May 23: Day 16. We are in Kalispell, MT, and the car is at the last antique VW repair place we know of before 2000 miles to Alaska. We took the car in for a routine service, and they found an oil leak in the seals where the oil cooler connects. The engine must come out to fix it. I am having the repair done because we could suddenly lose our engine oil… and ruin the engine. This will take an extra day and we will now be a day behind the rally until we catch up.
Another problem, this one from the repair shop. The ower doesn’t want to put synthetic oil back in because it “could ruin the engine.” I insisted on it because it runs longer between oil changes and we don’t have spare time for oil changes on the way home because of our flight to Paris.
The shop’s owner is unhappy with me and opinionated on the subject. He also knows that “antique VW engines never get vapor lock.” Perhaps I am opinionated too but Europeans I know who drive old VWs all use synthetics without a problem. I hope I am not shooting myself in the foot but conflicts like this leave me feeling sick.