Timing belt for Audi TT


We have a 2006 Audi TT quattro 1.8T 6-speed with 52000 miles. Our Audi dealer says we should replace the timing belt ($1600). The maintenance manual through to the 95000 mile check does not say to replace the timing belt. Should we replace the timing belt? If the belt fails, would the valves impact on this engine?

Timing belts get replaced at a certain mileage or time limit, whichever comes first

You’ve exceeded the time limit

Replace the timing belt now

Even though it may physically look good, it could snap tomorrow, without warning

With all due respect, who cares if you have an interference engine or not?

Damage or not, when the timing belt breaks, your trip is over, and you call the tow truck. Do you want the belt to break crossing the railroad tracks, or in the left lane at 80mph, and there’s a tailgater behind you?

Trying to wring every last month or mile out of a timing belt is not a good idea

you have been warned

One more thing . . . shop around, get some quotes from independent shops. Their labor rates will be lower, probably a lot lower. Replace everything under the timing case cover. Timing belt, idler, tensioner, cam and crank seals. If the water pump is driven by the timing belt, do it also.

That engine is of the “interference” design, which means that–yes–when that belt snaps (with no warning whatsoever) the valves will collide with the pistons, causing some very expensive damage. If this is the original belt, it is overdue for replacement on the basis of elapsed time, even though the car may not have been driven that many miles.

You can probably find an independent foreign car specialist who can do the timing belt replacement for a lot less than what the Audi dealer wants to charge. Just be sure that the water pump, the serpentine belt, and all belt tensioners are replaced at the same time as the timing belt.

You have an interference engine and if the belt breaks, you probably need a new engine. I would guess that is around $10,000. In an interference engine, the valves are no longer constrained by the timing belt and they fall into the cylinders. As the piston rises, it bends the valves and in the process can damage the head. If the valves or Pistons are damaged enough, the cylinder walls can be damaged too. Gates says the replacement interval is 80,000 miles. That translates to about 6 or 7 years. I think the dealer is suggesting replacement based on age. Now might be a good time to do it because the weather stinks. You wouldn’t want to miss your car for a few days when the weather gets better.

Gates lists the replacement interval for your engine as 80,000 miles. I’m sure the interval is listed somewhere in your manual, it may have a separate place for it.

The car was probably manufactured in 2005 so that makes it going on 10 years old. Mileage is not the only factor regarding timing belt replacement. Age, environmental conditions, any oil or engine coolant leaks and vapors, etc also has an effect on the belt.

The belt was due 4 years ago. Belt replacement is 1600 dollars. Weigh that cost against the price of a cylinder head replacement if the belt breaks; and that’s assumiing nothing more serious such as cracked pistons or bent rods occur. The latter would lead to a new engine.

Do you have an itemized list of what the dealer will do for $1600? If not get it and then shop the replacement at 2 or more garages that you know work on Audis. Also get the details of the estimate. Then you can compare exactly what you get for the money. The water pump is accessed with the timing belt and should be replaced at the same time. The quotes should include timing belt, pulleys, water pump, and coolant at least. The mechanic that did the timing belt replacement below also replaced the coolant reservoir, and coolant hoses are a possibility depending of their condition. Yeah, $1600 is a good price if all the above is done.


Concur, due to the time factor, the belt should be replaced at earliest convenience.

How long do you plan on keeping the car. If a while change it, if not way out the risk of another 1-2 years (IMHO low) of it snapping prematurely. You will never recoup that $1600 selling it.

You may want to consider other estimates. The 1.8t is a VW/Audi motor that shops have changed for years and years and nothing special about Audi here.

My timing belt slipped at 150k. Motor stalled. Non-inter motor. Still, it was annoying away from home.