Does the dealer really have to change the timing belt?

Dear Car talk:

My Daughter has a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta. It makes a noise and the best way to describe is just a low throaty sound (not real loud). She’s taken it to a garage who said its probably a timing Belt and only the Volkswagen dealer can replace it. Then the Volkswagen dealer told they would replace it for $2000 but there was only a 50% chance it would fix it and she might need a new engine. I’m trying to talk her into taking it to my mechanic who is very good and very reasonable priced. She wants to just drive it (it runs fine) until it truly breaks.

My question is does it sound like a timing belt and is it true only the dealer can replace it. Plus is there a good chance she will be broke down by the road someday and need to be towed.


I don’t think a timing belt will make that noise but this idea of driving until it breaks means a very expensive repair and it might break in front of a semi truck. You really need a mechanic to look at it for a service fee . It does not require a dealer to replace a timing belt , I have a feeling that the first shop just did not want to work on a VW. I guess if she insists on being this stubborn tell you will not help with the cost .

Thank you you’ve confirmed my suspicion. Now i habe a little more ammo to get her to my mechanic whom i trust.