Before I tear the dash apart...

ChrisMc

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Location
North Carolina
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9L TDI
I currently have a 2001 1.9L TDI Jetta that has coolant problems. A couple weeks ago, the car started to leak coolant. I traced it down, replaced the radiator, fittings and coolant temperature sensor. No that that's all buttoned up, I think that I have a bigger issue. Even before the radiator replacement I did get a whiff of coolant when I started the heat in my car. Now after the replacement, it lasts the whole time the heat is on. Recently, its been coating the windshield with a film of coolant I assume. I even see steam/smoke/mist or whatever it is coming out of the vents, even if the heat/ac isn't on.

So, before I start tearing into the dash (I assume its the heater core), I wouldn't mind getting anyone elses opinion. Other possible solutions or confirmations are gratefully appreciated.
 

belome

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 8, 2010
Location
Mid MI
TDI
2002 Jetta GLS TDI 5-speed
I'd says it has all the telltale signs.

Good luck, I've never done it but read enough to know I don't want to.
 

ChrisMc

Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2017
Location
North Carolina
TDI
2001 Jetta 1.9L TDI
Wow! Yall are extremely quick on this forum. Thank you so much. I kinda assumed that the heater core was the problem. Lucky for me I have a second vehicle so I will be taking my time on this replacement. Should I do anything else while the dash is apart? I read people recommend doing blend doors.
 

sisyphus

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2008
Location
Appleton, Maine
TDI
99.5, '01 A4 Jetta sedans, 5 sp box, Hamman mod, Joey mod, Bilsteins, 2.00" lift
There's at least one long thread here on the blend doors; my advice is look at 'em, and if they're okay don't touch them.
 

AnotherPerson

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2015
Location
New Orleans
TDI
1999 Beetle
My car the quick connects to the heater core under the hood had a small drop that would run back into the air box. Something to glance at


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vanbcguy

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2013
Location
Vancouver, BC
TDI
'93 Passat - AHU mTDI with GTB1756VK
The blend doors are a no brainer. Every VW I've owned has needed them done at some point, the labour to do them is just as much as the heater core if you're starting from scratch.

If it were me I'd look at adding some dynamat or similar soundproofing to the firewall while you're in there - pretty much the only time you'll have access and it can make a big difference to the overall vibration and noise levels in the car.

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oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Couple tips:

first, as suggested make certain the leak is not from the quick connect couplers on the firewall. Usually these just leak externally down the firewall. Even if they are OK, I'd get new ones since they'll have to come off anyway to do the core and they are a common source of leaks (little o-ring inside).

second, you really do need to look into the HVAC door foam. This is very common, more common than heater core failures actually. You can either buy a new case (comes complete with a new evaporator core and expansion valve, but oddly not the heater core itself :rolleyes: ) or if you want to take the time you can take it apart and refoam the doors. Either way, this is not a job you'll want to do again in a year or two because the foam starts to fall off the doors.

You may also want to get some new foam gaskets for the blower case to the bottom side of the body/firewall, as well as the cabin filter tray holder to body, and possibly the center duct(s) (you will see what I am talking about when you get in there).

This is NOT a bad job. It really isn't. It is just a bit tedious and time consuming. If you have never done one, or never done anything like this (lots of cars require dash R&R for all kinds of things), then you may not want to give yourself any "deadline" for the task. Leave it open ended, arrange to have another car to drive if need be. This is not something you can rush.

This is also a good opportunity to clean a bunch of hard to get to interior bits, and replace anything that is broken (glove box, center console, cupholder, etc.).

And I *think* the shop manual leaves out the hidden brace bolt under the wiper motor, can't remember (been so long since I had need to look this procedure up, but I seem to recall something like that my first time). So if it doesn't say so, the wiper arms, cowl trim, and wiper motor, need to come out to get at this bolt.

Also, the brace does NOT need to come completely out, just needs to come loose enough to weasel the HVAC case down and out from under it. However, if you want to take the time, removal of the brace completely is not hard. You just have a lot of wire harness holders and things that need to come off.

It is helpful to take pictures as you go, so you know the proper routing of wires, etc. Also, the defrost duct is sandwiched between the brace and body. Pop it loose (straight up) with the brace in place, then once the brace is loose, take it out. Then do not forget to set it loosely back in place BEFORE you put the brace back in place. Then once the brace is in place, pop it back in to its holder. You will see what I mean when you are in there.

Good luck! Ask if you have any questions. I do a lot of these.
 
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