He, his wife and two children came in and visited. He had just stopped by to say “Thank You”, because he had several CC readers use him after my original Post.
They are a very nice family and Enrique impresses me both from his professionalism in his work, and also for his attitude.
The children had a great time playing with Koki and Koki had even a better time playing with them.
The children both suffer from allergies to gluten and many milk products. I know this forces them to spend more money than the normal Panamanian family because it isn’t all that easy to find gluten free products and when you do, they are more expensive.
In case you need general mechanical help, he has my recommendation. He lives in Algarrobos and works on cars there on his off hours. His Cell # is 6489-0216. He does good work and charges foreigners the same as locals.
I enjoy helping local business and especially individuals like Enrique. If you contact him, tell him that you read about him on Chiriquí Chatter.
There is a new car cleaning company in town. I had my car washed this morning and have to say that the job was much better than any car wash I have had in David or Boquete.
I found this business by accident when Lilliam and I went on our morning walk. A neighbor was having her car washed.
The best thing about this car wash is that they come to your house or office and do the job onsite. How great is that.
They have all of their cleaning equipment in a small SUV and pressure wash your car and vacuum the inside. The solutions used are environment friendly.
They can also wash the engine if needed. Currently they have a promotion and my Suzuki SX4 was $7.00. They will also have a package rate if you get four washes a month. I plan on being a regular customer.
If you have two or more cars, the package rate can be used on multiple cars. In other words, if you have two cars, you might alternate cars being washed each week.
I had met the owner (Alejandro Marricco) several years ago when he owned Mrs. Mendoza’s. I liked him then and it is good to know there is a trustworthy person who is cleaning your car.
He and his son have big plans. They are starting out in David, but hope to expand throughout Chiriquí.
I am including a business card and flier. The son speaks good English.
Give them a try. I think you will be pleased. If you do call them, tell them you heard about them on Chiriquí Chatter. They are on Facebook.
When I get on a project, it literally consumes me. Such is the case in researching what car I want to replace my sold Terios.
Buying a car in Panama is not as easy as it is in the US. There you can check Consumer Reports or other reviews and then go to the potential dealers of the cars in your final list and drive them the see which one suits your desires best.
In Panama your selection is dependent on what is available in Panama and what can be serviced. I have found that one of the best ways to research cars is to use YouTube. After selecting the type and make of cars you are interested in, there are a ton of reviews on YouTube.
It is easier if you see a car being demonstrated. In my case, I am looking for a small car that is not too small. I am looking for one that will spend 75 percent of the time fitting into a parking place in David. Parking and driving in David has become more of a problem over the 10+ years I have lived here. Taking a pickup or SUV downtown is not fun.
I looking for something in the hatchback category. The Terios was great because you could fold down the back seats and carry a lawnmower if you had to. Hatchbacks may not hold quite as much, but the ability to fold down the back seat is still something I want. Continue reading Consumed→
As you may have noticed, the Terios post has been taken down and it will be picked up Monday when the title is transferred to the new owner.
I haven’t spent anytime looking at new cars since 2004, when I bought the Terios. I had a car picked out, prior to the Terios sale, but that deal fell through.
Thursday, Natalie and I went to almost all of the dealers in David to get an idea about what was available. I am going to give you some of my observations from that exercise.
First, I made three trips to Grupo Siliba, over the last week, because I thought the Kia Soul was the car I wanted to buy. The first two visits were ordinary, just looking and I did pick up a Kia Soul brochure. Continue reading Car Shopping Observations→
I took the Terios by Franklin Rangel’s body shop to get it repaired. It is now as good as new. The cost was $45. I highly recommend Franklin. He was recommended by a friend and has been a very good find.
The Terios was in need of tires and after checking prices at Auto Centro, I bought a set of four Federal Himalaya SUV tires in Auto-DK. Auto-DK is a new service center on the InterAmerican Highway a little east of Cochez. It has been open about 4 months. HERE is a google map.
The location is a limited service center and handles alignments, balancing, Oil and filter changes, etc.
The tires, that they carry, are Michelin, KUMHO, Dunlap, Federal, Jinyu and TRI-ACE. I got the Federal, which is a Taiwanese tire. I like the tire better than the Toyo tire I looked at Auto Centro and I think I saved close to 30% including installation and balancing.
As a side note, Panamanian tire service centers typically balance only the front tires. I asked for all four tires to be balanced, because I didn’t want unbalanced tire on the front when I rotated the tires.
I am super pleased with the tires. I talked to the manager of the store and he said they also have a store at the Frontera and the David prices are the same as the store in the Frontera.
This morning I needed to get the oil and filter changed in the Terios. I went back to Auto-DK to get it done as well because there was no waiting. Where I normally go, I couldn’t get it done today.
If you go there, you will most likely see Querube Serrano, who handles all service billing. Tell her that you heard about her and Auto-DK at Chiriquí Chatter. Querube was too shy to have her photo taken. Pity!
That run never happened when the finalization of the contract never happened. Jim is still in negotiations for a Panama run, but has not made any announcements or statements as to where, when or what might occur.
Jim was there today, putting a coat of wax on the car. If I remember correctly, he said he was waiting on an engine replacement for this car and has two more cars in Australia. I think he said one was being brought to Panama.
I mentioned to him that it also appeared he needed to change the rear tires. He said the tires were purposefully filed down for higher traction and used tires off an F14 which are 24 ply.
He said he has a European tour planned and another planned run in Dubai. You might say Jim is living in the fast lane. After looking on the inside, I said it looked like it would be a little scary to make a run. He said it was, but that gave him job security.
He said it had room for a second person in the cockpit, but I did not volunteer to go for a ride.
The most risky thing I do these days is taking a shower when I am out of gas to heat the water.
Following are today’s photos.
Stay tuned. If I get final information on a run in Panama, I will post it. In the meantime, if you are close to David, you might want to stop and take a look at the car.