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Timing Belt Replacement

Volkswagen Jetta Timing Belt Replacement Cost

The average cost for a Volkswagen Jetta Timing Belt Replacement is between $300 and $395. Labor costs are estimated between $255 and $322 while parts are priced between $45 and $73. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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How Much Does a Timing Belt Replacement Cost?

Timing Belt Replacement Service and Cost

Timing Belt Replacement
What is a timing belt?

The timing belt connects the engine camshaft and engine crankshaft, and ensures that they maintain proper timing, so they turn synchronously.

How does the timing belt work?

The timing belt is installed on the engine, behind the timing cover. This is a thick, toothed belt that meshes with the crankshaft timing gear and camshaft timing gear. It is held tight by the timing belt tensioner, to ensure the belt is not able to skip a tooth, or “jump time”. Lastly, the timing belt may also turn an additional gear for the water pump.

What are the symptoms related to a bad timing belt?

If the timing belt fails, the engine will stall immediately. This is because the engine can no longer turn synchronously. This may lead to internal engine damage if the engine does not have valve reliefs built into the engine’s pistons. The check engine light will illuminate on the dashboard in the event of total failure, and OBD trouble codes for misfires, crankshaft position, and camshaft position will be stored. Also, when attempting to start the engine, it may sound different than normal. At worst, metallic clattering noises may be heard in the event mechanical damage.

Can I drive with a timing belt problem?

It is not recommended to drive a vehicle suspected of timing component damage. This can quickly result in complete engine failure as described above. If the timing belt has already broken, the engine will not start until the timing belt has been replaced.

How often do timing belts need to be replaced?

Timing belts are replaced as part of preventive scheduled maintenance. This means the average timing belt replacement occurs between 60,000 and 105,000 miles, depending on the manufacturer specified timing belt service interval. Timing belts have failed before the interval is reached, but most vehicles will never experience this issue. If a technician notices signs of premature wear during an earlier inspection, the timing belt should be replaced early.

Timing Belt Replacement Repair Information

How are timing belt issues diagnosed?

A vehicle with the above symptoms would be suspected of timing belt failure immediately, and a quick inspection can verify the diagnosis right away. This would involve removal of the timing belt inspection cover, and noting the observed condition of the timing belt. If the timing belt is found to be missing teeth, or broken, the timing belt will require replacement to restore the vehicle to operating condition.

How is a timing belt replaced?

Replacement involves removal of the timing cover, timing belt tensioner, timing belt, and, finally the timing belt pulley. The timing belt tensioner and idler pulley are typically attached by one bolt, and installation requires the proper amount of tension to be applied to the timing belt, timing belt tensioner bolt, and idler pulley retaining bolt. Once all components are replaced, the timing components can be installed onto the engine, and the engine will be tested for proper operation and timing before additional components are replaced.

RepairPal Recommendations for timing belt issues

Since this service requires removal of the timing cover, it is recommended to replace the timing belt, water pump, and possibly front seals at the same time, unless they have been recently serviced. This is much more cost effective than returning for the same service after a partial service interval has elapsed.

What to look out for when dealing with timing belt issues

It may be necessary for the motor mounts to be removed from the vehicle, as well as engine cooling fans, the radiator, and all engine accessories. This may include components like the alternator, A/C compressor, mounting brackets, coolant or fuel lines, and any other component that interferes with access to the timing belt cover.

Can I replace the timing belt myself?

Since timing belt replacement necessitates much deconstruction, and the removal of timing components, it is not recommended for the DIYer to attempt this task. A thorough knowledge of internal engine components, engine timing, additional systems, and several specialty tools are required to properly perform this repair.

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