service reviews

Consumer news, Consumer alerts and a Consumer's opinionThis is a tale (service review) of how Precision Automotive Service in Palo Alto, CA on The Peninsula, comes to the rescue once again, with a smart approach and the least pain to my wallet! (I know this will only apply to my local readers, but this is important enough because it’s hard to find a mechanic a consumer feels they can trust. Any Bay Area readers, please share!)

For a year or so my wife’s POS Volkswagen Golf has had an engine light warning signal going off for a while. But it never stays on. It visits for a few weeks, then goes off. On two different occasions the local VW dealer has looked at it and scratched their heads. Though they happily suggested a few very expensive repairs.

I’m not into expensive repairs these days, especially with this VW. I met my wife eleven years ago, and this thing has forced us to make an annual pilgrimage to the garage. And the things that break on it are amazingly stupid, or poorly thought out designing. (Or not, depending on the income focus.)

This week the engine light thing came on and it was accompanied by an angry, sputtering VW engine. But this time, the “check engine” light was blinking.

According to every VW manual and service personnel I’ve ever spoken with, if the “check engine” light blinks, if I understand this correctly, you’re supposed to pull over immediately and stop driving the car.

We didn’t pull over the sputtering piece of “!.” I had my wife drive it home and then I drove it to work and then onward to Precision Automotive over in Palo Alto. I took it there because they have proven to me on multiple occasions with all of our vehicles, that they take a no-nonsense approach, with MY WALLET in mind.

I pulled… no, make that, I sputtered in and pulled up. Even though they were slammed, I pulled in right as they opened and they were gracious enough to not only take a quick peek, but also fix my small issue before noon of the same day.

Yes, I said small issue. And here, that “blinking check engine” light was actually terrifying me.

When they hooked up a computer to the VW, they had a readout of a misfire in cylinder 2. But then the Precision Automotive gang had an idea and tried something.

[click to continue reading…]

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