I guess you could say it’s the end of an era. Volkswagen has announced they will stop production of the iconic VW Beetle in 2019.
I have great memories of roaring around town as a child in my mum’s VW Beetle. Roaring is certainly the right word to describe the loud rear-engine bug of a car. Any conversation had to be yelled over the noise of the engine coming in through our open windows. Hot summer days meant we’d stick to the leather seats and have to peel ourselves out of the car once we’d reached our destination. In fact, the seats were so low, my mum needed a cushion to see over the steering wheel. Those were the days!
Volkswagen’s Beetle: The Great ‘People’s Car’
The Beetle started its life in Germany in the 1930s – the vision, as commanded by Adolf Hitler, was to produce a cheap car that could be mass produced and sold to the German people. It was designed by Ferdinand Porsche (yes, the founder of the Porsche car company).
The outbreak of World War II saw the commercial production of the Beetle stopped – only 210 had been made. Through the war, a few variants were produced for the military elite, but an air raid damaged the factory and all production halted in 1944.
Mass Production Begins
Post-war the British took over the damaged factory. Instead of destroying it, a strategic thinking British Army Officer, Major Ivan Hirst, realised that the factory might benefit both the British and the war-torn Germans. There was a desperate need for jobs in Germany and the British Army needed vehicles. He got the factory running again and saw that the British Army approved the commission of 20 000 cars. This new outlet of cheap cars quickly led to the establishment of sales and export networks across Europe and by 1955 the one-millionth car rolled off the production line.
‘The Bug’ steals our hearts
As they say, the rest is history. The Beetle, affectionately known as ‘The Bug’, is a car that has many stories to tell. It helped Germany promote a more positive image after the war and it afforded many a student and young family a means of transport. Its enduring popularity and iconic status are a testimony to our fondness for this fun, little car. It will be missed but definitely not forgotten!
- The original Beetle stayed in production for 6 decades.
- A jaw-dropping 21 529 464 Beetles have been produced
- It’s the most-manufactured car of a single platform ever
- It was voted the 4th most influential Car of the 20th Century in 1999
Volks Affair – German Car Service Specialists in Melbourne
The future of Volkswagen lies in electric cars and family cars. If you’re a VW owner, make sure your car is serviced by a reputable service centre. Volks Affair is an independent German Car Service Centre in Melbourne. We love keeping our customers’ cars in top condition. Give us a call today to book a service.
Maintaining your German car is our speciality. Our auto mechanics are the experts in knowing how to best service and repair your German brand. VW, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and Skoda – if it’s one of these German brands, we can service it.
Of course, every driver should keep an eye on certain aspects to make sure your car runs smoothly. Here are 5 quick car care checks you can do at home, especially before your long family car trip.
Check your radiator
It’s easy to check your radiator coolant – just check to see that it is between the high and low mark on the overflow bottle. If it’s on the low side, you can top it up. Always wait for the engine to cool before you check and don’t try to remove the cap if the engine is hot. If you’re frequently running low on coolant, you may have a leak and you must contact one of our service specialists.
Check your Engine Oil
Check the oil by removing the dipstick – wipe it clean and then reinsert it. Remove and check that it is between the high and low markings. Ensure you’re parked on level ground when you do this. If you’ve had an oil leak and there’s no oil on the dipstick – do not start the engine.
Check your Tyre Pressure
Before you embark on a long journey – check your tyre pressure. You will find the advised tyre pressure inside the front door or in the user manual. If your tyres are too flat, you will affect the braking ability of your car and you will increase fuel consumption. Also look at the tread to gauge how worn your tyres are. They should wear uniformly, if not you may have a suspension problem. Routine rotation of tyres can help spread the wear.
Check your Windscreen Wipers
If you haven’t had the need to use your wipers for a while or you’ve noticed that they’re not wiping your windscreen properly then it’s time to replace the wiper blades. This may seem like an obvious check, but you don’t want to get caught in wet weather and struggle with visibility
Check your lights
Another check that may seem obvious but it’s worth doing – check all your lights; headlights, brake lights and indicators.
If you have any vehicle concerns, don’t hesitate to book your car into our service centre. Our Auto mechanics have many years of experience.
Buying a used car can be challenging so our expert VW mechanics from Volks Affair in Melbourne have provided some good tips.
Step 1 – Research
Look into the year, make and model – all car manufacturers, including Volkswagen have less than stellar years. If you know the year, make and model then you can see if there have been any reported issues across the line. The issue may be easy to fix but being aware of any potential issues can help with price negotiation.
Look at the safety ratings for the car – these are based on real-life accidents. ANCAP Safety Ratings will give you an idea of the car safety rating when the car was new but check the Used Car ratings too.
If you are happy with the year, make and model – the next step is to check the vehicle’s history. Determine if it’s been in any accidents or had other issues that could lead to future problems.
Volks Affair suggests asking these questions when looking for a used VW:
- How many owners has the vehicle had?
- Is the vehicle currently registered?
- Is the car insured?
- What mileage does it get?
- Has it been involved in any crashes (major or minor)?
Step 2 – Pre-purchase Considerations
- Road Worthiness certificate and Record of Regular Servicing
Ask for the paperwork – legitimate sellers will have this all-in order before listing the car.
- Cleanliness of the interior
A cared for car will be clean and well looked after without any splits or tears in the upholstery
- Condition of the body and paint
Faded paint will show exposure to the elements and indicate that the car has been parked outside for long periods. Look out for obvious bumps and scrapes in the body that may be costly to repair. Check for signs of rust and DIY repairs that may not be up to industry standard.
Check that the tyres have worn evenly – if they haven’t it could be a sign that the alignment is out. Don’t forget to check the condition of the spare.
We are an independent service centre specialising in German Vehicles. If you own a VW don’t hesitate to give us a call and book a service with our top-rated VW mechanics.