Tag Archives: Car Service


The other evening Enrique Arauz stopped by my house. He had just returned a car to a neighbor of mine and he remembered I lived on this street.

I noticed a car drive by slowly and then returned and parked. I didn’t recognize him at first, but then remembered he was the mechanic I had used on my Terios.

IMG_0371He, 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.

DRS. CLEAN – in David

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.
Carwash Carwash - Version 2

Auto – DK in David

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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.

Click to enlarge

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!


A Good Mechanic

I have had a recent problem with the Daihatsu Terios that I usually drive. In the last month it decided to start discharging the battery. I charged it once and when it was down a week later, I knew I had a problem.

A friend recently recommended a young mechanic that lives in Algarrobos. I was told that he was good, that he was very reliable and that he was very honest. I know from past experience it is easy to get over charged when you don’t know exactly what problem you have.

Remembering the recent recommendation, I called him and asked if he could look at the car.

He has a day job, but works at his house during his off hours. He came by and looked at the car. He listed one or two things it might be, but would need a little time to diagnose it.

I left it with him at his house. Last Thursday he called and said he had corrected the problem, but that I had two belts that were cracked and needed replacing. On a nine year old car that wasn’t surprising. Continue reading A Good Mechanic

Taller Salvador Re-Visited

Yesterday, I went to Taller Salvador to have some tailpipe repair done. The little Terios I drive started sounding like a semi on Wednesday. Part of the exhaust system had separated from the muffler and the end of the tailpipe behind the muffler had started to decompose.

This requited removing two different pieces of the tail pipe and forming two new pieces.

There was two other vehicles ahead of me when I arrived. I sat down and had a long conversation with a local taxi driver (Joel). This is one of the benefits of learning at least a little conversational Spanish. You can converse with more locals.

Joel was a very interesting person. He had been driving a taxi in David for the last 9 years, but he said in April, he was quitting and moving to Panama City to work as a truck driver for the new subway construction.

He said that the life of a Taxi driver in David had gotten too tough. Too many taxis. I agree. You drive down town and there are 5 taxis for every non-taxi, it seems to me.

By the way, I asked him the normal fee from the airport to a hotel and he said it is $3.00/person, so if your airport taxi is asking for more, he is giving himself a tip.

Joel did brag on Taller Salvador. He said there are at least three shops that do this sort of work in David, but he said Salvador is the best. We talked for at least an hour. and I had a great time.

While I was waiting, I also met two individuals from the Lost and Found Lodge. Who know, maybe I will up their way and take some photos one of these days.

I didn’t take any photos this time of the work being done, but you can see some of my photos when I was at Salvador’s in 2009. Based on the old photos, I got a lot more tailpipe for $22 in 2009. This time I got two sections of about 18 inched each for $22. Actual time to fix the car after he started was less than 30 minutes.

DSC00694I did get a photo showing that this is a real mechanic’s workshop. Obviously they are overworked because they haven’t had time to get a 2013 calendar. Continue reading Taller Salvador Re-Visited

Auto Glass Panama

I received the following request for posting.

Hello Don,

My name is Ashton Davies, I’m a young British guy, who has been living in Panama for almost five years. I have recently opened a windsheild repair company here in Panama City, called “Auto Glass Panama“. I used to live in Chiriqui and know that this service doesnt exist there I will be coming to Chiriqui to visit friends and family, I will be there from the 25th to the 27th. I am going to be working in David these dates. I can repair cracks and chips to windshields, the cost averages normally around 35-45 dollars and takes around 40 muinutes so it will ideal for expats that are just goin to David to do some running around in the shops as I can do the repair roadside, while they are in the super. I will be doing this trip every month. I am hoping you will publish this information with my number and photo of the business to help me and to help the many expats that need this service.

Many Thanks
Ashton Davies


A Great Recommendation

I mentioned a long time ago that I had done some body damage on my car. I had backed into a pole and put a nice dent in the rear fender and broke the long brake light.

Also a few months back my AC went out. I had been driving around for several months in a hot car with a bum rear end trying to find a reasonable place to do the work.

I had gone to an AC shop near Bombasa and they had said I needed several parts and the total bill would be approaching $300. I really wanted them to just re-gas it, but they said it needed the other work.

On the body damage, I had a quote to do the body work for around $200 and if I wanted a new taillight assembly, it would be another $200.

Well to make a log story short, a good friend recommended I go see Franklin Rangel (Cell number 64887070). He is off the new double lane road running by KFC toward Boquete.

I went to see Franklin and he said he would do the work for $100. He also said he would recommend Taller Serracin to fix the taillight and even took me over there so I could get a good estimate.

Serracin fixed the taillight for $32 which sure beats $200 for a new one.

Not only that, but Franklin told me an AC place to have my car AC checked. I stopped by it and the fellow looked and said he saw no signs of a leak, so it would be worth trying a gas charge first. If the gas leaked out again he said it would need a new evaporator. He gassed it for $35 and if I need a new evaporator it will be about $200 for labor and parts.

The shop is behind Serviauto Siu Lin and is called Taller Servicentro El Coche. If you facing the front of the David Public library, turn right at the corner to your left. Pass the Ministerio de Trabajo y Desarullo Laboral and at the end of the block on the left you will see the entrance to El Coche.

I have been driving in a cold car again for two days and hope it stays that way, but if it doesn’t I know where I will have my work done.

All in all I think the recommendation I got to talk to Franklin has saved several hundred dollars.