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Volkswagen Cars = Ass; Volkswagen Service = Amazing

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stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
14,390
1,496
Colorado
Sunday we were heading back up from OC in the g/f's Jetta, right after we drop into Ventura, the temp gauge goes balistic and we end up sitting in a local gas station with no idea why the temp went nuts. Coolant levels, oil levels, etc are all correct and there is no explaination for why the temp gauge went nuts. Jump on the freeway again and it spikes again, sending us darting back into the gas station. Call 411 and get directed to Hawthorne VW, who directs us to Santa Barbara VW, and we finally get on the line with Barber VW in Ventura. The receptionist ran a mapquest to get us directions by surface streets to the dealership, as we could drive up to 30mph with no issues. We limp as far as we can until the temp will no longer stay down, and call AAA. While waiting, I decide to try and figure it out. The tell-tale signs are cold, empty water hoses exiting the radiator. Once we get the car up on the tow truck, the leaking coolant from the bottom of the car, with a full reservior leads me to believe it's a faulty water pump.
We drop the car off at the dealership, whose service group is closed until Monday we are stranded over night at best, and begin the fun adventure of trying to figure out habitation. By pure luck, my parents were driving down from SLO, and were able to drive us around to get a hotel and dinner. After they leave, we are able to "enjoy" our imprompteu beach vacation and watch 15 foot surf pummel the Ventura coast. Some additional research on VWVortex confirms my suspicions of a busted waterpump. Apparently a common problem due to having a plastic impeller.
We get up at 5:30 am to be there when the shop opens at 7, and manage to locate a cab (which was quite difficult in Ventura). When we arrive, only the receptionist and service manager are onsite. The service manager, Paul, is an extremely nice older gentleman. We tell him our story and I explain that I think it is the waterpump. He confirms that the waterpumps have issues, and this does sound like it. After filling out all of our forms, he informs us that we are out of warranty by five months, and are looking at $600 or so. After a few minutes of just talking about the car, he goes out to the car to fill out the service order. When he comes back in, he was smiling, and says "you treat that car really well, I can't believe the mileage you have on it." It's a 2003 Jetta with 37,000 miles. We explain that it is rarely driven because we live in the city, and he confirms this in the VW repair system. He says "because the car is in such good condition, so low mileage, and the warranty just expired, he is going to cover 75% of the repair, leaving us with t $125 bill. We're stoked at this point, as we have both already missed work, and had to get a hotel in a VERY expensive location. He also pushes our car to the front of the line on a busy day when he is one mechanic short. He offers to have one of his guys drive us to the mall or borders to get breakfast, and just call when we need a ride back. We instead opt to stay at the dealership so we can try to get some work done. Instead of looking at us like crazy people, they offer g/f a computer with internet, get us coffee, and tell us to make ourselves comfortable.
We spend about 3 hours doing work, when the sales manager comes up with a big smile on his face to tell us that it's done and they are washing the car because it was dirty?! At this point we are flabergasted at how nice they are, he reminds me of my grandfather kind of nice, bending over backwards for other people. We are getting packed up and start talking to one of the sales people who has a prepped R32 (I had my Piloti driving shoes on) and he's offering driving tips and info on the R32, as his is beautiful. While we are talking with him, Paul come back with an even bigger smile on his face and tells us that they are going to cover the whole cost of the repair.
We ended up leaving around 11am, and got home with no other issues.

All said, the level of service was 100x what I would expect. They were the most flexible, giving, and courteous people I have had the pleasure of dealing with in years. The last place I expected this type of service from was a car dealership. Needless to say, I still dislike VW's especially after the random failure, but the service at Barber VW in Ventura, CA was amazing. IF I were to ever buy a VW, it would be from them.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,615
2,335
Portland, OR
They give you awesome service because they make a fortune off the crap car you purchased.

Glad to hear you got good service, though.
 

Zark

Hey little girl, do you want some candy?
Oct 18, 2001
6,257
7
Reno 911
Ha wow. I've heard of people bending over backwards to help, but I thought it was a myth. Good stuff!
 

$tinkle

Expert on blowing
Feb 12, 2003
14,591
5
my jetta's water pump went out 2 mos beyond warranty & same thing: covered 75%. they've also replaced FOUR glove boxes. i open them twice/year: new registration & new tire warranty.

it's the little things about this car that pisses me off: mass airflow sensor, passenger glass falls in door, armrest latch broke, failed front motor mount, 5 recalls on the flashers or onboard software, right taillight burns out every spring.
 

chuffer

Monkey
Sep 2, 2004
773
153
McMinnville, OR
wow, that's cool. It is also a far cry from the VW stealership I used in Germany. Sometimes the service crew there could actually be bothered to help a customer, but only if there was really no other way to make the customer go away...
 

Dartman

Old Bastard Mike
Feb 26, 2003
3,916
0
Richmond, VA
wow, that's cool. It is also a far cry from the VW stealership I used in Germany. Sometimes the service crew there could actually be bothered to help a customer, but only if there was really no other way to make the customer go away...
Yeah but they're Chevrolet over there.
 

Mike B.

Turbo Monkey
Oct 5, 2001
1,522
0
State College, PA
My local Toyota dealer is very similar with respect to the level of service. I don't know that I've ever paid for a repair on either my Tacoma or 4runner granted nothing close to $600 worth of work at one time. I make sure to tip well since it's a small area and I'll likely be back there for the next vehicle.
 

Toshi

Harbinger of Doom
Oct 23, 2001
27,234
2,115
1) tittywop of the girl. does she disprove the chicks in jettas myth?

2) who wears piloti driving shoes when cruising around as a passenger in their girlfriend's jetta? really?

:busted:
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
14,390
1,496
Colorado
1) tittywop of the girl. does she disprove the chicks in jettas myth?

2) who wears piloti driving shoes when cruising around as a passenger in their girlfriend's jetta? really?

:busted:
1) No tittywop, not doing this again. No name, no pics. But yes she is blonde and hot.
2) I was driving, and it was 700 miles in a weekend. I'm going with the Piloti's.
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
Sounds like you found a great VW dealership and got lucky...there a lot of **** ones. All three of the ones here suck, seems to be the case across most of the country. If I were to buy a new VW/Audi, it would be from a stellar dealership down in Vegas I know about, not one here.

Did they replace it with another plastic one or did they put a metal impeller pump in? 1.8t or 2.0?
 

HRDTLBRO

Turbo Monkey
Feb 4, 2004
1,161
0
Apt. 421
I've had my girl's turbo Passat in the dealership more times than I can count. Bad hoses and Mass Airflow Sensors left and right...its insane.
 

Kanye West

220# bag of hacktastic
Aug 31, 2006
3,460
173
Funny. I just got rid of my VW and I live right down the street from that VW dealership. I've had nothing but shoddy pain in the butt service from the other two closest dealerships but never dealt with the Ventura one.