what is the biggest weakness?

Asked by Feb 02, 2007 at 10:50 AM about the Volkswagen Vanagon

Question type: Shopping & Pricing

My son is looking at possibly buying one of these for a lengthy trip with his girlfriend (he's 22).  It has only 17,000km on a rebuilt engine but the vehicle has 221,000. Auto trans and some camperizing by a private company.  Don't know much else about it's history but it's nice to drive and in good condition. He's quite keen about it even though I've read a lot of dark stories about what can go wrong.  
I'd like to send him off as prepared as possible if he chooses to buy it.  

4 Answers

30,525

Hi Paul, There are a few problems reported with the Vanagon. The Vanagon is water cooled which can result in head gasket leaks. This is the biggest problem you are going to want to look out for because to fix a head gasket leak can be several thousand dollars. Also there have been reported oil pressure problems with the vehicle. I'm going to refer you to a user review on carsurvey.org where the owner of a 1987 Vanagon highlights the problems he has had with his vehicle. Good luck.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Best Answer

Thank you. I actually ended up changing the year after posting the initial subject but I guess it didn't take. It's an 89, though I don't know if that makes any difference. Also, what can we do to prevent such disasters?

I just saw this under the 89s at Carsurvey. "GoWesty recommends replacing the AT/coolant heat exchanger every 10 years to avoid the inevitable breach and mixing of coolant and AT fluid." That sounds like it maybe.

30,525

There wasn't any major changes to the Vanagon so the 89 would most likely have the same reported problems. As far as preventing the problems from occurring I think your best bet is to take the car to a mechanic to have him check over the things listed above. Autozone.com has a good page on how to identify head gasket problems, as well as other problems. Here is the direct link to that page. http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/05/13/c6/0900823d800513c6.jsp here is a link regarding the oil pressure. http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?ForwardPage=/az/cds/en_us/0900823d/80/04/f8/8a/0900823d8004f88a.jsp If you have any more questions at all don't hesitate to write back - Colin

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions

Vanagon

Looking for a Used Vanagon in your area?

CarGurus has 32 nationwide Vanagon listings and the tools to find you a great deal.

ZIP:
Get More Money for Your Car
Be seen by 20 million shoppers. Create Your Free Listing

Search Volkswagen Vanagon Questions

Volkswagen Vanagon Experts

#1 Scott Sr.
Scott Sr.
Reputation 830
#2 Ryan Redenbaugh
Ryan Redenbaugh
Reputation 250
#3 chassy
chassy
Reputation 200
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volkswagen EuroVan
93 listings starting at $4,995
Used Volkswagen Beetle
215 Great Deals out of 8,873 listings starting at $998
Used Volkswagen Routan
38 Great Deals out of 868 listings starting at $3,995
Used Volkswagen R32
4 Great Deals out of 75 listings starting at $7,995
Used Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
7 Great Deals out of 1,841 listings starting at $9,980
Used Volkswagen Jetta
536 Great Deals out of 31,093 listings starting at $1,200
Used Jeep Wrangler
441 Great Deals out of 19,188 listings starting at $2,994
Used Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
18 Great Deals out of 327 listings starting at $3,998
Used Volkswagen Phaeton
31 listings starting at $19,800