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I own a 2000 Jetta TDI, with 140,000 miles on it and love the car...being a novice,I have a couple of questions, or am looking for suggestions on a couple of issues I am currently having.:confused:
I had new brakes put on about a year ago and recently the ABS light will come on, stay on for a couple of days, and then go back off (I start the car, it stays on, shut it off, and the next time it's not on)...kind of annoying, and I took it in and they checked the brakes and all seems to be ok....thought it could just be some kind of electrical issue or something-something I should be concerned about?
Also, I seem to be getting confliciting reports on the timing belt 'how often to change' question. I had it changed at about 75k and have read that with my engine, it should be changed aboout every 40K or so, but also have read with a 5 spd manual trans, every 96k??? (I have the 1.9L)
Confused??? Can anybody give me some sound advice??? thanks!
 

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If you have a 5 speed manual trans on a 2000, the change interval is 60,000 miles, I am 100% sure. The automatic is 40,000 miles because the injection pump puts more stress on the belt.

But this is with the original rollers. If you replaced the rollers with the 2002+ long life timing belt, the change interval is 100,000 miles. It's partly because the roller bearings are much larger. Personallly I would still change it at about 90,000 miles with this belt and when you do the timing belt, make sure to do a "full" job that includes a new water pump, new seals as appropriate, because 100k is a long time for any timing belt. If you don't know if the rollers are the new style, then change it according to the earlier interval or take off the timing belt covers and take a look. If the timing belt breaks, you will need a rebuilt head at least, and this costs $$$.

Here is a list of how tos for your car....I have listed difficulty scales at the beginning so you can figure out how hard it is. For example, the timing belt how to is listed as a medium-harder article. If you have no prior wrenching experience, it will take a few days and it will seem hard but doable if you are careful. For someone with all the tools and who has done it before, it can be done in 1 day easy.
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q_how_to/a4/a4_how_to_index.htm

The ABS issue could be a few things. When the shop or you put the new brakes on, you could have damaged the abs sensor or wiring and it could throw a code occasionally. A loose wire or poor abs sensor reading could do this. You can try checking the sensors for broken wires and cleaning them with brake cleaner and see what happens. Cleaning it with brake cleaner will only cost a few dollars for a can of brake cleaner. Clean the sensor and surrounding area and see if it fixes the problem. You are also supposed to change the brake fluid every 2 years, so if you haven't, this could also contribute to the problem by not acutating one of the brakes as much as the others.

See this picture of the brake? That dashed ring is what the abs sensor should be pointing at. It's on the upper right side of the area. (to the rear of the car) from the brake job article

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q_how_to/a4/brake_job_f&r.htm

 
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Honestly, if you have the long life belt, you should still inspect it once every year or two or if you hear any funny noises. You just have to pop off 5 clips and remove the cover. It takes 1 minute to remove the clips. Crank the engine over so you can see the whole belt. It should look like new except for the painted lettering on the outside of the belt. If it's worn then it's close to failure. If the edges are frayed, then it can be bad.

The rollers should always be changed out, IMO. It's cheap insurance and it lets you switch to the 100,000 mile belt. The tensioner and water pump too. Not changing the rollers if they are only 40,000 miles old could be reasonable but not recommended, not changing the rollers if they are going to be used for another 100,000 miles is not reasonable at all.

And your car has the 60,000 mile belt if it's 5 speed unless it was upgraded. Don't trust the dealer telling you that it was changed to the long life rollers and belt because any warranty will be long past if your timing belt snaps or slips.
 

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get your timing blt changed ASAP!!! Seriously, you are past due already if you don't have the long life belt. Being a novice, I highly doubt that you have it because the dealership won't put it on for you.

Here is a picture of a long life vs short life bearing below

Also get the water pump changed and have them inspect for any oil leaks. There's a full timing belt writeup in the how tos linked above. You can do it if you are very meticulous, but I don't suggest that you do it unless:

1. you have tools and can let the car be unmoveable for at least 3 full days since you are a novice. A professional can do it in 1 day, but plan for 3 days since you will run into roadblocks and probably will have other stuff to do. You need a vag-com cable to do this right. Here is their link. http://www.ross-tech.com/vag-com/index.html

2. The place where you live lets you work on cars, my place won't let me leave the car jacked up in the driveway since the neighbors complain

3. You are careful. If you are the type of person who doesn't follow instructions, then don't attempt this job since you if you mess it up, then your engine will be damaged.
 

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The best thing you can do about the ABS issue is to scan it for codes. That will tell you a lot. A generic scanner might not be able to see the ABS module, you might need a vag com for it.

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q_how_to/a4/timing_belt_part_1.htm
http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q_how_to/a4/timing_belt_part_2.htm

this site has a timing belt write up that covers how to do a timing belt on your car, if you aren't comfortable doing it after reading it over a few times, then just take it to a garage since it's not worth messing up and having your car down for 2 days.
 
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