Volkswagen Vanagon Review from Finland

1990 Volkswagen Vanagon C 1.6 turbo diesel

Model year1990
Year of manufacture1990
First year of ownership1994
Most recent year of ownership2005
Engine and transmission 1.6 turbo diesel Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 9 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.0 / 10
Distance when acquired230000 kilometres
Most recent distance553000 kilometres
Previous carVolkswagen Type II

Summary:

Old faithful

Faults:

When I bought the bus it consumed a lot of oil. After one year it did not pass the technical inspection -too much unburnt oil in the exhaust gases. Once the engine was opened it was found out that the engine had been overheated.

Piston rings were soft. Re-boring, head job and new pistons needed.

I change the timing belt with the tensioner quite frequently.

The rear heater core leaks easily. I have replaced the core twice -with OEM quality.

Water pump started to leak next year after the engine rebuild. Changed to original VW with cast impeller.

The starter I have rebuilt once and the brushes have been changed one more time.

The alternator slide rings came to end so I changed the bearings and voltage regulator as well.

Three years ago it seemed the cylinder head was cracked. The head was changed to an OEM head with new exhaust valves, the inlet valves still had some life so they were used one more time.

The steering rack I changed to a newer from dismantler. After a year it was worn out again. This time I dismantled the rack and put in new lubricant and adjusted the unadjustable play. Has worked fine ever since.

The light switch started to smoke one day. At first I got a wrong replacement. There are small changes from year to year so be careful at spare parts counter.

The glow plug relay has been changed once.

The glow plugs installed at the rebuild did not last too long. First I repalced only one, but the same winter I changed them all.

Now the biggest problem is the corrosion on the body seams. Sanding and paint does not seem to be enough. Next year I have to get the seams sandblasted and welded.

The injection pump has now started to hunt at idle. Most probably the governor linkage is also worn out.

The ventilation fan has given up recently. It is quite difficult to change.

The outside mirrors were stuck. When I tried to adjust them by force the center bolt broke down. I repaired them by drilling new bolt holes through the whole joint.

General Comments:

The visibility is good. I like the view over the cars.

The lights could be better. I've planned to install relays to help the voltage drop.

The bus is roomy and handles well.

It counts to ask spares prices at the VW dealers. Sometimes they are reasonable.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd November, 2005

13th Apr 2006, 11:07

I did not see how many miles were on the vehicle when replacements were made.

Benheldens@cs.com.

Average review marks: 8.0 / 10, based on 1 review