I was very excited when I was invited to come for a tour of Gunthers workshop, firstly because I was intrigued by the excitement in Gunthers voice when he started listing what he was going to show me, and secondly because I need a service and someone trustworthy to check up on a bakkie which we just acquired.
So I headed off to Gunther’s workshop, which is attached to his home in Manaba, to meet the man that I have been hearing to many good things about.
What an experience that turned out to be.
Gunther was born in Austria and he finished his “matric” at the age of 15 and he then proceeded to start learning his trade the proper way; which is to study, then go through apprenticeship, get qualified, work for established businesses and then finally open your own business.
I quickly got to understand Gunther’s personality, when he started showing me his reams and reams of certificates, commendations, newspaper articles and other credentials. Gunther is a man who is very excited about everything he does, he never stops smiling and he made me laugh a number of times – just by being so typically German.
One of the times still makes me chuckle, when he told me about a mechanic who he went to assist, who took a battery out of another customers car to test a vehicle. The look on his face and the shock and horror in his voice (with strong German accent) when he told me the story, was absolutely priceless.
I felt like a sergeant major conducting an inspection, when he started showing me his auto equipment. One moment, I am standing in a spotless workshop, without even a drop of oil on the floor and the next thing literally hundreds of boxes are being pulled out of cupboards and opened to show me the equipment inside.
I actually learnt quite alot in the hour or so that it took to show me all his tools and electronic toys. Each manufacturer has specific tools which must be used if you want to do the job as per the manufacturers specifications. There is literally a different tool for every different task.
Believe me when I say that my new catch phrase, when I speak to a mechanic is “do you have the proper alignment tools?”
Even something as simple as tightening a spark plug is done with legendary German precision. Gunther showed me some very fancy computer software which shows you how each and every bolt and mechanical part must be set for each vehicle manufacturer and model.
If Gunther tightens, lets say your sparkplug – rest assured that it will be done to the exact, exact, specifications and with the best torque wrench that money can buy.
My favourite, I have to say, was the electronic equipment and the diagnostic equipment. Wow, it is absolutely amazing what science has given us. My jaw was hanging on the floor when he explained how a leakage tester works. So clever.
I think that I have become a bit of a snob, after this tour. I no longer want my oil to simply be “changed.” I want my motor to be connected to Gunthers oil changing machine (there was a fancy name for it but I forgot), which sucks all the oil out of your motor, flushes the motor clean of all grime and then fills up your oil to the exact milliliter that the manufacturer specifies.
Please don’t set my headlights by hand, peasant, I want my headlights set by Gunthers fancy machine that does the job to exact micro specifications of the manufacturer. Oh, and please do not come near my car with that dirty rag, put down protection thank you.
I can go on and an, but I will rather suggest that you go and see Gunther and ask him any questions about your car troubles.
CALL: 084 451 6562
Oh, and about my bakkie. Gunther jumped under it faster than a cat running away from a dog and pointed out a list of small issues that will become big issues if I do not attend to them. The engine sounds great and the bakkie is in amazing condition, besides a few rubbers that have worn over time. Phew, that is exactly what I was hoping to hear.
ps. If you think that all this fancy equipment and German tradesmanship will cost you the Earth, think again. Gunther chuckled and giggled like a naughty schoolboy when he told me that he does not have a landlord to pay, and that he charges half of what he had to when he had his big workshop in Ballito.