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Old 10-30-2009, 11:05 AM
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Default Changing Heater Core

My 2000 2.0 has started to have a horrible antifreeze smell when the heat is on and it's also fogging the inside of the windshield, I'm thinking it's the Heater Core. I've seen alot of posts about having to remove the whole dashboard and steering wheel with airbags, does all of this really need removed to get to the Heater Core? I was hoping I could remove the glovebox and maybe center console to get to it. If anyone has done this and knows I'd really appreciate knowing ahead of time, I'd like to change it myself and save the money, but I don't think I'm comfortable with removing the whole dash.
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Old 10-30-2009, 12:50 PM
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Not sure about the NBs but I know my fiance had to remove his whole dash in his '95 Passat. I wouldn't be shocked if the entire dash needs to be removed. Looking at the Bentley, it looks like that is the case.

If you are doing this, I would suggest picking up a Bentley manual if you don't have one already. It is pretty essential for DIY fixes.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:16 PM
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Thanks for the reply, I do need to pick up the manual. I was afraid removing the whole dash would be the only way, I'll never understand why they don't make it removable from the engine side of the firewall, I guess that would be to easy. I might just take out the glove box this weekend and see if I can get it out or not, It's starting to get pretty cold in PA during my morning commute.
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Old 10-30-2009, 01:59 PM
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I would much rather tackle it from the dash! The engine bay is far to cramped to make it accessible from the engine side...you'd have to take waaaay too much out!

It also looks like it more towards the center of the car, not the glove box. But the Bentley picture isn't all that great.
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:18 PM
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It is pretty much the most non-accessible part in the car. EVERYTHING needs to come out of the dash.

Just out of curiosity, what color is the antifreeze in your car?
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:46 PM
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I Just did my timing belt and water pump last fall, so I'm running new pink G2 I think it's called. I'm at about 130,000 miles, would a bad heater core be normal for my mileage?
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Old 10-30-2009, 02:58 PM
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G12 is what is supposed to be in there. What was in there before you did the timing belt?

If there was regular green antifreeze, Dexcool, or any other "universal" coolant in there...that would likely be the cause of the failure.

Heater core failures are not common at all on VW's which can largely be attributed to the use of specified G12.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:04 PM
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I know when Bill switched his car over to G12, he had massive coolant system failures. His heater core was shot when he got the car (but the car was at 198k when he got it!). But he ended up having to replace both water pumps, I think some coolant lines and the radiator. Again, this was an old car. But switching coolants can certainly cause failures like the heater core.
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Old 10-30-2009, 03:14 PM
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Well, I've always had pink antifreeze, I'm not entireley sure what was in it before I did the water pump, but It was pink, so I'm assuming it's what was in from the factory. When I changed the water pump I use G12 from ECS tuning, I do have a very slow antifreeze leek, it's low about ever 6-8 weeks, but it's never very low, and I'm thinking it's probably being lost from the heater core but I haven't noticed during the summer. It just figures that the hardest to reach part in the car is the one that needs replaced.
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