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Volkswagen Eurovan DIY Tips

ClairesClaires Chicago areaPosts: 1,222
This is the place to share tips for performing your own maintenance and repairs on your Eurovan.


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  • I had some strange electrical symptoms: the brake light in the instrument cluster stayed on even though the parking brake had been released. Along with this the headlights would not come on and the climate control system didn't work. Thanks to this message board someone had a trick posted: try to turn the ignition key to the start position after the car is already started. This worked for a while. Eventually I had to hold the key and apply a clockwise torque to it to keep the symptom from reappearing. This wasn't going to work so I called the guy at EuroParts in San Diego and he said the ignition switch is a high failure item and that they were less then $10! Being a doit yourselfer and a former electronics tech and now engineer I figured, no problem, change the ignition switch. Ha! It was very challenging. There is a phillips screw that holds the switch in. With virtually no access for tools. Without going into all the contortionistic and extension tools attempts I made to remove this screw I finally got it out by heating a small (#1) phillips screw driver shaft red hot with my propane torch and then bent the tip of the screwdriver to just the right angle to get around behind the shy screw. turning the screw no more than 90 degrees at a time I got it out. Replacement of the screw involves creative use of chewing gum. The operation was successful, my electrical problem is solved!
    This forum is great!
  • Sounds like your the man for ideas on the Eurovan...I have a 03 GLS, just changed out my front brake pads and rotors, I bought official VW parts, did the work myself, problem is the idiot light warning me of front brake pads worn did not go out after the change. Just wondering if you had any ideas before I take it back to the dealer to get "robbed"...
  • Actually I do have an idea for you. The warning light for the brake pads is triggered by a wire that runs through all four brake pads. If that wire is broken any where, or disconncted any where along its long route through the car the light will stay on. The sensor works when the pads wear out they open the circuit.
  • So what its looking like than, since I have already changed all four front pads, is that I have a broken wire somewhere from where it connects by the calipers to the computer?? Wow it looks like I will be going to the dealer to get hosed. Thanks for the speedy reply...
  • cquigleycquigley Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Eurovan GLS. I had the same problem with the brake light. It's been on now for about two years. Even the dealer told us they couldn't get it to go off. It must be a wire, like someone else said. I guess we'll eventually look for it and see if we can fix it.
  • Two Years!!! I can't handle that damn warning light and tone everytime I start the van, enough is enough. I am taking the van to the dealer next week since it still is under warranty, even though I changed the brakes myself, they said they will look at the light and try to fix it. My bet is they are going to tell me its faulty wiring and for some reason or not I will have to pay for something. Other than this brake issue everything else about my 03 van has been great. I will let you know next week what the dealer found out...until then.....
  • Just an update for anyone who listens. As for my brake warning light that wont extinquish even after changing the front brake pads, which by the way is what the owners manual says it is, when warning light comes on, it indicates FRONT brake pads are worn. Well I just got back from the dealer, and he tells me that the back pads are worn too!!! I say "so what", that doesn't explain why my warning light is still on. They tell me that the back pads have the same warning wiring imbeded in the pads, so when the pads wear to that limit, they ground out too, just like the front. So take warning Eurovan owners, the manual is not CORRECT!!! Looks like I will be changing my back pads this weekend.....
  • uj53uj53 Posts: 4
    Just how good are these VR6 motors? I have read a lot of good reports on these motors. Any info appreciated Hopefully, uj
  • uj53uj53 Posts: 4
    At 65000 miles it appears I still have the original shocks I understand Bilsein is the best But they are very pricey. Is there a good shock out there at a decent price?
    hopefully uj
  • salbrusalbru Posts: 1
    Hi. I have a 2002 Eurovan Weekender MV in Seattle. I've never driven the van in snow and wonder if anyone can share their experiences with snow driving in a reselling the vehicle and have had prospective buyers ask about what to expect in snow. Insights, please?
  • Hi, well you probably sold your Van already. But, it's a great vehicle on snow. I was driving my weekender with all season and with winter tires. There is no problem at all. Great traction and handling. The advantage is a heavy 6 cylinder engine in the front, on a FWD vehicle.
  • There are not that many options, check out
    Download the Eurovan parts list and search for the "Shock Absorber Guide" at the end of the parts list.
  • I'm having the same issue with my 2002 Eurovan weekender. Started with brake light on at all times even with parking brake off also my AC went out. I took it in to dealer they first said it a relay switch waited 2 days for part and $200 later, now they say it's not that its ignition switch and for parts and labor it will be $460. Can you Please tell me where this switch is located on my van and did you have a manual or is there anywhere I can veiw it. I would very much appreciate it!
    Thanks you
  • I am unable to down shift into a lower gear using the shifter on our automatic transmission. It will only go into drive, park and reverse. This is a 2002 VW Eurovan Weekender with 32k miles on it. Any ideas?
  • I feel very comfortable driving in snow with my Eurovan, but up on Mt Hood, by Poertland, OR traction devices are required and they will stop you. Does anyone know of a traction device for the eurovan?
  • The locks on my 2002 Eurovan have gone spastic. It automatically locks and unlocks repeatedly, finally stopping in the locked position. Mechanics cannot get the passenger side door unlocked to open it so they can't get the panel off. We can manage to hold the lock up long enough to get in and out of the driver's side. This happened years ago on our 1990 Vanagon, but I don't know how the dealer fixed it. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to approach fixing this?
  • Could anyone give me tech details on removing the ignition key lock cyliner on my 95 Eurovan? Do I need to drill a hole to release the old one? If so, where exactly does the hole need to be drilled and what size drill bit should I use? Thanks.
  • Well, maybe you have solved this problem by now.
    I'm assuming you're pushing the button to down shift, the eurovan transmission actually locks the shifter when pushing the button to down shift. So don't, and just shift down. Why it is different than other manufacturers transmissions, I don't know.
  • fbrawsr0fbrawsr0 Posts: 16
    I have a 2003 Eurovan, that needs a new ignition switch, what are the websites where I can find instructions for DIY on how to replace the switch.
  • I made you a quick instruction sheet.

  • fbrawsr0fbrawsr0 Posts: 16
    I could not open the document. Please try again,
  • tryondantryondan Posts: 2
    Thanks so much. Can't wait to try it.
  • fbrawsr0fbrawsr0 Posts: 16
    A great big thanks to weekender3 for the instructions, I followed your directions but chickened out at the last minute, I got scared after seeing the wires I would have to pull out to get to the switch. Instead took it to Sunset Motors (VW) in Sunset Beach on PCH in CA close by. Hector the owner, did a good job and am pleased with the service, unlike others he took on the job and was all done within 5 hours promptly and he knew what to do, cost me $200.
  • Oh boy, 200 bucks!
    There is only the plug to disconnect for the switch, thats all.
    It took me 30 minutes to do it, and I'm not a mechanic.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Would you mind posting this as a guide on CarSpace? I think it would be very helpful to many and easier to find when doing a search.

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  • didachedidache Posts: 1
    Hello. My 2001 Eurovan (70k) will not always go into reverse. There is no grinding, it simply does not engage. After pressing the accelerator repeatedly (revving), it will kind of "jump" into reverse suddenly. At first I believed this happened primarily when the vehicle was cold (sitting over night); but now it is happening most of the time. I've read that the 2000-2003 Eurovans have had transmission probs. Anyone have any thoughts as to some simple things to check first before making the decision to spend big $$?
  • Okay, I posted it in the guide section.
  • robhaharobhaha Posts: 2
    My 2002 had a slow shift problem at 35k. VW replaced it after trying everything else first. It was a 5k job but done under warranty. It went out again at 105k and this time there was only an aftermarket warranty that had a lifetime limit almost met. VW said they don't repair, only replace for 6k. AAMCO did a rebuild for 4300 but I think they broke the clock spring by letting the steering column spin around freely while the rack and pinion was down. I can't prove it. You could get a used car warranty easily with those miles and then in a month or two, make a claim. Good Luck. Rob
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