Are you a do-it-yourself type of person that likes to fix your vehicle problems at home? Maybe you just want to know what’s going on with your van before going to a mechanic.

Understanding even a little about your van can save you potentially thousands of dollars in van repair costs. Knowing preventative maintenance measures keeps your van running smoothly for longer.

Whether you’re looking at buying a van and want to know what you’re getting into or you’re looking to fix an ongoing issue, we’re here to help you figure it out. Keep reading to learn more about your van!

Oil Leaks

Oil leaks are fairly common with vans, especially sprinter vans. They’re also known as oil cooler leaks.

This is usually fixed by replacing the oil cooler gasket. Don’t let this issue go on because the oil leaks onto the cooler seals, which is a more costly fix.

Bad Breaks

Brake pads and brake lines need repairing or replacing on all vehicles from time to time. They’re one of the most important van parts.

You’ll know that your vehicle brakes have a problem with the sounds and rumblings that occur. Some signs it’s time to have your brakes looked at are…

  • Screeching
  • Grinding
  • Squealing
  • Rubbing
  • Taking longer to stop
  • Vibration when stopping

The repair could be as easy as purchasing new brake pads. In worse cases, you might need new brake lines.

Dead Battery

A dead battery happens to the best of us. It’s an incredibly common vehicle problem.

If you accidentally left an interior light or your headlights on, you’ll probably come out to find a dead battery. There are other cases that are no one’s fault, like lowering temperatures.

As long as your battery is still good, this problem is easily fixable. All you need is a pair of jumper cables and another car battery.

If your van still doesn’t start, you’ll need to replace the battery. Most repair shops check your battery for you. There are several reasons your van won’t start, but this is a popular one.

Cam Belt Failure

Cam belt, or timing belt, failure when ignored leads to serious problems. It damages the engine by bending valves and harming the cylinder head.

This issue also damages the pistons and cylinder walls. That’s why it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation for a replacement schedule.

Usually, these are replaced every 50,000 to 80,000 miles. If you’re looking at used vans for sale, notice the mileage and check the timing belt if over 50,000 miles.

Fuel Pump Problems

The fuel pump sends fuel into the engine. When it fails, you’ll experience…

  • Van not starting
  • Sputtering engine
  • Van jerking (at higher speeds)
  • Power loss at acceleration

Once the van exhibits those signs, it’s time to repair or replace the fuel pump. A key way to keep your fuel pump in good condition is by replacing your fuel filter.

The filter keeps the sediment from getting into the fuel pump. The sediment blocks the fuel pump and causes wear and tear.

Poor Alignment

If you’re noticing your van swerving, your alignment could be off. This happens as easily as driving over a bump too fast.

Check this by letting the steering wheel go for just a moment while driving in a safe area. If it’s pulling in one direction, it’s time to get your wheels aligned.

Poor wheel alignment causes tire wear and bad fuel economy. Squealing tires is another sign that your alignment is off. 

Broken Flex Pipe

An issue that quickly leads to engine shutdown in vans is a broken flex pipe. When this breaks down, hot exhaust leaks and melts the flex pipe wires.

This exhaust may also melt DEF nozzles and lines. The simple fix is to replace the broken flex pipe.

This happens most frequently on sprinter vans. If you’re experiencing engine trouble on a Sprinter van, make sure to check the flex pipe.

Faulty Fuel Injector

Fuel injectors need to be changed every 25,000 miles to keep them from being blocked. Vans require this even more often, especially diesel vans.

Fuel injectors deliver the appropriate amount of fuel to the engine. A dirty one delivers the wrong amount and causes combustion problems.

A warning light, such as the check engine light, might come on when the fuel injector stops working. But, unless you know what you’re looking for, it’s hard to know why the warning light is on.

Make sure to find someone who really knows what they’re doing to fix this issue.

Water Intrusion

A frequent problem for RV owners is water intrusion or water leakage. When the RV exterior takes damage, it leaves an opportunity for water to enter.

Water seeps through the smallest cracks and holes and causes a lot of damage. Before traveling, conduct a thorough examination of the RV’s interior and exterior.

Pay special attention to doors and windows. These are common areas for water intrusion.

Final Common Van Repair Problems

There are many sounds and rumblings your van makes when things aren’t working correctly. Get familiar with these.

That way you’ll know when to get parts fixed before they start affecting larger, more expensive ones. Putting off van repair is a costly error.

It’s best to know what to expect when you go to buy a van. With a quality van, you shouldn’t have any problems for many years.

When something does go wrong, you’ll know the most common places to start looking. For more information like this, continue reading blogs in our travel section!

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