Temperatures in Greece have dropped that last couple of weeks and this highlighted an issue with the car, no directional control of the air from the heaters and even bigger than that, no heat! In short, we had an Octavia heater problem with the VRS project.
First port of call was Google and YouTube. Has anyone else experienced the same problem?
Turns out that everyone with the VW Golf MK4 platform has experienced the same problem.
The blend doors in the heater box were fitted with foam from the factory.
And to absolutely no one’s surprise, excluding perhaps the person that “designed” the “system”, this foam disintegrates over time leaving big holes in the doors meaning the directional and temperature controls became completely useless.
The solution to the problem is too fill in the holes in the blend doors.
Sounds easy, but how is that done? And what is used to repair the blend doors?
At the start of this mission I was hoping that I could get away with not having to disassemble almost the entire interior of the Octavia. I was hoping in vain.
The Process – Octavia Heater Problem
The process to getting access to the blend doors in a MK1 Octavia (for me) is as follows.
Remove the rear setion of the centre console. Remove the ashtry and there are two screws underneth. Remove them and the console will pull away from the front section. (If you have an armrest, remove that first)
Remove the handbrake.
There is frame secured with three nuts. This is the mount for the armrest. Keep track of which bolts go where.
Then remove the handbrake. Again secured with three nuts, remember where they go. Two of the nuts are obvious, the other is up under the rear part of the centre console.
If you don’t like the idea of removing the handbrake, removing the two front seats could be an alternative course of action.
Remove the glovebox. Three screws along top, two screens at bottom.
Remove trim above the pedals. Remove trim on end of dash. Remove trim under steering wheel
Remove centre fascia trim. Remove radio
Remove screws around stereo that secure centre console to dash
Remove ashtray. Remove gear stick surround and gaiter. Disconnect heater control panel.
Centre console should now be free to move back and you should have access to the cover of the heater box.
Heater box cover has two screws either side, about halfway down. Remove them. The heater box has a plastic tab on top which needs to be lifted up. There is a hinged tab at the bottom of the cover.
The cover may need some persuasion to be released.
With the cover removed you will be able to see the blend doors. One at the front and one at the back with a 30-degree bend in it. Cover the holes. There are kits available on eBay which use rubber plugs. This is probably the most desirable solution. Alternatively, AC/HVAC outdoor sealing tape can be used. Make sure temp ratings are above 100C and goes down to negative numbers. And make sure it is rated for outdoor use. The tape I used had a separate backing on the tape that had to be peeled off. The glue was very strong.
Test the directional and heat settings, make sure the doors are working normally. If so, after sealing the holes your Octavia heater problem should be fixed!
If you need to, you could take the opportunity to check out your shift linkage for play. Replace bushes if you need. Check DieselGeek for more inform on gear selection linkages.
Re assemble. The reverse of disassembly. Hardest part will probably be the heater cover.