Cory, the guy who runs Fremont Wheel & Brake, called me this afternoon to let me know that my van was ready to go. He replaced the radiator and hoses, the lower front ball joints on the front end (that probably explains the intermittent rattle I was having), and the fuel filter, which was indeed plugged up. That last would explain why I have been having hesitation and a lack of power on demand. Given that I'll be towing a large U-Haul trailer from Mehama to Fernley in a couple of weeks, I want all of the power I can get, particularly to get the van over Willamette Pass (OR-58).
The total damage isn't cheap, but at about $950, is less than I feared. Cory says he'll be in his shop (although it won't be open) for a while on Saturday morning. I have some errands in Fremont on Saturday as well, so rather than go collect my van tomorrow, I'll take transit to work again tomorrow and then take a mid-morning train from San Jose to Fremont to get my van and then run my errands.
Despite the name, Fremont Wheel & Brake is also a general mechanical repair shop. It's a small affair, but I can't praise it highly enough. I hope the fact that I'm willing to go out of my way — as Fremont is now that I'm living in San Jose — to take my vehicle there is proof of that. If you're in that area and need car repairs done, I highly recommend Cory and his shop.