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I have a 2001 Passat Wagon, 300000km, which has stopped outputting heat to the cabin. There is a definite change in the blower pressure at the vents when the heat is selected over the cool. The input lines to the core all run hot, and there are no leaks in the system.

Last spring, the radiator bled out through the Oil Cooler. The radiator, oil cooler, resevoir, and fluid were changed out. The oil had contaminated the resevoir with a brown foamy paste. The system was reflushed by the dealership about a month afterwards as a precaution as they suspected that some of the foam would be in the nooks and crannies of the system, but came out clean and G-12 pink. Heat was plentiful and functional for the spring.

This fall / winter however, there is only the bare minimum of heat, and then only in vent mode. If I turn on the fan, the cold air flow trumps any heat at all. I have taken apart the radio / storage shelf part of the dash and explored the connections to the controls, and they are all intact and working freely. I am now planning to explore the dampers at the other ends of the cables of this 13 year old car. I have had many plastic components degrade, and the failure of a damper is consistent with the descriptions others have offered.

If anyone has photos of their expedition into the underdash world of the 2001 Passat, I would appreciate seeing them. I am going to be working in -10C outside, so any foresight would certainly help to save the fingers some frostbite. Thanks.
 
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