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Discussion Starter #1
So, I took my car in to the dealer to run a diagnostic on it. Turns out that the Heater Core is bad, along with the oil cooler. This is where I seek expert advice. What is the best course of action? I called VWoA and they won't pay for anything since the car has 61K miles on it. Should I call them back tomorrow and ask a different person? Should I just bite the bullet, buy parts on the internet and have a local mechanic do it? I am looking at thousands of dollars of repairs and it makes me cry. Any advice would be great!!

Matt
 

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Since they ran a diagnostic on it, get the codes they have from the Vag-Com and post them here. Then do a search for "VAG-COM codes" and see what they list for yout P1### or PO### code.
 

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Doubt that a bad heater core and oil cooler are throwing any codes.

Personally, I'd see if I could find a foreign car indy garage and see what they would charge...the oil cooler issue is pretty straight forward, but the heater core requires a lot of work just to get to it, IIRC. Doesn't the dash have to be removed?
 

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conceivedlnfire said:
So, I took my car in to the dealer to run a diagnostic on it. Turns out that the Heater Core is bad, along with the oil cooler. This is where I seek expert advice. What is the best course of action? I called VWoA and they won't pay for anything since the car has 61K miles on it. Should I call them back tomorrow and ask a different person? Should I just bite the bullet, buy parts on the internet and have a local mechanic do it? I am looking at thousands of dollars of repairs and it makes me cry. Any advice would be great!!

Matt

The heater core of my '00 Passat GLX blew up around 54K (only had 2yr/24k warranty). The first dealership I took it to said that it would be $1500.00 to fix it. I started calling around other VW dealerships. One of them mentioned that VW had replaced some of them as "good will." So, I called back the place that had my car and said that I would take it to the other dealership and try my luck at having VW fix this as "good will." Then they called up the local VW representative or whomever and called me back agreeing to do it basically for free. So, it might be worth your effort to call other dealerships and see if they can talk to VW or maybe you could try calling again. (I could smell antifreeze inside the cabin and also the windows would fog up all the time. Eventually, the coolant kept getting low, which is when I took it in to have it checked out).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks KenBlasko, I called Denny's and am waiting for a call back on a quote. I just wish I had the skills and knowledge to tear off the dash. I also heard the AC unit has to be removed and then recharged. Does anyone know if this is true?

Matt
 

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Fire - I have a 2001 Passat and had the heater core go on me last year. I was facing the same thing, but someone on here told me to call VW of America. I did that and they offered to cover the whole thing for me - parts and labor. I did have to go to the dealer first and get an official diagnosis, but after that VWofA took over. So I'd recommend you call them and talk to one of the service people on the phone and tell them you've heard they have covered it in the past.

Best of luck man!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I tried VWoA again and they basically said the same thing. They said since it was outside of the bumper to bumper warranty they could not cover it. I said I had talked to some people and heard they have covered it in the past. The agent responded that, "I can not comment on other dealings." So, I guess I will just pay for it. :banghead:

Thanks everyone,
Matt
 

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conceivedlnfire said:
I tried VWoA again and they basically said the same thing. They said since it was outside of the bumper to bumper warranty they could not cover it. I said I had talked to some people and heard they have covered it in the past. The agent responded that, "I can not comment on other dealings." So, I guess I will just pay for it. :banghead:

Thanks everyone,
Matt
Too bad VWoA won't pay. Did Denny's give you a decent price for the job?
 

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VW has had an issue with heater cores failing in Jettas and Passats since the early 90s. There was even a recall due to the risk of hot coolant going into passenger compartment and burning passengers. I had the one in my 95 Passat GLX go at 100K miles, and VW replaced for free. One call to VWOA and a few questions and they stepped up and did what was right.

I find it amazing that, after 15 years of failures, VW has not yet resolved this issue and has now decided to no longer deal with it for what it is-- a marginal design and a defective part, the failure of which cannot be prevented by any sort of maintenance by the owner, and leaves the owner with a $1000+ repair due to a poor design for replacement (maybe an access panel in the firewall is appropriate for these vehicles).

I'd suggest everyone who has a failed core contact BBB and complain and also file a report with NHTSA (due to the risk of passenger injury). Maybe then VW will take notice.
 

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ClarkSJ said:
VW has had an issue with heater cores failing in Jettas and Passats since the early 90s. There was even a recall due to the risk of hot coolant going into passenger compartment and burning passengers. I had the one in my 95 Passat GLX go at 100K miles, and VW replaced for free. One call to VWOA and a few questions and they stepped up and did what was right.
The problem goes back even further than that. I know the heater core on my '87 Golf was replaced under a recall (can't recall the exactly when, though).
 

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Fire - My '01 had more miles on it than yours does when VWoA replaced it. They are totally giving you the runaround. Sorry you're in this spot - keep fighting is all I can say.

Does anyone know if this issue has been corrected for new VW's? Or are they still using the same old crappy heater cores?
 

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I picked up a 2001.5 two months ago and started it today and smoke was blowing out of the vents. Took it to my local vw dealer who said it was probably the heater core. Funny thing was I had an appointment to take it in this monday for its 40k maintenance. Hoping VWofA will cover it. Seems very common and didn't expect it would be something that would go out with such few miles.
 

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Yep, its the heater core. Estimated $975 to fix, but they're contacting their district VW rep to see if VWofA will take care of it. Fingers crossed;)
 

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They won't replace mine. I was given an estimate of $975 for the heater core, which from what I've read is about normal from a dealer. But they said the 40k scheduled maintenance will run me $675 which sounds ridiculous.
 

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I guess I will not be making a trip to the dealer on this one. I have 95k. Those who had it replaced, are you the original owners? Those who got denied, same question.
 

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I'm a second owner. Just got the car in January, 2001.5 Passat V6 with 33k miles. I'm not going to have my local dealer fix it, found someone to do it for a quarter of their price. I think its funny I was just looking at how much it is to order the part and its around $80, but most places are OUT OF STOCK. Why doesn't that surprise me?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I guess they won't cover it since I am the second owner. I got a quote from Denny's for about 600 dollars. He said he has only replaced one in many years of VW work. I suppose this is due to the fact that VWoA pays for it 9 times out of 10.

Also, the smoke stopped coming out of the vents. This is probably from the sealant I put in the radiator a few weeks ago. I might just hold off on this repair until next winter.

Matt
 
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