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

Volkswagen Repair and Service
Santa Barbara

40+ Years Experience

Since 1979

Specializing in VW Auto Maintenance

As a leader in the automotive repair industry, we offer the best service your Volkswagen car receive. We have the latest tools, diagnostic equipment and factory information to perform even the most difficult jobs your car may require.

Our certified mechanics have the knowledge and experience to diagnose your automobile problems efficiently and cost-effectively.

Whether your Volkswagen needs an oil change, water pump replacement, brakes, shock absorbers, radiator, transmission, tires, check engine light repair, or any mechanical, electrical or electronic repair or service, please contact us.

For the auto care your Volkswagen deserves
Please call (805) 965-0975

Auto Repair Volkswagen Tiguan

Our Volkswagen Service Menu

Volkswagen 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 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...

VW 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...

For More Information on VW Services, see our Services Page

For More Information on VW Repair, see our Repairs Page

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

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

We offer both Volkswagen factory service and our own custom service schedules.

See Haik’s Custom Service Schedule

For an appointment or a chat about your VW, please call

(805) 965-0975

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

In the past, Volkswagen used a timing belt instead of a timing chain. Despite the advantage of being quieter, lighter in weight and cheaper, timing belts wear faster than timing chains and need replacement more often. Replacing the timing belt is one of the most critical services performed on the VW engines which are interference engines. If not replaced in time, the timing belt can break with serious consequences. The last broken timing belt job we performed on an Audi TT 1.8T cost the customer $5,500. The engine needed a new cylinder head.

Interference Engine

Most Volkswagen 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. Since the timing belt is what keeps the crankshaft and camshaft in time, 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 gives 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. Best to heed the factory recommendation and replace it on schedule..

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.

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.