loud, vibrating heat pump

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.


Nov 12, 2017
I love my e-golf, but in the cold weather, the heat pump makes loud noise, sometimes I can feel vibration through steering wheel. Is this normal? If I turn off climate control, the noise and vibration goes away. It is not constant, it seems to come on and off periodically. I set heat to 25C, and outside temperature is -2C
Try heating your seats instead. Saves a lot more of your battery than trying to heat up the air around you. Also try dressing for cold weather inside your car, heating up the air only against your skin.

Many have complained that the heat pump is noisy. It might be a VW "feature", to encourage you to turn it off and spare the battery. Electricity for heat is a poor idea.
I have a 2015 e-Golf SEL. I hear a bit of noise from the heat pump when I first start the car but as the interior warms up, I don't notice it as much. Maybe I keep the radio louder than you do? The car is so quiet due to the electric drive train that I hear noises I wouldn't normally hear with a fossil fuel car, if I keep the radio off.

I love that the car interior warms up so fast - this is thanks to heat pump. Since the heat pump doesn't need to create any new heat by burning something (it just grabs heat from the outside air and passes that thermal energy to the interior air), it works so much faster than my wife's gas guzzler.The heat pump is such a great technology and it is so efficient compared to electric resistance heating.
I also noticed, the loud vibrating noise only happens in normal driving mode. It doesn't happen in scheduled preconditioning, even though I set to the same temperature 25C
Maybe it is feature to help TDI owners transition to electric without going completely cold-turkey on vibration and clatter?
The noise and vibration went away after I cleaned the snow and ice buildup under the windshield wipers - the trough between at the bottom of windshield. I opened the hood, it appears the cabin air intake is there, also the washer nozzles are there. Maybe, the car is trying really hard to melt the thick layer of ice there, causing vibration?
I clear the snow and ice there for the past week, even the temperature dips below -25C, no loud sound or vibration observed.
The noise came back. I took to the dealer, they said it was because refrigerant was low. It turns out it uses refrigerant to cool the heat pump when it works hard. When refrigerant is low, the fan has to work harder to cool it. So they topped up the refrigerant and the noise level is more normal now.
This kind of stuff worries me that a simple refrigerant top up requires egolf specialist even at dealer. When it comes off warranty, where do I go to get simple things like this fixed?