2005 MK4 Jetta PD BEW timing belt service information?

05MK4TDI

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Location
Gilbert Arizona
TDI
2005 Volkswagen Jetta MK4 Manual
i’m so sorry if this is a repeat, as i have almost no experience with forums and volkswagens in general. i just bought my first TDI Jetta with 225K miles on it. the guy i bought the car off of was the original owner and couldn’t provide me any documentation about the timing belt. he said he got the car fully serviced about 2 years ago. i asked him what oil he was running and where he would service it and he said that the technicians at shops like the “walmart automotive shop” and “brake masters auto shop” did the servicing on this car. this of course got me thinking about the timing belt as it is a very hard and expensive job to do on these cars. is there a way i can see on the belt itself if it was stamped with a date that it was last serviced? I went to the dealership and was quoted $1,700 for the timing belt service.
i’m extremely new to volkswagens as i have only owned a jeep.
i could consider myself mechanically inclined for my age, only being 16, and i want to learn off of my new car but this belt job seems extremely complicated.

1) is there is a cheap way to get this service done?
2) can i physically see if it needs to be serviced?
3) and if any, are there any extremely cost effective shop (not my local dealer) that could do this? (Gilbert Arizona, USA)

2005 Volkswagen Jetta 1.9 TDI BEW (PD) 5 speed manual 225k miles...
Thank you so much for your help!
 

ToxicDoc

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Location
Virginia, US
TDI
2001 Jetta, S7, .216
1 - no, unless you do it yourself
2 - no, unless there's damage to the belt, then it's obvious
3 - check the Guru thread for someone near you. Doesn't look like there's many recommendations for your area but I did find one thread.


 
Last edited:

Vince Waldon

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Location
Edmonton AB Canada
TDI
2001 ALH Jetta, 2005 BEW Wagon
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your car!

A timing belt is one of the more tricky procedures one can do on a VW diesel, but only because of the consequences of doing it wrong... and your engine is a bit less complicated than the previous generation (ALH), so you have that going for you.

The pdf procedure mentioned above is the best in the business and explains everything: the tools required, the parts required, and every single step, documented with pictures.

If the job is too daunting to do on your own the pdf is a great guide if you live somewhere without a VW diesel mechanic and have to entrust the job to a generic mechanic you trust, or if you know a very mechanically-experienced friend who will work with you.

Ideally it's not a job to do early on in your career as a VW TDI owner... but unless you can confirm when the timing belt was last replaced it's a bit of a ticking time bomb until it's dealt with, since there's a lot of expensive noises made if it does break. :)

One suggestion for sure: a timing belt job not the place to save $$$ by buying cheap parts. If you search a bit here you'll find recommended vendors/brands of kits etc... generic Amazon or eBay kits may cost a lot more down the road a year or two.
 

TDIGAZ

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2008
Location
Eastern Ontario, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS Grey 5 spd; 2003 Jetta GLS Silver 5 spd (R.I.P.-Collision)
... can i physically see if it needs to be serviced?...
Quite often most shops will put a "timing belt service" installation sticker with the mileage noted on it. Look for a Continental or Gates sticker somewhere in the engine bay, usually it's stuck on the upper front rail.
Although this is not a guarantee the service was done, it might start answering some of your questions.
 

05MK4TDI

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Location
Gilbert Arizona
TDI
2005 Volkswagen Jetta MK4 Manual
1 - no, unless you do it yourself
2 - no, unless there's damage to the belt, then it's obvious
3 - check the Guru thread for someone near you. Doesn't look like there's many recommendations for your area but I did find one thread.


thank you so much for your help! i’ll be looking into it!
 

05MK4TDI

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Location
Gilbert Arizona
TDI
2005 Volkswagen Jetta MK4 Manual
Welcome to the forum and congrats on your car!

A timing belt is one of the more tricky procedures one can do on a VW diesel, but only because of the consequences of doing it wrong... and your engine is a bit less complicated than the previous generation (ALH), so you have that going for you.

The pdf procedure mentioned above is the best in the business and explains everything: the tools required, the parts required, and every single step, documented with pictures.

If the job is too daunting to do on your own the pdf is a great guide if you live somewhere without a VW diesel mechanic and have to entrust the job to a generic mechanic you trust, or if you know a very mechanically-experienced friend who will work with you.

Ideally it's not a job to do early on in your career as a VW TDI owner... but unless you can confirm when the timing belt was last replaced it's a bit of a ticking time bomb until it's dealt with, since there's a lot of expensive noises made if it does break. :)

One suggestion for sure: a timing belt job not the place to save $$$ by buying cheap parts. If you search a bit here you'll find recommended vendors/brands of kits etc... generic Amazon or eBay kits may cost a lot more down the road a year or two.
this information is the stuff i kill for! thank you so much! i feel way better starting my journey off on the right foot with experienced members like you guiding me on where to go with the car. you’re a great help!
Quite often most shops will put a "timing belt service" installation sticker with the mileage noted on it. Look for a Continental or Gates sticker somewhere in the engine bay, usually it's stuck on the upper front rail.
Although this is not a guarantee the service was done, it might start answering some of your questions.
Just the information i was needing! thank you so much! i’ll poke around and see if i can find anything!
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
I bought an '03 NB couple years ago. No service records. I took it to a Mechanic (Jon Hamilton, one of the best), dropped $2k, had him go over the whole car, he did the belt, put on a metal lower engine cover and a whole bunch of of other stuff, he corrected a whole bunch of little things. Needless to say the car has been trouble free. Noting who had serviced your car in the past, I would recommend you do something similar. You will not be able to verify that proper service was done. Vince's post is right on the money.
 

05MK4TDI

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Location
Gilbert Arizona
TDI
2005 Volkswagen Jetta MK4 Manual
I bought an '03 NB couple years ago. No service records. I took it to a Mechanic (Jon Hamilton, one of the best), dropped $2k, had him go over the whole car, he did the belt, put on a metal lower engine cover and a whole bunch of of other stuff, he corrected a whole bunch of little things. Needless to say the car has been trouble free. Noting who had serviced your car in the past, I would recommend you do something similar. You will not be able to verify that proper service was done. Vince's post is right on the money.
thank you man, it means a lot. i bought the car to be a reliable, fun daily with great gas milage. i will look into having the same thing done to my jetta
 

hskrdu

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
And remember- the timing belt service is only partially about the TB (which may look good for years past the service date), it's about all the parts in the "kit" as well as a new water pump, thermostat, etc. As mentioned, be sure to get a kit from a vendor that knows what they are selling (those that support TDIClub are even better). Just some examples:


And as a proud new TDI owner, you can start saying "fuel mileage," "fuel pedal," and "fuel tank."
 

05MK4TDI

Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2021
Location
Gilbert Arizona
TDI
2005 Volkswagen Jetta MK4 Manual
And remember- the timing belt service is only partially about the TB (which may look good for years past the service date), it's about all the parts in the "kit" as well as a new water pump, thermostat, etc. As mentioned, be sure to get a kit from a vendor that knows what they are selling (those that support TDIClub are even better). Just some examples:


And as a proud new TDI owner, you can start saying "fuel mileage," "fuel pedal," and "fuel tank."
youre a life saver! i will look into these kits. thanks for the examples. thanks for the heads up, i’m still so new to this diesel thing ahahah. cheers!
 
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