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We have had a lot of customers ask us about VW timing belt. What does it do? When is it time to replace the belt? So this blog will hopefully answer some of those questions.

All most everyone has heard of an engines timing belt. But many may not know that it’s critical to keeping your engine running.  It’s considered the “forgotten belt”. Unlike the serpentine belt that drives the air conditioning and alternator etc. The timing belt is behind the serpentine belt and is covered to protect it from objects and so it’s out of sight out of mind.


What is a timing belt?

In a nut shell the timing belt is a toothed rubber type belt that is reinforced with fibers to with stand high tension, heat and the force of the engine spinning. It connects the engine crankshaft to the camshaft and keeps the two shafts correctly timed and in sync as the pistons move up and down and the valves open and close. So if the timing belt breaks or the belt goes out of time the valves will hit the top of the pistons causing sever engine damage.

When replacing the timing belt make sure the other components of the timing belt system are replaced like the belt tensioner which keeps the proper tension through out the life of the belt, on some models a hydraulic tensioner is used, belt rollers and the water pump which is driven by the timing belt and should be replaced. These components like the timing belt are under extreme conditions and wear out over time. We recommend using a timing belt kit, which includes all of the above components. The kit provides a proper fit, reliability and replaces all the components at one time saving you labor cost.


So when do you change your timing belt?

Depends on the age of the belt, year of the vehicle, type of engine you have and mileage. A VW timing belt should be inspected on a regular basis to detect any premature wear, cracking, excessive glazing or fraying.

The timing belt is rubber and can fail before the service mile interval.  Tires that have cracked and weathered sidewalls are a good example to what can happen to rubber when exposed to the elements and time. Even though the tread of the tire is still good. Because the timing belt is exposed to extreme heat and is under heavy tension the rubber can fail even though the miles have not been reached.

Not all VW’s have a timing belt. The replacement interval is different for each engine type, mileage and age. Please give us a call to find out the timing belt replacement interval for your VW.


Jeff Stephans


VW Timing Belt | Ocean Auto Care

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