Invest in 2nd rebuilt tranny for 2003 Eurovan?

volkswagen
eurovan

#1

Have a 2003 Eurovan with 160,000 miles. Transmission failed 4 years ago, and rebuilt tranny had to be serviced 5 times. Finally could no longer be repaired. Debating whether to buy one of two rebuilt tranmissions available for this model, which was discontinued in 2003. The rebuilt cost 10K and at 160K miles, I am concerned about other expensive repairs on the horizon. Eurovans are known for having bad transmissions.


#2

In no way, shape, or form is a vehicle is an investment.

An investment has the potential of making money.

From what you describe, this vehicle has an inherent design flaw with the transmission.

Run away.

Tester


#3

This is easy, to even consider this much money on a 15 year old discontinued vehicle is foolish. Don’t do it.


#4

… and a 15 year-old vehicle–even if it is in perfect working order–depreciates considerably in value every year. How could anyone consider the repair of a non-classic older car to be an “investment”?
:thinking:


#5

Exactly what I asked my husband. He says he’s the car guy and I don’t know what I am talking about.


#6

He may be a ’ Car Guy . ( doubtful ) but he receives a failing grade in Economics. Stand your ground and replace this vehicle.


#7

If you love it and want to keep it go for it, but find a better price. If you do not love it let it go.


#8

In my mind I can hear that jingle song “Donate your car.”


#9

If you like the van otherwise, then it’s considerably less expensive to install another transmission for $10K than to buy a new van. Presuming this next rebuilt transmission yields 4 more years as the first one did, that’s only $2500 per year to keep your van in your driveway. You will of course be having other repairs in the future, just due to the van’s age and mileage. If you really would rather just prefer to have a van that works and you don’t have to think about it, and that’s an affordable option, best to sell or junk this one, and buy a new one. You’ll likely have fewer transmission troubles if you opt for a manual transmission next time.


#10

That same $10,000 will buy you a 2003 MV Eurovan with about 135,000 miles from a dealer. If you really want a Eurovan, buy a used one and get rid of this one.

IMO, you should buy something newer with under 100,000 miles that will last a while.


#11

Has the control unit for the transmission ever been replaced? From Gowesty.com

The Skinny: The automatic transaxle in your Eurovan is controlled by a separate computer. We know from experience that it is impossible to tell if a transaxle shifting problem or failure is due to a problem in and of itself (the transaxle), or rather due to a faulty control unit. We have experienced situations where a fresh transaxle either doest not work properly upon install, or is ruined in short order by a faulty control unit. You might say, “Why not just down load the fault code from the on-board diagnostic system, and let it tell you what is wrong?" That would be nice, but the reality is that if the control unit is at fault, it may not be able to tell you it is bad. What most VW dealers do these days (to cover their collective asses), is sell you a rebuilt transaxle first. After all, it is not shifting correctly, you know that, so it is an easy sell. Then, when you are all done, you get hit with the need for a control unit after the fact. Psychologically, it is an easier sell since you are already in for a $6000 repair, so “What’s another grand?” At GoWesty, we choose not to operate that way. It is critical that a known good, correct control unit is present before you spend another penny. So, these are the steps you need to take:

  1. It is CRITICAL to get the exact right trans code for the particular vehicle/control and visa/versa.
    • Make sure the transaxle in the vehicle is the correct one for the vehicle, DO NOT assume it is correct.
    • Make sure the control unit in the vehicle is the correct one for the vehicle, DO NOT assume it is correct.
    • Call your local dealer with the vehicle VIN number.
    • The dealer will tell you which control unit and transaxle is correct for that VIN number.

  2. Always try a NEW control unit to correct a transaxle problem BEFORE replacing the transaxle.
    • Prices vary from around $600 to $1200
    • It may not fix the problem, and it is not returnable, but…
    • It plugs in a few minutes and can save you thousands of dollars, and…
    • You should always use a new control unit with freshly rebuilt transaxle, especially on vehicles over 10 years ol because…
    • An incorrect or faulty control unit can cause transaxle performance problems and eventually lead to its demise, and…
    • It is REQUIRED if you want GoWesty to warranty the transaxle for 48 months or 48,000 miles*.


#12

I find it amazing how much money people pour into VW vans, of all vintages, come to think of it

I suppose they’ll always have some kind of a cult following . . . ?!

:confused:


#13

Sellers are asking from $3,000 to 18,000 for these Eurovans, it seems that some people will spend whatever they choose on their hobbies/interests.

The common advise is to sell the old vehicle, buy an inexpensive compact car and do your best to survive but not everyone lives by that creed.


#14

If I had a vehicle which went through not one but TWO transmissions in 160,000 miles, I’d junk it and buy something else. Unless you are grossly abusing your vehicles, an automatic transmission should last for AT LEAST 150,000 miles, and most will go 200,000 miles or more without any difficulty.


#15

There’s no way I’d ever spend $10,000 for this repair on this car.


#16

Spending 10 grand on a transmission for a 15+ years old Eurovan is insanity IMO. Granted, the VW vans have a following but at some point (and this is one of them…) it’s time to throw in the towel.

Ten grand should buy you a nice little Toyota or whatever and sell the Eurovan to some other misguided soul.

Personally, I think that you’re more of a “car guy” than your husband is.


#17

To be perfectly honest, I would not have even done the 1st trans rebuild.


#18

If other owners of old Eurovans are similar to the OP’s husband, then I think that this group qualifies for the label of “cult”.
:thinking:


#19

I wonder if Jim Jones owned a VW van… :wink:


#20

Yeah, that is how they were able to distribute the fatal Kool-Aid to so many of the cult members.
The ones who were saved were lucky that the Eurovan’s transmission failed part-way through its delivery route.
:wink: