NYer_in_MI
It's really a sign of the times: I had to really hunt to find a
garage that would be willing to work on an old foreign car. Even in
Bay City, another GM town, I was able to find adequate repair services
for my, then, 72 Super Beetle. Flint is nearly impossible...
especially out here in the Flushing area. I did find a place out
here, though, in Flushing Twp. The guy out there is a Bug nut. Has,
according to his wife who was at the counter, about 35 Beetles, rail
buggies, etc. The only catch is he is a bit intimidated to do much
with the f.i. The deal I have worked out is to have the clutch line
and charging system fixed there. From there, Bob (from Parts Place)
has offered to help me out with the f.i. He's had the same problem
happen with his own Vanagon daily driver and he knows exactly how to
cheaply fix it.

In the meantime, I've become disappointed with the state of auto
shops. Most of the responses I'd gotten, when asking these places if
they'd work on an 80 Vanagon, was that they wouldn't be able to "crack
the code" of my car's system with their diagnostics computer. What?
So, am I to understand that nobody does... I dunno... TROUBLE SHOOTING
anymore? Well, none but the smaller shops manned by the few
whack-a-doodles like us who are still into these old and great cars.
Oy gevalt! Whadda bunch of wimps.


Daniel Mosher
Site Cartoonist
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MY72BUG
Let me help you with the translation for "Crack the Code":  "All of our mechanics are dependent on computer diagnosis.  Nobody here actually knows how cars work.  We are parts replacers, not mechanics."  Finding good mechanics can be very difficult.  That is a good reason for getting to know people at various VW clubs.  They may be people who work on Beetles or at least may know people who work on VW's.  One of the standards over here in Ontario is to try to hook up with the retired VW mechanics especially the ones who came over from Germany in the 1950' s and  1960's.  Failing that, go to a good general auto repair place and talk with their oldest mechanic. A lot of them love to get their hands on the old stuff and may even do it after hours.  Best yet, get a few of the better books and buy a few tools and get into it yourself.  These are simple cars which use basic technology.  You really can do it yourself.

I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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NYer_in_MI
Yeah... I'm beginning to find that out.  Of late, I have more confidence in my own paltry skills as a VW car owner / maintainer than I do most mechanics, these days.  Yeah, I usually prefer to enlist the older guys.  They usually still have a grasp on how cars actually work.
Daniel Mosher
Site Cartoonist
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olspeed
Some of these newer mechanics actually scare me, even on the cars that they are suppose to be trained on. The ford parts truck at my last place of employment seemed to have more problems when we would get it back from the dealer after warranty work than before we took it in. Also we just took my wife's Hyundai in(a cup holder broke) and the service writer tried to tell me that my warranty might be voided because I had not been buying filters and fluid for maintenance from them(the dealer). I had to remind them that it is against Federal Law for them to Deny my warranty claim, And told them that if they tried to persist that I would contact the federal district attorney's office and file charges. Just so everyone knows if you purchase a new vehicle you can do your own maintenance and use aftermarket filters and oil as long as you use the filter manufactures suggested replacement and the fluids are a match to what is specified by the vehicle manufacturer, this IS a federal law.
Olspeed 
66 Ghia 76 std Beetle
It's not a car it's a VolksWagon
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MY72BUG
You had the temerity to use after-market filtres ?  Everyone knows that this is the leading cause of broken cup holders!
I'd rather have a partial bottle in front of me than a partial frontal lobotomy.
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NYer_in_MI
"Cup holders."  LOL.  I like that one!

Yeah.  A very old friend of mine, who got licensed as a mechanic in Michigan back in the 80's, is looking for some way to get out of the business.  Each time he and his like have to head to re-training seminars, he complains to me the lack of hands-on diagnosis going on in the industry.  Beyond that, there are fewer-and-fewer things that he can fix, on his own, outside of the shop.  On top of it all (and he works for a GM dealership), the main goal is now less about doing what little is needed to repair a car, but to raise the commission as high as one can feasibly do and (almost) fix the car.

This, then, is why I've started to educate myself in the repair / maintenance of the VW myself.  I don't even trust these bozos with a simple oil change, anymore.


Daniel Mosher
Site Cartoonist
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