The long and scenic drive home from Rome to Rothenburg after my most recent tour had ended was marred by problems with my Volkswagen “Multivan.” I thought my turbo was slowly losing its steam. Who could blame it? I have 156,000 kilometers on my 2005 adventure machine.
Still, I was sweating bullets as I crept along in the truck lane at barely 110 kilometers an hour, all that I could coax out of my vehicle at times. At other times, after a breather of 10 or 15 minutes, no problem. Back up to 150 kilometers per hour and I could once again enjoy the scenery of the Brenner Pass, shown above. But the next day, after staying overnight in a picturesque village near Trento the problem was back and I was once again creeping up the mountains approaching the Austrian border. On the way down into Innsbruck, no problem. Coasting part of the way, I was back up to a comfy speed. Even so, it was a long 1,300 kilometers back to Rothenburg, worrying all of the way that I was facing an expensive repair at my local VW dealer.
Autohaus Breitschwert didn’t let me down. I’m on my third van purchased from this terrific company in Rothenburg and today, their usual straightforward, exceptionally honest service resulted in good news. A little varmit had chewed its way through a hose buried deep in the engine compartment. (For the third time in two years, no less!) I couldn’t see the bite marks, but the engine felt them from time to time. This probably happened when I was parked on the edge of San Gimignano near an orchard. Italian varmit territory. Animal rights activists won’t like this, but I’ve had it with hungry, chewing rodents. Tomorrow the good folks at Breitschwert will install a little electronic zapper. No more chewed hoses. No more tense drives through alpine passes. More good news – a customer at the dealership wants to buy my van.
She especially likes the idea of a built-in varmit shocker.