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Thread: Timing belt change interval

  1. #1
    Junior Member SadClouds's Avatar
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    Timing belt change interval

    I have 2015 Golf 2.0 TDI with around 70K miles. In March 2020 the car will be exactly 5 years old. A bit confused when timing belt + water pump needs changing.

    - VW says "140K miles or 5 years, whichever comes sooner".

    - Haynes manual says "60K miles or 4 years, whichever comes sooner", but then it says "VW recommend change interval should be reduced to 75K miles if used in a dusty environment". This just doesn't make sense, compared to their earlier 60K miles advice. Looks like somebody has made a typo.

    What is the advice from the mechanics out there? Is VW 140K or 5 years reasonable or is it way too risky?

    Thanks.
    2015 Golf 2.0 TDI-CR CRBC

  2. #2
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    Generally speaking you are "at risk" after 60,000 miles. That risk worstens with additional mileage and other cirumstances like whether Maual gearbox or DSG Auromatic, climate, etc.

    1) Look at it this way too. Would you be happy to do a quick part-exchange for your next car, based on your 70K mileage, MOT advisories, etc?
    2) Or do you hope to keep it for another 30,000 or 40,000 miles?

    If you are going to keep it then better to have the new timing belt now!!! You then get peace of mind against failure, and a better trade in price eventually.
    For the sake of around 400 (belt and tensioner) now, you may save a lot of anxiety (thats not the VW price).

    I am not familar with 2015 2.0 Tdi, so maybe the belt is easy to DIY, or a chain drive even. The water pump is generally easy to fit at the same time, and only a few pounds extra.
    My son wrecked his A4 at around 80,000 miles with a broken timing belt. Cost 12 days work, three towings, and 1,000 to DIY including reworking head with 4 new valves, new water pump, tensioner, gaskets and all that stuff.
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  3. #3
    Junior Member SadClouds's Avatar
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    Hi Midori, thanks for the advice. I am planning on keeping this car for many more years. When VW told me "change it at 140K or 5 years", I thought well I've only done 70K so there is plenty of life in the belt. But then other people say "change it at 60K miles" and now it looks like I'm overdue on the belt.

    I understand it's a personal call as to when to change the timing belt. But when people tell me they had a broken timing belt at 80K miles, I don't think I would want to wait for something similar to happen to me.

    Thanks.
    2015 Golf 2.0 TDI-CR CRBC

  4. #4
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    I agree ! When I had a Passat (not the Mk7, VW puy heavy pressure on me to have the belt changed during my 60K service. Th VW Service person told me "it was mandatory". I said not and to ld him to retun my keys and car before he dis the 60k service! The wording in the Elsawin service regime clearly said.
    Inspect at 60K and from miles onwards. Change when necessary. Must be changed no later than 120K miles. The sad issue is that it is virtually impossible to inspect the condition of the teeth because they tend to rip off from the root - which you cannot see without a magnifying glass or reverse bending the belt open in order to stress the roots on the belt

    A belt is a perishable item and therefore affected by climatic conditions.
    It is also subject to wear depending on driven loads, which is why I mentioned Gearbox before. The load on those teeth are not related to engine speed, but are severely affected by violent change of engine speed. Kick down on an automatic, or Rev the engine (racer style) wildly at the traffic lights and you are causing a belt to suddenly accelerate (which is violently loading on the teeth). Foot hard down on a steep hill at 70 mph will not accelerate the belt (no loading on teeth at all). Bad gear changes with Manual box, especially when down shifting, does cause rapid deceleration of the belt and violent loading on the belt. Whereas chear changes on a DSG are soft and do do damage.

    The A4 that lost it's teeth had an automatic gearbox and was doing 20 mph in a 30 zone. I asked what he was doing at the time, thinking he run out of gas again, and he replied "I did a kick down and the car ground to a halt".
    2018 Arteon R-Line 2.0 TSi + Discover Media Gen2
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  5. #5
    Administrator Keithuk's Avatar
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    They have changed the spec from MY2010 120k or 5 years.
    2010 Golf GTD (170) CBBB, 5 Door, Shadow Blue (P6/D5Q), Transmission Code: KXZ, Flat Tyre Indicator, Basic Protection Pack + VCDS.


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    Administrator Crasher's Avatar
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    It is 5 years.
    2003 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate. APR 98RON remap, APR R1 diverter valve, Jetex exhaust, K&N panel filter, 7.5x18 Alutec Monstr wheels with 225/40 18 Uniroyal Rainsport 3 tyres.
    2006 Polo GTI 1.8T, APR 95RON remap
    1988 Golf 2 GTI 16 valve, 2.2 with Weber Alpha injection
    1983 Golf 1 GTI 8 valve, 2 litre with Eurospec racing 42/36 head
    1972 1302LS auto 1641cc conversion

    Vile Invention

    Dark was that day when Diesel conceived his grim engine that begot you, vile invention, more vicious, more criminal than the camera even, metallic monstrosity, bale and bane of our culture, chief woe of our Commonweal. How dare the Law prohibit hashish and heroin yet license your use, who inflate all weak inferior egos? Their addicts only do harm to their own lives: you poison the lungs of the innocent, your din dithers the peaceful, and on choked roads hundreds must daily die by chance-medley. Nimble technicians, surely you should hang your heads in shame. Your wit works mighty wonders, has landed men on the Moon, replaced brains by computers, and can smithy a "smart" bomb. It is a crying scandal that you cannot take the time or be bothered to build us, what sanity knows we need, an odorless and noiseless staid little electric brougham.

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  7. #7
    Administrator Keithuk's Avatar
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    His car spec: 2015 Golf 2.0 TDI-CR
    2010 Golf GTD (170) CBBB, 5 Door, Shadow Blue (P6/D5Q), Transmission Code: KXZ, Flat Tyre Indicator, Basic Protection Pack + VCDS.


  8. #8
    Junior Member SadClouds's Avatar
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    Also, a few more related questions:

    - When changing the timing belt and water pump, is it a good practice to change the auxiliary drive belt at the same time? Or do they normally last quite a long time, i.e. 10 years and more?

    - I don't think the antifreeze/coolant fluid has ever been changed, only topped up. When changing water pump, it would have to be drained anyway, so should I ask them to just chuck it away and replace with new fluid?

    Thanks.
    2015 Golf 2.0 TDI-CR CRBC

  9. #9
    Administrator Crasher's Avatar
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    You collect and recycle the old coolant replacing it with G13. We base the condition of the belt and tension on what we see but a failed poly V belt can get dragged into the timing belt area and cause havoc.
    2003 Skoda Octavia VRS Estate. APR 98RON remap, APR R1 diverter valve, Jetex exhaust, K&N panel filter, 7.5x18 Alutec Monstr wheels with 225/40 18 Uniroyal Rainsport 3 tyres.
    2006 Polo GTI 1.8T, APR 95RON remap
    1988 Golf 2 GTI 16 valve, 2.2 with Weber Alpha injection
    1983 Golf 1 GTI 8 valve, 2 litre with Eurospec racing 42/36 head
    1972 1302LS auto 1641cc conversion

    Vile Invention

    Dark was that day when Diesel conceived his grim engine that begot you, vile invention, more vicious, more criminal than the camera even, metallic monstrosity, bale and bane of our culture, chief woe of our Commonweal. How dare the Law prohibit hashish and heroin yet license your use, who inflate all weak inferior egos? Their addicts only do harm to their own lives: you poison the lungs of the innocent, your din dithers the peaceful, and on choked roads hundreds must daily die by chance-medley. Nimble technicians, surely you should hang your heads in shame. Your wit works mighty wonders, has landed men on the Moon, replaced brains by computers, and can smithy a "smart" bomb. It is a crying scandal that you cannot take the time or be bothered to build us, what sanity knows we need, an odorless and noiseless staid little electric brougham.

    W.H. Auden (1907-1973), A Curse:

  10. #10
    Junior Member SadClouds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crasher View Post
    but a failed poly V belt can get dragged into the timing belt area and cause havoc.
    Thanks. I will probably change all belts at the same time, just to be on the safe side.
    2015 Golf 2.0 TDI-CR CRBC

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