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2002 Passat Wagon 2.8 V6 Timing Belt

We replaced the timing belt and water pump at approx. 65,000 as suggested. 9 months later and the new timing belt has broken and the cylinder heads are damaged. We believe this is a non-interference engine, so we are questioning how the broken timing belt may have caused the cylinder head damage. Any ideas?

Regardless of what you believe the 2.8 V-6 VW engine is an interference engine. If the timing belt breaks you will most likely suffer valve damage.

Thanks. In your opinion, is it possible that something else, besides the timing belt or the cylinder heads, could have failed that caused a chain reaction resulting in a broken timing belt and cylinder head damage? Or is it just our bad luck that timing belts sometimes break at <10,000 mi and cause damage to other engine parts?

That is a tough question. It is most likely that the belt broke causing a collision between the valves and the pistons resulting in valve damage. The question is why did the belt break. Was just the belt replaced? Was the condition of the tensior checked? Was the condition of the idler pullies checked? Was proper belt tension checked after installation of the belt? Did something not get installed correctly? There is not enough information available as to why the belt broke or what repairs were done when the belt was replaced.

Agreed, thanks for the patience. We only have a single post-damage diagnosis from a VW dealer shop that did not replace the timing belt and water pump in Feb 07. We lost power/compression on a local interstate, had the vehicle towed to the nearest VW dealer shop, and we have not yet pursued a detailed post-mortem. We’d be interested in knowing what industry standards are typical for warranty of such repairs (our timing belt and water pump were replaced in Feb 07, <10,000 mi ago) so we’re leaning towards asking the orignial VW dealer repair shop to either pay us the blue book value or something reasonably similar. The VW dealer shop that has diagnosed the damage still has the car.

Your in great luck if a VW dealer did the repair.

One reason to go to a dealer or better independant shop on a more complex repair item. When they do a repair it comes with a 1yr/12,000mi warranty on the repair at VW dealer.

This same thing happened to my brother(t-belt snapped on 1990 Passat) however at idle and no damage to valves. The second VW dealer fixed it free of charge (VW eats it) and did not even think the first ever changed the belt given its poor condition.

i had a 2003 vw passat brought to my shop the other day as a no start problem i thru a snap on diagnostic computer on it and came back with a cam sensor code first thing i thought was this is a timing belt issue…tore the frontend off…(put in service mode) and tore the engine down found the belt jumped time… the cause…the water pump bearing, yes the bearing, this causing the pulley to wobble in which gave the belt the slack to jump time causing piston and valves to slap and lifters to collapse…told the customer engines shot , im looking for a 2.8 in iowa for a fare price

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Very old post @Jack_Thompson. You can see the last reply date in shade at the upper right hand corner. Just a bit of advice for newbies… If you want to discuss, it is better to start a new thread. Welcome to the CarTalk Forum!