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VW Timing Belt

Posted on 22nd March, by admin in Maintenance Tips, VW. No Comments

One thing that VW owners frequently ask me about is their timing belt. Many conscientious car owners realize that it’s just as important to change your timing belt as it is to change your oil, with the only difference being that timing belts don’t need to be changed nearly as often.

So, how often should you change it, and what can you do to ensure that your VW timing belt doesn’t snap and leave you stranded? If you ask around, you’ll be told that you should change your VW timing belt anywhere from 50K to 100K miles, which is quite a variance to say the least.

Personally, I believe in early belt changes, (around 60K miles) and no, it’s not just because I’m a mechanic who can replace VW timing belts. I have two good reasons for saying this.

vw timing beltThe first reason is that, as Americans, we tend to buy and sell our cars on a whim. We may end up wanting something new, or in other cases we get tired of the payments and decide to sell the car. This means that if you have bought your VW (or any other car for that matter!) from someone else, then you have no idea what that persons driving habits were. Just like highway miles are easier on your engine than inner city miles, a persons driving habits can add stress to the timing belt. I can’t tell you how many people have brought their cars in because of a timing belt that went bad ahead of schedule because of the previous owners stressful driving habits.

Of course, that problem can be avoided (assuming you’re not a stressful driver) if you bought your car new from the dealer, which brings me to my second concern. For those who bought their cars new, my main concern is weather. Just this winter in Memphis we’ve had weeks where the temperature would go from 65 degrees down to 33, and then up to 70 and back down to 18 degrees. Modern engines are built to handle this sort of constant expansion and contraction, but when your timing belt hasn’t been changed and has had to put up with this for eight years (assuming 12.5K miles per year) as opposed to the maximum 4 years I recommend, you’ll find that problems pop up much faster than if regular maintenance had been performed.

Because your VW timing belt is responsible for so much of your cars engine, I can’t possibly list all the problems that could come from a bad timing belt, so I’ll just tell you that I’ve seen two engines that were completely ruined because of the timing belt that went bad and leave it at that.

If you’re overdue for a timing belt replacement, or if you don’t even know when your VW timing belt was last checked, then an appointment at German Auto Tech may be in order. Timing belt replacements are just one of the many VW repair services we offer to keep your car running smoothly.

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