VW Golf Overheating


So my Golf now has 104,000 on it, and last night the overheating light came on and the temperature gauge went all the way to 260. I tried driving with the heater on, but that only worked for a few minutes. Now, the dealer is telling me that they will probably need to replace the water pump and timing belt and estimates $800-$900. Is that a fair price?

Shanna, You’ll Have To Call A Few Repair Facilities To See If It’s Reasonable. Dealers Are Usually A Little Pricey.

You need a detailed description of all that they are going to do.

An independent shop that works on VWs should be able to give you a price.
Compare warranties on the parts / labor, too.

It sounds like the water pump wore out and since it is driven by the timing belt, it makes sense to change them together. Besides, has the timing belt ever been replaced before ? Your Owner’s Manual should tell in miles and time when it should be done. You are probably due or overdue. Water pumps are usually replaced at that time, anyhow. If a timing belt breaks because it doesn’t get changed in a timely fashion, lots of engine damage can result.

Hopefully the overheating hasn’t damaged anything else. I’d have it checked for other damage before proceeding, if they haven’t done so, maybe they did. Find out.

If you’re comfortable with the dealer and they aren’t ridiculously more expensive than other places for the same repair, then go to the dealer. They certainly should know the car.


THANKS! I’ll call my regular guy. He wasn’t within the range I had with AAA. I’ll be upgrading to the premium membership now that I know better.

I would suggest calling a few independent shops around. Also make sure to include a Euro or VW specialist too.

It sounds like the diagnosis is a failing or failed water pump. The change of timing belt is quite prudent.

That price might be OK, it depends on where you are. In any case the Dealer is likely right. If you have not replaced the timing belt yet, I believe it is past due. (I believe it was due at 80 - 100,000 miles. If that belt brakes, it is going to cost you a new motor and I believe you are well past the comfort zone. I would not drive it again until it is replaced.

If the timing belt was replaced and they did not replace that water pump, (as well as the tensioner) they did you no favor.  Most of the labor is the same for any of those parts and the parts are not the expensive part of it.