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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+)

VW Passat Family (NMS and B7) TDIs (2012+) Discussion area for the 2012+ Passat TDI (North American and rest of world versions versions). The North American model was previously codenamed NMS (New Midsize Sedan) and the version the rest of the world gets is sometimes referred to as B7.

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Old October 28th, 2015, 00:55   #1
767wrench
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Default How to: Replacing 2012+ NMS Passat heater core

My 2012 passat unfortunately had the clogged heater core issue. At first I thought it was going to be very costly or labor intensive to fix but after some research it turns out its not a dash out procedure on these cars and is actually relatively easy and cheap to do yourself. I did mine start to finish in about 3 hours.

Heater core PN: 561819031B

Seals and clamps PN: 561898380

Car was at 77,000 miles. Build date 04/12. Climatronic dual climate control. G12 coolant was the factory fill and had only been serviced with G12 until now. The core is clogged with thick white buildup. It may be white rather than the pink that some have reported because I flushed it before removal.

Buildup on the inside of the tank


Buildup inside the tubes. We scraped some of it away before this pic to see what it was.


Discoloration of the lines compared to new


A few pics of the removal. The trim has one torx screw and then drops straight down and out


The storage compartment is removed to access screws for the under dash panel. I just pushed in on the sides to get the tabs past and then it rotates down and comes out. It took some force but I didn't see another way to remove it easily.


The under dash panel has a few screws to remove it. The data link connector needs removed. There are 3 clips on it to depress from the back side. The foot vent can be removed after the panel it has a few torx screws.


This panel covers the heater core. 4 screws remove it


The core exposed. Remove the clamps and pull the lines apart. This was the hardest part. The manual tells you to loosen the 6mm screw that is in between the heater core lines under the hood. It is recessed in a hole between the coolant lines. It must aid in allowing you to move the lines off of the core. It was still tough to do even with it loosened. The bolt is somewhat hard to get to under the hood. I left the lines under the hood hooked up and just drained the coolant at my block heater because it was a lot easier than messing with the lines at the firewall. The pipes leading to the core stay attached and the connection is made where you see the clamps in the pictures. Make sure not to cut the new o rings when trying to reinstall the lines. I bent the lines on the old core to remove it but the new one took more patience as I didn't want to bend it much. The flanges on the pipes kept wanting to cut the o rings as I worked the heater core lines past each other. It would be wise to do a leak check with engine running before reinstalling the trim.

A tip to get the flanges fully seated on the heater core so you can install the clamps. I went under the hood and pushed firmly multiple times on the hose connections to try and seat the pipes onto the core. I also took a rubber mallet and small piece of wood and was able to catch the rib on the line to knock it into place. The lines in the car just don't seem to give a whole lot. Just be very careful not to use too much force when "forcing" things! The lines are just thin aluminum after all!

The core removed. It pulls straight out once the lines are off. I didn't get much coolant out of the lines after I drained the car. This catch can was plenty large enough. Cover the area with rags to catch any other spillage when pulling apart the lines.

Info note: the electric auxiliary heater grid sits directly in front of the heater core and slides out like the core.

Heat works great with the new core. Both sides are HOT on Hi setting and high blower. Decent heat starts being produced with the engine at 145 degrees
I was able to find the core for $74 and the seals for $14 although you could probably reuse the clamps and o rings if you had to. I purchased mine from ecs tuning.
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Last edited by BKmetz; October 29th, 2015 at 13:30. Reason: formatting
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Old October 28th, 2015, 05:43   #2
gforce1108
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Very cool - they used the Audi design. I just did a Audi A4 last weekend with the identical setup. Did you have to remove the throttle pedal? I didn't get a single drip because I disconnected the hoses in the engine compartment, and cycled blowing air and flushing with water.

It was by far the easiest heater core I ever did.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 06:12   #3
FahrvergnügenVA
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Just encountered this issue last week and I will be tackling the replacement over the weekend unless the dealer offers to pay for the repair in full.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 07:40   #4
goldgary
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Default symptons please

Just wondering what the symptoms were, that you knew heater core was plugged. Or was it as simple that no heat was coming out of car at all.

I would think it would change so slow over time, that you wouldn't notice a big change.

Thanks, Gary
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Old October 28th, 2015, 09:03   #5
FahrvergnügenVA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldgary View Post
Just wondering what the symptoms were, that you knew heater core was plugged. Or was it as simple that no heat was coming out of car at all.

I would think it would change so slow over time, that you wouldn't notice a big change.

Thanks, Gary
My heat worked awesome up until the day I noticed it. The driver's side has adequate to good heat, while the passenger side has very cool, if not cold air coming out. It is easy to notice when you are running Defrost on the windshield, which is what tipped me off to the issue with one side clearing and the other not clearing at all. There is no doubt when it occurs, it is very obvious with the temperature differences. I also used the Vag-Com to check the actuator doors last night which operated as normal.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 10:22   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goldgary View Post
Just wondering what the symptoms were, that you knew heater core was plugged. Or was it as simple that no heat was coming out of car at all.

I would think it would change so slow over time, that you wouldn't notice a big change.

Thanks, Gary
Check out the TSB: http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=450443
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Old October 28th, 2015, 14:36   #7
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No longer available.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 16:48   #8
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No longer available.
What do you mean?
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Old October 28th, 2015, 16:57   #9
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No longer available.
Works for me... I did change the link to the doc so if you clicked on a old link you would see not available.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Byx...1OVm1tNE0/view
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Old October 28th, 2015, 18:47   #10
767wrench
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Originally Posted by goldgary View Post
Just wondering what the symptoms were, that you knew heater core was plugged. Or was it as simple that no heat was coming out of car at all.

I would think it would change so slow over time, that you wouldn't notice a big change.

Thanks, Gary
It was a gradual loss of heat for mine. First winter was fine, 2nd was ok but took longer to warm up the cabin when extremely cold out (0 degrees) . 3rd winter I installed a frost heater and grill covers. Even with all that when it was under 20 I still froze until the car reached full operating temp and had to run the blower on half speed for warmth. This fall it got in the 30s one night and the car was fully warm and the vents were blowing cold on the passenger side and lukewarm on the driver side. It was slightly better when driving and at idle they both went cold. Now that it's fixed it's obvious how bad it got over time. If it wasn't for me reading about this problem here I probably wouldn't have came to the conclusion it was plugged with it being so new. My windshield would fog uncontrollably too sometimes in the fall when first starting to drive. No matter how much cleaning I did of the windshield it still did it. Maybe it will be better now time will tell!
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Last edited by 767wrench; October 28th, 2015 at 18:51.
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Old October 28th, 2015, 18:55   #11
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Very cool - they used the Audi design. I just did a Audi A4 last weekend with the identical setup. Did you have to remove the throttle pedal? I didn't get a single drip because I disconnected the hoses in the engine compartment, and cycled blowing air and flushing with water.

It was by far the easiest heater core I ever did.
Throttle pedal stays in place! Very easy job. I did a dash out on a late 90's cavalier once and I swore never again! Seemed like I broke 90% of the plastic I took apart and it seemed like it would never end!
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Old October 29th, 2015, 06:41   #12
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Throttle pedal stays in place! Very easy job. I did a dash out on a late 90's cavalier once and I swore never again! Seemed like I broke 90% of the plastic I took apart and it seemed like it would never end!
I've done a number of different cars. A Volvo 240 was one of the worst - after removing the dash I still couldn't get to the core so I cut the top off of the housing, replaced the core and epoxied it back together.

Next was a MKIV Golf - bought it knowing it had a bad head gasket. Didn't know about the heater core. I'd do 2 headgaskets before wanting to do another heater core.

The Audi was nearly identical to the Passat (03 A4 1.8T) but the throttle needed to be removed and there wasn't a lot of room to slide the core past the brake/clutch switches. But still - so easy.

I haven't dug too deeply into this heater core issue - Can I assume it's only on the dual climate control cars? Now that I know how simple it is, I won't worry about it happening to mine (not dual zone). My antifreeze was also replaced once for AC repair under warrantly.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 07:27   #13
767wrench
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Originally Posted by gforce1108 View Post
I've done a number of different cars. A Volvo 240 was one of the worst - after removing the dash I still couldn't get to the core so I cut the top off of the housing, replaced the core and epoxied it back together.
Next was a MKIV Golf - bought it knowing it had a bad head gasket. Didn't know about the heater core. I'd do 2 headgaskets before wanting to do another heater core.
The Audi was nearly identical to the Passat (03 A4 1.8T) but the throttle needed to be removed and there wasn't a lot of room to slide the core past the brake/clutch switches. But still - so easy.
I haven't dug too deeply into this heater core issue - Can I assume it's only on the dual climate control cars? Now that I know how simple it is, I won't worry about it happening to mine (not dual zone). My antifreeze was also replaced once for AC repair under warrantly.
My antifreeze was replaced multiple times each time using g12. Once for a turbo replacement the dealer took out the radiator, once for an accident, once when I installed my frost heater. I would assume any vehicle using this core and antifreeze combination would be suspect
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Old October 29th, 2015, 08:41   #14
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AFAIK, identical heater core in dual and normal climate control, just different ducting.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 10:21   #15
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Quote:
I've done a number of different cars. A Volvo 240 was one of the worst - after removing the dash I still couldn't get to the core so I cut the top off of the housing, replaced the core and epoxied it back together.
Ahh the Volvo 240 heater core. This was my oldest son's first car, we got it cheap knowing it needed a heater core. The joke on the Volvo forums is the heater core is the first component placed on the assembly line and they build the car around it!
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