachometer. Depending on the features, some Touaregs have a full color MFI, and others have a monochrome (red) MFI.

4.13. What does "Electric Consumers Off" mean?

If the Touareg's power management system detects that the battery's voltage drops to a critical level, it will attempt to preserve the remainder of the battery's power by turning off power to auxiliary system.

Unfortunately, this system does not appear to function properly. A large-draw device, such as an AC power inverter, will drain the Touareg's battery if left connected to the cigarette lighter overnight. In such a case, the Touareg will not start because o f the depleted battery.

Note that this example was observed in a Touareg with only one battery. The power management system may be smarter in Touareg's that have two batteries

4.14. What does "Shift to Idling" mean?

This message appears in the MFI when you change the transfer case's gear ratio from high to low or from low to high. This message is an imperative asking you to put the transmission into "Neutral". The word "Idling" appears to be the result of a p oor German to English translation.

4.15. Is there a list somewhere of all of these MFI messages?

Although Volkswagen indicates that the MFI can display "hundreds" of different messages, we know of nowhere to find a comprehensive list of these messages and their meanings.

If anyone has access to this data, please contact the FAQ maintainer.

4.16. The "Comfort" menu item in the MFI has disappeared. How can I get it back?

The comfort menu will not be available if the Touareg is in motion. Stopping the Touareg should cause the menu item to return. It is not necessary to put the transmission into "Park".

4.17. There's a little crack near the base of the driver's seat. Is this normal?

No. The carpet around both the driver's seat and the passenger's seat should be continuous and without gaps.

If there is a crack near the base of the driver's seat, this indicates that the seat base cover is not installed properly. This may have happened upon access to the vehicle's battery, which is found beneath the driver's seat and for which access requires removal of the driver's seat and surrounding facia.

4.18. How long does it take for the tire pressure sensor to re-learn the tire pressure when I put air in the tires?

Approximately 15 minutes of driving.

4.19. If the battery completely dies, can I still get into and out of the Touareg?

Yes, by using the physical metal key to open the driver's door.

4.20. I have the dual zone climate control, which includes dual fan-speed controls, but I can't seem to make the fans spin at different speeds. Is this normal?

Yes, this is normal. Reportedly, with the optional 4-zone climate control system, there are multiple fans that can be made to rotate at different speeds.

4.21. I have dual zone climate control. Can I make the driver's side temperature knob control both zones?

Yes, if you hold the "AC" button for three seconds, you can control both zones with the driver's side temperature knob.

5. NAV System / Radio Questions

5.1. I've heard the factory NAV system sucks. Is this true?

The consensus seems to be running about 50 to 1 that it does suck, but there are a few folks out there who think very highly of the NAV system.

When people say that the "NAV system sucks", they aren't saying that it is non-functional or that it cannot be used to navigate. In fact, even the most vocal opponents of the NAV system probably do use it on a regular basis.

The complaints stem from the fact that Volkswagen has chosen to include a NAV system that uses technology that is over 5 years old in their flag-ship vehicle. The NAV system has many, many shortcomings compared to units sold in other cars, and is probably the worst NAV system available in any 2004 vehicle from any manufacturer.

Most of the folks who like the NAV system travel exclusively in areas with good coverage. These individuals generally attempt to refute the claim that the system sucks by asserting that the NAV system has "every road in my town", which is probably true. U nfortunately this doesn't change the fact that for many owners, the NAV system has poor local street coverage.

5.2. Is my City / Town / Street included in the Touareg's NAV system?

The chances are very good that your city itself does appear in the NAV system's map data. However, unless you live in the city limits of a metropolitan area, there is a significant chance that the street coverage for your area is not comprehensive.

This contrasts with other GPS navigation systems, such as the Garmin Street Pilot line that includes every public road, (and many private roads) in the US as of the date of the map data.

5.3. Who supplies the maps for the Touareg NAV system?

NavTech provides the map data to Volkswagen.

5.4. That doesn't make sense. My Garmin GPS uses maps from Navtech that have much more detail than the Touareg's NAV system. Why is this?

NavTech does supply maps to both Volkswagen for use in the Touareg's GPS and Garmin for use in their GPS units. However, it appears that NavTech has different sets of maps for different customers.

The maps that NavTech supplies to Garmin are much richer than those supplied to Volkswagen. Garmin's CitySelect maps are comprehensive insofar as they include every public roadway and street in the United States. The Touareg's maps lack many streets a nd points of interest in non-metropolitan areas.

5.5. Are upgraded maps available?

NavTech has indicated that they are constantly updating their map database and that at some point in the future, new maps will be available for purchase.

5.6. I've seen pitch and roll indicators displayed on the NAV system on certain Touaregs. Can I make mine do this?

So far, there have been no reports of functional pitch and roll indicators in any Touareg. Some owners have reported being able to cause the pitch and roll indicators to appear in the Nav system's display using a Vag-Com, but again, no one has rep orted that these indicators actually show any useful data.

5.7. How can I adjust the volume or turn off the NAV system's speech?

Press the hard button on the Navigation system that resembles a musical note. A screen will appear that allows you to adjust the audio output of the system. One of the options within this screen is “Volumes”. Pressing this button will take you to a screen in which you can adjust the Nav system's volume, including muting the voice guidance entirely.

Additionally, the NAV system volume can be adjusted any time the system is speaking by adjusting the volume with the regular volume knob.

5.8. I didn't get an instruction manual for the NAV system. How can I get one?

The Nav system's manuals were not available at the initial launch of the Touareg. Volkswagen has subsequently made these available. Your dealer should be able to obtain this manual for you

5.9. Can I listen to an audio CD in the dash and use the NAV system at the same time?


5.10. That sucks, doesn't it?


5.11. What does the "AUX" button on the NAV system do?

At this point, Volkswagen has indicated that this button has no useful function, and has not committed to ever providing an adapter that will allow owners to attach auxiliary audio devices to the NAV system.

Some Touareg owners have reported that there are third party interfaces available to allow owners to attach auxiliary audio and video input to the Nav system, which would be activated with this button. One of these adapters appears to be available for pur chase in Germany.

5.12. What does the "TELE" button on the NAV system do?

This button selects the Telephone Audi input on the Touareg's stereo system.

5.13. Can I attach an MP3 Player / Satellite Radio / Cell Phone to the Touareg's stereo system?

Yes. You can use an FM modulator, which broadcasts your device's audio signal to an unused FM frequency. Note that several Touareg owners have reported that this setup results in unacceptable audio quality.

You can also use AUX input adapter and cable to connect your device directly to the NAV system using the "AUX" input. This results in much better sound quality than the FM modulator. See for instructions.

5.14. What is a Phatbox?

A Phatbox is a digital audio player that can be installed in leu of the CD-Changer in the Touareg. This device is officially supported by Volkswagen and can be purchased at VW dealers. It requires professional installation.

5.15. Can I watch DVDs on the Touareg?

It is possible that by using an auxiliary audio/video adapter, you can attach a DVD player to the Touareg's NAV system.

6. References

6.1. Where is the official VW Touareg web site?

6.2. Why won't the official VW web site recognize my Touareg's VIN?

Because Volkswagen refuses to add the Touaregs VINs to their web site. Several attempts have been made to have Volkswagen correct this bug to no avail.

6.3. Where can I find online discussion forums for the Touareg?

6.4. What are some other web sites about the Touareg? is another professional-looking site with discussion forums, issues database, photo albums, et cetera. Check it out. is a great web site dedicated to little known secrets, modifications, and general hacks that apply to the Volkswagen Touareg.

6.5. Are there any other aftermarket repair manuals for the Touareg?

Bentley Publishers will publish a Official Factory Repair manual in CD-ROM.

6.6. When will the Bentley's Touareg service manual be available?

Bentley Publishers has announced on their web site ( that the Touareg Official Factory Repair manual will be available on CD-ROM for $99.95 on June 1, 2004.

Copyright (c) 2003 Jason Sewell

This list of questions and answers was generated by makefaq.

Visit the Top Volkswagen Sites