I would not recommend Fred's.
I have been taking my 2002 VW Eurovan for maintenance service, to Fred’s Garage since January 2006 or when the car had 55,655 miles on it.
They seemed to do good work and were reasonable, but from the very start I had concerns about their unorganized and haphazard
approach to service. Despite the fact that they are forgetful they don't keep records and every time you go in it is as if it is the first time the car is being serviced with no past history or record of work done. You have to keep reminding them of the work they did.
At 60,000 miles they changed the fluid in the transmission of my car and despite the fact that I took the car for service every 5K miles after that, including major tuneups at 80K and 100K, at 108K after I had been complaining about the transmission behaving strange intermittently, and they had said they would keep an eye on the transmission, Tom did finally checked out the transmission and told me that I needed a new one for $6K. At that point I thought I might as well drive the car until the transmission died before replacing it and just asked them to change the fluid. Tom changed the fluid and told me that it was extremely low and felt slimy and gritty. I started to think about why the fluid level would be so low since I had regularly taken the car for maintenance service to Fred's. I took the car back at 115K for another service and asked them to check the fluid level which they found to be low by half a quart. It immediately became obvious that this was what had happened the first time they changed the fluid at 60K . The fluid level was slightly low so it operated at higher temperatures and eventually burnt off and became excessively low and caused internal damage. They failed to check the fluid level as is stated in the service manual and top it off despite the fact that I took it in for service every 5K miles.
I finally took the car to a transmission re-builder at 118K who rebuilt it for $3.5K and told me point blank that the only reason the transmission failed was low fluid level for a prolonged period of time which had damaged the clutches and contaminated an internal valve.
Fred's Garage have yet to acknowledge their negligence.
If you take your car to Fred's make sure you have a maintenance schedule from a dealer and be vigilant in telling them what to do and what to look for.
Finally found a VW mechanic that I trust..
Fred's is great. I looked for a VW mechanic for years that I trusted and who did not charge me an arm and a leg (read: opposite of the dealer experiences I have had). I found Fred's on Yelp and tried them out for my Passat. Wow, they were honest and 1/3 the price of the dealer for the work I needed and were clear about the work I did not. For one repair they told me it should be a warranty repair and suggested I try having the dealer do it for free but I was so sick of the dealer that I asked them to swap the part for me (which they did at no charge, they just charged me for the part).
The place looks like an outdoor museum/junkyard when you drive up and you will see VW's of every generation but they seem comfortable working on the modern stuff too (mine is a 2001 and there were later gen cars there too). I even took a few invoices to my Miata mechanic (my other car and other mechanic who I love, see that review), they were amazed at the pricing for the work that was done.
If you want to see more comments, check out Yelp, you will see what I mean. (5 stars may seem like overkill but when you have had the experiences I have, finding a quality affordable shop is a breath of fresh air to me).
Best VW Mechanic. The best rear-engine Volkswagen repair in the Bay Area -- thirty miles from my home and worth the trip. Reasonably priced and careful with your money. Good repairs and scrupulously-honest quotes.
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