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Future Timing Belt Replacement

We are attempting to sell my 2003 Jetta GL sedan in a private party sale that has 94,000 miles. A mechanic told our prospective buyers that the timing belt and water pump will need to be replaced at 100,000 miles. The estimated cost for this maintenance comes to around $900, which has made our buyer want to severly reduce our asking price. How much should we allow this future reccomended maintenance to affect the asking price of the vehicle in negotiations?

The $900 quoted might sem a little steep, but I would get a second estimate and allow $650 or so. A friend of mine recently bought a Honda minvan and the owner was up front with the fact the belt would need replacing and reduced his price by that amount.

I think you should reduced the price by whatever the prospective buyer’s mechanic would charge them and then subtract 6% from the cost of the repair since it still has 6,000 miles to go before the recommended replacement. Though if this is the orginal timing belt, it probably should’ve been replaced alreay based on age alone.

How much is the buyer asking you reduce the price?

Buying a car that you know you’ll have to sink a couple hundered bucks into right off the bat generally isn’t something most people look for.

Your best bet is to get it done yourself from a trusted independent. Keep receipts for all prospective buyers. A potential buyer is going to really high-ball their estimate.

Smart buyer. I’d do the same with a car that needs a timing belt. Negotiation is negotiation. There is no set number. You do your best and the buyer does his. Good luck.

As a buyer, I’d subtract the $900 from the price of the car. As a seller, I subtract 1/2 of the cost.


Get some quotes to compare. The last time I had a timing belt/water pump job done, it was $550. If you can show this prospective buyer that $900 is out of line, you can negotiate down.

Lets not forget that this is a VW we’re talking about, not a Honda or Ford. Their prices are usually higher for maintenance items like this

That’s a good point. Make sure the prospective buyer didn’t go to a VW dealership for the quote.