When to replace timing belt

I have an eight year old Audi A6 with 35,000 miles on it. The dealer suggests that the age of my car requires replacement of the timing belt (at great expense). Does it depend on years or miles?

Both, which is why your dealer suggests replacement. Generally accepted rule is seven or eight years age and it should be replaced. These belts deteriorate due to use (miles) and age. You might want to check out a German car specialist to see if you can get a better price for the work than at the dealer.

When you buy a car with a rubber timing belt, you should ad this “Great Expense” on to the sticker price of the car, because sooner or later, you are going to pay it…When you BUY a used car with a rubber timing belt, you should SUBTRACT this expense from the asking price because sooner or later, you will have to ante up for the belt/water-pump/idler replacement…

If you ignore the belt, you get to scrap the car or replace the entire engine at a TRULY “Great Expence”…

But if you shop carefully, you can avoid all this by avoiding rubber timing belts…

What does your owner’s manual say?

Owner’s manual rules.

And is listed as whichever comes first.

Yes, it is due for replacement on the basis of elapsed time.
Failure to have this done “at great expense” will lead to a HUGE expense when the engine self-destructs a milisecond after the belt snaps.

Editorial Comment:
For the life of me, I just can’t figure out why people can’t seem to utilize the clearly-written maintenance schedule that sits in the glove compartment of each car, either inside the Owner’s Manual or in a separate booklet with a clear title, such as XXXX Maintenance Schedule. Since the OP has apparently never read the Audi Maintenance Schedule sitting in the glove compartment, there could be a myriad of other maintenance procedures that have also been skipped.

If the car was purchased as a used car and it has no manual or maintenance schedule, these can be obtained cheaply through e-bay. In fact, many car manufacturers have free downloads of these publications available on their websites nowadays. Owner’s Manuals are not in the category of Unobtainium.

check this one out for more info.

and more specific info on your car (although i used one engine size, all the ones for all three sizes are the same info.) http://www.gates.com/part_locator/index.cfm?location_id=3598 you start at the top, end enter your particular info, keep going until you select engine size. then look down in the comments column. see the info in RED about interference engine? thats what is important in this ocnversation. this is NOT being ‘made up’ to make auto repairers richer! it is there to keep you from lunching your engine.

so you scroll down, and see the ‘comments’ section. your engine will self destruct if it the belt breaks. if you go back to the main page look for the explanation of ‘what is an interference engine?’ http://www.gates.com/brochure.cfm?brochure=2256&location_id=3487

FYI. last year i upgraded my auto fleet. i bought a 2004 camry, and a 2009 highlander.
in researching the types of autos to buy i specifically looked only at autos with NO timing belts. in my mind if an engine has a timing belt it is not worth investing money into. i feel this way NOT because of the costs associated with doing timing belt replacements, but the unknown of ‘when, or if’ it will break.

Yes, the Owner’s manual is the world’s most unread best seller!

With the 2.8L v6 120000 miles! I have seen them with 160000 but 120000 is safe. 105000 is recomended… 1.8T is 60000 due to crappy water pump & realy crappy water pump…
the V6 T-belt job is about $1357.00 at my shop, with a T-belt, tensioners, rollers, water pump/ t-stat/ breather crossover tube/ 2 hose clamps on the pwr stg cooler hoses/ valve cover gaskets and washer pump gromits. I do 1 a week! It takes longer to get the bumper off than it takes to do the t-belt! Oh oh and a jug of G12 coolant. All Parts listed must be replaced! -$300 if you dont need VC gaskets & cross over breather hose…The 2.7BT is a little bit more…

P.S. 22R-22re toyotas timing chains didnt last 100K miles…More costly than a belt cause it was not ment to be replaced!

My Audi is 2.7 A6. The manual says 105,000, no mention of age, just miles