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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in So Cal so normally this isn't an issue, but while on Christmas trip to Utah we discovered that the passenger side air temp is much much colder than driver side, regardless if running in "sync" or in manual. Wife was not happy sitting on 6 hours with cold air blowing during the drive with outside temps ranging from -4 to 18 degrees. Seems there is a problem with the system. Car is out of warranty (87k miles on 2012) and I really don't want to take it to dealer. My local mechanic is fantastic but I think it would be helpful if I could stir him in the right direction based on your guys experience with this problem. I've read "blender valve" or a linkage. Where inside the car can I find it or get to it? What codes is used to test the system or is this something he'll know how to do? Thank in advance.

Steve
 

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I live in So Cal so normally this isn't an issue, but while on Christmas trip to Utah we discovered that the passenger side air temp is much much colder than driver side, regardless if running in "sync" or in manual. Wife was not happy sitting on 6 hours with cold air blowing during the drive with outside temps ranging from -4 to 18 degrees. Seems there is a problem with the system. Car is out of warranty (87k miles on 2012) and I really don't want to take it to dealer. My local mechanic is fantastic but I think it would be helpful if I could stir him in the right direction based on your guys experience with this problem. I've read "blender valve" or a linkage. Where inside the car can I find it or get to it? What codes is used to test the system or is this something he'll know how to do? Thank in advance.

Steve
VCDS will tell you exactly which actuator has failed, which is a good thing since most of them are buried pretty deep in the dash.

I had one replaced (under warranty) and I think it was four hours labor.

Edit: without actually looking at the diagram, I don't think the climatronic system has a blender valve -- or if it does, it has more than one.
 

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There is a TSB for this issue:

TT 87-11-03 Date: December 16, 2011
2012-2013 Passat with Dual Zone Climatronic – One Zone
Colder / Warmer Than the Other
February 15, 2013:
Update to applicability and information.
For concerns of one zone with no heat or blowing colder / warmer than the other on vehicles with dual zone Climatronic, first check the linkage between the actuator motor V158 and the left temperature blend door for proper installation, and/or damage. Linkage is number labeled 2 in the picture below. If the linkage is ok, proceed with normal diagnostics such as fault code and refrigerant charge checks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is a TSB for this issue:

TT 87-11-03 Date: December 16, 2011
2012-2013 Passat with Dual Zone Climatronic – One Zone
Colder / Warmer Than the Other
February 15, 2013:
Update to applicability and information.
For concerns of one zone with no heat or blowing colder / warmer than the other on vehicles with dual zone Climatronic, first check the linkage between the actuator motor V158 and the left temperature blend door for proper installation, and/or damage. Linkage is number labeled 2 in the picture below. If the linkage is ok, proceed with normal diagnostics such as fault code and refrigerant charge checks.
Thanks for the response pedorro. Your post references a picture but I see no link to it. That would be super helpful. I'm right over the hill from you in Fillmore..... small world.
 

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Hey Steve,

I copied/pasted the info from another source. I assume it is an excerpt from the actual TSB that someone typed up, and no photo was provided/included.

Good luck with your issue; it seems to be pretty common and quite a few people around the country are experiencing the same problem.

I have the VCDS package if you'd like to scan your car.

Fillmore is a great area...I ride/drive through there all the time!

-Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lee, Thanks for the fast reply. I'll see if my local mechanic is equipped and if not, do you mind if we meet up to scan the car? Another silly issue is the outside temp warning flashes at 39 degrees???? Would like to set that for like 34 degrees.
 

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Lee, Thanks for the fast reply. I'll see if my local mechanic is equipped and if not, do you mind if we meet up to scan the car? Another silly issue is the outside temp warning flashes at 39 degrees???? Would like to set that for like 34 degrees.
It flashes at 39 degrees because the air above the road may be quite a bit warmer than the road itself.

My Passat warns at 39, my Forester warns at 37. It isn't settable on either, as far as I know.

Edit: I'm just across the L.A. County line on Hwy. 2. It's been warmer the last couple of days -- it made all the way to 60 today. If you want to know if the heater works, you don't have to go to Utah.
 

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I have an SE without climatronic and lost the heat on the passenger side too. Wound up being the heater core. $2,200 job. Then the heater box went a week later, another $2k. Not happy having the dash out twice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Took the car to my local mechanic yesterday. I'll let the forum know what he finds. Also asked him to turn off the bulb saver mode and to adjust the headlights up a tad. The lights on this car just aren't what they should be. Upgrade time?
 

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\Also asked him to turn off the bulb saver mode and to adjust the headlights up a tad. The lights on this car just aren't what they should be. Upgrade time?
This thread talks a lot about headlight options (without going to the expense of HIDs).

I didn't turn the bulb-saver off, but I did replace mine with +90 bulbs, and I did switch to the highest setting. I did not change the aim.

I drive in the mountains at night, good headlights are essential.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
According to my local mechanic in the 2012 TDI SEL the car has an "auxiliary passenger side heating element" which appears to him that failed. If I heard him right he said the unit is an electronic unit, which took me back. Anyone have this same issue and what was your fix? My mechanic is a great guy, but he's not a dedicated VW mechanic so anything that I can find out which is concrete I want to pass along to him to assist him.
 

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According to my local mechanic in the 2012 TDI SEL the car has an "auxiliary passenger side heating element" which appears to him that failed. If I heard him right he said the unit is an electronic unit, which took me back. Anyone have this same issue and what was your fix? My mechanic is a great guy, but he's not a dedicated VW mechanic so anything that I can find out which is concrete I want to pass along to him to assist him.
Diesels warm up slow, so they often have an electric heating element to heat the passenger compartment while the engine is warming up.

If your temperature gauge is at 190 degrees, the heating element should be off -- there is waste heat in the cooling system to warm the car.

... and that's what's warming the driver's side.

Note: a lot of this is guesswork because none of us can actually see your car. I know the various mixers and vanes are pretty deeply buried in the dash.

If an actuator is dead, it'll show in VCDS (it did on mine). I'll bet a dead auxiliary heater would also show in VCDS. A problem with linkages (as mentioned in the TSB) probably wouldn't show.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the input. Not sure exactly when it failed but we noticed it over a Christmas trip to Utah. As were leaving SLC the wife said my side of the car is cold and it went downhill from there. The car was warmed up and we drove it for the next 5 hours in really cold weather. So I would think that it's got to be more just the Auxiliary Passenger Heating Element. I wish I had diagrams or the shop manual as that would help be greatly troubleshoot the system.
 

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Thanks for the input. Not sure exactly when it failed but we noticed it over a Christmas trip to Utah. As were leaving SLC the wife said my side of the car is cold and it went downhill from there. The car was warmed up and we drove it for the next 5 hours in really cold weather. So I would think that it's got to be more just the Auxiliary Passenger Heating Element. I wish I had diagrams or the shop manual as that would help be greatly troubleshoot the system.
You can sign up for ElsaWin and get access to the service documentation. There is a cost, and I wish they made the manual available on paper or as a PDF.

The cost for ElsaWin would probably be less than replacing the auxiliary heater and finding out that it's something else.

PartsBase.org will give you some diagrams, for free. You should be able to find the actuators, linkages and auxiliary heater.

The auxiliary heater is really just for the first ten minutes or so of driving.

Edit: "passenger" may mean "person in the right hand seat" or it may mean "passenger compartment" -- looking it up in ElsaWin would answer that.
 

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Steve93015, Did you get this problem resolved? I have a 2013 Passat TDI SEL with the same problem. Hot on the driver side and cooler in the passenger side. We live in the desert and AC is a must, especially for the wife. Our Passat has been in the local dealer for the last 7WEEKS for this issue. They cannot seem to fix it. Thankfully we bought it used with the certified pre owned warranty but this is still a huge hassle.
Thanks for any input you may have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Steve93015, Did you get this problem resolved? I have a 2013 Passat TDI SEL with the same problem. Hot on the driver side and cooler in the passenger side. We live in the desert and AC is a must, especially for the wife. Our Passat has been in the local dealer for the last 7WEEKS for this issue. They cannot seem to fix it. Thankfully we bought it used with the certified pre owned warranty but this is still a huge hassle.
Thanks for any input you may have.
No Jmalibuss, I have not fixed it yet. My AC works normally, it's the heating that is fubar, specifically the heat to the passenger side of the car only. I think the dealer says it's 10 hours of labor plus the heater core cost which I don't think is much. Before I go that route my local mechanic said he'd take a shot at flushing it so we discussed how he'd do it. He said he disconnect the heater hoses and make some extensions and run both into a 5 gallon bucket. He has a pump set up to draw from the bucket which would be used to backflush the heater. He said he'd alternate backflushing then flushing via normal flow route. If that didn't work we can add some CLR and round robin that via the flush system. If that didn't work, well we could use a little air pressure to dislodge any bits and pieces that could be blocking the normal flow path. If that still didn't produce anything then it's time to tear about the dash to get to the heater core. I haven't been in a hurry to do anything with it as you can see.

Having your car at the dealer for 7 weeks is a joke. Have you talked to them, and if so, what did they say?
 

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Yeah 7 weeks is crazy! I was in the performance automotive industry for 15 years. Mostly machining race type engines, and tuning efi. I have a pretty dann good idea of how all modern cars work and operate. Including HVAC. My wife and I bought this car because we wanted to fuel milage and being in the performance industry I would not drive a car that was a total slug. The diesel had enough power / mileage ratio for me. Anyways, the dealer says they cannot fix the vehicle. They have swapped the blend door, blend door actuator, air box, and it still does it. The far right vent will blow cold. I have seen it routinely get down in the 40's F so I know the compressor and evaporator side of things are working, But the far right side is in the high 80's / 90's. And in the desert heat out here that is unacceptable. We bought the car certified pre owned. I have always performed all of our auto service work. I didn't want to have to mess with another car, especially one so tight under the hood and dash. We have opened a ticket through VW north America, but I get the feeling I will be doing the Benny Hill run around with them also.
We love the car. We just need the AC to work properly.
 

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Gents,
I have a 2014 Passat TDI SE 6M and am having similar issues. It has been really cold here the last few days and when I am in max heat in the vent position, warm air come out of the right and left vents, but cool air come out of the middle two vents. In floor mode warm air on the drivers side and cold air on the passenger side. Car is still in warrenty and I am going to take it in this week. I'll update when I know something.
 
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