Boy, if that's true about VW and Chrysler being the same I'm going to be very depressed. VW is one of the top three manufacturers in the world for being customer-unfriendly as far as the tricks they design into their products to cost owners money after the sale. Chrysler is in the top three of customer-friendly manufacturers.
Volkswagens are well-known for computers locking up from doing the things you're doing on your van. Simply moving the throttle blade by hand under the hood causes a mismatch between the throttle position sensors on the pedal and on the throttle body, and that will do it. On some models the engine will not start. If it does, it won't increase speed above idle no matter what you do with the gas pedal, and it will not come out of park. I've heard a lot of stories about people having to drag those cars skidding off the hoist, onto a flatbed truck for a REAL expensive trip to the dealer to have multiple computers unlocked and to have "minimum throttle" relearned. Simply disconnecting the battery to replace it can result in the same disaster. A lot of do-it-yourselfers are getting caught with the "got'chas" they have designed in.
I have a friend who buys and rebuilds smashed Chrysler products and haven't heard any of these stories from him yet. To us, "German engineering" is nothing to be proud of. It's just different, and sometimes bizarre.
That's not to say you can't have German parts on your van. In particular, Chrysler buys their fuel injectors from Bosch in flow-matched sets and they have WAY fewer problems than almost any other manufacturer. One of my Grand Caravans has a Bosch starter and alternator too, but that's as close as they come to German engineering.
Seems to me I did hear something once about another manufacturer buying Caravans and putting their name on them but I didn't pay much attention. Maybe that's what VW is doing.
Saturday, October 13th, 2012 AT 12:14 AM