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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,
Last week, my serpentine belt split and I had my 1999 1.8t dropped off at the local garage. Got a call today claiming I needed to replace the tensioner and all the belts. I did notice that the tensioner looked slightly off when looking down at it. I don't mind replacing all the belts, if that's what needs to be done, but without being able to look at them, I can't tell whether they need to be or not. Being a novice when it comes to cars and repairs, I get leery of being ripped off easily and simply cannot afford to be at all. What should the cost of something like this cost? The quote I got seems extremely high in my opinion, but then again, I've never had this repair done to my car before.

I had also already purchased a new belt serpentine belt from Advance Auto or some place like in hopes I could easily put it on myself, so I left that belt for them to use and they said they would never use that specific brand. I believe it was a Dayco Poly-Rib Belt. Is that really that bad of a belt or are they simply trying to ring more money out of my pocket?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Brett
 

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The "high" number they are quoting you is probably for a timing belt job. Dealer is about $1000 and a good VW indy is between $600-800. What is your mileage? When was the last time the timing belt was changed? This service isn't something to prolong. Most of us on here would say to change between 60-80K even though the dealer recommends longer intervals. Most of the time its not the belt that fails, other parts like water pumps, and cams seals which lead to bigger more expensive fixes like bent valves/cylinder head.

I too live in NC and know of many good-trustworthy indy VW shops in your area. Feel free to pm me to discuss further.

:salute:
 

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I actually had the timing belt replaced about two years ago. I believe what they are needing to replace are the two belts visible in the front of the engine and the tensioner associated with it. I certainly hope they do not need to replace the timing belt again. The mileage is roughly 115,000 now. Luckily, my car fell under the class action lawsuit that had taken place due to faulty timing belts on that batch of Passast, which covered some of the cost, but still left me paying nearly $1200 out of my pocket. The water pump, cam and a few other components were replaced then too and the milage at the time was roughly 55,000.
 

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Could you by chance PM me with your email to reach you? I cannot send private messages yet. Haha
 

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the car does not need to be put in the service position to replace the belt tensioner, it's obviously much easier, but you can still get to it. The part ranges in price from $60-80 online(ecs) or up to $160 at the dealer, or more. It took me about 20 minutes to do the job, then the belts took me another half hour, so I imagine a shop should charge for about an hour labor, so between 200-300 for labor and parts, oh, throw in another $30 for new belts too.
 
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