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VW Timing Belt

Hello all,

I just got a 2007 Jetta with about 70,000 miles. It’s a beautiful car, and I’m very happy with it. My gf, who has owned several VW’s in the past, told me that VW 4 cylinder engines have an issue where if the timing belt snaps, it can toast the engine. From all of your experience (VW owners especially) is there a mileage number where I should change the belt to prevent the possibility of breakage? Thanks in advance.

Read your owner’s manual and perform the maintenance as required. The manual is the expert…and any other comment would be a suggestion.

Edit: Oops, didn’t notice you have a 4 cylinder engine, that means the turbo 2.0 L right? In that case it appears to be an interference design, and does use a timing belt. VW dealership would have the recommended maintenance intervals specs, probably around 80-100 K to change to the belt and tensioner.

Prior info, may be bogus for your car …

Are you sure this vehicle uses a timing belt? From what I can see, the Jetta Sedan 2.5L (BGP) engine at least uses a timing chain. If this applies to your car; i.e. it uses a timing chain, they aren’t usually replaced as a scheduled maintenance item. To maintain the timing chain it’s important to keep the oil change interval to VW’s spec, keep it topped off at all times between changes as required, and use the proper oil.

Suggest to make sure and phone up a VW dealer and ask them if your car uses a timing chain or a timing belt. from what I can tell the 2.5L is an interference design, so if it uses a timing belt it could damage the valves if it snapped. Some manufacturers are moving away from recommended change-out intervals, in part b/c it means the car needs this servicing and that downgrades it in the cost-to-own ratings. It seems like the pro’s here – of which I’m not one, just a DIY’er – the say around 60-80 K and 7 years, whichever comes first, is when to change the timing belt. Again, this is something the VW dealership would know for your make/model/year.

The belt is past due and there’s other factors besides miles. There’s age, temperature extremes of heat and cold, and whether or not oil and coolant leaks or vapors may be contaminating the belt. Another factor is worn belt tensioners.

Your car was probably built in 2006 and that makes the belt 8 years old. A timing belt job is far, far cheaper than rebuilding an engine top end when a belt breaks; if it’s rebuildable.

For what it’s worth, timing belt issues like this are not proprietary to VW. It applies to countless other makes and models of cars.

The time is NOW…LIKE RIGHT NOW for your T belt replacement. The entire reason I own my 03 GTi 20th Anniversary is BECAUSE of the T belt. I found her sitting forelornely in the back parking lot of a Bar near my home… Sure enough it snapped its T Belt and destroyed ALL 20 valves. I replaced ALL 20 Valves and a few other components in my engine to get her running again. I have learned that many VW belts fail BEFORE their time Because of the T belt Tensioner…if ANY component in the T belt system fails…it will take the motor with it. The Water Pump, the tensioner, or one of the idlers, even an oil seal can make it fail.

SO to answer your question…the time is NOW… When you do the service…CHANGE EVERYTHING in the T belt system… They sell kits that cover this. Make sure the kit has everything in it…most kits i see leave one or more things out and I always have to buy a component or two to get the task completed. The time is now my man…get er done.


Well said, Blackbird! My neighbor had this happen on her Passat well before the scheduled replacement time. The idler pulley (tensioner) failed. The dealer had the gall to tell her she “abused” the car!

I simply don’t trust VWs with timing belts; that means nearly all of them!

Yep, change it, unless you have written proof it was changed.