Question about 1999 Volkswagen Passat

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Heater problems in my vw passat

The heater in my vw passat doesnt work fan blows but no heat hardly comes out

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On an old passat it's likely that the covering over the heater control flaps has deteriorated which exposes large holes in the flaps themselves that the air blows through instead of being directed around the heater radiator. If you've ever noticed bits of black foam padding in your heater vents this almost certainly the case.
It's not an easy job to fix, I had to remove my entire dashboard so I could get the heater box out. The flaps are inside the box. After a good clean with some spirit I covered them with a couple of wraps of gaffer tape which has proved adequate and I now have a lovely warm car and nice clear windows in all weather's.
It would be expensive at a garage I expect, it took me a couple of days and if I ever wanted to do it again I think I could do it in one full day.

Posted on Feb 13, 2016

  • king noel Feb 13, 2016

    On an old passat it's likely that the covering over the heater control flaps has deteriorated which exposes large holes in the flaps themselves that the air blows through instead of being directed around the heater radiator. If you've ever noticed bits of black foam padding in your heater vents this almost certainly the case.
    It's not an easy job to fix, I had to remove my entire dashboard so I could get the heater box out. The flaps are inside the box. After a good clean with some spirit I covered them with a couple of wraps of gaffer tape which has proved adequate and I now have a lovely warm car and nice clear windows in all weathers.
    It would be expensive at a garage I expect, it took me a couple of days and if I ever wanted to do it again I think I could do it in one full day.

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Try removing he heater hoses going into the firewall(when cooled)and blow the heater core out with compressed air.Or you could have the cooling system flushed.

Posted on Jan 14, 2009

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1) Even if the coolant looks good, there are problems with the heater core plugging up. One solution is to use a heavy duty cleaner (CLR pipe cleaner) to back flush the heater core. To know if the heater core is plugged up, disconnect the 2 heater hoses at the heater core and somehow connect a hose to one end of the core. Try to flow water through, it doesn't have to be high pressure, and there should be a steady stream. If not, try to get the cleaner directly into the heater core and let it soak. Then back flush it and a lot of scale should be seen coming out.

2) The other problem is that since the heater core is the highest point in the cooling system air tends to get trapped in it. This should only happen if the coolant goes low or someone has opened the system to service it. There are a number of ways to bleed the system (vacuum bleed, pressure bleed). One of the hoses should have a small hole in it for bleeding air, pull that hose back just enough so the hole allows coolant to flow out of it. Then accelerate the engine and get a good flow coming out, when no more air bubbles are present, there should be good heat.

3)I've heard of bad water pumps with low flow causing issues as well as an aux. water pump not fuctioning correctly leading to poor heat output from the heater core. Someone should confirm this as I cannot get much information on the aux water pump(electronic pump by the alternator that is supposed to run after the car is shut off).

Hope this helps.

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