Some of you have been waiting for the inevitable post where I write about how a Where the two of my dubiously cheap Volkswagen Touaregs are crashing in a way that creates a quantum oddity in my bank account. I’m happy to say that hasn’t happened yet, but my Touareg VR6 broke stupidly again, and it took two mobile mechanics to get it back on the road.
My 2005 Volkswagen Touareg was the cheaper to run and drive Touareg on Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist within 500 miles. The 177,000-mile SUV sustained significant damage in an accident, but was said to run and drive well. This was sort of half true as the transmission would occasionally flare when shifting into third gear due to a worn valve body.
I never changed the valve body. Instead, I made a workaround that I found on Tuareg Forums and release the accelerator when the SUV has shifted into third. This workaround meant that the Touareg did not go up in flames during my 4,200 mile trip to retrieve my Honda Beat.
Shortly after this trip I decided to see if a flush could improve the shifting. I opened the transmission tray and rinsed it before my trip to pick up the Suzuki Every. The liquid that came out was dirty, and I would bet it was probably the factory fill. I gave him some fresh juice, and on the advice of a VW expert, I threw some Lubègard transmission additive.
Its changes became smooth and precise with the flaring eliminated.
At my hotel in Baltimore, I discovered a new problem as the transmission was now leaking from somewhere. If left to sit overnight, it will leave a small puddle of water. Let it sit for a few days, and it becomes a mess.
I thought maybe I overfilled it, but it didn’t seem right. Eventually I rolled the SUV down my ramps again, expecting to find the damaged or missing filler cap o-ring, causing my leak.
The socket ring looked good, but I replaced it anyway, reloaded the drivetrain, then buttoned it up again. And just as the filler cap tightened, a stream of fluid began to leak out of the transmission. Wait what?
Upon closer inspection, the leak appeared to be from the bubbling paint on the pan next to the filler cap.
As we do, I pushed for the bubble. The paint peeled off, revealing heavy rust and causing the jet of liquid to turn into a shower.
At first glance, the tightening torque of the filler cap while flushing before my trip to Baltimore broke the rust on the pan. Then it got even worse when I completed it this time.
I ended up parking the Touareg as it drained liquid into a giant roasting pan.
I found a clean pan on eBay for $ 35 and bought a gasket set and filter.
Forums suggest the job could take anywhere from three to six hours or more, depending on your tools and the rust you are dealing with. Some people have reported breaking a number of the 16 bolts that hold the pan.
My heartbreaking time has been limited lately as I often find myself all over the country for different events and car trips. To make matters worse, the SUV was no longer able to move around on its own.
So I had to either find time to fix it or have it towed to a mechanic. Then I realized that I had a third option: a mobile mechanic!
Mobile auto services have been around for some time. You can get new tires installed and oil changes done without leaving your home or office. Mobile mechanics are also available, providing car repairs with the same type of convenience.
I first tried Your mechanic, a website that links broken cars to local mobile mechanics. Your mechanic doesn’t offer a transmission case replacement for the Touareg, so at first I felt disappointed. Then I had a galaxy brain moment. Your mechanic suggests a replacement of the transmission fluid and filter. Guess what has to come off to remove the filter?
The mechanic sent by your mechanic arrived early and we had a conversation about how VWs should work. It didn’t take long for him to retire. He found that some of the bolts holding the bin were susceptible to breaking, and he said it was policy he could not break the bolts on a customer car. I told him it was okay, I mean, this Touareg is my drummer, anyway. Unfortunately, he refused.
Seeing that Your Mechanic was a fiasco, I decided to take a different path and find a local mechanic outside of mobile mechanic apps. I have contacted JET mobile car service, a mobile mechanic who advertised to serve my riding. I gave him a call with the truth, including the possibility of breaking some bolts. The owner, Jack, didn’t seem fazed by my threats to work on a Volkswagen and scheduled an appointment.
As expected, a few transmission bolts broke and Jack was able to extract all but one of them.
He must have pierced that one and used a Heli-Coil to restore the threads in this area. Finally, the Touareg had a new liquid fill, new gaskets, a new filter, and a shiny, rust-free pan. I forgot to pick up more Lubegard so the gearshift rockets are back, but they’re not as bad as when I first picked up the SUV. And best of all, using JET was cheaper than towing alone would have been. If you think time is like money, I would also have wasted trying to do it on my own.
So if you are short on time and need to fix your hooptie, I recommend giving a mobile mechanic a chance. You could get your ride fixed without ever getting out of your pajamas.