Sunday, September 25, 2016

How bad is my van? Let me count the ways

I want to start out by saying, this post is not to try to get sympathy or some grand "Go Fund Me" campaign or anything else. I am the type of person who likes to vent and I'd like to vent about this. We have been dealing with this van for over 3 years in its current condition and we expect to do so for several more years.

We have a 12-passenger 2003 GMC Savana (6.0l V8) and it's in sad shape. It has been since we bought it in 2006, pretty much. These are all the current problems with the van:
  • Stalling problem that we have diagnosed for 3 years now. At random times, the van decides it doesn't want to drive very well so it sputters and stalls if you don't drive two-footed to keep the vehicle alive.  You name something to fix it, we have tried it and it didn't work.
  • passenger front window drive is bad/crooked. It slides down and creates a whistle. We need to stop, get out, and use two hands and a second person to push it back up. a day later is has slid down again.
  • Driver's front window gets "tired" if we put the window down, we can't put it back up for several minutes because the motor won't "go".
  • Both visors are broken the passenger visor is not even there.
  • Front passenger seat belt broken where you have to reach WAY down to get the clip to clip it in.
  • CD player broken, tape cassette (who uses those?) busted
  • ABS Break sensor is bad so they kick in every time you break; pulled the fuse
  • missing all cup-holders in the back of the van
  • Back seat belts won't "pull" after the car is moving so if the kids "forget" to put their seatbelts on, we have to stop on the side of the road so they can buckle in.
  • Back panel-left panel on the rear door is completely off and we can't find clips that fit to put it back on.
  • Rear speaker on back door hanging on by a rivet.
  • There is this cover across the top rear of the van, it is falling off, it hangs and bounces which causes me to look in my rear view mirror because I think someone is about to hit us. It also squeaks when it bounces.
  • Passenger swing-out doors: Left one has a broken hinge so it has to be "fit" into place in order for the right door to fully close
  • Seal broken on the passenger swing-out doors so when we go through a car wash it rains inside.
  • All back seats stained to the point of always looking nasty
  • All rear windows are glued shut because all the clips that latch them shut are broken.
  • When filling up the van, we have to hold the gas pump hose at a certain angle so the fuel will slide down the tube into the tank easily and not back up and shut off the pump. many times we have to do that without locking the pump to fill which makes pumping 30 gallons very tiresome.
  • When we park on a hill facing down with a full tank we smell gas outside the van as if it's leaking out from the top of the tank.
  • Myriad of scratches and dents on the outside.
  • The back-left door latch comes off and causes us not to be able to open it until I set it again.
  • The hinge is broken on the right passenger swing-out door and so if it opens all the way, the front passenger cannot open their door.

Now for all the things we have done to fix the van:

  • Replaced all tubes leading from the front to the back so the rear could have air and heat.
  • replaced Water pump, twice
  • replaced Both O2 sensors
  • replaced Spark plugs & Wires (Wires twice)
  • replaced Two coil packs on the van
  • replaced Fan clutch
  • purchased new both driver's side and passenger side handles so we could grip something when opening and closing the doors.
  • replaced Idle Air Control Valve, twice
  • replaced Starter
  • replaced tube leading from gas port to the gas tank due to corruption
  • replaced fan speed thing that controls the speed of the air/heat.
  • Replaced the Pitman Arm and some other arm.
  • Replaced all 8 fuel injectors.
  • Front Passenger bearing went bad, replaced
  • Debugging Cylinder 8 misfire, replaced spark plug in there and wire. Probably the injector is the issue.
I am pretty sure that is all.  One may say, "Why not get a new van?!" Well, we don't have a car payment right now and we can't afford one, there is no room in the budget. So, we trudge along with our big grey van.

UPDATE: New Items that are going wrong with the van since this was originally posted:

  • The van now stalls out continuously. Driving two-footed is a regular thing now. 
  • There is a Cylinder 8 misfire that is most-likely the new fuel injector I put in since I have checked all other components of that failure.  
  • We clamped shut the passenger window, we don't use the driver's window at all lest it has to remain open all the time.
  • The cover across the rear of the van finally fell off. It's in my garage. 
  • The rear door is now doing a similar thing as the side doors. The left side won't close all the way.  
  • We also have bad seals on the side doors and on the driver's door so when we go through a car wash, it rains inside the van.