Timing belt intervals improve … but beware

Posted By on December 23, 2007

Timing Belt MWThe timing belt replacement is the bane of Volkswagen TDI ownership — partially due to the complexity and cost of servicing, yet it needs to be taken seriously as in any zero-clearance engine. Understanding what’s included in changing timing belts of any car can help one better understand what should be included in this service.

Pat Goss reviewed timing belts on in a current episode of Motorweek, and although the reference is not TDI specific, the . Due to improving the timing belts, the life of a belt is much longer, but what other replacement parts need to be considered?

Metal Man Timing Belt Kit
For many small diesel owners, the timing belt change can be the single most costly service they encounter, and it can quickly increase the cost of ownership. We know that recommended service on earlier TDI can be as low as 40,000 miles or in later models as high as 100,000, so it is important to note these service intervals. If you are an ambitious weekend mechanic and have access to special VW oriented tools, the extensive repair can be done at home. You might want to observe someone else doing a timing belt change first, either in person or on video since the service is relatively extensive. Parts and kits are available from TDI specific vendor — I’ve mention two sources in an earlier post.

For those of you spending the big bucks at you local dealership to have this service done, you might note the number of bearings, waterpump, fuel injection pump, etc that are managed by the timing belt in the below video clip. (not a TDI displayed) THEN think about accessing this belt while the engine is IN the car … you’ll soon realize why it is costly and more importantly why it is important to replace the idlers, waterpump, etc when changing the timing belt. Its better to replace a half worn $50 water pump when the engine is apart than having to do it a few thousand miles after you replace the belt!


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