Check Up

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Since we’ve landed a free parking space here in Ventura for a couple weeks, I thought I might get Thor in for a check up. VW engines are notorious for their oil leaks and Thor is no exception. I check the oil often along with the other fluids and noticed the belts a little loose. These engines are also famous for easy-fix belt tightening but I wasn’t going to get my hands greasy so I took it to the neighborhood mechanic.

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This auto shop had great yelp reviews and was about a mile away. Appointment made early for Friday, dropped off the van, and the shop owner said he’d call before noon. At noon, I CALLED HIM. The mechanic assigned to this job was out to lunch and my van is next in line.

Great! Hali and I could take a walk for lunch about 1pm, get a quick bite, and Thor would be good to go soon after. A belt adjustment on these vehicles for a seasoned mechanic takes less than 30 minutes so it should certainly be done by 2pm. When we walked by the shop, Thor hadn’t been moved from where I parked it. Next in line?

I asked the shop owner why he hadn’t communicated to me that even with an appointment, an easy-fix, and now close to 3pm, why hasn’t the van been looked at? He went on to defend that the “minor adjustments” are scheduled for his crew later in the day. I asked, “Why didn’t you tell me that my scheduled time means nothing when I brought it in at 9am and called again at noon.” His response, “I tell all my customers that at the beginning of the day, I prioritize service according to: diagnostics, major service, minor adjustments.Well, you didn’t tell me that when I made the appointment and handed over the key. Am I not a customer?

I walked the mile home and sure enough I get the call that my van is ready just as I get to the front door. I hop on a borrowed bike, race down to the shop to pick up the van.

The owner, Jon, apologized for the inconvenience, explained he ran a tight shop, and picked up he tab for the work done~about $52.50

Thor’s belts are tight and running better than ever. I’ll save that $52.50 for our next premium grade Chevron gas at the next fuel~up. After 2000 miles on the road, Thor deserves the best.


About Woody

We are a couple who took the first step toward a life of traveling in May, 2015. Staying within the continental US, we amp'd the adventure-factor by traveling in a VW Vanagon, circa 1985. Our mission is to share irresistible and compelling stories conceived from this lifestyle of travel.

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