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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

I just bought a 2002 Passat 1.8T with 103,000 miles. I don't have any maintenance info for the car and i'm kinda worried about the timing belt breaking and destroying my valves and pistons. The car is in good condition and doesn't have any CELs, it looks like the previous owner did all the basic maintenance from what I can tell. The accessories belts seem to good but have moderate wear from what I can see.

I don't know much about timing belts and what to look for to see if its about to fail. I wanted to get someone else's opinion on its condition since its Sunday and all the shops are closed.

Please take a look at the pics and let me know what you think. Thank you!
 

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If in doubt, replace it with no hesitation. These belts can look fine after 100k miles, but that doesn't mean they can go on until they start looking worn out. I replace mine every 60k miles or so, and the old ones look fine. Not worth the risk. And it's not just the belt, old tensioners can fail, and do fail sooner that the belt. If that happens, it will be very expensive to deal with a potential damage. Water pump as well, if original, it will have a plastic impeller. It's possible all of those were replaced, but again, unless you know for sure, don't risk it.
 

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I just did mine, and it is a BIG job. Make sure you have all the instructions, buy good quality parts, and follow the torque specs to the letter. I will say it is very rewarding after seeing the front of the engine and getting it all back together and having it starting right up!
 

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You can't determine the age or condition of the TB by looking at it.
If you don't have evidence that it has been changed within the last 7 years or 60,000 to 80,000 miles, replace the full TB kit ASAP.

The official VW recommendation is 7 years or 105,000 miles, but after having many fail at about 80,000 miles they started recommending 80,000 miles.

The general consensus is 7 years or 60,000 to 80,000 miles.
If that is the original belt and associated parts, you are running it at great risk.


Do a search and read a few DIYs before you start, if you have any questions ask here.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok, Thanks everyone.

I'll order the kit with metal water pump tomorrow and re-read the how to's.. I agree its just not worth taking the chance.
 

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Just remember if you have never set timing on anything do not start with this engine. I feel I am very handy but I still took mine to a Volkswagen guy. Regular shop wanted 1100 but he did it for 650. Metal impeller pump VW belt. Peace of mind.
 

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Yes, you can't really tell by looking. The wear occurs primarily on the inside, and what happens is the gear teeth sink deeper and begin to wear at the fibers. One hint however is the white label paint on the outside - if it's fairly worn away then you know the belt has some miles on it. But in the end, if you don't know just change it now and write the mileage on a sticker (many belts come with a sticker) under the hood or inside the timing cover.
 

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I can tell by looking at the belt, but the belt needs to be removed from the car so I could bend it backwards to determine the approximate age (within 2-3 years).

Just change it along with the tensioner, and idler roller and be glad you didn't discover any teeth sheared off when you inspected it.
 

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Buy timing belt kit that includes belt,rollers,tensioner,water pump, serpentine belt, roller and tensioner bolts( they are one time use) and new coolant.
I've done several on tdi engines. Last one had the all original with 230k. miles on it. Never replaced...I couldn't believe on my eyes.
 

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I just did mine, and it is a BIG job. Make sure you have all the instructions, buy good quality parts, and follow the torque specs to the letter. I will say it is very rewarding after seeing the front of the engine and getting it all back together and having it starting right up!
I am a veteran of 5 TB jobs now -- AUG 1.8T, AMB 1.8T (twice, because of leaking water pump), AFC 2.8, and APB 2.7T. I have done each with one or both sons, and I find it helpful to have an assistant to check one's work. The V6 engines are a bit more work, but also nearly foolproof, assuming one uses the cam lock bar and crank lock pin. With the 1.8T, mark everything carefully and note that the new belt will probably be slightly shorter than the old, with the result that the cam/valve timing is very slightly advanced when the belt is new and becomes slightly retarded as the belt ages. I suppose one could use belt stretch to estimate age and use, but it is easier just to follow something like a 7 yr / 70K rule, which means I am already halfway to the next round of 1.8T belt changes -- time flies when you are having fun. :)

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Standing offer to anyone within reasonable driving distance of Encinitas CA (north coastal San Diego County) -- I am glad to lend my Schwaben cam lock bar and crank lock pin to any Forum member who needs to use them. :thumbup:
 

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Concurring with everyone here, change it. It's honestly not a very hard job, the daunting part is you're taking the front bumper off, but once you get over that part it's not incredibly difficult (I did my first a couple years ago and took my time but also had the luxury of not needing to get it back on the road ASAP). Bought another off CL that needed a head because timing belt snapped, can probably do them in 2 hours now with the longest part being taking and putting the car in and out of service position.

Read up on it, plenty of how-to's on here and youtube, plenty of threads and help on here. Biggest thing is the rollers (understand they arrows don't line up exactly in the center and check the roller count), triple check everything before your start it up.
 
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