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TDI 101 Got a simple/basic TDI question? Are you a newbie (new to the forums). Feel free to post your question here.

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Old June 1st, 2008, 13:29   #1
II_Kings_9_20
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Default 2009 TDI: Timing Belt or Chain

Just curious if NE1 knows the status of the 2009 TDI engine re: timing belt or chain. I am planning to get a TDI Sportwagen and have never owned a Diesel with a belt with a required replacement. I have owned an '80 Citroen CX 2500D (36mpg) and an '85 Peugeot 505D (35mpg) both with chains that never needed service.

If the TDI is belted, how often is a change needed?
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Old June 1st, 2008, 13:31   #2
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It is a belt---not known for the change interval yet.

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=214632

Here is pics of it

Last edited by joetdi; June 1st, 2008 at 13:34.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 13:33   #3
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Chains that never need service, LOL. Where is oilhammer...
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Old June 1st, 2008, 13:35   #4
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Of course they don't. Until they break.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 13:35   #5
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Timing belt.

And in case you are not aware all timing chains require servicing at a FAR higher price in most cases especially when chain sprockets and guides require replacement in a nut shell it's called engine overhaul depending on how far they have to go. My 2006 Mercedes CDI requires a chain inspection at 140,000 miles and replacement if required. The cost of that service will pay for 5-6 timing belt kits in a TDI or about $1500 assuming all the sprockets and guides are in good shape, if not add another $2,000 to the charge. Of course if I continue to use proper oils the odds of abnormal wear are low, so we will see how it looks when I get to that point. Keep in mind that we are talking about a $15,000 engine.

The timing belt interval on the new CR TDI will be the same as it has been since 2003 which is 100,000 miles.

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Old June 1st, 2008, 15:24   #6
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Thanks for the input, I should qualify, I have never had a chain car that needed service or failed during my ownership (e.g. 165K on a'92 Buick 3800 and 210K on an '87 300E both with the vast majority of miles put on by me).

I have had several belts that needed service (2 Alfas, 1 Honda) during my ownership. Needless to say, in my experience of owning more than 40 cars, chains are superior to belts.

About that CDI inspection at 140K, pricey I am sure but it's not every 40K and though I am new to the TDI forums I see TB figures at $1000. I read a while back (you guys enlighten me) that the TDI needs a TB every 40K, it begins to add up. Not an issue at all if it is indeed at 100K, no different from my Ody and MDX 105K TB service. It won't stop me from buying one but I would rather have a chain like my old CX that purred like new at 150K and never needed chain service. It's a nothing issue if the VW service is 100K rather than the 40K I thought.

BTW,Yes, I am aware that chains need service, the Citroen SM every 35K at $2000 as well as the Alfa Romeo Montreal $$$$ with it's water pump in head (engine tear down to replace the pump) at 40K or so, both with very long, single sprocket, convoluted chains.

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Old June 1st, 2008, 16:38   #7
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As II_Kings_9_20 , none of the cars I owned with a timing chain needed service when he owned them. Maybe it's just because I didn't keep them for too long but it seem to me that the timing chain really is superior to timing belt. It would be interesting to see what the timing chain look like on a car with 250 000km...
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Old June 1st, 2008, 18:29   #8
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My brother inlaw has a 1989 Chevy truck with the 5.7L V8. It has over 375,00 miles and still runs fine. But it's a push rod motor so the timing chain is short.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 19:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by II_Kings_9_20
Thanks for the input, I should qualify, I have never had a chain car that needed service or failed during my ownership (e.g. 165K on a'92 Buick 3800 and 210K on an '87 300E both with the vast majority of miles put on by me).

I have had several belts that needed service (2 Alfas, 1 Honda) during my ownership. Needless to say, in my experience of owning more than 40 cars, chains are superior to belts.

About that CDI inspection at 140K, pricey I am sure but it's not every 40K and though I am new to the TDI forums I see TB figures at $1000. I read a while back (you guys enlighten me) that the TDI needs a TB every 40K, it begins to add up. Not an issue at all if it is indeed at 100K, no different from my Ody and MDX 105K TB service. It won't stop me from buying one but I would rather have a chain like my old CX that purred like new at 150K and never needed chain service. It's a nothing issue if the VW service is 100K rather than the 40K I thought.

BTW,Yes, I am aware that chains need service, the Citroen SM every 35K at $2000 as well as the Alfa Romeo Montreal $$$$ with it's water pump in head (engine tear down to replace the pump) at 40K or so, both with very long, single sprocket, convoluted chains.
The only TDI belts that were rated for ONLY 40K were the early A4 automatic transmission cars. And those can be fitted with parts that will allow the belt to be changed every 100k instead. Even the early TDIs had belt change intervals for 60k.

Belts are much cheaper and easier to change. If they require it more frequently, so be it.

EDIT: I've noticed that the V6 and larger TDIs do in fact use chains. Several, in fact. The 4 cyl. utilizes the belt.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 19:38   #10
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100,000 mile belt.

The updated belt path has a large idler that helps cover 75% of the toothed surface of the injection pump. It's simular to the belt path of the ALH, just with the large idler up top.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 19:56   #11
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Lots of generalizations here. Both have their good and bad points. Stating that doing a belt is easier than doing a chain isn't necessarily true. 330 for a TDI belt kit is comparable to doing a chain and gears/ guides/ w-pump on a Corolla for example(I think the corolla is cheaper) and the Corolla is a snap to do.
Most(but not all) of the time a chain will outlast a belt by 1.5-2 times or more. Chains offer more precise timing because they do not flex as much. this allows much tighter combustion chambers and smaller squish bands which decrease emissions and promote more power and economy. That is why most manufacturers got away from them-emissions-over the past few years. They are quieter than chains by far.
Just because a belt is rated at 100k doesn't mean you shouldn't replace it at 80 or 90 to be safe. It also doesn't mean that it really will or won't make it to 100 or beyond. That is a suggestion nothing more. If it wasn't then why don't the manufacturers of the belts give you a 100k warranty on them?
Neither is something you should worry about provided the maintenance is done correctly and on time or early.
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Old June 1st, 2008, 20:09   #12
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Old June 1st, 2008, 20:20   #13
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2009 TDI Common Rail

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Old June 1st, 2008, 22:46   #14
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Back in 1991 I was driving a Saab 900T, 8V, which had a timing chain. I had a great mechanic, who during a routine inspection told me that some part was showing some wear and ought to be replaced. But I was in the process of transferring to Hawaii and never had an opportunity to schedule the work before I left. About 8 months later I returned to Hawaii from a WestPac/Persian Gulf deployment, and about 1 month after that the timing chain broke and destroyed the head. (Big hole in the valve cover.) The Saab had about 130k miles on it at the time. My mistake was having the head rebuilt instead of getting a 16V head replacement. But there was a lot that I didn't know at the time.

So timing chains can break, they are not maintenance-free for the life of the car. Any car.
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 06:34   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoRed
(snip) So timing chains can break, they are not maintenance-free for the life of the car. Any car.
__. And as noted in the last (of many) threads on this subject, they "stretch" and lose timing accuracy. I'd want a belt if I had any intention of buying an '09 VW, which I don't.
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