Timing Belt Interval

WolfgangVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI - Manual
Hi all. So quick question. I have a 2003 Jetta TDI. I know the timing belt change interval is 160,000km (100,000mi or so ), OR 5 years. My timing belt was completely redone in November of 2017 so the time interval is approaching, but I only have about 50,000km ( 31,000mi ) or so on the timing belt since then. So any recommendations on if I should be having it done again come the 5 year mark this November?? I have a slight noise from either the serpentine or timing belt not sure which. It's been like -40C here the last bit so maybe that's playing a role. At any rate I plan to have it looked at where I had the timing belt done in 2017. Just wondering any opinion on the low km but approaching 5 years and if I should just get it done as I'm sure that will be the recommendation. Thanks in advance!
 

Mpaw

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 21, 2018
Location
Germany
TDI
Caddy 2005 1,9 105 ps; Polo 2015 90PS Bluemotion
take a look at your cam belt - look for cracks on coating, side contact, fraying and cracks at bottom of teeth.
Other belt is easy to change and cheap - with temperatures like that I would just change it if it's 4-5 years old.
What is your engine code?
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis (where it's safe)
TDI
There are just too many to list....
Who said 5 years? I think 10 is more appropriate unless you notice something going on. Which, if you have a noise, it might be. I'd remove the accessory belt and run the engine and see if the noise is still present.
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
I've always been way over the five year threshold that seemed to be a common recommendation (reported to be from some of the belt manufacturers). Hasn't been a concern. Belts themselves seldom fail on their own. All that I have bought as project cars had either the tensioner or WP fail and damage/destroy the belt.
Find the noise source and proceeded from there.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Figure out where the noise is coming from. Note that its not just the belt, there are also rollers in there that have bearings, and if one of them fails you're going to have a very bad day.

The noise may well be something in the serpentine belt path -- there's a big roller plus the tensioner on that too. If either of those fails the lockup can break the accessory bracket which is a serious curse-inducing event.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
5 years, 40,000 miles for automatic transmissions and 60,000 miles for manual transmissions was pre 60mm belts. back when your car came out.. they upgraded bearings and belt tech. now its basically 90k to 100K at what everyone seems to agree is up to 10 years.
IMO i still live by the 20% rule on all maintenance on a car i want to keep and have my "peace of mind" hence why i always say 80K at 8 years.
MAKE SURE YOU SUE PROPER PARTS..... saving $10 bucks will NOT be worth it
 

Diesel Fumes

Veteran Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Location
Creston, bc
TDI
2003 alh tdi 5 speed
Check the tensioner for the serp belt.

Mine was worn out (as they often are). Grab the shock thing and wiggle it back and forth. It should be tight. If it's loose it will cause your serp belt to jump around quite a bit while the engine is running
 

WolfgangVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI - Manual
take a look at your cam belt - look for cracks on coating, side contact, fraying and cracks at bottom of teeth.
Other belt is easy to change and cheap - with temperatures like that I would just change it if it's 4-5 years old.
What is your engine code?
It’s the ALH. Ok thanks !
 

WolfgangVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI - Manual
Who said 5 years? I think 10 is more appropriate unless you notice something going on. Which, if you have a noise, it might be. I'd remove the accessory belt and run the engine and see if the noise is still present.
Hey I’m not sure why I thought 5? I bought it at a dealer back in 2011 I think that’s what they told me. Good call it’s supposed to warm up a bit I’ll try running like that. Thanks oilhammer !
 

WolfgangVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI - Manual
I've always been way over the five year threshold that seemed to be a common recommendation (reported to be from some of the belt manufacturers). Hasn't been a concern. Belts themselves seldom fail on their own. All that I have bought as project cars had either the tensioner or WP fail and damage/destroy the belt.
Find the noise source and proceeded from there.
Figure out where the noise is coming from. Note that its not just the belt, there are also rollers in there that have bearings, and if one of them fails you're going to have a very bad day.

The noise may well be something in the serpentine belt path -- there's a big roller plus the tensioner on that too. If either of those fails the lockup can break the accessory bracket which is a serious curse-inducing event.
Ok thanks. Ya I’ll track down the noise and go from there. Overall good to know that 5 years isn’t necessarily the limit on these. The noise isn’t that bad. It’s actually almost not even noticeable unless you really listen.
 

WolfgangVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI - Manual
5 years, 40,000 miles for automatic transmissions and 60,000 miles for manual transmissions was pre 60mm belts. back when your car came out.. they upgraded bearings and belt tech. now its basically 90k to 100K at what everyone seems to agree is up to 10 years.
IMO i still live by the 20% rule on all maintenance on a car i want to keep and have my "peace of mind" hence why i always say 80K at 8 years.
MAKE SURE YOU SUE PROPER PARTS..... saving $10 bucks will NOT be worth it
Excellent good to know !! I didn’t think about that I guess there’s 20 years of technology since my car was made lo. Thanks !
 

WolfgangVW

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2011
Location
Alberta, Canada
TDI
2003 Jetta TDI - Manual
Check the tensioner for the serp belt.

Mine was worn out (as they often are). Grab the shock thing and wiggle it back and forth. It should be tight. If it's loose it will cause your serp belt to jump around quite a bit while the engine is running
Ok I will check this ! Thanks :)
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
COLORADO (SE of Denver)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress) I moved so now i got nothing but an AHU in a garage on a pallet.
Excellent good to know !! I didn’t think about that I guess there’s 20 years of technology since my car was made lo. Thanks !
The 5 year 80k was from the previous models with the AHU. The ALH is what you have. Look. Dealers dont know Jack squat about these TDIs anymore. They are way to old. Buying OEM parts is about all they are good for if you need them locally now. Otherwise go though a trusted TDI mech on pur list and buy from our known and trusted vendors. Stay away from hans.
The new TB tech came out in 03. These ALH engines came out (in all practical sence) in 98.
 
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