[Vwdiesel] 100,000 miles

Erik Lane eriklane at gmail.com
Mon Oct 12 15:58:49 PDT 2009

Yeah, I learned that the hard way as well. I was replacing a timing
belt in a car we had just gotten and I looked at the tensioner and it
looked perfect. Rolled nice and smooth - everything you would hope
for. This was in a VW 1.6 diesel. The belt was something like $6 and
the pulley was about $16 so I figured why bother throwing more money
at it if the part was perfectly good. It's a sealed bearing, so I
figured the risk was low.

Of course, you can all see where this is headed. Within the next day
or two the tensioner pulley seized on the freeway and the head got
eaten. That was an expensive and time consuming lesson. They get
replaced at the same time every time with me, now.

On Mon, Oct 12, 2009 at 3:01 PM, Terry Briggs <vbriggs at stny.rr.com> wrote:
> That's the main reason it's good practice to change the belt and pulley
> together as a unit. Doesn't make sense not to.
> On Oct 11, 2009, at 4:25 AM, William J Toensing wrote:
>> Since I don't own a VW TDI, I can't really comment on how often you
>> should change the timming belt. However, VW diesels & probably all
>> diesels as well as many gas engine cars have what is called an
>> "interference" engine. This means that if the timming belt, chain, or
>> gears break, the valves could contact the pistons with costly
>> consequences.
>> My daily driver, a 2001 Ford Focus ZX3 uses a timming belt & has an
>> interference engine. I saw a Focus advertised with a little over
>> 100,000 miles & a "new engine". She said she had the local Ford dealer
>> change her timming belt at 70,000 miles & at around 80,000 or 85,000
>> miles, the new timming belt failed. Turns out, the dealer failed to
>> replace the timming belt idler pulley & it seized, causing the "new"
>> timming belt to break, hence the need for a new engine. When I heard
>> this, I immediately had my Focus' timming belt changed. Ford
>> recommends a Focus timming belt change every 100,000 miles (or maybe
>> 125,000 miles, I will have to look in the owners manual). The old
>> timming belt  still looked good, BUT the idler pulley bearing was
>> loose & likely would have failed in 3,000 miles, the mechanic who
>> changed the belt estimated.  I don't know about the TDI, but the
>> timming belts on my Dasher & Quantum had a similar arrangement & I
>> replaced their idler pulleys too.
>> Bill Toensing, Nevada City, CA
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