Auto Servicios of Chiriqui is a business that deserves accolades. In the last few months I have spent too much time at Auto Servicios, once with Mayras car and again yesterday with mine.
Mayras old Chevy Cavalier overheated a few months ago near Boquete. We made a mistake and took it to the garage in Boquete near Los Establos. We did not know it was a mistake, they put on a new head gasket charged $380 and the car made it as far as David. I had it towed to Auto Servicios where they looked and reported that the previous garage had not set the timing correctly. The engine was toast. Carlos, the owner said the car was not worth the investment in repair.
Mayra, had it towed to a garage in Bugaba when the mechanic, a friend, tried to save it. Several weeks and hundreds of dollars later, he announced the car was not worth the continuing repairs; Carlos had been correct. My conclusion, a honest mechanic, a realist and good advice from Carlos. No comment made about the mechanic in Boquete.
Then I lost my four wheel drive on my Rexton. That discovery was made driving home one day and required some assistance plying in the mud and towing to get out of a hole. Then a strategic retreat to another road to get home. Since I was scheduled for an oil change I asked Carlos to check on the four wheel drive at the same time. They discovered a vacuum hose was off, fixed it and the charge, nothing. It was already on the lift and the $10 labor for the oil change covered the repair also.
This past week my Rexton developed a starting problem, but only when cold. Elias, the service writer, at Auto Servicios asked me to bring it in before closing so they could try to start it in the morning. To those unfamiliar with a Rexton, it is a unique combination of a Mercedes 300D engine, a Mercedes SUV drive train and a Korean body. The Rexton is no longer sold in Central America but Mercedes 300D engine parts fit.
My Rexton was diagnosed with having two bad glow plugs. The glow plugs warm the cylinders so the diesel engine can start. As I waited for them to repair the car I jumped online to see what I could expect for a bill. Glow plugs in the US are about $20 each and the 300D is five cylinders, parts about $100. The labor stories caused me to panic. I saw labor from $250 to $2500 depending upon complications.
When I received my bill the glow plugs were itemized at $$21.00 each and the total labor $25.
An honest garage is hard to find anyplace, it is nice to know we have one close. Auto Servicios in in David. As you drive from Boquete look to your left about three streets before the Interamericana and it is there set back on the left. Carlos has told me he is closing the shop but for now it is there and I know of none better.