92 Golf heater core (A/C) leak

I suspect I have a coolant leak in the heater core of my 92 Golf GL (California). I *know* I have a coolant leak, when I rub my fingers on
the carpet near the floor vent they come out smelling like coolant and my windshield is constantly fogged, which are all symptoms of a heater core leak. I also tend to get black smoke coming out of the air vents. I have a couple of questions I'd appreciate if anyone could help me with:
1) There are a couple of earlier posts about replacing the heater core on a Passat. Sounds pretty bad. But is there anything technically difficult about it (this might relate to my next question too)? Can I do it with basic tools and a manual? Seems like it would be an expensive thing to get fixed at a shop if it takes so long.
2) I'm looking at the Bentley manual and it tells me that the A/C has to be discharged to replace the heater core which requires special procedures that should be performed by a qualified shop. Well, my A/C doesn't work anyway so I think it's probably already discharged, if I check the sight glass and it looks discharged can I pretty safely change the heater core myself? How can I safely try to discharge the A/C just in case it's not completely empty?
3) Is it more likely that there's some internal leak in the heater core itself or a leak in a seal at the connection point? The manual says to install a new soft seal where the heater core hose connects pass through the body, is that the only potential seal leak? Anyone have a part number or something equivalent for the soft seal for the hoses?
Thanks in advance, Rob W.
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A lot of people pursue having the dealer replace them free. Some years were recalled, and others weren't. I have heard of persistant owners getting any year Golf, Jetta or Passat done under the recall.
Yes you can do it with basic tools and a GOOD manual if the a/c is discharged! Take pictures of how things come apart, organize/sort screws and parts, and be patient/careful! Clean up all of the coolant in the heater box and check the condition of any foam. I have heard about and actually seen foam flying out through the vents on the passengers. :-( Plan on 2 days to complete, but hope it takes less time. lol
JMHO later, dave (One out of many daves)

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Don't think the 92's were part of the VW recall called "SD", but you could call VW and see if they will pick up the repair. As for doing the core replacement it can be done in 2 hours or less for tech like myself. You don't need to remove the AC box or discharge the Freon. If your going to do it yourself I may have the procedure here in PDF format so e-mail me.

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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------050801050808060601070008 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
That would be *great* if you could send me the procedure Woodchuck. Glad to hear I don't need to worry about the A/C - that was my biggest concern.
What's the story with the foam? I've had foam coming out of the vents for a couple of years!
Regards, Rob.
Woodchuck wrote:

</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">I suspect I have a coolant leak in the heater core of my 92 Golf GL (California). I *know* I have a coolant leak, when I rub my fingers on the carpet near the floor vent they come out smelling like coolant and my windshield is constantly fogged, which are all symptoms of a heater core leak. I also tend to get black smoke coming out of the air vents. I have a couple of questions I'd appreciate if anyone could help me with:
1) There are a couple of earlier posts about replacing the heater core on a Passat. Sounds pretty bad. But is there anything technically difficult about it (this might relate to my next question too)? Can I do it with basic tools and a manual? Seems like it would be an expensive thing to get fixed at a shop if it takes so long.
2) I'm looking at the Bentley manual and it tells me that the A/C has to be discharged to replace the heater core which requires special procedures that should be performed by a qualified shop. Well, my A/C doesn't work anyway so I think it's probably already discharged, if I check the sight glass and it looks discharged can I pretty safely change the heater core myself? How can I safely try to discharge the A/C just in case it's not completely empty?
3) Is it more likely that there's some internal leak in the heater core itself or a leak in a seal at the connection point? The manual says to install a new soft seal where the heater core hose connects pass through the body, is that the only potential seal leak? Anyone have a part number or something equivalent for the soft seal for the hoses?
Thanks in advance, Rob W. </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!---->
</pre> </blockquote> </body> </html>
--------------050801050808060601070008--
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I would suggest you purchase a new heater/ventilation box along with the new core. What happens is the foam comes off all the vent doors from age.
</PRE> <BLOCKQUOTE type="cite"><PRE wrap="">I suspect I have a coolant leak in the heater core of my 92 Golf GL (California). I *know* I have a coolant leak, when I rub my fingers on the carpet near the floor vent they come out smelling like coolant and my windshield is constantly fogged, which are all symptoms of a heater core leak. I also tend to get black smoke coming out of the air vents. I have a couple of questions I'd appreciate if anyone could help me with:
1) There are a couple of earlier posts about replacing the heater core on a Passat. Sounds pretty bad. But is there anything technically difficult about it (this might relate to my next question too)? Can I do it with basic tools and a manual? Seems like it would be an expensive thing to get fixed at a shop if it takes so long.
2) I'm looking at the Bentley manual and it tells me that the A/C has to be discharged to replace the heater core which requires special procedures that should be performed by a qualified shop. Well, my A/C doesn't work anyway so I think it's probably already discharged, if I check the sight glass and it looks discharged can I pretty safely change the heater core myself? How can I safely try to discharge the A/C just in case it's not completely empty?
3) Is it more likely that there's some internal leak in the heater core itself or a leak in a seal at the connection point? The manual says to install a new soft seal where the heater core hose connects pass through the body, is that the only potential seal leak? Anyone have a part number or something equivalent for the soft seal for the hoses?
Thanks in advance, Rob W. </PRE></BLOCKQUOTE><PRE wrap=""><!---->
</PRE></BLOCKQUOTE></BLOCKQUOTE></BODY></HTML>
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This is a multi-part message in MIME format. --------------080708040007090109000300 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
That would be *great* if you could send me the procedure Woodchuck. Glad to hear I don't need to worry about the A/C - that was my biggest concern.
What's the story with the foam? I've had foam coming out of the vents for a couple of years!
And one more thing - what's the latest model car I can get a used heater core out of that will fit my 92 Golf?
Regards, Rob.
Woodchuck wrote:

</pre> <blockquote type="cite"> <pre wrap="">I suspect I have a coolant leak in the heater core of my 92 Golf GL (California). I *know* I have a coolant leak, when I rub my fingers on the carpet near the floor vent they come out smelling like coolant and my windshield is constantly fogged, which are all symptoms of a heater core leak. I also tend to get black smoke coming out of the air vents. I have a couple of questions I'd appreciate if anyone could help me with:
1) There are a couple of earlier posts about replacing the heater core on a Passat. Sounds pretty bad. But is there anything technically difficult about it (this might relate to my next question too)? Can I do it with basic tools and a manual? Seems like it would be an expensive thing to get fixed at a shop if it takes so long.
2) I'm looking at the Bentley manual and it tells me that the A/C has to be discharged to replace the heater core which requires special procedures that should be performed by a qualified shop. Well, my A/C doesn't work anyway so I think it's probably already discharged, if I check the sight glass and it looks discharged can I pretty safely change the heater core myself? How can I safely try to discharge the A/C just in case it's not completely empty?
3) Is it more likely that there's some internal leak in the heater core itself or a leak in a seal at the connection point? The manual says to install a new soft seal where the heater core hose connects pass through the body, is that the only potential seal leak? Anyone have a part number or something equivalent for the soft seal for the hoses?
Thanks in advance, Rob W. </pre> </blockquote> <pre wrap=""><!---->
</pre> </blockquote> </body> </html>
--------------080708040007090109000300--
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[about heater DIY heater core exchange]

Don't bother with a used core. It may be leaky already. Mk4 Golfs have the "same" heat exchanger. Don't know about the current model.
The replacement instructions (PDF) has part numbers that have been superseded. A spare parts jockey should be able to cross-reference.
I'm looking forward to skinning my knuckles in a little while... not yet cold enough to require a heater, though the A/C output is *very* cold at times!
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