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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Had my Beetle for 12 years, original owner.
I usually do my own repairs, but there were a few things I took the bug in for.
In all cases, the places I have taken my bug were a complete let-down.
NOTE: I always call these places first, and let them tell me when to drop off the car.

German Auto Center:
- 90K miles: Needed lower control arms and struts. Got car back 5 days later and they had done other work, like changing the oil to 20W-50 and torquing the oil pan bolt on so hard that I had to replace the oil pan on the next oil change.
- 140K miles: Check engine light: Small Evap emissions leak and seatbelt sensor. Got car back after 2 days. Put in new seat belt and new gas cap and claimed it was done.
Light came on after about 2 hours of driving due to Small Evap emissions leak.
- 160K miles: Problem with fuel filter: Didn't want to mess with a fuel leak as it started while driving, so I stopped in for help. Also still had check-engine light for Evap emissions leak (which they would not fix from the last time they failed).
Notified them that the fuel cap was fine and that there was a vaccuum leak somewhere.
Got car back after 2 days. I had asked them to replace the fuel filter since it was the original and they argued that it was not necessary. They replaced the fuel cap, and the check engine light came on after about 2 hours.

Austin VeeDub:
- 120K miles: Needed new timing belt due to replacing the water pump, and didn't want to do it myself again.
Called to make an appointment and the service tech kept insisting that the belt didn't need to be replaced, and that it did not have the type of tensioner I was talking about.
Did not take beetle in for service as a result.
- 170K miles: Needed new clutch, and asked for a new flywheel and install some swaybar bushings.
Got the bug back after 5 days. The flywheel was not changed and I was told 'it was fine'. I mentioned that I asked for a new flywheel and that the Bentley manual states you should check an older flywheel for proper balance. They just didn't install what I asked for, and put a new clutch onto my very old flywheel.
Clutch is very light and does not feel right.
Steering wheel is now 40 degrees to the left of center when driving straight.
Left off engine cover. (and claims they do not have it)
Charged for 8 hours to replace the clutch. Alldata and CCI have this listed as a 6 hour job, and some here on newbeetle.org have done it in about 5 hours.
Claimed they could not install the bushings because my sway bar was not stock and the bushings were not VW. They were wrong on both accounts.

Northwest Imports
190K miles: water pump started to leak and I could not do the repair myself due to a family interruption.
Got the bug back after 2 days. The work was done, but there were $275 more parts and $150 more labor than quoted.
18 hours later the new thermostat housing started to leak and at least half the coolant was lost.
Took it back to be fixed and it sat all day. A pressure test was performed though!
Returned a third time and 'motivated' the staff to fix the car immediately.
Some great quotes from Northwest Imports Techs:
"Not sure what that pink stuff is, but its what they give me when I tell them its a German car."
"We looked where the leak was, and saw some water, but its not leaking now!"
"We found a few other things that needed replacement, and went ahead and took care of them." (explaining why cost was $500 more than quote)

These three VW repair shops are the only other options, and their service and attention to detail mean that your car may not ever be safe or properly repaired.

Its appalling to me that a professional auto repair business cannot do the job better than my repairing cars at my home.
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