I have a 2008 VW gti that is a bit past the suggest miles to replace the timing belt. It’s “supposed” to be changed around 100-120k miles and it’s at 130k right now. Doing a little research I felt pretty sure it’s a smart idea to go ahead and replace the timing belt considering I plan on driving the car for the next few years and want to avoid destroying the cars engine via the timing belt snapping. I live in a fairly small town but a big enough town to where you feel like everything is here that u need. It’s a college town and I’m a student so there’s a good amount going on here. The first two auto shops I went to didn’t have the “proper tools” to replace the timing belt on my car so they recommended an auto shop about 15 minutes out of town that speculated in foreign cars, etc. It turns out that this place didn’t have the right tools for the job either and said he didn’t know of any places up here that had the right tools to chance the timing belt on an 08 gti. I searched around on the Internet for anyone else that came across something like this but nothing popped up. The closest VW dealership is a good ways away and it’s not exactly convenient for me to head all the way there for an all day type of job.
I found this rather strange that no auto shops had the tools to do this job. That leads to my first question of if it’s so important to get the timing belt replaced then why isn’t there someone out there that can do it? Basically if you assume there will be a demand for something then it makes sense someone could supply it. It makes me think this “required” maintenance may not be as important as I I think?
Recently I’ve become increasingly nervous about driving my car at all at the risk of the timing belt breaking. In the worst case, I think I could take it somewhere in about a month to get the job done. Should I be terribly worried about driving around town for a month? I’m scared of the belt breaking and having basically a worthless car on my hands, however it’s been fine up until now and it’s likely another couple hundred - thousand miles won’t hurt.
To sum up: what’s the deal with no auto shops having the proper tools to replace a timing belt on a 2008 gti? And how worried should I be about driving around town on a timing belt that hasn’t been replaced? Car is currently at 130k miles and the belt is supposed to be replaced at 100.
Thanks for reading and I’ll greatly appreciate some input!
None of these shops could borrow or rent the tools for your job ?
The custom tools have to do with holding all the components in their proper alignment while doing the belt job. They can’t risk losing the proper timing alignment.
While doing the belt, replace the water pump and tensioner at this time too.
( here is one of those big reasons, in my small town too , NOT to buy certain brands of vehicles. )
As to your risk, no one can say. Could last another 50k miles (but I doubt it) or it could go in 5 miles.
The belt is 8 years old and there are factors other than mileage that determine belt life. Age, oil and coolant vapors, temperature extremes of heat and cold, etc all play a part.
My opinion is that no interference fit engine timing belt should ever go more than 6 years or 60-70k miles without a new timing belt kit.
When that belt breaks it will happen in a fraction of a second, the car will die instantly, and the cost to repair the damage will be far greater than the cost of a new timing kit.
Why don’t shops have the specialty tools? Simply because an independent shop cannot afford nor do they have the space to stock the specialty tools required for all makes. Stocking those tools would cost millions and require a small warehouse with a full time employee to keep track of them.
Even a new car dealership spends a fortune on specialty tools for their own makes. Even they could not afford to buy all of the tools required if they branch out into service of other makes.
A shop could make an attempt at stocking those tools but would you the customer be willing to pay double the labor rates required to pay for all of that stuff? Probably not.
This job, like many other timing belt jobs, does require a few tools but the job can be performed without them and/or with a little ingenuity. A lot depends upon how tolerant the shop is of the aggravation factor.
Be afraid…be very afraid…(not joking).
Alldata shows three engines for the GTI, I don’t know if all three were sold in the United States.
Engine codes CBFA and CCTA have timing chains.
Engine code BPY uses a timing belt.
you seem like a risk taker…don’t worry about it and drive on. change it when it is convenient to you.
i’ll tell you this, my 88 honda crx si lost power on the highway. it was my first import and i was at 99K miles
it only cost me 1300 bucks in 1994 dollars to replace all of the bent valves.
take a chance and wait a couple of months and let us know how it goes. this will be kinda fun.
Gates says the replacement interval is 90,000 miles and it is an interference engine. If the belt breaks, you will likely need a new engine. I would guess that the time interval is about 7 years, but you are way over the mileage. Get it done ASAP. And I mean as soon as a qualified shop can take it. I had my timing belt replaced on my Accord by the dealer and they actually had the best price. If the timing belt has to be removed to replace the water pump, do that too. Since the coolant has to be drained, get it replaced too.
You’re on borrowed time! Get it changed!
I own an 03 20th Anniversary GTi… I dont know which engine is in your 08’ but I would guess its the 2.0 Turbo 4? I could also be the VR6 I would imagine as well.
Need to know which engine you have.
Special Tools? I didnt need anything “exotic” to do my own T belt on the GTi…However I certainly DID need to buy special tools to do VW/Audi’s V6 engines…it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE to do those engines without a special cam holding tool…The job simply cannot be done without it.
In the case of the V6 VW/Audi engines the tool simultaneously holds both cams (one on each head) in the exact correct position so that you are able to remove both cam pulleys…(Which have no Woodruff key or any other item that would hold said cam pulley in a specific location) The cam pulleys are a “Press Fit” and are infinitely adjustable…and infinitely screw Up Able… So without the tool nobody is doing the T Belt on ANY VW/Audi V6 of any size.
As far as the 4 cylinder engines go?..I’m not aware of any special tools needed aside from the random Torx and Double torx fasteners used.
Also VW and Audi LOVES to use hose clamps that are NOT able to be removed without cutting them off… they also use hard plastic hoses all over the place which LOVE to crack and shatter… With those one time use hose clamps…Double torx fasteners…brittle PCV hoses and the like…Many of these shops probably know of this stuff and its easier to say we dont have the tools than to get Eyebrow deep in a mess of broken stuff that is expensive to replace…
When you find a shop who can handle this job…you will want to REPLACE EVERYTHING UNDER THE TIMING BELT COVER… This includes…the T-Belt (Duh), Camshaft Seal, Water Pump, T belt Tensioner, T belt Idler Bearing/s, Front Crank Seal, and anything else that is replaceable under that T-Belt cover. I suggest you hit up a few VW specific forums on the net and educate yourself on this procedure and what is needed. DO NOT ALLOW just the belt to be replaced…You might as well just shoot yourself in the foot if you do. There are many items needing replacement under that T-Belt cover…Know them…Love Them…REPLACE THEM…or dont bother doing the job.
Oh Yeah… In regards to my 03’ GTi ? The reason I own this vehicle is because the previous owner did NOT replace his T belt on time… It snapped and stopped the car DEAD. I had to replace EVERY SINGLE VALVE in the Cylinder Head when I purchased my car… ALL 20 Valves…yup 5 valves per cylinder… The cost to have this job done at VW? Almost $5000… I repaired my vehicle for $545 dollars…but I know what I’m doing. DONT let your T-Belt snap…its NOT pretty. I also did need special tools to be able to remove the Head Bolts…as well as special valve spring compressor small enuf to fit 5 valves into each cylinder locale in the head… All FUN STUFF… I am actually staring at 10 of my bent valves on my computer desk as I write this response…they are a constant reminder. Dont F this up… Good luck…