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Whidbey Island VW/Mazda service dept

I recently had the following experience at Whidbey Island VW/Mazda in
Oak Harbor, WA and wanted to pass it along to everyone.

I was planning to install a new clutch in my VW recently, as it was
starting to slip a bit.  I purchased top quality parts on-line from
Mark Davison of Adirondack Auto Brokers in NY for a great price.  I am
a former mechanic and hate to let anyone work on my car, as it usually
comes back with some sort of problem.

We had that freak blizzard after Christmas that dumped 2 feet of snow
in Oak Harbor and while trying to free the car from it's parking spot,
the clutch went out completely.  I didn't have the time or inclination
to attempt to install a clutch in that messy weather, so I called
around and the only place open that could do it fast was W.I, VW. They
quoted me a price higher than some, lower than others, so I took it in
to them.

They got the job done and I warily picked up the car, expecting
something to be messed up.  To my delight, everything seemed fine and
the car worked great.  I was pleased as punch.  That lasted for 9

As I was coming home from work the clutch started slipping and I
smelled gear oil.  When I parked the car, a puddle of gear oil formed
under the trans.  Since I had furnished the dealer with new trans
seals to install with the clutch, I was a bit upset.  I dropped the
car off at the dealer with a note and borrowed my girlfriend's car for
work the next day.  I was expecting some sort of con job from them,
especially since I had provided the parts.

Jerry, the service manager at W.I. VW called me the next day and said
that indeed the front seal was installed incorrectly and it would
require a new one and a new clutch disc.  They would replace both for
free and provide me a loaner car to use.  I was shocked, to say the
least !  I thanked him for his honesty and picked up the loaner,
feeling much better.

Then I get a call the next day at work from Jerry saying that he made
a mistake, that the problem was not theirs and the trans was shot.  He
asked me stop by after work to show me the problem.  It turned out
that it was indeed shot, and the problem was not related to the work
they did.  (Self machining trans problem for those of you familiar)
Jerry quoted me some prices for rebuilt and used trannies, which I
told him I had found better prices from a couple other sources.  He
said that was fine, it was slow and to take my time and get the best
deal and keep the loaner car.  I found this to be more than reasonable
for him to offer.

I got the trans rebuilt for a nice price and 2 year warranty (almost
unheard of) at Bellevue Motor Sports in Bellevue, WA.  W.I. VW let me
use their loaner and waited 2 weeks from when I dropped the car off
for me to return  the trans to them to reinstall.  They also charged
me 1/2 the labor and even replaced a couple cables they accidently
damaged during the process for free.  They didn't charge a dime for
the loaner car !

I found this to be above and beyond what most shops would do,
especially since it was no fault of theirs.  It was just plain old bad
luck and bad timing for me.  I told Jerry that I was really impressed
and thanked him with a promise to share my story on the internet.
That' why I'm writing this.  

We usually only hear when some shop rips someone off, not when they do
right.  This applies to more than cars.  I'm a firm believer in
praising those who do good, as well as blasting those who do poorly.
In this case, Whidbey Island VW/Mazda deserves a tip of the cap and my
recommendation to those who need a good repair shop.  After my
experience, I'm not afraid to take my car to them again, and will if
needed.  Thanks again Jerry !!

If anyone wants their address or phone, or that of Mark at Adirondack
for parts (best VW/Porsche parts prices and great advice too!) , email
me privately.

Rick Lackner
Oak Harbor, WA

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