Volkswagen Car Repair Escondido CA | Brake & Engine Service in Escondido, California (CA) - Kotter's VW Service Inc.
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Since 1982

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242 N. Vinewood St. Escondido, CA. 92029

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Suspension & Steering (Shocks, Struts, Tierods, Ball Joints, Control Arms)

Axles are what connect your cars transmission to your cars wheels. There are 2 axles, one on each side of the car. Each axle has two CV Joints (Constant Velocity), a total of 4. Each joint has a protective boot on it to keep lubrication in and foreign materials like dirt and water out. Over time the grease breaks down and needs replacing or the boots can crack or tear causing the lubrication grease to fly out all over the bottom of your car on your brakes, wheels and exhaust. When the joints go bad or wear out, they can pop, grind and vibrate or even break leaving you stranded. Let us at Kotters VW inspect your axles today to see if your CV boots need replacing and prevent having to replace joints or axles as they are expensive

As a VW driver, you understand how unique your vehicle really is. You also know that you can't trust your car to some car repair chain to perform your VW-specialized services. Bring your car to Kotter's VW Service Inc. in Escondido and let our technicians employ more than 70 years of VW experience. Whether you need routine maintenance or major repairs, you can count on Kotter's VW Service Inc.!


Passionate Volkswagen Repair Services

Would you rather take your VW to an auto repair chain that works on all makes or to a shop that knows your vehicle inside and out? We focus solely on Volkswagens; therefore, we can offer unbeatable rates!

Great rates start with dedicated service

Get comprehensive Volkswagen repairs and maintenance

Don't forget to ask about our 6-month, 6,000-mile warranty


Do you need to drop your car off after we close or before we are open? There are envelopes located on the office door, so that you can write to let us know about the issue with your vehicle. We will be in contact with you as soon as the shop opens up.

Mention one of the offers to receive a discount:


$5 OFF any service under $50




$10 OFF any service between $50 and $100





$20 OFF any service over $100

Brakes are your cars # 1 Safety Priority, so paying attention to symptoms like vibrations or grinding is important. ABS brake warning lights should never be ignored. If your ABS light is on, we can diagnose this for you quickly. When we do a brake inspection here at Kotters VW we inspect hoses and calipers for leaks and check for pad and rotor wear. If the pads and or rotors are worn past the minimum requirement, then we will recommend to replace them. We only use premium brands of brake parts like ATE, BREMBO, PAGID, MEYLE and BOSCH. On the rotors we use a rough sanding pad and hand surface them so that the new pads will have a perfect surface to help the brakes to break in quickly and quietly. Take car of your brakes and they will take care of you!

Complete Brake Service

(Brakes, Wheel Bearings, A.B.S.)

Do your power windows not work at all or is there some crunching and grinding going on? Don’t get stuck in the rain in an unfamiliar place with one of your windows stuck in the down position. Let us diagnose the problem and provide you with an estimate.

Power Windows

When at all possible we prefer to rebuild engines in house ourselves here at Kotters VW as apposed to relying on someone else. Over the years we have built over 1000 engines. This way we know it has been done correctly and that the best quality parts will be used. We also can do valve jobs, replace oil pumps and accessories, plus we can diagnose leaks and noises as well. We also offer minor & major tune-ups set to factory specifications. Don’t forget, we also work on TDI’s and Diesels.

Engine Service

Does your engine crank slowly or does the starter make funny noises? Does your battery seem to go dead all the time? Is the charge light glowing on the dash? Maybe your alternator is weak and is not recharging the battery properly. We can quickly diagnose starting and charging problems. WE only use original equipment rebuilt brands like BOSCH & VALEO.

Starters and alternators

Modern day fuel injection systems are very durable, but do not last forever. Fuel Pumps can become noisy and lose proper pressure over time. Injectors can become clogged reducing fuel economy and cause rough running and stalling. Just realize how many thousands of gallons of fuel go through your fuel filter in 20 – 30 thousand miles, so don’t forget to have us replace your fuel filter often. If your car dies, it might be a fuel pump problem. Whether your car is a diesel, TDI or any other year or model of VW bring it in and let us diagnose it for you. If you drive an older car with a carburetor or even dual carbs, we have been specializing in these for over 30 years. We can tune or rebuild your carb (carbs) today.

Fuel Injection

Does your transmission grind, pop out of gear or make a whining noise? We here at Kotters VW can repair or rebuild your manual transmission or even supply you with a quick rebuilt exchange unit. Let us diagnose your transmission problems today. Remember to have us change the transmission fluid – it gets dirty and breaks down over time plus small leaks eventually can cause you to run low on fluid damaging gears and bearings.

Manual Transmission Repairs


The front end of your car has many parts that make up the suspension and steering – There are struts, springs, tie rods, ball joints, steering racks, sway bars, link arms, bushings and bearings. When these parts are in good shape, your car will travel over bumps and dips smoothly and quietly. In addition you car will steer straight down the road. When these parts get worn or loose, then you might encounter shimmies, clunks, knocks or grinding. Many of these parts are safety related items, meaning loss of control or difficulty steering could occur if one of these parts fail. The other important point is that the tires you spent a lot of money for are going to wear out prematurely or even to the point that your tires are unsafe. This wearing process can occur very rapidly if parts are worn and the vehicle is not properly aligned. If you suspect a problem in your VW’s steering or suspension, let us check it out here at Kotters VW Service.

The power steering pump pumps special fluid through your power steering rack making your car very easy to steer. The pump, belts, hoses, reservoirs and the power steering rack make up this system. Over time the fluid can break down or leak out. If your steering becomes sluggish, difficult or makes groaning or squealing noises you may have a power steering problem. Even routine changing of fluid can help your system to last longer and work better. If you have any of these symptoms, we can help. Call now for an appointment.

Power Steering Pumps

This one is of utmost importance. Why? If your timing belt breaks or if the belts teeth strip out then internal parts of your engine (pistons & valves) will collide and cause catastrophic damage to your engine costing thousands of dollars. We at Kotters recommend doing your timing belt between 60K and 75K miles depending on your engine type. (Yes, we do TDI and diesel) Be aware however, that not just the timing belt can fail, there are tensioners & rollers and even the water pump that the timing belt wraps around. If any of these other parts fail then you will end up with the same catastrophic results. Don’t be fooled by cheap prices to just do the belt. This could be a huge mistake. Here at Kotters, when we do a timing belt job, the price will always include all tensioners and rollers. Sometimes we will recommend replacing the water pump at the same time, because the water pump is located under the timing belt. You also have accessory drive belts that operate your alternator, power steering and air conditioning. These belts are exposed and might need replacing more often. Make an appointment today and let us inspect your belts.

Timing Belts

If your car has a manual transmission, then it has a clutch. This part connects the power of your engine to the transmission. Symptoms of a failing clutch are slipping, chattering, clutch pedal engagement is very high. (You have to let your clutch pedal almost all the way out before your car starts to move) You may have a very stiff clutch pedal, plus any noises when depressing the clutch might indicate a pending clutch failure. We have very reasonable clutch prices. The work is done in one day by appointment. Plus we have upgrade kits available for cars with dual mass flywheels, which cost way less than going back to the original clutch. So if your clutch doesn’t grab anymore, call today for a price quote.

Clutch Repair

The automatic transmission in your Volkswagen is very sophisticated. There are electronic solenoids, circuit boards and computer control modules that make them work. Replacement can easily cost $4000 and above. Because over time transmission fluid can become burned or run low due to leaks, we recommend changing the special fluid and filter every 40K miles. If your automatic transmission bangs into gear or slips between shifts you might be on the road to transmission failure. So please don’t wait for the agony of someone telling you that you need a new transmission, call today for your evaluation and estimate. If your automatic transmission does fail, we have better pricing and warranty than the dealer if needed. Yes we do D.S.G. transmission service.

Automatic Transmission

The turbo is an amazing part of your engine. It uses free exhaust pressure to force more air into your engine, increasing the power. They spin at 10,000 rpm (rotations per minute) The turbo is lubricated by your engines oiling system, so frequent oil changes on a turbo charged car is extremely important. Synthetic oil is a good choice for a turbo engine. However just like anything else, turbos can wear out over time causing loss of power and acceleration. If your turbo equipped VW doesn’t have the zip it once did, then maybe a new one is in order. We at Kotters offer excellent prices on brand new and rebuilt turbos. Yes we do TDI’s and diesels. Call today for an evaluation.


Does your VW sound more like a tractor these days? Do you smell exhaust? Maybe it’s time for a new muffler. Catalytic converters do not last forever either. A bad catalytic converter can cause the check engine light to come on and when they break apart they can develop an annoying rattle. Be aware that muffler shops will cut your old mufflers or catalytic converters out of your exhaust system and weld in aftermarket parts that don’t belong on your car. Each part of the VW exhaust system is modular and is bolted or clamped in place. That way when one part fails you simply remove it and reinstall the new part. No welding is required or should be done. New aftermarket catalytic converters can cause check engine lights to come on and may be illegal in California or might not last very long. Here at Kotters we only install VW factory catalytic converters and proper bolt or clamp in mufflers and exhaust pipes. We can also diagnose other emission control device problems like EGR or EVAP systems, so make an appointment soon if your VW rattles, smells or has become noisy.


Your battery is the heart of your electrical system. The computers, the lights and the starter on your Volkswagen are very dependant on a good battery. Batteries can last 4-6 years. However when they get older, just a change in the climate from hot to cold or cold to hot can kill your battery overnight. We at Kotters VW Service only install Interstate brand batteries. They come with a great nationwide warranty. So if you haven’t had the battery on your VW checked in a while, then call us soon. We can acid and load test your battery while you wait and install a new interstate battery if needed.


You need an oil change every 3-5 thousand miles. Seems simple, Right? (Wrong) Every engine these days requires special oil designed and formulated specifically for its application. Using the wrong oil can cause premature engine wear costing thousands of dollars. Are you taking your VW to a “quickielube” shop? This could be a huge mistake. We have replaced dozens of oil pans due to overtightening or stripping of drain plugs done by amateurs. Those guys just change oil. We here at Kotters carry over a dozen different kinds of oils and fluids so we can choose the correct type of oil and properly maintain your VW. We also take the time to inspect brakes, belts, hoses, tires, axles and any other thing that might be a concern on your VW and we will let you know right away if you have pending problems. We care about keeping you safe and saving you money. Don’t let the guy who just quit working at McDonalds do your oil change. It’s more critical than you think. Let the professionals at Kotters change your oil and do a complete inspection free of charge as well.

Lube and oil

Is your check engine light on? Did you know that there are hundreds of fault codes that your car can produce when something malfunctions? The check engine light function is there to let you know when there is a problem on your VW. The engine, the transmission, air bag, ABS brakes, and other vital systems of your car are all linked together and can create a check engine light to appear. Don’t ignore this light. Serious malfunction can cause expensive damage to many parts of your VW. If your check engine ABS or airbag light comes on do not hesitate to have it checked right away to avoid costly repairs. We at Kotters can scan and diagnose your check engine light and provide a solution. Depending on the repairs needed we can often wave or include the scan and diagnostic fee in the repair cost. Don’t wait. Call now.

Engine Light

This is a simple one. We don’t get a lot of rain here in California. So what happens is our wiper blades sit in the sun and bake or rot all summer long. Then the first rain comes along and you turn your wipers on and you can’t see a thing. This can be especially bad at night. You can inspect your own wiper blades if you want. If they feel dry or are coming apart, then give us a call and set up an appointment to have a set of new premium Bosch wiper blades installed (labor free) before the rain comes.


Are your head lights fogged up? Do they look like they have cataracts?  Do you not see the road as well at night anymore? Well, replacing those head lamps can cost $200 each or more for parts and require extensive removal of the front end of your car, adding even more $$ to the cost of the replacement. Let us at Kotters do a restoration for about $85. You will see the road better at night (safety first) and your VW will look better too. Call Kotters today if you want to see and look better too.


O2 or Oxygen sensors are located in our exhaust system. Most cars have at least one, some have two and some V-6 or V-8 equipped cars have 4. They are located in the exhaust system, usually one before and one after the catalytic converter. There function is to sense exhaust gases and determine if the fuel system is too rich or too lean and send a signal to the computer to correct the problem. When they fail, all kinds of problems can occur like poor gas mileage, rough running, hard starting and check engine lights. When we here at Kotters VW diagnose weak or bad o2 sensors, we only replace them with the original equipment brand BOSCH. Too rich of a fuel system can cause your catalytic converter to fail. Most VW’s catalytic converters can cost $1000 or more to replace. If any of these symptoms are occurring with your VW, call now and make an appointment. Don’t waste your gas and don’t ruin your catalytic converter.

02 Sensors

What is a major service? Well, you change your oil every 3-5 thousand miles, right? But depending on the year, model and mileage of your VW, you might need a fuel filter, an air filter or cabin filter (this is for the air you breathe inside the car). We’ve seen these on cars with 50 to 100 thousand miles that have never been changed. (Nasty) They look like rats nests. Please don’t breathe dirty air! Spark plugs are usually done at 40 thousand miles, plus we inspect belts, brakes, hoses, all fluids, steering components and drive axles. Doing a major service every 40,000 miles will make your VW last longer and perform better. (Improved gas mileage) And remember if your VW has a warranty, it is required to have timely services done and F.Y.I. you don’t have to go to the dealer for this service. You just have to have proof that it was done on time. Call Kotters today to fill your major service needs.

Major Service

Did you know that there are many, many miles of wiring in your VW and your car is equipped with countless fuses, relays, electronic sensors, electric pumps, electric fans, multiple computers as well as the entire charging and starting system? Has some electrical device quit working recently in your VW? Is there some kind of warning light glowing on the dashboard? Electrical problems can be complicated to diagnose and locate. Sometimes they are as simple as changing a fuse. If you have some kind of electrical malfunction, let us at Kotters save you from much wasted time and agony. Let us locate the problem for you.

Electrical Repair

Is your VW running around with one eye closed? (headlight burnout) Do all your brake and tail lights work? Any of these non-functioning lights could get you a fix-it ticket from the police. Here at Kotters VW we can quickly replace any of these light bulbs while you wait. We do interior lights as well. Call today for and appointment.

Vehicle Lighting

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Call us now for competitive prices on quality VW parts. Let us beat your best quote. We have a large inventory and can get any part you need the same day if you order before 2:30 pm.



For our customers who need to drop off cars before we open, or after we have closed, we conveniently offer after hours service envelopes right on the office door so if the need arises, please take advantage of this service and please remember to fill out the envelope completely so we can contact you as soon as possible with an estimate for your service or repair


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Your engines cooling system is the most vital part of your car’s operation. Without it the engine’s temperature would reach devastating levels of heat within minutes, so it needs to be properly maintained. Any kind of leak over time can cause air to be “trapped” in the system, preventing it from functioning properly. So pay attention to fluid levels under your car hood or blinking coolant lights. Just adding water is not a good idea either. VW’s need special coolant that lubricates and prevents corrosion. There are hoses, belts, radiators, pumps, fans and electronic switches that make your cooling system cool your engine properly. Don’t overheat or burn up your engine. An ounce of prevention is cheaper than a pound of cure. Let Kotters VW Service diagnose your cooling system problem today before it’s too late! Are you hot and sticky? We also do A/C service and repair. Make an appointment today!

Water Pumps

Suspension and Steering



























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