OT bought an economical car

A while ago, I mentioned that my pick-up truck, while very comfortable
and capable, was a fuel hog. Since I have to drive a lot nowadays, and
mostly just to commute to my warehouse, conduct business and not move
any machinery, a car would suffice.
I bought a 1995 Volkswagen Passat with 122,000 miles on it, for $750
plus buyer premium, in an auction.
So far so good, it drives great. It also does about 27 MPG, which is
far better than my pick-up. It also looks decent and not rusted
out. I put about 150 miles on it already and I am very happy.
It has only two problems, one is that the heater does not work, and
another is that the cruise control does not work.
I will start with the heater first, this being the middle of October
in Illinois.
i
Reply to
Ignoramus28557
Loading thread data ...
Do you really...really need cruise control?
Ive got a defective unit in my Ford Ranger...which was broken when I got the truck. Some 130k ago. Havent missed it a bit.
heater..that would be a very good thing to have in Illinois.
Gunner
"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." --Voltaire
Reply to
Gunner
I use mine all the time, even on short trips to town, but especially on the road. It helps me avoid speeding tickets since I'd rather drive at 120+ on the open stretches.
In the winter, heaters are good things to have anywhere.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
I recently made a trip from Georgia to Michigan and tried to use my cruise control for the first time in years. Pushed the button and nothing happened. I pushed and held the button down for about a minute. It was very slow kicking in but within 15 minutes it was working fine. Something freed itself up and it has worked ok since that date. Try exercising yours too.
Reply to
nobody
What doesn't work? No fan? No fan speeds? No water flow through the core? Leaking core?
and
Reply to
Steve W.
With my truck weighing in some 600 lbs heavier than it did when it came from the factory....driving in excess of the speed limit costs a significant amount of money. This not including me and the dogs...shrug
If folks are unable to observe simple speed limits...I have no pity for them.
"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." --Voltaire
Reply to
Gunner
Yes, I was just experimenting. I tend to drive "head up and locked" on long trips. Anything to relive the tedium.
Reply to
nobody
Check to see if all the vent duct plates move when you cycle through the various options. You can hear little doors closing and the air circulating in the different vents as you work. I don't know if the Passat is manual or vac controlled, so it could be a vacuum motor, switch, or tubing problem. And feel the box which houses the heater core. It should be hot if water is circulating in it. Some vehicles have shutoff valves added by the previous owner, so look for that, too, if you haven't already. Old Dodge pickemups had cables to their shutoff valves.
If all that seems OK, you'll probably have to remove one of the heater core hoses and see if you can blow through the core. Sometimes heater hoses collapse internally, sometimes cores plug up. Blow air through those, too. Both should be easy to exhale through once the coolant is gone from them.
Reply to
Larry Jaques
Okay, then it's either a water flow problem or an air flow problem.
You have to see if there is a heater valve and it's opening all the way, and the core isn't clogged with crap - blow air through it forwards and backwards and see what you knock loose or get through.
Some cars leave the water flow through the heater core on 24/7, and control the air going through the heater box to go through or around the heater core when set to vent, with either a vacuum actuator or a little motorized operator. Is your damper door stuck?
Is the heater core coming up to operating temperature? Either the core is clogged, or the valve isn't opening.
If the core is clogged, or worse leaking, all depends on the car as to how easy it is to replace it. A lot of GM cars and trucks aren't that bad, and most of the Asian & European cars have figured out it's not wise to antagonize your customers with huge repair bills for stupid simple stuff. BUT...
Most Fords it's a Royal Pain In The Ass to change the heater core - they mount the Heater box to the assembly line and build the ENTIRE FRICKIN CAR around it - and you have to reverse that procedure to change it. That job you farm out to someone who knows all the tricks to partly disassemble, cut and fold as needed, and slide the bad core out and new core in through a crack - every model is slightly different.
Fans, if it works on High but not on some of the other speeds, first thing you check is the resistor pack. You'll usually find it in the direct air blast of the fan output, sometimes in the scroll housing itself. Open wirewound resistors that burn out and starts dropping the slower speeds one or two at a time.
If +12V power isn't making it to the resistor pack on certain speeds, then it's the Fan Switch in the heater control panel.
Or the fancy- schmancy Temperature-Control thermostat gidgie in a luxury car. Adding complex electronics is always fun when the car gets older.
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Reply to
Bruce L. Bergman (munged human readable)
In article , "Bruce L. Bergman (munged human readable)" wrote:
Ahhhh!!!!
I jumped into this thread late...
However, I'll bet you a buck your Passat has a 'cabin air filter'. It filters all the air feeding the HVAC. If loaded up, it explains the low airflow issue. These things are 'out of sight, out of mind', and throw old timers who don't know of them curves.
I'm not familiar enough with VW's to tell you where yours is off hand. Look in your owners manual, or Google for more info.
They're usually easy to replace, and most all DIY parts stores now carry them.
Good luck, let us know how it goes.
Erik
Reply to
Erik
Snipped...
Cringe... re-reading the thread indicates that I mis-read the all important part about you having sufficient airflow... sorry about that.
Other posters have you well on the way to a solution!
Erik
Reply to
Erik
Plugged heater core..or something is obstructing the heater core/fan
Or the valve under the hood at the heater core in/outs are plugged
Or..it could..could be missing the thermostat...but thats less likely
Gunner
"The best government is a benevolent tyranny tempered by an occasional assassination." --Voltaire
Reply to
Gunner
First things first - is the engine warming up? If the thermostat is bad the engine temp might never get over about 110F - which will not produce much heat.
Reply to
clare
A lot of VW's had a "safety stat" that would lock open if it EVER overheated. I would check engine operating temp first - if not up to about 170-ish replace the stat.
Reply to
clare

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