1707 Chester Ave, Bakersfield, CA 93301
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Fantastic air-cooled VW spot! Traveling west in my '69 Beetle from ABQ to San Francisco I started to have some mysterious sputtering engine issues somewhere West of Kingman, AZ, but managed to get to Mojave, CA for an overnight stay at the also fantastic Mojave Desert Inn (see a separate review elsewhere/somewhere!). Initially I thought I got ahold of some bad gas back in Kingman, but after fueling up with 91 octane 20 miles down the road in Tehachapi, the problem was persisting and worsening. By the time I hit stop and go traffic in Bakersfield it was obvious I was going to need some help. So I Googled "air cooled vw" on my phone and German Dreams became my dream come true. I hobbled up and was warmly greeted by George and asked what was up. Explaining that I was long distance traveling and "in a bit of a pickle", I explained my issues, noting that I had done a mini-tune on the motor that very morning in Mojave (I typically do all of my own basic maintenance on the car but once in awhile I come across a problem that I just can't seem to nail down). I knew I had an intake/vacuum leak somewhere but was unable to figure out where exactly. George listened intently, wrote up a quick work order, and assured me they'd get to it ASAP and get me back on the road THAT DAY. Granted, one can't expect to just pull up and be tended to immediately, and after all, I'd just landed right at lunchtime. But George and the others were gracious hosts and we traded VW & dog stories for the odd hour or so that it took to take care of the business ahead of me and for "reinforcements" to return from lunch. Once George pulled the car in he *immediately* honed in on the offending part -> a loose electronic idle cut-off jet on the carburetor. I thought, "duh! why didnt I think to check that?!?!" (VW nerds will know what I mean). And beyond that -> he gladly tutored me on the basics of tuning my particular carburetor (the relatively obscure, single model year/US only Solex 30 PICT-3, for which I have found NO decent reference material online - and aside from simple, one-screw idle adjustments I have done zero work on that carb for 20 odd years). So not only did I receive same-day, timely service - I also got a great lesson in some basic maintenance that was heretofore missing from my mechanical vocabulary. Furthermore, I was not handed a laundry list of parts that I didn't need - just a carb/intake manifold gasket). I was back on the road and eating In 'N Out for lunch within 2 hours and only 50 odd dollars poorer for the experience. The car ran GREAT and with GUSTO all the way back to San Francisco. So here is my shout of praise far and wide for all to hear that German Dreams is THE place to go if you own a VW. I will most definitely return even if only to say hello if I'm passing through (a Westfalia Vanagon w/ Subaru conversion is in the works as we speak.) FOREVER thankful that a VW/Porsche centric shop of this caliber and kindness exists in the world!!! THANK YOU!
This shop has seen a bit of a change since i was first introduced a few years ago. And for the better! The guys here have worked on my 911 Turbo for over 3 years. They have been the only ones to work on it since Ive had it. Do not let the looks of the shop fool you. I have know many in newer cars that have kept driving by because they see an old bug or bus outside. I can assure you that they know there modern cars also. That is the direction they have veered toward! With a few 911 Turbos as frequent customers, as well as M6, GTR and AMG cars... they are the ones to go to for maintenance or performance needs in the area!