Volkswagen Repair and Service Santa Barbara Haik's German Autohaus
Haik's German Autohaus
310 E. Cota Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
(805) 965-0975

Volkswagen Repair and Service Santa Barbara

Volkswagen Audi Porsche BMW Mini Mercedes

Specializing in the Maintenance of all VW Models
VW Repair | VW Service | VW Care

Golf - Golf R - Passat - Jetta - Jetta Hybrid - CC - Touareg - Touareg Hybrid - Tiguan - Beetle -New Beetle- Eos
GTI - Jetta Sport Wagen - Euro Van - Phaeton - Fox - Corrado - R32 - GLI - Routan - Cabrio

Auto Repair Volkswagen Tiguan

Volkswagen Auto Services We Provide

Car Check and Inspection Services

Car Check | Service Engine Soon | Vehicle Inspection | Check Engine Light Diagnosis | Trouble-Shooting | Diagnostics | Pre-Purchase Check | Safety Check |

VW Services

Air-Conditioning Service | Air Filter | Battery Service | Belts | Brake Fluid Flush | Cabin Filter | Coolant Change | Diesel Service | Differential Service | Engine Service | Fuel Filter | Car Noises | Oil Change | Power Steering Flush | Spark Plugs | Transfer Case Service | Transmission Service | Tune-Up | And More…

Volkswagen Repair By Symptom

Running Problems | Starting Problems | Warning Lights | Check Engine Light | ABS Light On | Brake Warning Light | Tire Monitor On | Service Light On | SRS | Dead Battery | Overheating | Air-Conditioning Not Cold | Shifting Problems | Car Noises | Oil Leaks | Shaking | Windows Not Operating | And More...

VW Repairs

Air Bags | Air-Conditioning | Alternator | Battery Replacement | Body Repair | Brakes | Catalytic Converter | Computer Controls | Cooling System | Diesel Repair | Door Locks | Engine Repair | Electrical Repairs | Electronic Computer Repairs | Exhaust System | Key Ignition Lock | Leaks | Light Bulbs | Lighting | Mirror Replacement | Muffler | Noises | Oxygen Sensors | Power Steering | Radiator Replacement | Seat Belts | Shock Absorbers | Starter | Thermostat | Tire Replacement | Transmission Repair | Transmission Replacement | Water Pump | Window Lifters | And More...

See Haik’s Custom Services

Our Qualifications

We have the latest tools, diagnostic equipment and factory information to perform even the most difficult jobs on your VW.
Our master mechanics have the knowledge and experience to diagnose your car problems efficiently and cost-effectively.

Please call for an appointment or come by for a chat about your Volkswagen.

Volkswagen TDI particulate filter being replaced at Haik's German Autohaus

Volkswagen TDI particulate filter being replaced at Haik's German Autohaus

Porsche Audi Volkswagen Mercedes BMW Mini

Volkwagen Factory Services

For Volkswagen Factory Service Schedules, see below.

Volkswagen Factory Service Schedules

VW Factory services are performed every 10K (10,000) miles.

Every VW model and year has a different factory service schedule. The following is an overview:

10K Service:

  • Engine Oil and Filter change
  • Air Bag System visual check
  • Windshield Washer Fluid add
  • Auto Shift Lock check
  • Brake Fluid level adjust
  • Brake Pad wear check
  • Tire wear depth check
  • Tire pressure adjust
  • Wheels rotate front to rear
  • Reset Service Indicator

20K Service:

  • Engine Oil and Filter change
  • Air Bag System visual check
  • Headlights check and adjust
  • Windshield Washer Fluid add
  • Automatic Shift Lock check
  • Brake Fluid level check and adjust
  • Brake System check for leaks
  • Brake Pads check wear
  • Battery check
  • Engine check for leaks
  • Cabin/Pollen Filter replace
  • Cooling System check level and adjust
  • Transmission check for leaks
  • Tires check wear depth
  • Tire Pressures adjust, including spare
  • Wheels rotate front to rear
  • Driveshaft Boots check
  • OBDII check for DTCs
  • Door Arresters lubricate
  • Exterior Lighting check front and rear
  • Exhaust System check for damage and leaks
  • Sunroof Frame clean and lubricate
  • Road Test
  • Front Axle check dust seals on ball joints, tie rods, check tie rods
  • Reset Service Indicator

30K Service:

Same as 10K Service

40K Service:

Same as 20K Service


  • Accessory Belt check
  • Spark Plugs replace (depending on model)
  • Air Filter replace
  • Wiper Blades check
  • Brake Fluid replace every 2 or 3 years (depending on model)
  • Automatic Transmission check ATF
  • Final Drive check for leaks and fluid level

50K Service:

Same as 10K Service

60K Service:

Same as 20K Service


  • Timing Belt check and replace if necessary
  • Spark Plugs replace (depending on model).

*The whole service schedule repeats this service cycle for future services.

See Specific Model VW Factory Service Schedules here or here..

VW Repairs & Services

See our Services page

See our Repairs page.

*Or give us a call at 965-0975 for a free personal consultation.*

Pre-Purchase Check

Bumper to bumper check.

*For a complete list of inspection items, see Inspection (Car Check) on our Services page.

Volkswagen Timing Belt

Volkswagens and Audis use timing belts rather than timing chains. The timing belt’s purpose is to connect the crankshaft to the camshafts in order to time the pistons and valves in accordance with each others movements. The timing belt is made of a tough neoprene rubber with nylon cords embedded in it. Despite the advantage of being quieter, lighter in weight and cheaper, belts wear faster than chains. Timing belts last[s]*** a fair amount of time, but when that time is over, the belt becomes increasingly fragile and can break with serious consequences. Best to heed the factory recommendation and replace it on schedule.

Timing Belt Replacement

Replacing the timing belt is one of the most critical services performed on Audi and Volkswagen engines. If the timing belt breaks, the resulting engine damage is massive. The last broken timing belt job we repaired on an Audi TT 1.8T cost the customer $5,500. The engine needed a new cylinder head.

Interference Engine

Most Volkswagen and Audi engines are interference engines. This means that when the crankshaft pushes the piston up to top of the stroke and the camshaft pushes the valves down to open them, the piston and valves will smash into each other if the crankshaft and camshafts are not timed properly. When the timing belt breaks, there is no more timing.

Not all engines are interference. One might ask why make interference engines. The reason is higher compression as the piston comes up higher in the cylinder and thus better performance.

Timing Belt Replacement intervals

Volkswagen of North America recommends replacement of the timing belt at regular intervals. This is a critical service that should not be overlooked.

Engine Timing Belt Replacement:
  • 75K Miles - 1.8T; 3.0L; 2.7L turbo; A8 4.2
  • 110K Miles - 2.0L
  • 130K Miles - 2.0L TDI

Complete Timing Belt Job

When the timing belt is replaced on Volkswagen/Audi engines there are other parts replaced at the same time for a complete job. The timing belt, belt tensioning roller and idler roller are a part of the repair.

The water pump is also replaced at that time. The water pump is driven off the timing belt and will have the same amount of mileage on it as the belt. If the water pump bearing wears out, the timing belt could slip or break resulting in serious engine damage. Even if no other engine damage occurred, or if the water pump just developed a leak, the water pump would have to be replaced. Since the water pump job alone is about the same amount of labor time as replacing the timing belt, it would be a terrible waste of money for the customer to have to pay for the whole job over again.

In addition, we also replace the thermostat and plastic thermostat cover. Other parts to consider replacing are the coolant hoses, coolant reservoir, spark plugs, valve cover gaskets, accessory belt and tensioner.

The entire timing belt job with water pump is approximately six to nine hours long, depending on model. It is the most costly major service expense the vehicle requires on a routine basis.

Visual inspection does not always reveal a worn or damaged timing belt.

Sometimes the timing belt shows no sign of damage or wear, so it is wise to replace it at the designated interval.

One VW Jetta was towed to our shop because the engine would not start, even though it cranked freely. The customer stated he heard no noises when the engine stopped running. Ignition, fuel delivery, fuel injection were in order. There were no vacuum leaks. The timing belt felt tight. We pulled the spark plugs and ran a compression test. Compression was zero in all cylinders. Removing the timing belt revealed teeth on the belt which had been sheered off at the bottom of the crankshaft gear where it couldn’t be seen with the belt on. The crankshaft was turning, but the camshafts were not. It is a mystery how the customer could not have heard the noise when the damage occurred, as the valves were all smashed.

It is wise to be safe and heed the replacement intervals for the timing belt job. It costs considerably less than replacing the cylinder head if the belt should break.

Unique VW Features

Among the German car lines, Volkswagen is somewhat unique and requires specialized skills to maintain.

Front Wheel Drive

Volkswagen uses front wheel drive rather than rear wheel drive. Front wheel drive means that the front wheels act as propulsion for the vehicle. The front wheels, as with all cars, steers the vehicle. The advantage of front wheel drive is great handling. Front wheel drive cars outperform rear wheel drive cars, especially on slippery surfaces, such as snow and ice.

Timing Belt

Most Volkswagen engines use timing belts rather than timing chains. While a timing belt has the advantage of running more quietly than a timing chain, and is cheaper and lighter, it does need to be replaced at regular intervals at 80K or 110K miles, depending on engine model. This service must be done in order to avoid serious engine damage should the timing belt break, and timing belts will eventually break if not attended to!!!

The timing belt job is one of the major service items Volkswagens require. The timing belt should always be replaced together with a new timing belt tensioner, idler roller and water pump.

Front Bumper Service Position

Nearly all VW/Audi V6 cylinder cars since the 90’s require the front bumper to be removed and the radiator with its support to be pulled forward in order to access to the front of the engine where many vital engine parts, including the timing belt, are located. This process of removing and installing the front bumper adds around two hours to any job which requires the service position. It is therefore pennywise to perform all the repairs at once in that area when the bumper is removed.

The VW/Audi 4 cylinder engines, whether 1.8Turbo, 2.0, or 2.0Turbo, sit transverse in the vehicle and do not require the bumper to be pulled into the service position in order to replace the timing belt, but may require the service position for other repairs.

Some Unique VW Problems, Symptoms and Repairs

  • Engine Cranks but will not start. Ignition, fuel delivery and fuel injection are in order. No vacuum leaks. Check timing belt.
  • Severe smoking from exhaust pipe (2002 VW TDI).
  • Clattering Engine 1.8T engine. See my Blog Clattering 1.8T engine.
  • TConstant Velocity Boot (CV Boot) torn — A disadvantage of front wheel drive cars is the frequency of replacing CV boots. The boots made of rubber or plastic are protective covers for the flexible axle bearings called constant velocity joints. Due to the steering of the vehicle by turning the front wheels, the outer CV boots flex with every turn of the wheel. This frequent flexing causes the boots to wear out and crack much faster than would otherwise be the case. Four-wheel-drive vehicles of other brands experience this as well, since the front wheels power as well as steer the vehicle.
  • Whistling sound coming from engine
  • Particulate Filter clogging on TDI exhaust

Volkswagen Specific Terminology

  • Active Safety
  • Adaptive Chassis Control (DCC) See Suspension on our Repairs page
  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
  • Air Quality Sensors
  • ESP (Electronic Stabilization Program)
  • ASR (Traction Control)
  • Direct Fuel Injection
  • Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD)
  • Electronic Damper Control
  • EDL (Electronic Differential Lock)
  • E-Gas (Electronic Accelerator)
  • Electromechanical Power Steering
  • EPC (Electronic Power Control) This is Volkswagen’s name for the electronic throttle actuator system which regulates engine power and speed. It replaced the throttle cable and mechanical throttle. See Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) on our Repairs page.
  • The system is composed of two (TP) throttle position sensors located at the accelerator pedal module: the throttle actuator with electric motor and the ECM (electronic control module) (computer).
  • 4Motion (AWD) (four-wheel-drive)
  • FSI (Fuel Stratified Injection) Volkswagen’s proprietary direct fuel injection system. First introduced by VW in 2000, the system has proliferated in the Volkswagen Group’s gasoline engines. See Direct Injection on our Repairs page.
  • Particulate Filter diesel
  • TFSI (Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection) (combination direct fuel injection with forced induction supercharging or turbocharging)
  • TGI / Eco-fuel

Repair Costs

Auto repair is not inexpensive, and neither is running a modern automotive repair shop. Nevertheless, we make every effort to keep prices reasonable and afordable.

*A tip for the customer: Consider budgeting for your car repairs and services by putting aside $100 per month. When a service or repair occurs, there will be money saved in advance. If the money is not needed in any given year, you’ll have it for the next year.

The Volkswagen Group

The Volkswagen Group’s automotive division is the corporation which owns not only Volkswagen, but Audi, SEAT, Lamborghini, Skoda, Bentley, Bugatti and since 2012, Porsche.

Since one corporation builds all these brands, the same parts are used in a variety of the cars. Volkswagen engines not only power VWs, they power Audis as well, using the same engines, 1.8T, 2.0T, 2.8, 3.0, 3.2, etc. Body styles are used on various brands as well. VW Passat and Audi A4 are one example, and the VW Toureg and Porsche Cayenne another.

Some Volkswagen Innovations


  • FSI (Fuel Stratified Injection) fuel injection
  • This is Volkswagen AG’s proprietary direct fuel injection system used on VW and Audi brands. It was introduced in the year 2000 and has proliferated throughout the Volkswagen Group’s gasoline engine models.

  • TFSI (Turbo Fuel Stratified Injection) This is a combination direct fuel injection with forced induction supercharging or turbocharging system. See Direct Fuel Injection on our Repairs page.

Onboard Diagnostics

Volkswagen introduced the first onboard computer system capable of being scanned for diagnostics on its 1969 fuel-injected Type III.


  • Active Safety
  • Accident prevention is the primary goal of this program. It includes driver assistance systems such as ESP, brake assist, Front Assist and Side Assist (steering precision, braking power and braking stability) for vehicle stability. For driver visibility, it includes vehicle lighting and good all-round view, clear view to the rear with reduction of blind spots. Driver operational safety includes arrangement of controls and switches within convenient and easy reach of the driver.
  • Space Foil for Crash Tests
  • VW hopes to improve overall car safety by using a new type of crash sensor. Existing crash sensors are often destroyed during car accidents, leaving no information behind. Volkswagen is experimenting with a special type of super-thin, highly accurate foil material which acts as sensor. It was originally developed by aerospace to measure the pressure on a spacecraft’s wings during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. This foil is to be embedded into the body of the car at strategic points. During a crash it transmits data of the crash point to the computer for later analysis.
  • Electronic Damper Control Air Suspension
  • This is Volkswagen’s solution to automatic suspension control using air bags. Adjustment is based on speed and road conditions. The settings can be set for comfort (softer) or sportiness (firmer). The system not only improves car comfort, it also improves handling and safety by dampening body movements which help stabilize the vehicle.

Volkswagen Historical Note

Did you know…?

Adolf Hitler contracted Dr. Ferdinand Porsche to build the people’s car, “Volks” and “wagen” in 1934.

Hitler wanted Germany to produce a car which every citizen could afford. it took Ferdinand Porsche and the Porsche Company until 1938 to complete the design, which owed much of its concept to the Czech vehicle, the Tatras. It was the Volkswagen Beetle.

The Volkswagen Company’s founding date was May 28, 1937, but due to WWII, Beetle production was limited as Germany’s industry turned to the war effort and the Volkswagen company manufactured such military vehicles as the Kuebelwagen, Schwimwagen and Kommandeurwagen (a Beetle body mounted on a Kuebelwagen chassis)

Mass production of the Beetle did not begin until after the war. The first 1,785 Type 1 Beetles were made in 1945 under British control. By May 1946, Volkswagen was producing 1,000 Beetles a month.

Today the VW Beetle holds the record for the longest running and most manufactured car in the world with over 21 million having been produced. Ferdinand Porsche, designer of the Beetle, went on to build his Porsche 356 which came out in 1948.