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Shaky headlight fix on B5 Passat TDI
How to fix shaky headlights on a VW Passat
back to 1000q: 2004 2005 VW Passat TDI "how to" index
This article shows how to fix shaking or vibrating headlights on the Volkswagen Passat sedan and wagon.
A 2005 B5.5 is shown all other B5.5 are similar. If you feel the shaking in the entire car at idle when the transmission is in "drive", did you recently replace the axles or CV joints? Cheap rebuilt joints can fall apart and cause vibration which is carried into the body of the car. See 1000q: VW Passat CV joint to see a video showing bad joints and more details. The original idea is from MoGolf, I found that I also needed supports at the sides.
Below is a headlight removed from the car for illustration. The tabs at the top (they were broken off) and some points at the bottom are the only things holding the headlight in place. It's poorly supported so normal diesel shake can cause the headlights to shake as well.
Related links: 1000q: B5.5 headlight bulb replacement , 1000q: HID kit installation on VW Passat
bumper removal tools
closed cell foam (won't absorb water) like weatherstripping foam or pipe insulation
Remove the front bumper. See 1000q: front bumper removal and lock carrier service position for detailed steps. You don't have to remove the lock carrier, just remove the front bumper.
Loosen the 2x T30 bolts shown below (per side) that hold the plastic support. You will put some foam at the front bottom and at the fender line, highlighted in green, later.
The plastic cross highlighted below is the headlight support. Move the plastic support down and wedge some thick foam between the cross and the headlight. Move the plastic support back up and tighten the torx bolts.
When you put the bumper back on, put a thin strip of foam along the front and at the side-lower corner to hold the headlight in place. I found that the side-lower corner piece was needed to keep the headlight aligned with the rest of the bumper. Putting too much foam at the front will cause the headlight assembly to bend back and rub against the fender. This could cause wearing and corrosion. Even before doing this modification, one of my headlights had already worn away the paint and had a tiny area of surface rust. If this occurs, sand the rust away and put some anti-rust paint and a top coat of touch up paint.