b4v heater core, possibly leaking......

Gli_ryan

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Idaho
TDI
B4v
1996 Passat tdi wagon

Just fixed a couple tiny hose leaks under the hood yesterday. Used a tool to pressurize the cooling system to find them. I ran it to 13 or 14 psi only. Haven't driven the car in about a month. Was really happy to start driving the thing again but now it smells like the heater core has developed a leak. I'm getting a little bit of windshield fogging and coolant smell in the cabin. I've never noticed this before, but it seems something is wrong now.

Contemplating selling the car for someone else to finish fixing, or fixing it myself.

Whats the timeframe people have taken to finish a heater core job in a b4? And what heater core should I purchase for replacement? Anything else to do while I'm in there?

My car has 247,000 miles on it and works really well. I get 45-55mpg with it consistently, and I drive a lot. I replaced all the brakes this summer, bought two new sets of tires for it, and have maintained it reasonably well for the last few years. But I hate interior work. Not sure what the car is worth while needing a heater core replaced, but it's something I'm thinking about too.
 

ToddA1

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 3, 2011
Location
NJ 08002
TDI
'96 B4V, '97 B4, '97 Jetta
Taking my time, it took me a weekend. I bought a Meyle heater core, and haven’t had any issue with it. Some people use the metal B5(?) core, but it needs to be tweaked.

You could always loop the hoses, but that makes for some cold commutes...

-Todd
 

Abacus

That helpful B4 guy
Joined
Nov 10, 2007
Location
Nobleboro, Maine
TDI
See signature for TDI's
It’s not a bad job, just time consuming. I’ve done them before and it took me a weekend. TDIDaveNH said he’s gotten them down to about 5 hours.
 

Gli_ryan

Member
Joined
Apr 14, 2019
Location
Idaho
TDI
B4v
Newer tdi cars are getting cheap. I think I’m going to buy a 2011+ and then work on this when I have time.
 

Steve Addy

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Location
Iowa
TDI
97 Mk3
The cores in these, which actually trace back to the Mk2 cars are a known bad deal. There was a Mk2 recall and a B3 recall but when you replace with the same type of core eventually it will fail again.

I installed a new Meyle core in the B3V in 2014 and it hasn't failed but I wish I would have done the all metal version. And yes the pipes need tweaking and probably some hoses need to be shortened, but all metal will undoubtedly last longer and that seems to be the prefered route.

I need to order up two more metal cores, one for the 97 Jetta and one just to have around on the shelf.

Steve
 

Windex

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 1, 2006
Location
Cambridge
TDI
05 B5V 01E FRF
To answer if there is anything else you should do when you are in there - you should replace the foam on the blend and heat doors - they tend to degrade in time and you will end up with low/no heat in the winter, and ineffective AC in the summer.
 

Blue Bolt

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Location
SF CA
TDI
2004 Jetta Wagon
2004 Jetta wagon and I am noticing some fogging and faint smell. May be time for a new core. What is the source for the cores?
 

jhax

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2012
Location
Golden, CO
TDI
96 Passat B4V, ALH engine out of a 2002 Jetta, some IE Rods and ASV Pistons. Nothing drivable yet though
I have one in a box that I never ended up using. I can get a part number for you if you'd like.
 
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