Sunday, January 25, 2015

Do You Speak Volkswagen?

Turn down the volume on the radio. Listen. Is your car talking to you? Don't you wish it could?

Herbie The Love Bug was the cute racing Beetle made famous in the Disney films. Volkswagen didn't officially endorse the movies so all VW logos or identifying components were removed but it was still good for the brand. Herbie was the original smart car.

A truly smart car would be able to tell you its problems in plain English. Some models will have a nice lady remind you that the door is ajar or that the battery is low but for the serious problems we're left to make sense out of rattles, vibrations, squeals, thumps, and other odd noises.

When you're faced with these audible alerts from your own Volkswagen take it to someone who speaks the language. You need an expert who knows what to listen for.

Go to a local mechanic who specializes in European cars like yours. They will be able to interpret your car's language. They know that high pitched squeal means, "Check my brakes," or that the rattle is your car saying, "Kiss the catalytic converter goodbye."

Most local car repair shops are modernized so they will have more sophisticated tools but don't underestimate the auditory expertise of an experienced mechanic who knows how your car's engine should sound, or not sound.

In addition to the sounds coming from your car, don't forget the visual cues. If a light on your dashboard comes on there's something wrong. It isn't a decorative feature. Your car's manual will explain what the indicator lights mean and suggest an appropriate course of action.

Don't wait for the sights and sounds to go away. Get to your favorite mechanic or repair shop and tell them what's going on. They are trained to know what's best for your car and will take good care of you. If you don't have a preferred mechanic find one and start building that relationship.

If your car is talking to you pay attention. It's rude to ignore people who are talking to you but if you ignore what your car is saying it will cost you.

Douglas Scott is HUGE fan of Volkswagen and finds great auto repair in Indianapolis. For more information on European Autos visit
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