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Timing chain

I have a 2006 Jetta GLI. It has 86000 miles. The dealership wants me to replace the belt. I haven’t got $900. An independent mechanic says “it’s steel, it won’t break”. What do you think? lists a timing belt for it as does Gates.

Save for a belt/tensioner/water pump replacement or trade it in. I wouldn’t sweat it if it’s just due …but the longer you extend yourself beyond the recommended mileage, the risk is naturally going to be higher. This is an interference engine, so figure sending it to the junkyard with the cost comparison to having the timing belt and related hardware replaced.

Open up your owner’s manual and see what it recommends for the timing belt replacement. I don’t believe your 2006 Jetta GLI is a chain, so it is a chain and I believe the original belt has a 80,000 mile rated life (the new one is 100,000 miles if I remember correctly.

It would appear the Independent has it wrong. Just check the owner’s manual to be sure.

Letting it go can cost you an engine.

Which engine is in your Jetta?

The 2.5 Liter 5-cylinder has a timing chain. If your car has this engine, drive on and worry not.

The 4-cylinder gas engine and the 4-cylinder diesel engine have timing belts. Belts break and these are interference engines, which means internal damage results from a broken timing belt.

If your car has a 4-cylinder engine, and the dealer should know, replace the belt. The damage from not replacing it will make $900 look like pocket change.