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Discussion Starter #1
I've got 86k on my (bought used) Jetta. I know it's time for a timing belt but I have a choice to make...

I'm going on vacation (in the car) on Thursday and will put another couple thousand miles on it (total for the trip).

Should I burn the first day of my vacation doing the belt - or can it wait until I get back? I had a Honda belt give out on me in < 10k over the service interval so I'm wary of delaying this. On the other hand, the interval on this thing *was* 100k before being reduced to 80k - and we've got another new guy on here that sounds like he's got 118k on the original belt!

Has anyone ever heard of a belt failing at < 90k?

Thanks!!
 

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It's a risk but since it's Thursday is so close I would just go. VW originally rated the belt for 100k but lowered it to 80k. Who knows why. Plan on doing a ca,shaft check too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Stefan, thanks for your reply.

The deal is that while I was going to leave on Thursday, I *could* leave on Friday instead and do the belt on Thursday. I'm not sure I'll have the time/energy to also check the camshaft and in any case, wouldn't have the parts to fix anything on the head if I found something wrong.

I will have the timing belt kit and tools tomorrow and have a full complement of other tools so a replacement on Thursday morning is perfectly possible... But I'd rather be in 70 degree weather in the mountains - I'm sure many here understand that these days...

I guess I'm just trying to get a feel for how much risk I'm really taking. Like I said I trashed a Honda head by waiting less than 10k miles over interval. My uncle just trashed an '03 Jetta TDI head because he delayed by two weeks fixing a water pump that showed clear signs of distress (leaking). BTW (to anyone interested), he'd probably sell that car (really clean)... He just bought a 2011 Jetta TDI to replace it. If suggesting such a thing violates any terms of service here (which I agreed to without reading, just like everyone else :)) mods feel free to delete without offense.
 

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IMHO, go ahead and do the belt for peace of mind. But some mechanics say 100k is fine and I would say your likelyhood of belt failure is relatively low. If you were at 80k I'd say no problem but since you'll be at 90k when you get back, there is a small risk.

Tell your uncle to list his car in the classifieds :)
 

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I am the guy who got 118 out of the belt but not trying to be proud of it. Two kids and a pregnant, always exhausted wife hampered me doing the replacement earlier. truth be told I was apprehensive to get into it on my own but after three shops all told me $1,500 ish and I found tool rentals and the instructions by chittychittybangbang on here to do the job I had increased confidence I could do it and I was ready to go for it. just so happens I drove a lot in the mean time. The belts didnt look that bad when I got them out either, I played with the timing belt bending it this way and that and didnt see any signs of cracks beginning. I also bought it used with no service history so maybe it was done. I bought it at 85K so I am assuming the previous owner saw the price tag of the belt change and that had something to do with the sale. when I removed the water pump it had a plastic impeller, was that what they used originally? The kit from Blauparts had a plastic impeller too so thats what went back in there for better or worse. well, long post, good luck. it took me about 7 hours all told from setting up my tools to sweeping up the garage.

Byron
 
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