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VW Passat Timing Belt

My 2001 VW Passat wagon 6 4motion has 91,000 Pennsylvania miles. The dealer that services it is recommending a timing belt replacement, plus water pump and some other stuff, for about $1,250. Should I replace the timing belt & other stuff, or replace the car? I’m the original owner, and it’s been completely dealer-serviced.

Your Passat has an interference engine so if the timing belt breaks, your valves and piston will collide and need replacement. It’s 9 years old so it’s past time to do it.

Shop around and you can have this done for a lot less money. I’d stay away from the dealer.

You are indeed overdue for this maintenance work. That is what replacing the timing belt, water pump, and tensioner are on vehicles like these. Check your maintenance schedule and you will find the recommended replacement interval for your timing belt. It probably won’t mention the tensioner or water pump, but these items are included with this service by any good mechanic who stands behind their work to prevent their customers from having to have it done over again before it is due again. I don’t believe a vehicle should be scrapped over a common maintenance item like this. Take oil changes for example. If you change your oil every 3000 miles, you have done 30 of them so far. At $30 each, you have spent $900 on oil changes, about what you will likely spend on the timing belt job if you shop around for a better price. A car shouldn’t be scrapped due to a maintenance item, and this is maintenance, not a repair or breakdown/failure. If neglected, it can become a breakdown/failure, and will destroy the engine, so I would take care of it ASAP.

The timing belt should have been replaced about 4 years and/or 30k miles ago. You’ve been lucky up to this point.

You might price this around to see if the price can be beaten. The price is not that bad for dealer rates and genuine VW parts but aftermarket parts will work just as well; or at least name brand aftermarket parts.

The timing belt is $1,250. A new car is substantially more.

Let the dealer replace the timing belt and associated parts and continue driving.

Note: They don’t give you a warning. When the Timing Belt goes, it does it NOW and it usually takes a few very very expensive parts with it. You are overdue.

$1250 for the maintenance items or $3000+ for new engine or $$$$$ for a new car. Your choice.