Not long ago having a damaged 17-inch wheel on the Passat I started looking for replacements. Of course the wheels I bought some years ago at a discount were discounted back then for being on close-out. Heading over to the universal parts store (E-bay) I located a set of factory rims taken from a 2001.5 Passat. The Passat B5 got a mid-year make-over. Across the net and in parts stores the first question asked is whether you have an early or late 2001. Having an early 2001 I held my breath a bit to see if the wheels would fit. I knew they had the same 5-112mm pattern but was the offset terribly different?
Some checking confirmed that both the early and late 2001 Passats use the same offset. Somewhere in the +35mm range. So far so good. A quick trip to Discount Tire to have them balanced and mounted and then next problem arises. Volkswagen uses a rather unusual wheel stud. The shoulder on a VW wheel stud is rounded vs the cone-shape of the after-market rims currently on the car. I came back last evening joking that when I called the parts store today they'd have 19 but not the 20 of them I needed. The VW dealer an hour away has 30 in-stock. Checks of Auto Zone and Checker Auto Parts came up empty. However, NAPA Auto Parts had them. And of course of the three local stores one had - you guessed it - 19 in stock. Fortunately the third store had eight in the store. As soon as the truck arrives from the other store it should be a complete set.
The exercise wasn't a complete waste, however, as in addition to the necessary wheel studs I found a K&N air filter in stock at one of the parts stores.