My Review Of Midwestern Volkswagen:
I knew I was having some issues with 2004 Passat, 79,000 miles (oil leaks, water leaks, worn tires, oil change, 3 filters dirty, alignment, burned out light bulb, etc.). Previous experience with non-dealers is that difficult issues are hard to resolve; while another dealer repeatedly over charged (grossly) and did not reliably do the work. One previous experience with this dealer was positive- they fixed an A/C issue reasonably that 3 other shops did not.
I easily was able to schedule a convenient, near date for the service, which I described as a 60,000 mile service (last 3 services were just 5,000 mile oil changes), which consists of checks, lube, and oil/filter and cabin filter change. They found many issues, and I was allowed to look underneath and all over the car to inspect the problems. Initially this totaled to over $5,000! The car is probably worth $8,000 - $10,000. I am mechanically inclined with non-professional experience, and I believe the evaluation was accurate.
Evidently, VW believes that the timing belt (ergo, most other rubber as well) deteriorates after 8 years. Talking with the mechanic and service manager, I decided on the relative importance and urgency of each repair. The engine oil leaks (but not upon the driveway), but I will wait for what I was told is about $1,000 to fix this. The coolant leak was serious, and prior VW experience indicated that the water pump probably needed replacement, as I was told. The coolant was extremely rusty (dark brown), so I needed an acid flush. I was shown evidence of deteriorating motor mounts, and told the consequences; I decided to do it later (about $800).
I discovered that they could take care of some minor body damage that was preventing me from washing my car in a car wash, for less than $300 (I had been quoted over $3,000 at a body shop, but I don't need the little ding in the body pounded out, just the 2 pieces of trim replaced).
All told, I spent 2 hours of both the mechanic's and Frank's time inspecting the car, revising estimates, and bargaining on price. They were very patient. I needed a loaner, which was thrown in free. Frank also applied some discounts, and did not charge labor for some things. As a result, I paid about $2,800, which I figure is in the same neighborhood as anywhere else for the same work. I had the timing belt kit, rollers, etc., water pump, 4 new tires, alignment, maintenance, air, cabin & oil filters, flush, replace all coolant, etc. done- everything but the motor mounts and oil leaks.
The work was done on time, and the car rides and runs better now. They went out of their way to be patient and polite and accommodating. If they had not been patient to work with me, I would have taken the car all over town to get it re-evaluated and the work done. I realize that no shop can please everyone all of the time, and that there are some cranks as well as those who don't tell the whole truth about their story- there are 2 sides. But my experiences here so far are dramatically different from those I consistently got from the other dealer in town, so I think it is fair to tell others. By the way, I still like the salesmen at the other dealership, even if their shop is rude, is overpriced, is not accommodating, and can't fix it the first time. MAG done good! They seem to be trying to be polite, fair, accommodating, and competent.
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