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Hi. New forum member retired and living in Phuket Thailand. My cars tend to turn into long term hobby activities. Mostly because I have learned not to trust the majority of Thai mechanics and body repair shops. Finding a knowledgeable Thai mechanic is like discovering a treasure. A year ago I bought a 1997 VW Vento which I believe is known as a Jetta in other parts of the world. There are only two VW dealers in all of Thailand and the nearest to me is 350 kms form Phuket. I drove the car to the dealer to have some factory trained mechanics work on the car and also to purchase a couple of backup ignition keys. I had some problems I wanted addressed, A humming, thrumming noise at speed; they replaced the front wheel bearings. A whining noise in the engine compartment; they replaced the water pump. Rough idle; they worked over the ignition. They also replaced some worn out and missing parts like rubber boots, cables and plastic trim. Six days and $1000 later I drove it back to Phuket. Problems not solved. Turned out the thrumming was mismatched tires and oversize rims; the whining in the engine compartment turned out to be a bad radiator fan motor. Rough idle was a hole in a vacuum line. Sheesh! These are supposed to be factory trained mechanics. Not only that but they never put the car on the computer to see the error codes! A few months later I discovered the car had been bashed in the rear. This became apparent when the body putty slathered on the fender and trunk lid started to crack and fall off. I bought a motor manual. I will do my own diagnosis and if I can't do the work myself I will at least know what needs to be done. Now I am having a auto tranny problem. My motor manual says I can't do the work on the tranny must be done by a certified VW shop. I will post my problem as a new thread and see what forum members have to say before trusting my car to the tender mercies of a Thai mechanic. Happy to be here!
 
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