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Old 06-23-2018, 10:46 PM   #1
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1995 Rialta overheats quickly when using other gears than D

Hi Vintage RVer,

I wonder if that’s normal or something I should worry about:

I drove recently in drive and stop traffic and I used gear 2 instead of D.

When I drove in the hilly San Francisco Area I used 3 instead of D.

I noticed that in any case where I am not in D the heating meter goes up into the last quarter area toward Hot. Even when I park in backwards.

Is that normal ?
I just had the radiator and it’s associated parts replaced because it was still original material and pretty clocked.

Thank you!!!
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:23 AM   #2
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Need a little bit more info on your rig, motor, chassis. Could just be the nature of your beast. Welcome to Irv2
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:42 AM   #3
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When you shift to a particular gear, does the trans shift up to it from a stop or are you starting in that gear ?
If you are starting in the selected gear, you are putting a heat developing strain on both the engine and transmission.

Leave it in D, drive so it shifts gears or go from 1st gear and shift it like a standard trans, thru the gears.
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:45 AM   #4
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From a former owner of a 2000 EV Camper, I believe that when you are using the lower gears, that the transmission torque converter will not lock. It slips constantly, and generates more heat than if it were in Drive. Over several years of ownership, I only found it necessary to use the lower gears on very steep downhill roads, like the Mt. Washington Auto Road in New Hampshire.

VW, for arguable reasons, did not specify a transmission fluid replacement interval for the EV chassis, and a great number of them failed before reaching 50,000 miles in service. Those that passed the 50k threshold (like mine) often lasted more that 200,000 miles. Mine was one of those. Unlike later models with the VR-6 engine, your 1995 transmission should be equipped with real dipstick, so you (or your mechanic) can easily check the fluid level and condition. If it smells bad, or is brown-ish in color, I would do an immediate full replacement of the transmission fluid. If I were driving a Eurovan chassis today, I would do a full transmission drain, filter replacement, and refill with fresh fluid, no less frequently than every 25,000 miles. The Valvoline Max-Life product line includes a compatible full-synthetic transmission fluid that meets VW's specifications, at a fraction of the cost of the German stuff.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:18 AM   #5
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I think your rise in temp has more to do with driving in stop and go traffic then what gear your in. At slow speeds your not getting enough airflow through the radiator. Check to make sure the fans are working correctly.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:27 AM   #6
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MotorPro’s post reminded my that the radiator cooling fan resistors are located behind the front bumper and subject to much corrosion over time. They are easy to inspect, test, and replace.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:30 AM   #7
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If you have a P32 chevy chassis, this is normal. When pulling a hill or in stop and go traffic the engine will go almost to the red line. As long as it stays out of the red you are OK. If it ever goes into the red, pull over and turn on the heater and put it in neutral and run the engine at 1500 rpm until it cools down.
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Old 06-24-2018, 08:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
If you have a P32 chevy chassis, this is normal.

This is a Volkswagen Eurovan chassis, and it is not normal.
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Old 06-24-2018, 03:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ga traveler View Post
If you have a P32 chevy chassis, this is normal. When pulling a hill or in stop and go traffic the engine will go almost to the red line. As long as it stays out of the red you are OK. If it ever goes into the red, pull over and turn on the heater and put it in neutral and run the engine at 1500 rpm until it cools down.


If you have a p-30 or p-32 it is not normal. If your temp is going up on hills check the fans and also the timing.
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Old 06-24-2018, 04:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
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If you have a p-30 or p-32 it is not normal. If your temp is going up on hills check the fans and also the timing.
Its a Volkswagen.
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:32 PM   #11
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It’s a 1995 Winnebago Rialta Volkswagen - the repair stores call it Eurovan.

Thank you all!!!

I’ll stay in D now and don’t experiment with other gears anymore and it works okay. Only in stop and go traffic — although being in D — it starts getting hot (the meter needle moved up).

The other issue that I have is when driving long steep hills up. The ‘beast’ ) is slowing down rapidly. And once it goes below 30 mph and I keep the foot on the gas pedal it starts to ‘jump’ and goes a littler faster for a few minutes, and then again slows down ... then again jumps and goes faster. This is really annoying. But it doesn’t cause overheating.
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:47 PM   #12
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The 5-cylinder engine is no powerhouse. It’s just about enough for the base model van. The weight of a Rialta is a real challenge. It sounds like you have some basic operating problems. The transmission should be quick to downshift under load, and it doesn’t sound like this is happening. It’s worth a trip to a shop, or even a decent auto parts store, to have them connect a scanner to your OBD2 port and check for stored error codes. If you can find a VW dealer to help, so much the better. I have found very little help from them, though, and they tend to charge premium prices for everything. At some point in time, and I cannot remember the year, the transmission computer became capable of “learning” your driving style by storing data about how you drive. You can reset this to the factory baseline setting by disconnecting the battery, but I’m not sure for how long. Overnight would be more than enough.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:25 PM   #13
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Thank you slowmachine! I also found some info how to reset the transmission so that can learn from my driving style. Will try this!
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Old 06-25-2018, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowmachine View Post
This is a Volkswagen Eurovan chassis, and it is not normal.
My bad. I should have known it was a VW. I have worked on several. My brain was taking a knap.
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