Volkswagen-Vintage Repair & Service

Import Specialties of Columbia, South Carolina is your Volkswagen-Vintage repair shop. Our Volkswagen-Vintage repair auto technicians have the training, knowledge, and experience to repair or service all vintage (air-cooled) Volkswagen models. Our VW mechanic performs all Volkswagen-Vintage repair and service, VW brake repair, VW transmission repair and VW engine repair. Trust your Volkswagen-Vintage repair to the VW specialist at Import Specialties of Columbia, South Carolina.

Our Services

We can perform all required Volkswagen-Vintage repair service for all vintage (air-cooled) VW:

  • VW Beetle repair & service
  • VW Bus repair & service
  • Karmann Ghia repair & service
  • VW Squareback (Type 3) repair & service
  • VW Thing service & repair
  • Classic Audi repair & service.
  • Classic Porsche repair & service

Why Choose Us For Volkswagen-Vintage Repair in Columbia SC, Forest Acres, West Columbia, or Northeast Columbia??

Certified VW Technicians

Our certified technicians know classic bug and van Volkswagen-Vintage repair and service. Our extensive experience with Volkswagen-Vintage repair, combined with the latest diagnostic Volkswagen-Vintage repair techniques, tools and service will keep your VW performing in peak condition.

Training & Equipment

Our high level of training and extensive collection of VW tools and diagnostic equipment ensures high quality work and complete customer satisfaction.

German and European Auto Specialists

Import Specialties of Columbia specializes in German auto service and repair in Columbia, South Carolina. Our German car mechanic has the training, experience, and tools to perform all types of German auto repair even for your Volkswagen-Vintage repair. Contact our German car specialist today for all of your Volkswagen-Vintage repair needs.

Volkswagen-Vintage Repair - Import Specialties Columbia, SC

Common VW Problems

Oil Leaks

If your vehicle has a history of irregular oil changes, extreme climates, or low RPM driving; condensation and moisture can form in the engine causing sludge build up, creating the possibility of a leak. In addition, the crankcase breather system can also become clogged which prevents the engine from ventilating properly that in turn causes a buildup of pressure. Oil then leaks from the weakest parts of the system. Other parts that are often culprits are the valve cover gaskets, camshaft seals and plugs, front and rear crankshaft seals, and cam chain tensioner gaskets and seals.

Engine Misfire

If your Volkswagen engine begins to misfire you could experience several different symptoms. You may experience a vibrating sensation, loss of power, hesitation, decreased fuel economy or a rougher ride in general. Also, the dreaded check engine light may come on.  In more severe cases your Volkswagen may stall or not start at all. Your ignition coil is a small and simple component with a lot of responsibility. If the ignition coil fails, your engine can’t do its job! If you experience any of these symptoms you should have the vehicle diagnosed and repaired immediately to prevent further damage. 

Coolant Leaks/Engine Overheating 

If you notice a coolant leak or your engine overheating that could indicate quite a few possible issues with your Volkswagen cooling system. In some cases, the bearing within the water pump fails over time causing the water pump to leak. The coolant flange is also made of plastic material which becomes brittle causing failure over time.

Cooling hoses also often cause coolant leaks or overheating, since they can become blocked, be damaged by oil leaks and of course deteriorate with age. A leaking coolant reservoir or radiator can result in pressure issues that prevent the coolant from reaching the engine causing overheating. A defective thermostat that limits the flow of coolant to the radiator is also a possible cause for engine overheating.  It is best to address engine cooling issues as soon as you can to avoid engine overheating and possible catastrophic engine failure

Exhaust Smoke

If there is smoke coming from your Volkswagen’s exhaust that can indicate several possible issues with your engine. 

  • White exhaust smoke could mean that coolant has leaked into the combustion chamber. This could be caused by a few things, such as a blown head gasket, cracked engine block, or cracked cylinder head. All are major problems and are expensive and complex to repair.
  • Bluish gray exhaust smoke could also indicate something has leaked into the combustion chamber, but in this case, it’s oil! The time and cost of repairing this could be easy or more involved. On one hand, it could be a leaking valve seal or a stuck PCV valve, which can be taken care of quickly. On the other hand, it could be a worn piston ring or worn cylinder wall, this is typically a sign of internal engine failure that may not be easily repaired. Routine oil changes every 5,000-7,000 miles and engine oil flushes every 30,000 miles can help prevent internal engine damage.
  • Black exhaust smoke – not only is it unhealthy, but it can be caused by a clogged fuel line, a leaking fuel injector, or a stuck fuel pressure regulator. If left untreated, the risk of damaging your lower end engine and exhaust emission components can turn a simple repair into an expensive and complex repair.  

Timing Chain Failure 

Volkswagen engines are known for timing chain tensioner problems that can lead to a loose timing chain and catastrophic engine failure. The timing chains are the conductor of your engine. Through a series of guides and tensioners, the chain links the crankshaft to the camshaft and is responsible for keeping the valves of the cylinder head in sync with the pistons of the combustion chamber. If the timing chain becomes loose, either by stretching or a failed tensioner, you have serious problems ahead. 

Cabin Heating 

If you are experiencing low heat output the first thing you should check is the Volkswagen’s coolant levels. If the coolant levels are low this can cause air to become trapped in the heater core, causing low heat output. The heater core is the heat source for Volkswagen’s climate control system, it is a radiator usually found behind the dashboard. If the heater core is clogged, heat for your vehicle may be restricted.

Some cooling system additives designed to prevent coolant leaks can cause the heater core to become clogged. Other than the heater core, the thermostat may be stuck open causing the engine not to reach proper temperature.  Another possible cause could be a worn blend door, you might see a small piece of foam coming out of the cabin vents. 


If your windows don’t go up or down, or you experience a crunching noise while going up or down, this could indicate several problems. Power window regulator mechanisms can cause the windows on your vehicle not to move up or down. Electrical connections to the window regulator motor can cause the window to roll up or down much slower than normal.

If you hear clicking or grinding while rolling the window up or down, debris may be trapped between the window and motor assembly. If the window won’t move, or the window motor is not running; this could mean your window switch has failed or a blown fuse.  Don’t forget to check your window locks, they could be engaged! 

Interior Water Leaks

The most likely cause for interior water leaks are drains on both sides of the sunroof.  These drains often get clogged with debris and begin leaking.  Other causes could be a clogged drain located under the battery, trapped debris in the flange next to the windshield or a clogged pollen filter.  

Electrical Issues

If you experience electrical issues with your Volkswagen try checking the battery. Despite technical advancements, all batteries lose charging capacity over time. If the battery seems to operate as it should the alternator could be the culprit. Poor battery life is often caused by parasitic drains from the electrical system.


We provide a two year or 24,000 mile warranty on most Volkswagen-Vintage repair services.  Contact us to so we can help you with your Volkswagen-Vintage repair and services.