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Volkswagen Vanagon Parts and Volkswagen Vanagon Accessories

Eight Great Facts about the Volkswagen Vanagon

  • Talk about an identity crisis! The Volkswagen Vanagon is known by many different names. In Europe, it's the Transporter or Caravelle while in South Africa, it's the Microbus. It's only in the Americas that it's known as the Vanagon-which is doubtlessly the most confusing of all the names on the list.

  • Like most Volkswagens, the Volkswagen Vanagon was made primarily in its home country, Germany. It has the special distinction of being the very last of the Volkswagens to have its engine in the rear-as opposed to the far more common and more modern front engine equipped vehicles today.

  • The Westfalia camper variant converted the Volkswagen Vanagon into a veritable "home away from home". This variant featured a pop-up roof for better ventilation and several amenities like a refrigerator, a sink, and a stove. These became very popular with families in the 80s-who would bring their Vanagons on long camping trips in the American interior.

  • Everyone who's anyone knows Tom Selleck and Magnum P.I., and fans of the series will note that the Volkswagen Vanagon featured prominently in the show for its entire eight-year run. More recently, the Vanagon has also appeared in the movie adaptation of Dan Brown's hit Angels and Demons, as well as in the cartoon hit Ben 10: Alien Force.

  • Not content with being a camper and-in Europe-a bus, the Volkswagen Vanagon has also served in the US Army and Air Force in the 1980s! It was used for administrative duties and was classed as a "Light Truck-Commercial."

  • Porsche custom-made a limited edition Volkswagen Vanagon loaded with a powerful 3.2-liter Carrera engine. This was specifically support its Porsche 959 in the Paris-Dakar race!

  • The US version of the Volkswagen Vanagon was-surprisingly enough-the most tame! While it featured vinyl seats, it also was very sparse and "empty" on the inside. Ostensibly, this was done to account for the greater amount of customizations that the company expected Americans to get into.

  • There is actually a song written about the Volkwagen Vanagon titled-aptly enough-The Vanagon Song. It's a very explicit piece tied to a songwriter named Mica. It does contain the line: "Mothers, don't let your sons drive Vanagons." It then proceeds to explicitly promote the advantages of having one, and how much one misses out if they don't own one.

Volkswagen Vanagon Articles

  • The Two Most Common Complaints with the Volkswagen Vanagon 26 February 2013

    With a great deal of versatility and all of the reliability of anything made by Germany, the Volkswagen Vanagon is quite a legend among collectors. It's pretty understandable then, that the line has continued well into the new century. All in all, it's very difficult to spot any problems with the Vanagon. No matter where it is used all over the world, people remark about how very efficient it is and how not prone it is to breaking down. Still, no ride is ever truly perfect, and after much effort, we managed to find at least two problems that might plague you if you own a vanagon.


    Cooling fan problems

    It is a Volkswagen Vanagon from the very last year of its production run-2002-that manifests this particular set of difficulties. In the best cases, it simply breaks down and leads to a bit of inconvenient overheating. At the very worst of cases-which was actually kind of rare-the radiator fan would completely disintegrate and tear off a chunk of the radiator as it did. It might be rare, but it's a serious-and expensive problem-to deal with nonetheless.

    No recall orders were issued for this particular problem, and it remains fairly rare. If you encounter it, it might be a good idea to bring the van back to the dealer. If you opt to have repairs or replacements done, be warned that it is very, very costly.


    Overheating engine

    Though related to the above-mentioned problem, this is actually unique to an earlier release of the Volkswagen Vanagon-1998, to be exact. It never reached the same levels of sheer seriousness as the 2002 problem would evolve to be, but did affect a far greater number of owners. In nearly all cases, the affected engine was the original Audi 5-piston, 4-gear engine.

    What proved to be the solution was a replacement of the radiator, radiator cap, and the water pump. Upon doing all of that, a greater majority of users reported that the problem went away completely. If your 1998 Vanagon is covered by the recall, the replacement is done for free. Otherwise, be ready to shell out quite a bit depending on the replacement brand that you get.