When I first bought my 1993 Eurovan MV it wasn't running smooth at all. In fact I barely made it to the local VW dealership for service because the motor acted like it was running on only three of five cylinders. It was winter then and it was cold outside, but the rear heater wasn't putting out any heat because the previous owner had disconnected it for some reason (I never asked why). So I asked the VW service manager to give it a tuneup and fix the rear heater. A few days later he called and told me they had it running like a new van, but the rear heater core leaked and could not be repaired. I paid the $450 repair bill, got it home and looked it over thoroughly to see what they did. I was floored when I found out that all I got for my money was 5 brand new VW spark-plugs and a new water-temp sensor, basically about $60 in parts and the rest was all labor charge! I think they must have taken lunch on my dime, too. When I got home I wondered if they even took the time to check out that rear heater core, so I hooked it up myself just to see where it leaked. Guess what, it didn't leak at all and it still works great. That was 4 years ago. I've never gone back to a VW dealership for service since.
I agree with not taking your van to the dealer. My experiences with dealers repair quality has been horrendous. I am a life long VW owner and currently own 3. I only go to dealers when the problem is warranty or recall related. I also recommend you find a reputable independent VW repair facility. Good luck in your pursuit of a reputable mechanic. My 2000 Eurovan has been wonderful. I would buy another without question.
I bought a '93 Eurovan 5 cylinder 5 speed in 2006 with 150,000 miles. These are not easy, simple or inexpensive vehicles to service, but the pop-top is unique and makes it worthwhile.
I do a lot of my own work - bought the Bentley manual (bentleypublishers.com) on CD for $80US. I have had a lot of intermittent computer trouble - the original ECM and a used replacement both seem to have failed. A great source of information is the ev_update group on yahoogroups (http://groups.yahoo.com).
The general consensus amongst owners is to use private specialists, not the dealer network, for service. Some dealers do get good feedback, however.
My 93 has been amazing. I found it for $500 dollars, and knew the person for years and had seen her driving it. I found it in a friend of mine's rental yard in the horseshoe pit, and asked my friend if it was for sale still. I paid her $500 over a year, and took it home and cleaned it. The rear door (hatch) had been left slightly open, and was used as a storage shed in some tall grass. Needless to say it was a huge mouse trap. Well 2 years later I still am driving it daily.
Problems since purchase:
Ignition switch like all VW's
Timing belt. Luckily Non interference as it stripped off about 40 teeth of the belt before dying. Tensioner locked and roasted old (I mean old) belt.
Ran really stupid for about 200 miles. A couple of GM techs had ideas about bad grounds. I found the battery ground to chassis terminal very very loose. Cleaned and tightened, and only other problem since has been worn out tires.
CV joints are noisy, weatherstrips are toast, wiper blades need replacing, and I feel I got my 500 bucks worth as it runs 80 MPH @ 22 MPG still to this day, and I don't even have to fold the fishing poles, and can fit 4X8 sheets of plywood into it easily.
This all sounds like good advice - but how do I find a reputable VW mechanic? I live in San Diego and have just bought a 93 Eurovan.
I have a 1993 Euro van and the spring mechanism on the driver door broke rendering the latch inoperative. I have since purchased an entire new latch mechanism ($95) and would like to install it myself and save some labor costs. Can anyone out their in the Euro van world help me with any tips on how to proceed with this project??? Thank you in advance for whatever help you might provide.
Hey, for the guy that lives in San Diego and it is looking for a good VW expert, cross the border to Tijuana, there is an excellent mechanic that actually is a mechanical engineer and he's been working with VW's since a child, his dad's use to be a VW expert too.
Give him a call and you will see, his name is Alfredo Diaz and he speaks English, TJ Phone: (52-664) 645-1099.
Hope it helps.
A couple good sites for finding a trusty mechanic:
Best of luck :)
We drive a 1993 Eurovan, and I am about ready to throw in the towel. I thought we had replaced just about everything on the van (transmission included), but it appears that we need to fix the heater core. I love the space and hauling capacity. Yes, I love everything except the fact that the van has cost a great deal to maintain. Finally found an excellent repair place (German car specialist), but I find it difficult to have something fairly major go wrong every month or so it seems (284,000 km with a rebuild @ 214,000). The real little devils are plastic parts that can go suddenly (cooling system, linkage). I live on a small island, and a tow to town is $350. Yikes.