What now? Timing Belt Problem

Coasty

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 12, 2008
Location
Bolling AFB, DC
TDI
2002 Golf Manual 265k miles
So my beloved VW had a major malfunction this morning. Pulling out of the driveway I heard a horrendous bearing type sound, then a "flub flub", battery light comes on, then a bang, engine stops. Open the hood, accessory belt had come off, took a look at the timing belt and its very loose, as if it skipped off the tensioner. Had to borrow the wife's Tahoe to get to work, so I have all day to think about what to do here. Whats my first move? I've had this car for 12 years or so, timing belt was done about 80k miles ago by a trusted VW mechanic, so I've not delved too much into the timing aside from when I adjusted it on the pump a few months ago when it got out of whack. Of course i'm expecting internal damage/contact, although I was at idle so hopefully its not too bad.
 

Nero Morg

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
Knock on wood, hope a head isn't in your near future.. You'll find out as soon as you take the valve cover off.
 

Mike_04GolfTDI

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Location
Richmond, BC, Canada
TDI
Mine: 2019 Golf R DSG, Wife's: 2015 Golf Comfortline TDI
Something that would affect both the timing belt and the accessory belt sounds kind of worrisome.

I suspect maybe something went wrong with your crank sprocket. Like if the center bolt was loose and it fell off.

With the sounds you describe, it seems plausible.
 

Genesis

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 26, 2003
Location
Sevier County TN
TDI
'03 Jetta Wagon
Possibilities include the front sprocket coming off (the crank!) which is very bad, although it's also possible the serpentine belt came off and the flying part got into the timing area. It's happened to people before with catastrophic results.

Best case you're into this for head rework; worst case, if the front pulley came off, you may be hosed if the nose of the crank is damaged since it's probably easier to source an engine and put it in wholesale than to tear the existing one apart and either replace the crank or have it reworked PLUS re-do the head.
 

BobnOH

not-a-mechanic
Joined
May 29, 2004
Location
central Ohio
TDI
New Beetle 2003 manual
Big question is did the valves hit the pistons and how hard. Not much we can interweb help with. Nothing for it but to open it up and look.
 

Mongler98

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Mar 23, 2011
Location
Northern MD (HAGERBUSH)
TDI
98 Jetta TDI AHU 1.9L (944 TDI swap in progress)
you do know that 80K is the service life of that belt, but only 5 years MAX, not 12.
you get what you neglect for
Anyways, yea, your looking at a total upper engine rebuild and possibly pistons, worst case, yes, total engine loss down to the crank.
 

jettawreck

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2004
Location
Northern Minnesota-55744
TDI
2001 Jetta and 2003 Jetta
How did the timing come to be "out of whack" a while ago?? Timing just doesn't change randomly unless something came loose.
First thing to do is remove the valve cover and very carefully inspect the lifters (especially exhaust) for spider web type cracks, broken tops, etc. Easier to do/see with cam removed.
Highly recommend the services of "Franko6" for any almost certain head repairs.
 

Nero Morg

Veteran Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Location
OR
TDI
2003 Jetta wagon, 2001 Jetta TDI, 2014 Passat TDI
Did you even read the OP's post before accusing him of neglect?
To be fair, OP didn't say how long ago the belt was done, just how many miles ago. I would hope it was before then. We'll have to wait patiently until he responds.
 

jokila

Vendor
Joined
Dec 3, 2004
Location
Houston, Texas
TDI
2003 Jetta GLS, Manual
To be fair, OP didn't say how long ago the belt was done, just how many miles ago. I would hope it was before then. We'll have to wait patiently until he responds.

I was in the same position. I thought it was done 12 years and 80K ago on my first read of his post.
 

gforce1108

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 2, 2006
Location
Newburgh, NY
TDI
04 Jetta GLS BEW, 03 Jetta Wagon ALH
I thought I was on the facebook tdi page for a bit there....

A quick look at his sig shows that the car had 265k miles when it was last updated so it's certainly had several timing belt replacements.... Sounds like the serp belt got sucked behind the timing belt though.

As the helpful people mentioned - can't really say what needs to be done until it's opened for inspections.
 
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