2002 Volkswagen Passat with 110K Miles-Is a Timing Belt Replacement Necessary?

Hi, I just took my 2002 VW 4Motion wagon in to the dealer for the 110K checkup and they said the timing belt had “some cracks” which they want $1500 to replace (includes timing belt, water pump). Is this necessary? Is this an excessive charge to do this?

Is it necessary?
Only if you want to keep the engine from self-destructing when the belt snaps.

That belt is now overdue for replacement, so I would suggest that you begin getting estimates from independent VW specialists in your area, as they are sure to charge less than the dealer.

When that belt snaps without warning, you will wish that the resulting repair costs for your engine were “only” $1,500.

If you have the owner’s manual check it for timing belt replacement requirements. In general, 8 years and 110K miles is past due for most cars with timing belts. I don’t see how they can tell you it is cracked? To visually inspect a timing belt requires disassembly of at least some parts on the motor.

As far as the charge is concerned, that quote seems high. Check with a couple of independant garages that handle VW’s and other foriegn cars to get some other prices. $500 to $800 is in the range for many cars including the new belt and water pump.

There is an access cover that uncovers part of the TB .
Takes about a minute to open it up .

Yes you are overdue and a good independent shop will charge less .

This post sounds very familiar; we’ve had several in the last few months.

Yes, at 110,000 miles the timing belt definitely needs replacing. Check your owner’s manual to verify the exact mileage. On older Volkswagens it used to be 60,000 miles.

Timing belts can break without warning due to fatigue, often causing considerable engine damage. I would not put too much faith in the “cracks” statement by the dealer. Timing belts are replaced on a time or mileage basis, hopefully long before they show any cracks.

I would also have the water pump and the belt tensioner replaced, since a water pump replacement is mostly the same labor, and a failing water pump will also likely destroy the belt.

You should shop around for more estimates; the dealer figure is normally close to twice what an independent mechanic (who knows Volkswagens) would quote.

Good luck!

Its due. A VW independent may be able to do for as little of half your dealer quote. Call around.