Lets travel back to some time last month before I had to rebuild my carburetor, back to when I knew something was going wrong, but nothing had happened yet.
Some time in late April or early May, I began to sense that something was wrong or going wrong with my Little Bug. A big sign, she was leaking oil, but also, she was idling odd. Things did not feel right and things did not sound right.
My heads were over due for adjustment so I decided that might be a good place to start. I called DAPS and for some reason their price had jumped from $65 which they had charged me the last two times, up to $85. Reluctantly I scheduled my appointment.
Now I really do not live very close to DAPS, and I had my best friends baby’s 1st birthday to go to that weekend, so I decided to take a look at some of the closer auto shops I had looked at when I was looking to rebuild my engine.
Dave’s Little Car Shop is just down the street from my home, a 15 min drive, and this was where I had wanted to take my car originally, but they planned to charge me almost $1000 more than DAPS. (Of course in the end DAPS ended up taking nearly two months longer than they had quoted and only saved me probably about $400.)
I told Dave what I needed and he said it would cost me only $45. He could see me the next day, rather than making me wait til the weekend, so I decided to give him a try. I read lots of reviews saying the place was dirty, and when I dropped my car off the reviews were confirmed, but hey, it’s an auto garage and a VW auto garage at that; I’ve never seen a clean one and I’ve grown up in them.
A few hours after I had dropped her off, they called me to explain what they had learned when they test drove it. Several things, some I had suspected and some that surprised me, but he guided me in all my problems and options.
1. Since my dad had driven the Bug it had shaken horribly, he and I, along with a few others believed it was the tie rods. Wrong! Dave checked the tie rods and explained that they were fine. He did discover though that my steering box was loose and once that was tightened if the problem persisted I should replace the steering dampener. He explained that it was a pretty simple fix and after listening to me explain all the work I had done myself he said I would have no problem doing this fix myself.
2. My Little Bug has a horrible time starting, and Dave discovered part of that was due to my points being completely seized up. After a long and, even in my experience, somewhat complicated explanation, summed it up by suggesting that I switch over to an electric ignition system. He offered to do the work today, which was more than I planned on spending. Gave me the second option of adding on for $45 a complete tune up, which he said would probably keep me good till the heads needed adjusted again. I went with option 2.
So for almost the same price as DAPS I ended up learning a lot and getting more work done.
I loved this shop and I will definitely be returning. I loved how detailed Dave was, really examining my car and its engine, and explaining to me my options. The number one reason though that I loved the shop was the respect I got. So far most of my experiences dealing with men in the auto world have not been good. Being a young female, almost every man I have met and delt with in regards to my car has treated me like I know nothing, am incapable, or have refused to deal with me at all. Dave listened to what I had to say, the story I had regarding the car, and treated me as if I was a competent human. In the end he even offered guidance and assistance with any questions I may have later.