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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi,
Is there a way to know for sure if the timing belt broke, without taking the car to a mechanic?

It it 2004 GLS 1.8L L4 PFI DOHC Gas, front wheel .
It cranks / turns over when trying to start but it will not start .

What to look for , where to look.
Is there a way to find out myself or will I have to pay million $$$ to mechanic?
Thank you very much for any info.
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UPDATE (Solved) 4/7/2012 Tuesday

OMG it was so easy once I had the info from this post.
Kudos to "Volk14" who made it simple for me, he had all the answers:
He wrote below :
"You don't need any tools to check that out. Open your hood and unclip the upper timing belt cover right in front of the hood latch. It's only two metal clips. You'll see the timing belt. Have someone to crank the engine and see if the timing belt turns."

I did the above, and the belt is tight with good teeth and gears look fine too. Timing belt does turn normally when crank.

Now I can go-ahead and tow it to mechanic not being afraid of the worst.

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Generally if the timing belt is broken the engine will crank much faster than usual, because there's no compression to fight against. You can also remove the top plastic cover over the belt. It's not hard to do, and you'll see most kinds of failure.
 

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On some vehicles, one can look in the oil fill port and see the camshaft, or a rocker arm, or some other piece of valve gear. If they don't move when the engine is being cranked, then the connection between the valve gear and the crank (here, the toothed belt) is busted. I have a V6, 'tho, and don't know what can be seen when looking into the cam cover on a four.
 

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PassatWorld Elder
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The 1.8T has a cover over the cam inside the valve cover, so it is not visible. Pulling the upper timing belt cover is the best way to check.
 

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The 1.8T has a cover over the cam inside the valve cover, so it is not visible. Pulling the upper timing belt cover is the best way to check.
I remove the cover, have someone crank the engine, and see if the cam turns. If the belt is broken, the cam gear will not turn, or not turn properly.

I do this because you might not see the damage right away. No need to worry, if the belt broke the damage is done.
 

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I had my timing belt break on my 03 just this January and mine at least (not sure about all Passats) has whats called something like an interrupt engine (may be just the I engines) where part of the engine stops operating and it bent 12 of my valves and the head had to be repaired, all in all was about $3,200. good news for you is when my timing belt broke i was unable to even turn my engine, my mechanic said its it wouldn't without the belt. He put on a belt in order to test if any damage was caused to try and save me $2k. So in short if your able to turn your engine and it sounds like it wants to start but just isn't, the timing belt would not be the place i would start.
 

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Your ' mechanic ' is wrong . The engine can turn without a timing belt . It is possible for a valve to jam things up to the point where the engine will not turn but there are many posts on this site about engines turning with a broken timing belt .
 

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if you turn your engine with timing belt off, because of the type of engine you will surely damage valves, it is possible depending on how long it was running with no belt that the valves didn't collide but if you force it to turn you will only cause damage as the timing of the valves will not be correct.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
here is an answer I got from "CarGurus.com"

"ChrisandDonna answered:
if its turning over ..but sounds different to normal its broke take the belt cover off,, if the bottom is moving and the top is not moving its broke"

It looks like this the way to do it, Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
if you turn your engine with timing belt off, because of the type of engine you will surely damage valves, it is possible depending on how long it was running with no belt that the valves didn't collide but if you force it to turn you will only cause damage as the timing of the valves will not be correct.
I should not try to crank it, well too late
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Generally if the timing belt is broken the engine will crank much faster than usual, because there's no compression to fight against. You can also remove the top plastic cover over the belt. It's not hard to do, and you'll see most kinds of failure.
This is what I got from CarGurus
"ChrisandDonna
if its turning over ..but sounds different to normal its broke take the belt cover off,, if the bottom is moving and the top is not moving its broke"
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Unclip the timing cover and check the belt. Should take seconds. Do that and report back with results if you want advice, maybe explain why you think it may have broke. Asking the same question won't get you anywhere.
I think it's the belt, because the car was bought at auction "as is" and it will not start. And I had no idea that VW have this "timing belt" issue. Let me go ahead buy some tools and take that cover off.
I should do it today hopefully
Thanks
 

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I think it's the belt, because the car was bought at auction "as is" and it will not start. And I had no idea that VW have this "timing belt" issue. Let me go ahead buy some tools and take that cover off.
I should do it today hopefully
Thanks
You don't need any tools to check that out. Open your hood and unclip the upper timing belt cover right in front of the hood latch. It's only two metal clips. You'll see the timing belt. Have someone to crank the engine and see if the timing belt turns.

Good luck and let us know what you found out :thumbup:
 

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Most turbo engines are NON interference, so I doubt there is any valve damage on a 1.8T
Oh please, honestly I despair with this site.
Hans, don't bother to offer advice unless you are sure you know what you are talking about.
Best to keep quiet and observe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
You don't need any tools to check that out. Open your hood and unclip the upper timing belt cover right in front of the hood latch. It's only two metal clips. You'll see the timing belt. Have someone to crank the engine and see if the timing belt turns.

Good luck and let us know what you found out :thumbup:
I just did what you told me to do :) it was easy to do and everything looks good !!! I'm so happy.
Now I will tow the beast to the mechanic knowing he will not BS me that timing belt is the reason the car wont start.
Thank very much.
 
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