Guide to Volkswagen-friendly repair shops
Note: The contents of this guide were checked for accuracy when this article was updated on July 11, 2010 at 3:02 p.m. We continually update the thousands of articles on OnMilwaukee.com, but it's possible some details, specials and offers may have changed. As always, we recommend you call first if you have specific questions for the businesses mentioned in the guide.
Over the years, Volkswagen offered new versions of their vintage models, like the "new" Beetle and the Eurovan, but many folks still prefer the old school bugs and microbuses.
"At any given time, in any given room, there is always someone who at one time in their life owned a VW Beetle or bus," says Roy Henning, the vice president of Mofoco, 102 W. Capitol Dr.
Volkswagen culture is so filled with enthusiasts it's sometimes, jokingly, referred to as a "cult," and anyone with an old VW knows that driving it around inspires people to wave, point and flash the peace sign.
The constant need for parts and repair are part of the fun of owning an old VW. Hence, Volkswagen owners often share manuals and information, tinker around with the "guts" of their vehicle and try to locate needed parts via the Internet or other sources.
"As newer cars get more and more complicated with computers, an aircooled VW can always be worked on in any garage with relatively simple tools," says Henning, whose father, Randy, opened the business in 1969.
At times, lack of time or a particularly perplexing job requires vintage VW owners to consult an expert, so it's groovy to know that Milwaukee has a few really good Volkswagen repair shops. Here's a list of them and feel free to add others via the Talkback feature.
Vintage Volkswagen repair shops in Milwaukee:
9601 Washington Ave., (262) 886-2886
Boucher offers basic VW maintenance and repair for vintage models and can farm out body work jobs to Boucher Chevrolet.
Hall Volkswagen Mazda
19809 W. Bluemound Rd., (262) 782-5300
Hall services Volkswagens both old and new. The business offers basic repair and has a body shop.
Jim's Bug Center
822 W. St. Paul St., Waukesha, (262) 547-9667
Jim's is a family-owned and operated business that services all makes and models of Volkswagens. They will handle any repair with the exception of body work. Jim's specializes in locating VW parts. "We have an excellent source for parts," says one mechanic.
102 W. Capitol Dr., (800) 558-8955
For 40 years, Mofoco has been in the air-cooled vintage Volkswagen business. The family-owned business rebuilds transmissions, engines, carburetors and heads. They also carry or locate parts. "If we don't stock it, we can get it," reads the Web site.
Riverwest Automotive Services
801 E. Keefe Ave., (414) 332-3844
Riverwest Automotive is a small ASE-certified shop in Milwaukee's Riverwest Neighborhood. The shop specializes in brakes, engine repair, electrical repairs and oil changes. At this point, RAS does not offer body repair.
3700 N. Holton St., (414) 964-5535
RK Motors offers basic VW maintenance, including oil changes and tune-ups, but does not offer body work or advanced jobs that require hard-to-find parts.
Jake at Riverwest Auto is outstanding. Honest and straightforward. Not a salesman.
The real question is, why on earth would anyone voluntarily purchase a VW? They are consistently ranked among the worst automobiles in owner satisfaction, reliability, etc. Yes, I know that the VW is a bastion of hipsterness and all Riverwest resident aspire to own one...and all Bay View pseudo-families aspire to own two even though they only have a one stall garage...but come on, people, wake up and make a decision based upon logic, not based upon what's hip and trendy. I would rather have a vintage Yugo than a vintage VW.
If you need/want a Saab guide, here's the inside tip: European Auto House in Mequon! Yep, Tom Mueller is an "old school" Saab tech-we have used him for many years for our many Saabs. Try it, you'll like it.
Do any of these shops work on Corvairs?
VW4LIFE, can you please send me a direct e-mail and let me know what problems you had and when you had them? firstname.lastname@example.org
Show me the other 4 Talkbacks
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