Passat 1999 Low Mileage Timing Belt replacement

I have a V6 Passat 1999 with only 43K miles. Should I have the timing belt replaced? The recommended time for replacement is 100K miles or 10 years. I am at the time for replacement, but have less than half the miles. The estimated cost is $1200 (including water pump).

As you are aware, there is an odometer mileage factor as well as an elapsed time factor (with the proviso, “whichever comes first”) for timing belt replacement. Doesn’t that seem to be fairly unambiguous?

Additionally, you should be aware that VWs have a reputation for having their timing belts snap prior to the recommended change interval. Put it all together and that $1,200 for belt and water pump replacement will seem like a bargain compared to ~$2,000 for engine repairs when the belt snaps, in addition to the $1,200 that you would then have to spend anyway.

And, in case you think that you will get some kind of warning prior to the belt snapping, you should be aware that the engine will run just fine–right up to the milisecond after the belt snaps. At that point, valves and pistons will collide, and your engine will die–literally. If you are in the process of passing an 18-wheeler when you suddenly lose engine power, power steering, and power brake boost, that would not be a good thing.

Do yourself a big favor, and have this job done a.s.a.p.

^Yeah, what he said. Rubber gets weak with exposure to ozone, heat, oils, etc. Now is the time, although there may be someone else out there with a low-overhead shop that could do the job just as well for half the price. That guy that just retired from working as a mechanic for the VW dealership could do it in his home garage with the lights off.

Junk-yards are full of VW’s (and many others) parked door handle to door handle because their owners forgot to change the belt…(or the transmission fluid, take your pick)

With an interference engine I wouldn’t feel safe with either the 100k miles or 10 years recommendation.

You’ve pretty much dodged an expensive bullet up to this point because timing belts, on any make of car, have been known to pop at half that mileage and half of that time frame.

DO IT A.S.A.P.!!! Volkswagen timing belst have a history of often failing BEFORE the required time or mileage. Do yourself a favor, so you can sleep well.

Get more quotes but do it.

CHANGE THE BELT NOW Waiting can be very expensive.

Look around and you likely find a cheaper source. A trusted independent mechanic is your best bet. Waiting is your worse bet. Yea, get that water pump changed at the same time.