Been There, Done That, Vanagon maintenance guide
   Tips and Tricks From the Vanagon Mailing List

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Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Operate, and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems

Batteries in a Portable World: A Handbook on Rechargeable Batteries for Non-Engineers, Third Edition Isidor Buchmann

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Troubleshooting basics

First steps
Year(s):  All

From:  Ken Wilford

Symptom(s):  No Start or quits after starting

Ken Wilford via to vanagon

The first thing you need to look at is what is happening when it
won't start. If it has spark but won't fire then you want to check to
see if your injectors are spraying. If they are working then put your
hand in front of the tail pipe to be sure that the exhaust is getting
out (no clogged cat) when you crank the van over. If all of these
things are working and it still won't start then it is possible that
there is a sender in the FI system that is causing the van to flood
out. Most of the time if this is the case with your van, it is the Temp
II sensor on the thermostat housing. You can test for this by
unplugging it and then using a paper clip to jumper the two prongs in
the plug to each other. Now try to start the van. If it starts right
up then you know that it is the temp II sensor that has gone bad. If it
still won't start, try unplugging the oxygen sensor. The van will run
fine without it plugged in and sometimes they can fail and cause the van
to run super rich (flooded).

If none of these work, I would check your spark plugs for fouling and
proper gap and also your cap and rotor. If you go one thing at a time,
step by step, you will find the problem.

Ground connections
Year(s):  All
Model/Type:  All
Symptom(s):  rough running, erratic idle, gremlins

The best tuneup I ever did was removing every ground lug
on every bit of harness I could get to in the engine compartment I then cleaned
the contact point on the engine or frame with wire brush and 3M cloth and put
on new ground lugs. Then I sprayed both with Bullfrog anti-corrosion contact
cleaner and put them back in place with a new or cleaned screw.

My engine ran completely different after that. It took a decade off of it, and
I gained about 3mpg. Worked great, and was a cheap fixup.

tom ring

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