[Vwdiesel] low rad temp

James Hansen jhsg at sasktel.net
Sun Dec 7 14:28:12 PST 2008

Very true Pat.
Vw's response to terrible heater performance has been to stick glow
plugs in the coolant flow on the tdi's- there is just too much air 
blowing around the motor when it's cold.  The 05 Passat is much improved 
and it's nearly sealed off.
My 82 was TERRIBLE in winter, until I covered 2/3 of the rad with 
cardboard.  No, not blocked the grill
opening, but the rad itself.  The air dam under the bumper moves so very
much air, blocking the grill off is a feel good exercise, and on
my A2, I had a custom fit piece of black coroplast I used in winter that
I cut to close the bottom opening entirely and still look okay, and had
a nice upholstery piece made for the upper grill with a removable center 
section that covered an opening that was 18 square inches where the VW 
logo sits.
I would take the removable piece off at -5C, otherwise it stayed on all
winter.  A2's are friggin horrible, to heat also because as the blend 
system has the a/c core cooled all winter to remove the moisture from 
the winter air, except here, the winter air is -30 and periodically 
loses all it's water to the ground in the form of snow, something the 
climate control engineers seem unfamiliar with.  I also popped the 
connection to the A/c pump clutch and that made a HUGE difference, and 
defeated the rad fan LOW speed that is always on when the defroster is 
on.  Again, stirring up the -30 air really doesn't help.  With all this 
on the go, it heated fine, city and highway.  JUst can't borrow out the 
car much unless the person that borrows it pays atttention if it warms 
up outside.
A heater core clean never hurts, I use a saturated soln of citric acid 
and soak overnight, then flush.
Only trouble with some of the US made thermostats, they have too big a 
bleed hole, like you need for a SB chev, not mostly sealed like you need 
in a VW.

Patrick Dolan wrote:
> Lots of aftermarket thermostats, many of infinitely higher quality
> than what VW ships and meeting all required dimensions and
> specifications.  Yanks may not know how to make a car, but their
> industry can still make a bloody good thermostat. Unfortunately, you
> can only go so far without having to do something with the fan
> switches, so a 5 degree rise is all I dare risk.
> I will check cable travel to blend door, but the big issue is one of
> taking a very long time to GET to temperature, and then a secondary
> issue of inadequate heat from heater.  I have never been impressed
> with any HVAC sytem that manages airflow instead of giving me direct
> control over water.  Worse yet, the squareheads are not very good at
> adapting US technology or techniques, and they (nor any other
> European) have a clue what cold temperatures really are (I should
> add, in the '70s I was one of the coldest VW dealer locations in the
> world, and these engineering problems were a constant issue then, as
> apparently now).
> ----- Original Message ----- From: LBaird119 at aol.com Date: Sunday,
> December 7, 2008 11:02 am Subject: Re: [Vwdiesel] low rad temp
>> In a message dated 12/7/2008 6:57:02 AM Pacific Standard Time, 
>> pmdolan at sasktel.net writes:
>>> I have to comment that of all of the cars I have driven (with
>> water
>>> cooling), my wife's '03 Variant TDI is by far the worst for
>> winter heating - which
>>> is so amazing since her last A2 Jetta sedan TD was the BEST!!!
>>> To make this thing bearable (hardly good, definitely no where
>> near great),
>>> we use a 1,100 watt circulating heater when parked, a 92C
>> thermostat (NAPA), a
>>> winter front (dealer gets them made somewhere, very nice part)
>> and it is
>>> still bloody cold.  VW just plain screwed up (again).
>> Two things I'd check.  First, I haven't seen an aftermarket 
>> thermostat (for the A1 and A2 anyway) that had nearly as big an
>> opening and most don't have the secondary "valve" on them either,
>> which diverts heater coolant properly, I believe. Many also have
>> bleed holes, which the OEM ones don't.  That'll lose almost as much
>> heat as these things make. Second I'd check that the heater valve
>> opens all the way, there's not a restriction, something got in the
>> heater core, kink in the hose etc.  Check the temp coming out with
>> a thermometer and how it does on lower fan speeds compared to high.
>> If you get too much temp drop then circulation is down.  You may
>> just happen to have a problem instead of a bad model.  :-) Loren
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