VW Golf/Jetta Vent Removal and Lighted Vent Wiring by VW Vortex’s London Dub
Lighted Vent Part Numbers for early MKIV Jettas (VW Retail as of 2005):
Left Vent - 1J1-819-703-E-2AQ - $103.22
Middle Vent - 1J0-819-728-D-2AQ - $223.53
Right Vent - 1J1-819-704-D-2AQ - $87.18
First off, I have to give props to jkrew for originally posting his DIY on this install (NLA). Also thanks to lag for helping me procure these vents.
Some have modified their existing vents with LEDs for the same results, the vent markings are translucent and the holes are there for LEDs- you just have to source 12v LEDs that will work or determine the resistor value to wire with the LEDs so that they can handle 12v.
STEP 1 – Remove original vents
If you are removing Golf vents - keep reading, if you are removing Jetta vents, skip to the individual vents section.
Most people know how to remove the vents, but there are a few tricks to help you.
First off, all 4 vents (the parts that move and control air flow) all come out by pushing the side with the horizontal wheel. You might need help of a screwdriver. Take out all of these first.
Arrows show which side to push from.
STEP 2 - Individual Vents
Drivers side (Golf/Jetta):
1. While in the off position, push the switch in while turning ‘on’ the switch will move to a position in between ‘on’ and ‘off’ you may hear a click sound.
2. Pull switch out, unhook harness.
3. You should now see two torque screws. Remove these (you can chuck ‘em, you won’t need ‘em anymore)
Here is a shot of their locations (I've taken them out by now)
4. Pull the vent out, and pop off the harness to the dimmer switch, yank out dimmer switch (through the front) and set aside with light switch.
Passenger side (Golf/Jetta):
1 There are no screws, you just need to yank it out. You might need to really reef on it – but if you’re like me – I didn’t really want to keep my old vents to I just gave ‘er. A putty knife can help here.
***If you are installing lighted vents***
2. There is a little rectangle of thin plastic that you will see once the vent is out. – left hand side.
Take a flat screwdriver and press it against the rectangle, give the screwdriver a quick forceful shove and the plastic will break leaving you with a nice rectangular hole. This is where you need to run your wires for the vent.
3. While you’re here, remove the panel on the right hand side of the dash, it sits flush against the door when closed. Pull it evenly away from the dash towards the opened door a lot (you should hear clicking as the metal clips disengage, then back towards the rear of the car. This piece is hard to move and you’ll most likely rip some of the clips off of their pins once it is loose, but I didn’t break anything on mine
1. Remove two torque screws in upper corners of vents (you Jetta guys don't need to do this part, follow steps 2-4).
2. Carefully remove all of the buttons by prying behind them with a little screwdriver. The hazard switch and rear defrost will be mighty hard to get off. Undo the wiring harnesses for the witches, and store the switches in a safe place.
3. If you can’t get a switch out, you should be able to get the whole vent out and remove them from the rear. The top of the center vent should come out towards you a little bit, then the bottom should release itself from their clips. Again - a putty knife can help get under the edge and help the vent out - be careful not to damage the soft touch coating, patience is key.
4. Once out, you should be able to pull the vents out just enough to undo the harness for any stubborn switch, and then get the switch out. The problem with the above mentioned switches is they are held in with metal springs that are very tough to get out.
STEP 3 - Wiring (If lighted), Skip to step 4 if not installing lighted vents.
The wiring can be done many ways, all you need to know is that the blue/grey wire is the power and the brown is the ground. Each switch in has these two wires leading into it. All you need to do is connect the blue/grey and brown wires from the wires coming off the vents, to matching wires in the existing wiring. I used 20 gauge speaker wire since it is easy to control and would stay together while I fed the wires behind the dash. I crimped and soldered my connections, but you could use tap ins if you wanted to.
Wiring the passenger side:
1. Crimp about 4’ of wire to the power and ground of the wires on the vents. I used the copper wire as my ground and silver as power – just to make sure I didn’t mess it up (that way, copper always went to brown and silver went to blue/grey).
2. Feed this wire through the rectangular hole and behind the airbag to the center vent hole.
3. Slide the vent into the hole, and pull all of the wire through. Don’t push the vent all the way in though – just in case you need to yank it back out.
4. Leave wire there while you work on the driver’s side.
Wiring the driver’s side:
You can do this multiple ways. One way is to tap into the power and ground wires (Blue/grey and brown) of the dimmer switch, and then just run the wires behind the light switch to the wires coming off the drivers vent. Use tap in connectors or soldering. You might not even need to extend the wires from the vent if done this way. I did a slightly more complicated install.
1. Run a wire from the drivers vent hole behind the steering wheel to the center vent hole. This is tricky, since I didn’t want to remove the paneling on the driver’s side as I did with the passenger side. However, the speaker wire I had was a little stiff, and I was able to (with the help of my mechanic father) to feed the wires behind the wheel between the two vents.
2. Connect the power and ground wire from the vent wires to the speaker wire, cram everything back in lightly (again not too tight incase I had to remove it)
Wiring the center Vents (and everything else together)
The main reason I didn’t want to simply tap into the wires on the driver’s side was because I wanted only ONE connection to the stock illumination system. What I did was locate the power wire and the ground wire that went into the rear defrost button. I removed the wires out of the harness by pushing the entire connection piece back through the harness. I was left with this:
Then I wrapped a little piece of my speaker wire to each of the wires as shown here, again with copper to brown, silver to blue/grey, and soldered them there, wrapped them in electrical tape, and reinserted the prongs of the wires to the harness
Next I gathered all of the power wires from the drivers, passenger and center vents and crimped them to the power wire I had just made off the switch. I did the same with all of the ground wires from the vents and the ground wire off the switch. I was left with this:
Then I just had to cram everything back in.
STEP 4 - Cramming everything in.
This is rather self explanatory, however, please test the vents if you’re got the lighted ones to make sure they are all on, and they respond to the dimmer switch too. It s a little hard to get the center switches back in but with them strategic placement you’ll be fine.
Here are some pics of mine after installation:
And at night: