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2004 Jetta Volkswagen - Timing Belt Replacement

I have 57,000 miles on my Jetta and my dealership recommends a timing belt replacement because of some wear on the belt. Can you advise on a range of replacemnt costs for the Dallas/Fort Worth area? They are also advising a strut replacement as well. Thanks,

Richard Bond

Open your owner’s manual. It should give you the recommended maintenance schedule. I believe it is 80,000 for the original belt (newer ones are 90,000 as I recall). There is also a time recommendation and I don’t think you are there yet either. Even if it is due, likely you can have it done elsewhere for considerably less but a local INDEPENDENT mechanic. Dealers are no better (or worse) than other mechanics. VW’s do not require super special abilities. Not all mechanics may have the needed tools or experience, but many will.

Avoid all chain shops like Sears, or any fast oil change place.

It would not hurt to change the struts, but I would not think that they would need changing at 57,000 miles of Dallas area driving.

Just ask friends co-workers etc for a recommended shop and ask them what they might charge.

Good Luck

I’m not aware of any cars where you can inspect the belt without doing lots of labor to get to it, so this story sounds a little suspicious to me.

However, I’d guess you’re due for a replacement according to the maintenance schedule. Are you saying that you’re not?

You must have a 4 cylinder engine since the V6 engine doesn’t have a timing belt.

These 4 cylinders are interference engines, so you don’t want the timing belt to break. I’d shop around for quotes and have it changes out relatively soon based on its 6-7 year age.

How does the suspension and steering feel? The struts should be ok at that low mileage.

I’d stay away from the dealer if you want to save money.

I have a German car (BMW) and it has a little window that allows you to peek onto the belt for a rough inspection.

That would be really helpful if the visual inspection of a timing belt actually revealed much about its condition. A belt can look pristine, and can snap the next day.

However, if a belt is visibly damaged, then it needs to be replaced immediately, so perhaps this little inspection window does serve a purpose.