Saturday, 21 May 2011


After many years of battling with the confusing instructions in service & maintenance manuals purchased from my local motor factor, it seems that these days the internet is the best place to find out how to fix your car.

I've been helped out numerous times trawling though various car repair forums so I thought it was time to 'share the wealth'.

At the moment I have a 1.9 TDi Passat Estate, which at 6 years old is a prime candidate for things going wrong. The latest is a leaky radiator, so I thought I'd document the progress in the hope that it would help someone else with the same problem.

Here goes...

Friday, 20 May 2011

1.9TDi VW Passat Radiator Replacement

Before removing the old radiator, obtain a replacement plus a couple of hose retaining clips. These are a dealer only part:

Drive the car onto ramps and remove the front undershield. It's held in place under the car by five quarter-turn fasteners and one nut. Plus four plastic quarter-turn fasteners, two under each wheel arch.

Detach the bonnet release t-bar through the aperture circled in red. Insert a screwdriver in the forked end of the lever to release it from the mechanism. Remove the two fasteners circled in green. Remove the grille by releasing the clip on the top (to the right of the release lever) and the four at the bottom. The bottom clips can be released by pulling the grille forward and reaching down the back.

To remove the bumper, first undo four fasteners from the top.

Then remove the four screws from under each wheel arch. Slide the bumper forward and remove from the vehicle.

Remove the plastic bumper support by removing the five fasteners indicated.

Remove the steel bumper by removing the nut and three fasteners on each side.

Remove the two fasteners indicated in red and move the pipework away from the condensor. Undo the two fasteners indicated in yellow and remove the two side shields.

Unclip the electrical connector circled in purple. Remove the four fasteners circled in green.

Lift away the condensor and support temporarily. The radiator can now be drained if necessary using the tap on the bottom right hand side (as viewed). Remove the two plastic retainers (arrowed) from the top of the radiator.

Remove the retaining clips from the upper...

...and lower hoses using a screwdriver. The lower hose is best accessed from under the car. Pull the hoses off the radiator - this can take some effort.

The radiator can now be removed. If an aftermarket universal-type radiator is being fitted, remove the bosses indicated using a hacksaw. Remember to transfer the rubber mountings across from the old radiator before disposing of it.

Refitting is the reverse of removal.