Timing Belt for VW Golf


#1

I’m in a unique position of getting a 2002 Golf with just 59,000 miles. Should I be worried about timing belt? It’s old but not a lot of miles.

Any consensus as to what to do? Many thanks in advance from a new member!


#2

Rubber items–including timing belts–deteriorate just from aging.
That is why the replacement schedule for those belts is always expressed in both odometer mileage and elapsed time, with a “whichever comes first” proviso, such as…Every 105k miles or 8 years, whichever comes first.

So, if that timing belt has never been replaced, it is probably about 4 years overdue, and should be replaced before it snaps and causes very expensive engine damage.

And, as I always suggest with used cars, if there are no maintenance records available, you have to assume that no maintenance has ever been done. I would suggest taking a look at the maintenance lists for both 90k miles and 120k miles, and having everything on those lists done a.s.a.p.


#3

Agree with VDCdriver … if this was my car, I would change the timing belt right after I bought it including the water pump if there was no valid maintenance receipt.


#4

Yup, I would change it immediately, along with the water pump.The low mileage, paradoxically, makes it likely the previous owner did less regular maintenance.

I would also change all fluids:

Coolant
Transmission (especially if automatic)
Oil


#5

Most of us don’t have your owner’s manual handy. Please tell us what it says and we’ll go from there.


#6

After 12 years, it is due to be replaced if you can’t verify if it was replaced before. I would do it ASAP since you never know when it will give out. Any of the 3 engines available are interference engines, and if the belt breaks, you might as well walk away from it since it will cost a lot to fix. Way more than the $800 or so it will cost to do it now.


#7

Thanks to everyone for your input. Sounds like the smart move is to do the timing belt and water pump. Genuinely appreciate your help!


#8

At 12 years, the safest method is to replace the timing belt. If replacing is just economically unfeasible, then at least have the timing belt, tensioner, and water pump visually inspected.


#9

If the belt breaks, your engine will be destroyed. Any solution would cost more than the car is worth.