My brother has a 2003 Volkswagen Jetta with 155,000 miles on it. The other day, he started it up before work, went out about 10 minutes later and the car was off… it hasn’t started back up since. We towed it to our local mechanic and the mechanic said the timing belt came off. I guess there were no teeth or anything left on it. Anyways, the timing belt will cost about $400 to get put on by him, and then he will know if there is any engine damage. A used engine with 79,000 miles installed will be about $1250. He said since the car was idle when the belt snapped, there is a chance the engine was saved… however, he said judging by the clicking sound when trying to turn the engine over while starting, he suspects there may be damage.
So, my question to anyone with knowledge of this… should he pay the roughly $1650 (possibly) for a new timing belt and motor, or just get rid of the car. The car is in rather good shape otherwise. The fuel pump was just replaced. The transmission pauses a little bit when transitioning between the lower gears (its automatic), but it has been doing that for years. And, this car is used primarily for highway driving… it gets about 35,000 miles on it a year. So, if he would go purchase a different car, he may be in the same situation in a year or so. So, I guess I just want to know your oppinion if it would be worth investing the money into this car.
Thanks so much for any advice and direction you can provide!