Saturday, 14 February 2015

Heater Problems VW Golf MK2 - Heater Controls Removal

The saga of heating problems in my MK2 Golf continues!

Despite removing the bypass valves last week and flushing the coolant the car is still not warming up. The air coming into the car doesn't feel freezing so isn't the temperature of outside air - but equally isn't enough to have any significant warming effect on the interior. In addition the heater fan is making a squealing noise when blowing air. It seems like the problems with the car are never ending - one issue with a 25 year old car I guess.

VW Golf heating doesn't warm up the car
VW Golf heating doesn't warm up the car

When investigating the cause of the lack of heat in the car I checked the pipes feeding the heater matrix from the bulkhead under the bonnet. Both pipes were hot showing that coolant was flowing around the system and the heater matrix.

VW Golf Heater controls
VW Golf Heater controls
The heater controls are meant to allow you to adjust the flow of air to different vents and to set the temperature. As you move the levers the air direction is altered by flaps under the dashboard in the heater box. Strangely these were originally covered in foam across panels filled with holes which can break down over time then letting air flow with no directional control.


Once I removed the air vents and had access to the heater control box it was very obvious what the problem was. All the foam had come off from the heater flaps so they no longer performed any


Even peeking through a small gap as the duct was removed showed how clean the flaps were. All the other photos have shown at least some foam remaining on the metal - these were totally clear with nothing left at all.

Heater control flaps missing foam covering
Heater control flaps missing foam covering
This clearly shows the foam missing - the metal should not be visible and should be covered in thin foam.

I managed to be able to glue new plastic onto the metal flaps without needing to remove the whole heater control box from the car. It would have allowed me to replace the heater matrix but that seems to be working ok.

 There are some really useful guides for getting access to the heater flaps and removing the heater box and heater matrix on a MK2 Golf so I won't repeat the steps here. The links I found most useful are below. What I would say is that I found a great use for all the junk mail envelopes that I receive every day. Collecting a few of them together and using them for the different screws and components when dismantling the dashboard and heater and then writing on each envelope made it much easier to know which screws needed to go back in which locations.

Removing VW Golf MK2 Heater matrix
VW Golf heater flaps foam

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