Slo town, USA…Volkswagon Mecca.
Driving or walking along the streets of San Luis Obispo, one cannot help but notice Volkswagon busses, bugs, and campers of all sorts and all ages parked in driveways on every street in every neighborhood.
Not only are they parked all over the place, but they are in prime condition – shiny, clean, loaded, and with pride written all over their smiley faces. I have a hunch the VW owners in this town, not only love their vehicles, but that they engage in a bit of classic car competition around here.
It’s not surprising really, since this is also the land of Go Westy, the notoriously famous Volkswagon Vanagon and Eurovan parts, gear, and toy provider, and notably the most famous and complete VW camper van restoration folks in the U.S.
We had to pay them a visit, which provided us with loads of fun, checking out all the different vans and being treated royally to a private tour of the back, where old loved vans, are reborn from the bottom up to morph into like brand new camper vans and weekender vans after complete restoration work.
We’re about to head up to Santa Cruz, but the van won’t let us.
It’s pinging and knocking. We fear the worse, that it’s the engine, but really we think it’s mechanical issues stemming from the driveaxle that was replaced back in Tucson, which I wrote about here. We’re so close to home, but don’t want to take this ailing van up crazy curvy highway 1 along the coast in this rainy weather.
We have to get it checked out again. Geico…Hello…Are you home???
Not really, as it take us a day and a half to get a response from the good ole insurance company, and get an ok to have someone take a another look at the work done by the Tucson mechanics.
The first shop we go to tells us to just drive it on to Santa Cruz, the second place Geico sent us, said there was no problem. Everything looked fine they told us.
We try heading out of town again, but the grumbling unhappy noise still insists we don’t go too far, so we decide to have it checked out this time on our own by a real garage, a european auto repair garage.
Another very long story, another week long wait, but these european mechanic folks know their business. It seems that the Tucson mechanic improperly installed the drive axle with too long of bolts, causing the loose axle to beat the heck out of the transmission case, shredding it to smithereens.
So now we not only needed another new axle again, but in addition we needed an entire new transaxle replaced!
Which leads to the fact that Go Westy, remember, just a few miles away, happens to have a shelf full of rebuilt Eurovan transmission/transaxles that are not only rebuilt, but rebuilt with cooling components much better than the original trannies.
And that folks, is our unexpected Holiday Gift!
We now have an almost brand new vehicle, stronger than ever, and raring to go, with a new left axle, the new entire transaxle, more new ball joints, and a new oil seal, to stop a small leak we had, all thanks to the poor workmanship in Arizona, the fantastic workmanship here in San Luis Obispo by Jim, Tucker, Taylor, and crew, and our insurance company who stood behind the warranty.
Not a penny out of our pockets was spent.
Arizona may be a horrible place to break down, but seriously we couldn’t ask for a better place than San Luis Obispo to break down a second time, this land full of fantastic mechanics and more volkswagon parts than one could spend a week dreaming about.
The best customer service, the best mechanics, and the place everyone goes back to is German Auto of San Luis Obispo.
We’re pretty proud of Ms. Keevan for putting up with all of this. And we’re all very happy to be back together again!
We’re homeward bound.