New Beetle Needs Work + Brakes
February 23, 2007 12:02 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for Volkswagen service and brake service in San Francisco.

I dropped my 1998 New Beetle off at the dealer a week ago yesterday, and they just now got back to me with an estimate of $1100 to replace the brakes. The one-week delay makes me want to go somewhere else (I take public transportation, so it wasn't a huge deal, but still), and $1100 seems steep for brakes.

The Car Talk site had good reviews of Advanced Audi Volkswagen, City Automotive, and Moss Motors, so it'd be great if anyone's used one of them.
posted by kirkaracha to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I'm in OH, but I would think that service at a VW dealer should be consistent throughout the country. I spent $429 on rear brake pads and rotors, and a flush of the brake system, on a New Beetle recently.
posted by ferociouskitty at 12:49 PM on February 23, 2007

I used to go to Moss Motors for my early 90s Jetta and thought they were AWESOME. They explained everything to me and I never felt like I was being taken advantage of. I don't have tons of experience with car ownership so I was never sure how much things should cost or if they were inline with the going rate locally but I really didn't care because I liked and trusted them. They even let me pay two installments on a repair I needed when I worried that I couldn't afford the brake job I needed. When my Jetta finally died due to a bad oil change I got at Jiffy Lube the mechanic there was SO nice to me and helpful and didn't charge me anything for the diagnosis (or counseling!). Also, he said he'd help out in any way to try to make a complaint against Jiffy Lube but I was too lazy to do that.

I don't have a VW anymore and don't live very close to them anymore, otherwise I'd still go there. Plus, the shop is really close to the BART stop so it's easy to drop off your car and be on your way via transit.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 2:11 PM on February 23, 2007

I can't help you particularly with SF, but I can tell you that there is no reason to go to a VW dealership to fix the brakes. There are exceptions, but as a rule VW dealerships are well known for charging far too much (and doing shoddy work to boot). You don't even need to go to a VW specific shop since brakes are pretty similar on most cars, including VWs. Someone you know probably knows a good local mechanic.

You should also find out what they say needs to be replaced on your car. Most likely it is just the pads and rotors (front? back? both?), in which case $1100 is quite steep. For reference, I recently replaced the front pads and rotors on my Jetta at a cost of $120 in parts (but you should expect to pay a little more for parts when a mechanic does the work). The labour shouldn't be too bad as it isn't a particularly involved job. Once you find out what exactly needs to be replaced, it should be easy to call a couple shops and ask them for a quote.
posted by ssg at 2:21 PM on February 23, 2007

I will recommend Carlos at Carlos Exclusive Auto Service at McAllister and Central. He has worked on my BMW for years and is honest and reasonably priced. He also gets a good review from the Car Talk site.
posted by beetsuits at 2:29 PM on February 23, 2007

Good place in Berkeley on the east side of San Pablo a few blocks north of Ashby (forget what it's called, sorry, will let you know the name if I pass by there sometime soon).
posted by salvia at 2:56 PM on February 23, 2007

Response by poster: I finally talked to the guy at the shop (we'd been exchanging voice mails), and it's front and back pads and discs.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:26 PM on February 23, 2007

Maybe salvia is thinking of AVS- Audi Volkswagen Service. It's a great shop and Eddie Delgado is a straight shooter. On San Pablo Avenue next to Omega salvage.
posted by pgoes at 6:29 PM on February 23, 2007

I think the place I'm thinking of is further south, more like San Pablo & Oregon. It does have Volkswagen in the title, though.
posted by salvia at 3:34 PM on February 25, 2007

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