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Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon?
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:32 am    Post subject: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

This morning would be the second time somebody from a local dealership has tried giving me their card so they could work on my Syncro...
I asked him how much they were going to pay me to work on my VW?

He pulled his card back. 😆

How many times has a dealership said they wanted to work on your Vanagon, Westy or Syncro?
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Wasted youth
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Never. Haven't taken my '87 to a dealer assuming it would be way out of date for their level of knowledge or parts supply, even though I could be wrong. Doesn't matter. No one but me will wrench on my cars and trucks.

Are you saying you took yours to a dealer for some other reason than service... and someone there wanted to work on it? Or someone from a local dealership approached you when you were not at the dealership?
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MarkWard
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:10 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

About dealers. I worked in the VW, Porsche, Audi dealer network. I worked at a few dealers in Palm Beach County over the years. I am 62 and would still be working in the network if I had not changed careers.

In those years I worked with many great technicians and a few hacks. We were all factory trained. I am sure there are some of us old timers still working in the network.

If I were still working at the dealer, I would enjoy having a vanagon come in for service. Just like in the 70s when a vintage air cooled from the 60s showed up back in the day. Nice break from warranty work.

If you have a dealer work on your vehicle. They should be using genuine parts and the repair has a national warranty. Not something you get with the local shop. No doubt you pay for this and the likelihood of getting an old timer is rare.

Just pointing out going to a dealer is not always a bad experience. Never had anyone try to get me in though. I think Gunther VW is in your area. They have been around since I was a tech. They are enthusiastic about the classics I believe.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:18 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

I take mine to the local dealer for annual state inspections. After the first visit years ago the remainder have been at no cost to me (usual fee $16). The parts manager is a Vanagon guy so I feel the right vibe exists at the place.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:21 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

I second some of the points from MarkWard.

I was a tech for a few years. From my experience, the guys working on the older vehicles were the veteran and top mechanics, all the newer vehicles, warranty work and service was left for the young ones and the hacks.

Now, onto WHY they keep asking - maybe they are trying to grow a presence as a Vanagon Service Center. If you are on the west coast, the dealership may have realized they are missing out on a huge community of Vanagons. I do like your response to them though, get that $$$!!!
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:45 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

The very morning after taking delivery of our bus we took it to a dealer west of Denver for a radiator flush and fill.

A week later they screwed up an alignment, never went back.
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Steve M.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:03 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

I agrre with Mark that dealerships are not always a bad experience.
If you have a trusted relationship with a local dealership over time that has proven itself more then once to be good. That natonal warranty is really good.

I personally do not like people who walk up to me whose main intention is to take money out of my wallet to put into theirs. Not saying that this was this guys intent, but the previous individual from same dealership it was clear this was his intent.
Especially when the scope of the work needing done is within my capabilities. Why pay someone else unless there is a special tool required.

Then...I laugh at flaps with signs in window for windshield wiper installing.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:31 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

I drove my Vanagon to my dealer to arrange pick up of my TDI

The service manager wanted to come out and have a look at it and told me to bring it in anytime I needed work.

At that time there was a syncro parked in the service stall having just had a tune up done.
I don't think I could afford to have them service my van even if I wanted them to. Besides, I truly enjoy working on my van. It reminds me of my early years with my brother.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 10:07 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

I had a dealership press in lower control arm bushings for me, and in order to create an invoice, they needed the VIN. The Vanagon VIN wouldn't come up in their system, so they used my 2002 Beetle's VIN instead.

They did a quick, painless job on the bushings, but now I get constant cards in the mail reminding me that my Beetle is due for service.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:11 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Service advisor when asked if they'd work on one: "What is a Vanagon?" He then asked a fellow advisor who didn't know either.

So, I don't think my local dealer knows how to work on my van, let alone wants to. And at $121+ per hour, the feeling is quite mutual. Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:29 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Back when I got my '81 I took it into the dealer to fix a smelly fuel tank because his estimate was for around $200 & I didn't feel like dropping the tank on my back in the street in front of my house. After picking it up ($300) I went to fill the tank and it pissed gasoline all over the place, something it did not do before. So I went back, spent another $300 (this time they actually dropped the tank to replace the lines on top.)

Due to their vastly more expensive bill the service manager tried to buy me off with the promise of a free oil change, but I still was not a happy camper. Three month later I go to get my "free" oil change. Two months after that I discover that the cam shaft has ground down a couple of lobes. Turns out that in the middle of summer the dealer used 0-20w oil in an air-cooled motor. They tried to back out of it but the sticker combined with an oil analysis (paid by me) showed that this is indeed what happened.

After threats by me to go to small claims court we agreed to an engine rebuild with me supplying the parts and they supplied the labor. They put their old guy Porsche mechanic on it and he did a great job. That motor never leaked or burned a drop of oil in the next 40,000 miles I put on it before I sold it.

Thanks to this site and YouTube I've never taken any of my Westys into another mechanic after this.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:44 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

I met a guy from Craigslist in the parking lot (most of my stories start with this phrase) of a VW dealership to sell him some Merc wheels for his Westy. We both pulled in and within seconds all the mechanics were out crawling under our vans. Many of them had been working at that dealership for many years and were very excited to us. This was 5 or more years ago but I remember the lead mechanic told me He would love to work my Westy but the dealership rates were outrageous.
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Christopher Schimke
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

kamzcab86 wrote:
Service advisor when asked if they'd work on one: "What is a Vanagon?" He then asked a fellow advisor who didn't know either.

So, I don't think my local dealer knows how to work on my van, let alone wants to. And at $121+ per hour, the feeling is quite mutual. Wink


While not entirely exclusive, there is generally a huge difference between a VW dealer owned by a conglomerate, like Auto Nation, and in independent VW dealer. At least that is my experience.
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Merian
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Never. Exclamation

Dealer here acts like they don't exist, and seems to take offense if I ever try to order parts from them.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Christopher Schimke wrote:
kamzcab86 wrote:
Service advisor when asked if they'd work on one: "What is a Vanagon?" He then asked a fellow advisor who didn't know either.

So, I don't think my local dealer knows how to work on my van, let alone wants to. And at $121+ per hour, the feeling is quite mutual. Wink


While not entirely exclusive, there is generally a huge difference between a VW dealer owned by a conglomerate, like Auto Nation, and in independent VW dealer. At least that is my experience.


This is, in fact, an indy dealer (formerly Pontiac). The irony is that they, a) have several air-cooled classics on display, b) have a big VW time-line mural wrapped around the showroom... which shows a Vanagon! d'oh! Laughing

Nice dealer; bought my GTI through them and will be taking it in when it needs work. The Vanagon and Cabriolet, however? Um, no. Happy to visit the parts department for them, but not the service department.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 12:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Late last July, 2017, on the way to Alaska, the clutch slave began sucking air. I noticed the pedal was beginning to take farther down toward the bottom of the stroke on Thursday afternoon as we drove through Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

We drove on north of Saskatoon to Campland Campground (reservations). The next morning, I attempted to bled the Clutch slave with zero success. So, I drove back into town to the VW Dealership. They would not work on my Vanagon. They said there was no Slave Cylinder in the VW system in North America (exact words). As I was walking out to the parking lot, one of the guys come to me with his smart phone ... gave me a name, number and address of a local VW Guru.

The Guru ordered the Slave that afternoon and called me Monday morning to have it installed.... great work.

Obviously, the VW Dealer employee wanted to be helpful!

In 1999, I had major work done to my 83 Air-cool at the VW Dealership in Grande Prairie, Saskatchewan (burned valve). ....... very reasonable price and quick turnaround too! The mechanic was a Porsche certified mechanic which included the Air-cool engine.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Maybe the guy was sizing up your knowledge/capabilities hoping to discover a host of expensive repairs needed while also offering to take the van off your hands for a song. Sorry, I'm a skeptic.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 2:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Laughing I don't even let them look at my van when I drive thru the lot lusting after the new R models in stock Shocked
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

Merian wrote:
Never. Exclamation

Dealer here acts like they don't exist, and seems to take offense if I ever try to order parts from them.


This trait isn't exclusive to VW / Vanagon shenanigans.

Being a motorcyclist, I encounter this ALL the darn time. I tire of explaining to the person at the parts counter that sport bikes did, in fact, exist before the year 2015.............
Rolling Eyes
Often the attendant is younger than the lat 90's bike I'm working on.
Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Dealerships wanting to work on "your" Vanagon? Reply with quote

well, I don't get that attitude with my other vehicles (a 10 yr old Subaru & and a 45 yr old Pooschey 911)

both are noted for longevity, so maybe that is part of it

{note that all have flat, opposed engines...}
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