Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Wallace, NC
Fuel Economy: 63 MPG/56/47 (2nd tank) '02 Sedab
2001 jetta timing belt
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every body tells me different milage for time to replace and different costs from 64,000 to 140,000 km and cost from $350.oo to $600.oo canadian
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__. You need to find out FOR SURE what kind of belt was installed in your car at the factory. During the '01 model year, VW changed over so some early '01's had the "Type D*" belt and the later '01's had the "Type M" belt. You must be SURE of which belt you have.
__. If you have a "Type D" belt and an automatic transmission, VW recommended that the belt be changed at 40K miles (I think that's 64K Kliks) - if it's a "Type D" belt and a 5=speed, the recommended change was 60K miles (96K Kliks???). If your car was built with the "Type M" belt, VW recommended (and warranteed) a change interval of 80K miles (126K Kliks ???) no matter what transmission. To make matters even trickier, for the '03 model year, VW changed the recommendation to 100K miles (161K Kliks, um, I think -- Cheezie, peezie, Louise, these French measurements make my brain hurt) although the "Type M" belt was unchanged.
__. If you have a "Type D" belt, you should have a "Type M" belt installed as the replacement (do NOT allow anyone to tell you that a "Type D" must be used - that's a scam. or a sign of ignorance). When you do this, you MUST change the belt tensioner to the new type that matches the "Type M" belt -- in fact, many experienced TB replacers recommend changing the tensioner at EVERY belt change (I plan to do this on all of mine). Also, going to a "Type M" belt means that it will be longer before you have to change the belt again so you'll have a lot of mileage (or kilometrage GRRRR) on the car when it needs the next TB change so many people recommend changing the water pump when you change the TB (there's almost no additional labor needed to change whe water pump, so labor is almost "free" if you're already doing a TB change). Also, you need a few other parts (motor mount bolts, etc.) to do the job right. Also, you're right at the cam oil seal when you do this job. If this seal goes bad or wears out, you have to pay the same amount in labor to fix it as you do for the TB change, so the mechanic must check it for any sign of leakage or wear. However, most experienced mechanics find that this seal is very unlikely to cause trouble and most prefer to leave it undisturbed if it's not showing any signs of trouble.
__. My guess is that a $350 (CDN) quote means that the guy has no idea of what he's doing. He probably looked at the price of a "Type D" belt and questimated the labor. RUN, don't walk in the other direction! You really should go back and ask for quotes SPECIFICALLY to include:
1) "Type M" belt,
2) New style tensioner to match "Type M" belt,
3) Water pump,
4) Engine mount bolts (one-time "stretch" bolts)
5) Any seals or other gaskets as may be needed,
__. A price for all this at about $600 (CDN) would be pretty fair but my guess is that didn't include a water pump, so somewhere in the range of $700 CDN *for a first-class, knowledgeable job using the right parts and tools including tensioner and water pump* would probably be about right for a dealer or independent shop. But remember, there are many "VW Mechanics" out there who have never changed a TB on a TDI (you stand a better chance in the GWN, but you still have to be careful). This job requires skill, experience, exactly the right tools**, and the right parts. It it's done wrong, it will WRECK YOUR ENGINE. So, quality of the work is more important than the price.
(* When VW changed to the new, better belt, they kept the first section of the part number the same and changed the letter at the end from "D" to "M". You must check the letter at the end of the part number. "D" is the earlier, weaker belt; "M" is the later, stronger belt.
** Another thing to ask -- "Do you use the tools to lock the cam, injection pump, and crankshaft in place when you're setting the timing at the end of the belt replacement?" If the answer isn't an immediate, knowledgeable "Yes", look elsewhere.