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Line of Volkswagens

I want to theme this weeks Shop Shots. Since I was at training last week, I thought I would post some pictures of the training center, and some cool pictures I shot while I was at mechanic training. Years ago, the training center had a ton of cool cut away parts, but they seem to be long gone.

Volkswagen Mechanic Training Engine RoomIn the back of the training center they have a storage room with all the training aids. Here are some of the engines that VW mechanics use to learn the ropes. That thing in the middle of the picture(blue and grey) is the engine lift table. We use that to remove engines and transmissions for Touaregs and Phaetons. I can’t identify all of the engines, but I spy a few VR6s

Old School VW mechanic equipmentHere is some old school VW diagnostic equipment. The VAG 1551. It was built solely to talk to cars. Nothing fancy or crazy. The good thing about it was how fast it was. The bad thing, you had to remember everything. There was no built in repair information, no tests, just values. I was only able to use one briefly in training. I am sure the guys that have been around a long time really miss this scan tool. Right now, it is obsolete. Looking at it, it looks like that robot from the movie “Short Circuit”. HA

VAS 6150 VW scan toolFast forward to today, here is the newest scan tool. This is a VAS 6150. All of the functions are windows based. This scan tool communicates with the car via a blue tooth. This is a much slower scan tool, but the information that it contains is far superior to the VAG 1551. I will say that the blue tooth communication is really cool. Yeah, until someone leaves the connector in a car.. To give you some prospective, this is about $6000 worth of test equipment.

VW mechanic training center Here is a shot of one half of the training center. There is another room just like it next door. As you can see there is a shop, and a place for lecture. It is usually filled with the newest VWs on the road. I was actually in the class next door. I have spent many many hours training in the room. There is usually a good mix of techs in each class. Some of the classes get only top level guys. They are the ones that I find the best. When you have a class full of mid-level techs, they like to try and out do each other with stories. Each will tell a story about how awesome they are, the next will have to out do it. It is actually pretty funny. I think you have to have a bit of an ego to do this job. 😉

Line of Volkswagens

I know, this is not really a SHOP, but it kinda is. I took this pictures when I got home after training. The crazy looking car at the front is the Cabby. Next in line is my Passat, and last is the VW Tiguan that I drove. I liked the Tiguan more this time than the last. I also averaged 30.2mpg! I think that was pretty awesome considering the traffic I sat in. All in all a good trip!

Well, that wraps up another volume of Shop Shots. Any questions about this week’s pictures? To be sure you never miss an update, be sure to click the subscribe button on the upper left of this page. You will get update before everyone else! Also, I did a little pro quality shoot with a really great photographer last night. As soon as I get the pictures I will post them for everyone(another reason to subscribe to the site, just sayin 😉 )

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Humble Mechanic Logo

Yep! I said it, you should never ever trust a dealership. If I could tally the number of times that I have read that statement, it would easily be in the 300+ range. Then a statement comes along that just makes me nuts. It goes something like this

I dont trust dealers at all. I am not saying they are all bad and I am sure there are good ones with excellent techs. I have my reasons for why I despise them more than anything. Remember this they are in business to make money and the service department and used cars are where they make the most. It is no coincidence that those are the 2 that get the worst reputation.

I am not really picking on the guy that posted it, because he seems to be thoughtful of dealers. There ARE good techs and dealers. I know mine is not perfect, but we do a pretty good job, and have a lot of techs that are TOP notch dudes. But it is this part, that leaves me shaking my head.

Remember this they are in business to make money and the service department and used cars are where they make the most. It is no coincidence that those are the 2 that get the worst reputation.

I have a question for everyone, “What business is NOT in it to make money?” I don’t get up and go to work everyday because I love being at work. I do it because I love ~THE WORK~. Let’s be real though, would you get up and do what you do EXACTLY how you do it if you were not getting paid? Odds are you would not. Now I would totally work on cars if I was not getting paid. I enjoy it. But I would not go to work for someone else, for free.

The argument will never end.Customers say dealers will rip you off. Dealers say, customers don’t take care of their cars. The DIYers say they do it cheaper themselves. Folks, here is a news flash. THEY ARE ALL RIGHT, and THEY ARE ALL WRONG! It totally just depends. There ARE dealers and indy shops that will rob you blind. There are customers that will lie straight to my face. I am actually dealing with that right now. The DIYer will come in and whine about how much I will be ripping him off, before I ever look at the car!(<~That one infuriates me)

I think it is easy to get caught up in thinking you will always get ripped off at the dealer. There are bad techs out there. I am willing to bet that everyone knows someone that has felt ripped off. Heck, I have seen it happen! People forget that we have to buy stuff and pay for services too. You don’t want to get ripped off by me, anymore than I want to be ripped off by a plumber, or a lawyer. So what is the solution, consider this list

  • Ask why! Why do I need this repair? What will happen if I don’t do it? Is there another way?
  • Keep great records. Unless you only take it to 1 place make sure you have all the repair/maintenance records. It will prevent you doing a job twice
  • Ask to see what they are trying to sell you! You might not know what it is, but if you see it and have them explain it, you will be better informed.
  • Be informed. Just because you might not understand how a turbocharger works, doesn’t mean you can’t!
  • Get a second opinion. If you are not sure, have someone else QUALIFIED check it out for you.
  • Don’t be CHEAP! At some point, we all will have to pay for a car repair(yes even me). Understanding that things will break makes it easier to deal with.

You know, this post started out as me poking fun at the whole “you will get screwed by the dealer” mentality. It kinda took a weird turn there at the end. I am not really sure what happened. Meh, its cool, I hope that you guys can use some of the tips listed above. The “Bad day for a Mechanic” car is fixed. It was a bad ECM(engine computer). That is the one I think that I am dealing with a customer that is lying to me.

Cabby update: I will be putting a new clutch in tonight. I will get some video for you guys so you can really see what I am working with. Look for the full update tomorrow.

I triple dog dare you to share this. What are ya, chicken? 😉

Hey folks! I want to first apologize about no post yesterday. I really hate the days where I don’t get a post out for you. Today I want to explain what a bad day for a mechanic looks like. I really what you guys to understand that I am NOT bitching about my job. I have committed to be 100% open and honest with everyone. That means that you get to hear the good, and the bad!

This is what a rough day looks like.

After doing a few easy jobs I pulled in a 2011 GTI. The concern was that the fans would run for a long time after shutting the car off. Depending on the length of time, this can be normal. I pulled the car in the shop and sure enough the cooling fans were running full speed even with the key off. The car had been sitting for a few hours, so i knew the engine was not hot enough for the fans to be on.

One thing to note, the check engine light was on. The customer made no mention of the light. On the surface that might not seem like an issue, but it puts me on a high alert. If they didn’t say anything about the light, what else are they not saying. Again, this might not be an issue, but I usually wonder why nothing was said. I guess another point would be, why didn’t the service advisor ask about a check engine light.

After some initial checking, I found that the car had a code stored in the engine computer for the fan, and for another emissions part. Since I was looking at 2 different issues, I had to start somewhere. I started with some very basic diagnosis, checking fuses, checking grounds, the battery. Didn’t really find an issue. I will save the boring “how to” of all the checks that I did, but lets just say, I checked a lot of stuff.

During some of the tests, I noticed that some things were not right. The ECM has tamper proof bolts from the factory, this car had regular bolts installed.The wiring harness looked like it had been tampered with. We had no luck getting a hold of the customer to find out if anyone had looked at the car. I removed the ECM and found that the wires had damage to the outer coating. It looked like someone had poked holes in them to test. This is a HUGE no-no especially on small wires. Now all the red flags were flying. It was time it figure out what the heck happened.

I checked the cars history at the dealer. It only had 1 service completed there. Then I checked the history at VW. It had 2 repairs that were NOT done at my dealer. We can only see what parts were replaced in the VW history. It turns out the ECM(engine control module) and the BCM(body control module) were both replaced about 2 months ago. ~The BCM controls almost everything non-engine in the car. It is a very important module.

So, that explained why the bolts were wrong and the wires were messed up, but didn’t help with the issue. We called the dealer that replaced the parts, they simply said it was because the car would not start. Back to diagnosing, I started checking into what was done at the other dealer. That lead me to checking the ECM coding. VW modules have different “programming” based on equipment. This ECM has what is known as long coding. It is 7-10 bytes, each has 8 bits. The 8 bits are represented by 2 characters(confused yet?).

The ECM installed in the car did not match the the number of bytes that is had when it was built. It might sound like a bad thing, but now I have something to go with. It was time to call VW technical help line. It is what we use when we need more help fixing cars. I wrote a post about what happens when a mechanic can’t fix your car a while back. It talks more about tech line. 😉 I called the folks at VW. After going through the basics, I told them what I found with the coding. I was on hold for about 10 minutes. The guy from tech line came back and said, “Forget about the coding, if you had looked at the part numbers, you should have known they were different”. Basically telling me I should have known it was fine.

He gave me some some things to check, and got rid of me as fast as possible. It was the classic, “Get him off the phone because I don’t want to deal with this problem.” The best part was, the test he gave me made NO sense. It would be like testing the battery to figure out why a tire is flat. After an annoying conversation with tech line, I decided to repair the bad wiring and go from there. During the entire time of working on this car, I could not shake the feeling that the ECM was the problem. There are times when it is cut and dry the module is bad, but MOST of the time it is a dice roll.

After fixing the wires, I was pretty much back to square 1. I loaded up the repair manual and spent some trying to find the common issue. VW repair manuals are populated by VIN. They should be specific to the car. Wanting to make sure I had all my bases covered, I started doing more wire checking. As I am looking at the wiring diagram, I find wires missing.

TADA~ wires are missing. Wait, how can wiring be missing? It turns out, the wiring diagram for that car is WRONG!!! The car was built 10/10, but the wiring harness must have come from the future. The diagram matched a car built 12/10. Thanks wrong information. Now with the proper information, I found that ECM was not sending the signal out properly. Ordered 1 ECM. I will update when the part comes in.

So what lessons can we learn here?

  • Well, I know I could have shaved some time off this diagnosis, by focusing on 1 issue at a time. I was sort of all over the place with it.
  • There are times when information is WRONG. (I am still mad about this)
  • checking history is important
  • Go with your gut. This is the most important part of the whole list!!!

Well, there you have it folks, a tough day for a mechanic. YIKES! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. I prefer twitter, but I am on both a fair amount. I wish that FB would fix their mobile interface.

If you want me to stop complaining about fixing cars, click one of the share buttons below. That will show me 😉

I don’t think that anyone can argue the fact that it costs money to bring your car to a mechanic. We all can agree that the auto industry is full of stereotypes, everyone from sales to mechanics, no one is safe. 😉 So what can the customers to do get the most from their service folks? I put together a list of things that will make life a little easier, and save some money along the way. Most of these tips are better used when your car is having an issue, not for just standard maintenance.

Call Ahead

  • If you are bringing your car in for an issue, not just maintenance, call and make an appointment. Walking in for an oil change is no big deal, but I don’t recommend it when dealing with diagnosis. Give your mechanic and service advisor a heads up that you have a problem

Drop Your Car Off

  • I talked about waiting vs dropping your car off before. I highly recommend dropping your car off when dealing with issues beyond maintenance. It gives your mechanic time to fully dive into the problems. The longer most customers wait, the more pressure there is to fix a car. I don’t like rushing through diagnosis. It can lead to missing something, or misdiagnosing problems.

Make a List

  • If your car has more than one thing going on, write down what they are. People tend to get in a rush, so write down what you need to tell your mechanic. This can also save another trip back to the dealer.

Document EVERYTHING

  • This just might be the most important thing on the whole list. The what, where, when, how, and how often of an issue are so important. If the check engine light is on, that is not a big deal, I will find the problem. Paying close attention to when a problem occurs is vital information for a mechanic. Be as specific as possible, too much info is way better than not enough.

Have a “Guy”

  • I of course mean have a mechanic. I do not mean that as a man either. 😉 Try and find a mechanic that will be yours! Always take your car to them. Doing that will build a relationship between you, your car, and your mechanic. Your mechanic will not have to question if maintenance has been done or not, they will already know.

Here is a situation where the list is not followed. This customer has a rattle in their car. Here is what NOT to do.

Customer just shows up to a shop they have never been before. The customer tells the advisor, “I have a rattle”. When the advisor asks follow up questions, the customer does not have any answer.

The mechanic drives the car, and does not hear anything out of the ordinary. Customer gets the car back, they are mad because the mechanic could not find anything. On the drive home, the car starts rattling again. The customer never goes back because they feel like they got ripped off.

These are the things that customers should do to make getting their car fixed easier, and hopefully cheaper. Let me give you a situation on how this list can work for you.

Customer calls and makes an appointment with their mechanic.(for the story we will call him Charles). The customer says, “Charles, I need to bring my car in. It is making a funny sound”. I would say, “Ok, write down when it happens, and what you do to make it happen. Also write down the time of day, and how long you have been driving”

The customer then drops their car off with a list of things that are wrong, in addition to that list, they have documented all the information I need to duplicate the rattle. I spend the time to find the rattle, and fix it. Customer and mechanic are happy!

See the difference? Getting the best possible service is about 90% the job of your service department. But as customers, we have to play a part too! Having good information can be the difference between happy everyone, or sad everyone. I would love to hear what you guys think! When you post a comment, be sure to click the box that says “notify comments via email” that way you will know when someone makes a comment. Also, consider signing up for email updates for the site. I wont spam you I promise!

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Cabrio top

As you guys know, I have been looking for a project Volkswagen. I have my eye set on a Cabrio/Cabriolet but people think they are worth about double what they are actually worth. I decided to open up my search to add a GTI in the mix. Well wouldn’t you know I was able to find a 1996 GTI on Craigslist. The ad was pretty good, and noted that there were some issues with the car, but what did I expect from a 16 year old car.

Cabrio top

This was my 1st project VW. I only paid $500 for this Cabrio. I sure do miss it.

All ready to buy this car, I made the 40 mile trek to check it out. When I got there, I knew almost instantly, this car was not what the ad said. I don’t

think that the kid selling it was being deceitful, but I know that he was not telling the whole story. I spent about 45 minutes picking the car apart. Everything from damage on all sides of the car, a very oblivious water leak, and every light in the dash lit, to no a/c system, and headlight wires just flopping around. Yep, it had NO headlights.

The sad part for him is I really know this car. I can spot something out of place pretty quickly. The more I looked at this car, the more I found wrong, and more I found wrong, the less I was willing to pay. It pretty much broke down like this.

  • He posted the ad for $3000
  • Next day he changed it to $2500
  • I noted ALL the issues and offered him an offer of $1500. It would have cost me a few hundred dollars to get it drivable.
  • We went back and forth, me being very firm on my offer, and could not come to a price

Now I am only a little bummed that I could not get this car. There are 2 things that really make me mad about it. The poor car was abused. I hate seeing an awesome car ruined like that. The more important issue is, he will sell that car, and get what he wants for it. To someone that doesn’t know this car inside and out, it will seem like a good deal. It looks a little rough, but it “runs good”.

I thought I would put together a list of things that must be checked when looking a buying a used car. This list will help you avoid a big problem. Just a couple of warnings. This list will not predict the future. There can be hidden things that you will not see. I recommend using this list to deciede if it is worth getting checked out by a professional. I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS, one more time, ALWAYS recommend getting it checked out by a mechanic, but more on that later

  • Do a walk around the outside, check for damage, and really look at the paint, even an untrained eye can spot color differences in paint.
  • Open the hood. Check the bolts that hold the hood and fenders on. Check to see if the paint is cracked. That means the bolts have been moved due to a repair.
  • Check ALL the fluids you can. On top of being clean, give it a good sniff. If it smells burnt, that is a no go
  • Check for fluid leaks. Most fluids will leave a trail the engine should not be wet with oil or coolant. Look at the fans, make sure they turn. PLEASE do this with the car off.
  • If you can see any electrical connectors, make sure they are not broken. Even if you don’t know what they are for, you know they should not be broken.
  • Wiggle stuff, Most car manufacturers do not let parts just flop around. Things are almost always secured in some way.
  • Check where the windshield and meets the cowl(that is where the wipers are) Bad seals there can cause a severe water leak.
  • Moving to the inside, open the door and take a big sniff. Water leaks have a very distinct smell. It kinda smells like a mildewy basement.
  • Look at the roof, see if there is any water staining around the windshield, windows, sunroof.
  • Touch the plastic of the interior. Lose trim can mean someone was “fixing” things
  • Look at the door jambs. Often side damage is not repaired as well on the jambs as it is on the outside
  • Open ALL the doors, make sure they open and close properly, and don’t over extend.
  • Open the trunk, check for the spare tire, and look for cracked paint on bolts, cracked seals, water
  • Check all the lights inside and out. Take a look at the tires, and brakes. I did a post about 5 quick car checks a while back, check it out for more information.

Since you will not be inspecting the car on a lift, there is no need to talk about the underside of the car. Leave that to a professional. Remember, before you buy a car, have it checked out by the DEALER! Yep, do not take it anywhere else. You might think that dealers are a rip off, but no one sees more of that specific car than a dealer mechanic. Now, if you make it this car, please take the mechanics advise. I have done used car inspections for customers, found a lot of issues, and people still buy the car. Then come back a few months later saying their car has all these problems. (D’oh)

Well, my search for a project VW continues. I will be sure to keep everyone posted about the search.

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When I first started with VW,my instructor said “VW makes cars to support their special tool department”. The funny thing his, he was pretty much right. We have over $300,000 worth of tools designed especially for fixing Volkswagens. I have shown you guys pictures of some of the basic mechanic’s tools that I have. I made mention of buying cheaper tools to make custom tools. In the comments of that post, Brett said, ” I’m interested in what you would modify tools for and how you go about doing it”. I think that is a great idea Brett!

Custom tool for removing steering wheel airbag

Cost
Tools are REALLY expensive, often buying a special tool from VW or a top tier company is just out of budget. Paying $100+ of a tool you will use once is crazy(but sometimes necessary). Take the screwdriver on the right. VW has a very similar tool for removing steering wheel airbags. From VW the tool is about $100. I made this one for about $6. By clamping it in a vise, and heating it up, I bent it to about a 90degree angle. Then I had to bend the very edge to mirror the VW tool.

Missing tool
In a shop full of guys, would you believe that tools don’t get put away? Crazy right. Not only that, but tools get lost, get broken, or we never get them. I was replacing an oil pressure switch on a new Touareg. VW had a special tool for the job, but I could not find it. I was not sure if it was lost, or we never got it. To be fair, it did not matter. The issue was the sensor was pretty big (24mm) but the channel to work through was about 22mm. I could have removed more parts, to gain access, but I didn’t really want to do that. I had to cut about half an inch off of the socket. Then grind down the other end to have it fit in the channel. I spent about 1 hour making this special socket, but now I have it for next time.(that job stunk, I don’t want there to be a next time.)

Special fitment
This is most likely the most common reason to modify tools.When tool makers build tools, they do not have the specific fastener in mind. When Snap-On made this scraper, they didn’t know that it would not fit around the mounting surface of an oil pan. A few minutes of grinding, and bingo, a perfect fit. This is one of the very few top tier tools I have modified. Generally I would not do this, but it works GREAT! I do have several screw drivers that I have trimmed down to fit exactly what I need.

Fine tune
This can be similar to special fitment. Doing things like adding a magnet to the inside of a socket, adding some tape around a swivel, or taping the edge of a socket can really be a life saver. I wrap the socket that I use to remove wheels in electrical tape. This will prevent nicking or scratching a $400 alloy wheel. I also wrap some of my swivels in electrical tape. It makes the swivel a little more rigid.

When it comes to actually making the tools, a grinder and a cut off wheels are your best friend. It usually takes some trial and error, but it is worth it. Having a wrench that will allow you to do a job faster, because you don’t have to remove a certain bracket is vital to a mechanics success! Here are some more pics of the tools I have made over the years.
[slickr-flickr tag=”specialtools” items=”13″]

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Hey folks, it’s Friday so it’s time again for “Behind The Wrench”. Today we have Joe, a true VW nut, car enthusiast, and all around cool guy. You can really tell from this interview, just how much Joe lives and breathes this industry.

NAME:

Joe aka Joe-hio….or Gus

How long have you been in the Industry?

Professionally 6 hobby wise 26+

What is your current job title?

Volkswagen tech/ part time pre 80’s (Volkswagen) nutcase

What were you doing for your first automotive job?

Working as a Tire tech/lube boy at NTB to save up cash to put me thru tech school

Do you currently work at a Dealer, or in an aftermarket shop, do you prefer one over the other?

I work at a dealer (Volkswagen) never had a chance to be at a independent shop…as preferring one or the other I can’t say, some say avoid the “stealership” at all costs but I must say that there is ALOT of dubs that show up on a hook(towed in) because “indy’s” don’t have the tech or the techs to solve an issue, at the same time there is a lot of good shops that know what they are doing, do the research VIA the web or word of mouth and find out what works for you and your vehicle.

Walk us through what you do on a daily basis.

Hmmmmmm….the daily grind….well being a flat-rate paid individual can be an interesting game of cat and mouse that 97.7% of the population will not understand…I won’t go there for the reason that the person(s) reading this know what I’m talking about…in a nutshell the everyday tech will perform any of the following career paths at any given time, mechanical engineer, electrical engineer; including but not limited to simple power and ground diagnosis to DSO graph interpretation, crime scene investigator for those accident prone Volkswagens, the list goes on and on for us but that’s the path we chose 😉

When you are not working on or with cars, what do you like to do?

When I’m not on the clock I’m still playing with cars, I am restoring a Westmoreland built 84 GTI at home, besides cars I enjoying mountain biking (single speed 29er) and enjoying a nice local craft beer with some good company!!!!! 🙂

What kind of car do you drive?

I drive a Porcelain blue 98 Volkswagen GTI, also have a 2012 golf and a 2000 Cabrio, the list would go on for pages if it were a perfect world!!!!!

What was your first car?

My first car was a 96 Volkswagen Jetta…I never drove it because we couldn’t get the title from the seller….so a 96 Ford Ranger was the first vehicle I legally drove…not the coolest car a high school-er could drive but I made the best of it!!!

What made you want to work on cars?

This question is one of those unanswerable questions….I don’t know what made me choose this path, my parents are not “car” people, my friends were not “car” people….just kinda happened..all I know is that the love for Volkswagens came out of it!!!!!

What is the weirdest thing that you have found in a car, that should not have been there?

2 mannequin the back seat serving as real humans for the HOV lanes in VA…scared the crap out of me when I looked in the rear view mirror, complete with the owners clothes…including underwear…I didn’t bother to ask the reason why mannequin need undies…

Do you have much customer interaction?

Interaction between me and customer usually happens between me and their VW…there are some customers that love to be “in the trenches”, wanting to see everything that goes on, which I enjoy showing them everything they need to stay informed on their dub. But most of the time the interaction I get from the customer is from online surveys or the “thank you” on the way out the door to their car…the techs are really the “behind the curtains” type of people…

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is being challenged in a way that really takes everything you know to figure out the concern at hand, Volkswagens are on the leading edge of technology, which at times, can really test the knowledge of your training…when you get into the “zone” and find the problem there is nothing more rewarding than that, people reading this know what I’m getting at…

If giving the chance, what would you never do again at work?

The one thing that I would never do again at work is…not make the best of your time while you are there…getting into a “slump” or “rut” can effect you and your fellow techs/writers…you just need to make the best of it and be thankful we have a weekly paycheck!!

The auto industry has a really bad rap, what do you say to someone who thinks you are trying to take advantage of them?

Without the auto repair industry, the world of transportation from golf carts to cruise liners would cease. I am proud to say and do the best I can to help out the customer which ever way I can…with that out of the way the dealership especially gets a bad rap for being nicknamed the “stealership” for having outrageous fees and hourly rates that may be higher than the average shop…I think that you get what you pay for in everything, especially for the care of your Volkswagen, I take a great deal of pride taking care the customers needs a expectations, at times I personally hand wash vehicles after a repair to show that the customers vehicle is well taken care of while here. I would love to rid the stereotype of some people about us dealer peeps and give us (or another) try in the future….

Of all the maintenance that cars need, what is the ONE that will keep my car healthy the longest?

From my point of view it would be oil and filter changes…it’s the blood of the engine and needs to be in tip top condition for proper operation….yes there are plenty of other semi equal items that needs regular attention, make sure to check your owners manual for specific maintenance needs!!!!

How important is reading your vehicles owners manual?

Almost as important as wearing clothes in public…it can be costly if you don’t abide by book!!!

Have you read the owners manual to your car?

Another shot of Joe's Westmoreland built 84 GTI. This car has so much potential

But of course!!!! Learned a lot too!!!

What tool in your tool box do you use the most?

My Experience

Is there a brand of tool that you prefer?

I prefer what works without failure,which doesn’t mean the top brands (snap-on, matco, etc.) I have had plenty of crazy high dollar tools that disappointed me big time…being in the industry you soon find out that it isn’t always the name brand that is the failure proof system…but I do like snap-on 😛

If you could only use 3 tools from now on, what would they be (and why)?

Experience, you can’t lose it….Pocket screw driver, it’s like a swiss army knife…but different…A good attitude, not really a tool but it can take you a long way…

If you were building a “James Bond” car, what is the one thing you would add it?

I would most certainly say a invisibility cloak, or a ICEE machine, or just a nice set of bbs 3 piece wheels. 😛

You are sending your kid off to college, what car would you buy for them?

Mk3 (93-98) VW golf 2.0 manual. That of course would be on my pay scale…but since that wasn’t the question I would have to to say a 2012 Touareg…not on my pay scale..

You can see some more pictures of Joe’s GTI build below
[slickr-flickr tag=”westmoreland” items=”5″]
Well, what did I tell you! Folks, if you care about your car, THIS is the type of mechanic you want to have. Imagine, your mechanic getting as excited about your car as you are. That would be really cool. I want to thank Joe for doing such an awesome interview. I will be sure to keep everyone posted on this GTI progress. If you or someone you know would like to be featured in an interview like this, just contact me!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Don’t forget to sign up for email updates, I am still working with my buddy(the one that did the header) on doing some work with the site. There will most likely be something special coming when the new site launches, and the folks signed up will get a first dibs!

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