Timing Belts

fastmvr

Active member
Joined
Mar 20, 2007
Location
VA
TDI
2006 Jetta/DSG
Just got my 06 TDI/DSG and was reviewing maintenance manual for timing belt change interval. And now I'm confused. First mention of "Timing belt: Replace" is at 90,000 miles..... but then turning the page, the same words appear again at the 100,000 mile service. I mean it's great to know it's good for 90K, but why the repeat reference at 100K. Does anyone have an answer?

fastmvr
 

Jason D

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Aug 5, 2006
Location
St. Louis
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06 Graphite Blue 5 speed
Do it at 120k and don't worry about the manual. I have no idea why there is a difference and my manual isn't in front of me to look at.

I went 181,000 on my old Accord before the belt snapped on me. On these Jettas can you see the belt by removing a cover? I'd inspect it at 90 and 100k and change at 120k.
 

david_594

Top Post Dawg
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Feb 28, 2004
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Cheshire, CT
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2000 Jetta GLS Silver
Or replace at 100 because if it does snap you will be a minimum of 3 grand in the whole... unlike your accord.
 

bhtooefr

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Last edited:

scurvy

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Feb 21, 2006
Location
Chicago IL USA
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2006 Golf
Jason D said:
Do it at 120k and don't worry about the manual.
...
I went 181,000 on my old Accord before the belt snapped on me.
IMO following the procedure given by someone that admits to having a TB snap on a car would be mighty suspect.

Change it at 100k miles or every 5 years. Inspect it at every interval the manual suggests.

scurvy
 

MOGolf

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bhtooefr said:
I'd lean towards 100k, they didn't change anything from the A4s on the timing belt, to the best of my knowledge.
Just changed from injection pump to PD. :rolleyes: And the PD on an A4 is not the same as A5. Crank pulley and tensioners are different, and procedure for tensioning the belt is different.

Make sure you're looking at the correct chart for the engine you have, and not mixing up looking at chart for your TDI with looking at the chart for a 1.8T or something else.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
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outside St Louis, MO
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There are just too many to list....
No, the A4's PD engine is different than the A5's PD engine. They share very little parts.
 

bhtooefr

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OK, I'll edit the relevant portions out of my post, and look up the info on VW.com.

Edit: Done, and interval is 80,000.
 
Last edited:

Prophet of Doom

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Monroe NC
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Spice Red 2006 Jetta TDI 5 speed manual
I'll have to take another look at my manual, and Bently book. I could have sworn they suggest 100K on the TB.
 

fastmvr

Active member
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Mar 20, 2007
Location
VA
TDI
2006 Jetta/DSG
Okay, rechecked the maintenance manual and the timing belt change is called for at BOTH the 90K and 100K service. In fact it specifically says "TDI Engine" in boldface type.
I'm gonna assume it's a misprint and change the thing at 90K to be safe.
 

fastmvr

Active member
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Mar 20, 2007
Location
VA
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2006 Jetta/DSG
whitedog said:
Better to do it at 90,000 than wait until 120,000 and chance a roller seizing.
Thanks whitedog....... makes sense to me too.
 

Matthew_S

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Renton/Redmond, WA
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2002 Jetta GLS galactic blue
whitedog said:
Better to do it at 90,000 than wait until 120,000 and chance a roller seizing.
But then he will never know if he could have made it to 181K before it snaps, what's the fun in that?
 

Matthew_S

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whitedog said:
Even at 20% return, I don't think the money invested would pay for a new head. :)
Timing belts are a lot like investments, past performance is not indicative of future results.
 

Jason D

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How many people here have heard of a TDI snapping the belt? I'm curious. That's why I suggested looking at the belt, if possible on a TDI to see if it looks old/fatigued/cracked, etc.

The Honda I had is a non-interference motor so I wasn't concerned about it, along with the fact that I paid $50 for the car.
 

Harvieux

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The paper Bentley manual calls for an 80K TB replacement for the 2005.5 and 2006 BRM A5 TDI engine. Do not go by looks of belt alone. Change at or before specified interval. Remember, if it breaks after the 60K warranty goes poof, you have to eat the cost. Yes, I fixed many. many TDI's that had their TB break. Later!
 

40X40

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Jason D said:
How many people here have heard of a TDI snapping the belt? I'm curious. That's why I suggested looking at the belt, if possible on a TDI to see if it looks old/fatigued/cracked, etc.

The Honda I had is a non-interference motor so I wasn't concerned about it, along with the fact that I paid $50 for the car.

:eek:

Bill
 

40X40

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Jason D said:
Do it at 120k and don't worry about the manual. I have no idea why there is a difference and my manual isn't in front of me to look at.

I went 181,000 on my old Accord before the belt snapped on me. On these Jettas can you see the belt by removing a cover? I'd inspect it at 90 and 100k and change at 120k.
Worst advice I have ever read on this forum. Why would you post something as silly as this?

Bill
 

Matthew_S

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BTW, that Honda was an interference motor, you just got lucky. AFAIK Honda has never built a non interference engine, some are just more interference than others.
 

bhtooefr

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The design of the timing belt on the TDI is such that you can't really tell by visual inspection - timing belts have looked great, and then failed a few miles later in the past. Granted, if you see something by visual inspection, then I would tow the car to get a timing belt done - don't even start the engine.
 

Jason D

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Matthew_S said:
BTW, that Honda was an interference motor, you just got lucky. AFAIK Honda has never built a non interference engine, some are just more interference than others.
Yeah, thats how Honda publishes it, but from what I gathered on that particular engine (89 Accord 2.0L) everyone on a 3rd gen Accord forum that broke a belt just put one on and fired it back up. Mine did the same thing.

You could spin the cam and no contact made w/ any cylinders, regardless of the position of the pistons. Needless to say, I was thrilled. The belt that came out of mine looked like it had been sitting in the desert for 5 years.

Sorry if I peed in some folks' Cheerios with my advice. If VW really designs these things where 10k miles (90k or 100K) is going to make or break the entire engine, I have a lot less faith in these cars.
 

bhtooefr

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Jason D said:
If VW really designs these things where 10k miles (90k or 100K) is going to make or break the entire engine, I have a lot less faith in these cars.
Put Honda or Toyota in the place of VW, and the sentence still works.

Go get a GM 3800 V6, if you don't want to do timing belts on time. Pushrod, so it has a short timing chain (short so it doesn't wear much), and it's non-interference when that chain eventually fails, I believe.

And, surprisingly good fuel economy for what it is.
 

oilhammer

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There are just too many to list....
Tooef, almost every domestic 90 degree pushrod V6 or V8 engine is indeed interference, and they do bend valves when the chain jumps...and I have seen BOATLOADS of the Buick-derived 3.8L do this around 150k miles. However usually by then the cars that the engine is bolted in are worth more in scrap so they get junked.

Just this week we had a Ford 5.0L V8 in an old Crown Vic towed in with a jumped chain. In their case, the plastic covering on the timing gear falls off and causes the chain to jump and bend the intake valves. Again, the car (a '90 model) is worthless and was hauled off to be crushed.

Honda makes bunches of interference engines...all the DOHC engines are (commonly found in Integras, CRVs, Civic Si, etc.). Had LOTS of Integra heads off for bent intake valves.

It is really silly and stupid to let a belt go beyond its normal PM schedule. And even then, once in a while they fail before that, but it is rare nowadays.
 

Matthew_S

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It is a common misconception around here that most cars have non interference motors. The fact is most engines can and often do damage valves when the belt breaks. I would guess that the engines in >80% of cars on the road are interference to some degree. Sure, some (like that old Honda) rarely bend valves when the belt goes but it is still possible. Also, who wants to be stranded in BFE because they didn't feel like replacing the belt cuz it "looks okay"? Not me.
 

bhtooefr

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Ah, then never mind on the 3800.

How about a 1983 Ford Ranger diesel with the 2.2?

Sure, it's interference, but it uses timing GEARS. Not even a chain!

And, it's an industrial motor.

Downside is, you only get 59 hp to play with.
 

8606

Veteran Member
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Dec 6, 2005
Location
Dearborn MI
TDI
06 Jetta-sold
Some manufactures are going back to timing chains. If timing chains can cause damage like belts why would they go back to that design? Up till this thread, I thought timing chains were better than belts.

Here's the scary question (I don't believe anyone has asked yet). What can we expect to pay for a new timing belt installed?
 
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