[T3] On the Road Again!

Keith Park topnotch at nycap.rr.com
Wed Oct 11 16:51:18 PDT 2023

Oh wow!  Sorry about your bad luck Jim!  You do have my buddy Bob's dream
car though.
Did they have a Uhaul in town?  $700 got me a 10' box truck and a car hauler
to get my Square
Back from Richmond VA yesterday, just over 600 miles.  A tranny rebuild was
just a bit much 
For me when I was down there but I suppose given some more time I could have
scarfed up a Tranny
That would be usable and changed it out... even with the 2056 which isn’t
quite as easy to get out
As a stock motor is.


Topnotch Restorations
topnotch at nycap.rr.com
71 Squareback  “Hothe”
65 Notchback  “El Baja Rojo”
93 RX7  “Redstur”
13 Subaru Outback "Blendin"

-----Original Message-----
From: type3-vwtype3.org <type3-vwtype3.org-bounces at lists.vwtype3.org> On
Behalf Of jadney at vwtype3.org
Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2023 10:57 AM
To: Type3 at vwtype3.org
Subject: [T3] On the Road Again!

Well, as many of you already know, Melissa and I drive to Tucson, AZ each
fall, to visit our daughter. We pick this time of year because the Tucson
heat should start to be tolerable, and we will still have time to drive home
before the roads home get iced over. This year, we made it to Liberal, KS
[far SW corner of Kansas, almost certainly not actually liberal, so I kept
my political leanings under wraps] without difficulty, but our luck ran out

Following a perfectly nice dinner in downtown Liberal, our GPS got confused,
and I stupidly followed it into an alley, where I ran across what I can only
describe as a "dry wash". A "dry wash is a concrete paved dip in the road
that is meant to carry water across on those rare occasions when it rains:
sort of an official gulley. This one would have been perfectly safe at
5 mi/hr, but it was dark, I didn't see it, and I hit it at maybe 20 mi/hr.
The car hit its chin HARD on the far side of the gulley.

Shortly thereafter I got a red dash warming light. The car continued to
drive normally, so I drove back to our motel parking lot, where Melissa
found a slowly spreading puddle coming out from under the front of our car.
It was red and seemed oily, So I guessed it was ATF, but our Golf Sportwagon
does not have an AT; it has a DSG (Dual Shift Gearbox.) I don't know what
color the DSG fluid is. There's no body damage that I can see, and the
plastic underbody sheathing is intact, and I can see some areas where it's
been in contact with something, but I can't tell what's new from what's old.

Nevertheless, I'm thinking this is SERIOUS meaning $$$. And there's no VW
dealership nearby and almost no one that works on imports. This is
Chevy/Ford country, with a few Toyotas.  

It took over an hour to find the place in the owner's manual that mentions
that warning light. It doesn't come up under warning lights in the index.
What I finally found was that this was a general warning and that I'm also
supposed to read the text that appears on the display. 
Seems reasonable, but when I went back to look for the text, I found that
the warning light stays on, but the text disappears after about 2-3 seconds.

Finally, I got the text to reappear: "Check Cooling System." Okay, that
sounds bad, but a little less bad than before. I can see puddles on the
bracket under the radiator. I find that I can snake one arm down thru the
tangle of hoses just far enough to get a finger on the lower radiator hose
nipple. It wiggles rather freely. We're gonna need a radiator.

I start to look for VW dealers. Nothing close. I called the VW Roadside
Assistance number that's in our owner's manual stuff. They can get us a tow
to the nearest dealer, which is in Amarillo, TX, 182 miles away. The catch
is that I'll still be paying for it, all $1300+ of it.

I look around Liberal for towing services. There's one across the street
from us. It's night, but I walk over there to look it over and they have
nice flatbeds. I also walk to a nearby auto workshop. It appears to be
surrounded by cars in bad shape that haven't moved in awhile.

The towing place opens the next morning at 8; I'm there at 7:45 but the
owner is there before me. Nice old guy, family business: him, his wife, two
sons. One son can haul us to Amarillo,
182 miles for just over $1000. He's giving me a bit of a break; otherwise it
would be closer to the VW Roadside Assistance price. My innate cheapness is
bugging me, but I fear that I could spend a few days and nights in Liberal
and STILL have to be hauled to Amarillo. I give in. We get to the Amarillo
VW dealership at 1 that afternoon. I called them earlier in the hope that
they could be ready for us and have parts waiting.

Well, they were ready, but no parts. They finally admitted that they don't
keep radiators in stock. Nowit's the next morning and we're holed up in a
local motel waiting for some/any reassuring news. I just called this
morning, and they finally have our car up on the rack where someone can
start looking at it, and figuring out what the repair is going to take. 

My main worry is that we'll stay here 2 nights and then they will tell us
that it will be a week or so. At some point we might wish we had rented a
car to finish the trip and come back here in a week or so. I called the
friends we had planned to spend the next two nights with and realized that
if we had been in one of our Squarebacks, I'd have us back on the road the
next day at the latest. Old cars DO have their advantages!

Sorry for the long post.

Wish us luck!

Jim Adney, jadney at vwtype3.org
Madison, Wisconsin, USA

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