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vwtech0405, VW Technician
Category: VW
Satisfied Customers: 10670
Experience:  VW Master Technician VW Certified
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2002 VW Passat: I flushed out the heater core..highway..alarm

Customer Question

I have been having trouble with my 2002 VW Passat, heater wasn't working right,so I replaced the thermostat and coolant, then I flushed out the heater core as there didn't seem to be any water going through the core. I thought it was fixed, but took the car on a long trip and the heater went cold while driving on the highway, when I stopped the heater started working again but not very well. When I got home and started the car up the next day, I got a "low coolant" alarm and added about 1/2 gallon of coolant, this is the second time I have had to add coolant. The bottom radiator hose doesn't get hot at all when car is running, and there is an ammonia smell coming from the exhaust. A friend told me he had a similar experience and it was a bad head gasket leaking down into #1 clinder, taking the coolant out of the exhaust. I have flushed the heater core twice and now the heater seems to work a little better but I haven't had the car out on the highway when it was really cold. help
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: VW
Expert:  vwtech0405 replied 7 years ago.
Welcome to just answer!!

More then likely you have a faulty heater core the flushes help out a little but no matter what we always end up replacing the heater core to take care of the issue. This is VERY common with these body style passat. I hope this helps

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

what are the symptoms of a bad head gasket and how common is the head gasket problem?


Expert:  vwtech0405 replied 7 years ago.
Head gasket problems are not common at all . If you want pull a spark plug out and see if you see the electrote full of coolant