Touareg: Still looking
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: 35°58′22″N 83
Second Vehicle: Still looking
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I got some interesting information last week. In an effort to not have a long write up I'll paraphrase.
My father-in-law is the president of a VW supplier here in the states. Last week he met with the CEO of VWOA and many of VW's top engineers. While talking they asked him if he had any personal experience with VW and their quality. He told two stories, one about how my wife's jetta did a great job protecting her in a bad wreck and how happy he was about that (they too were happy). The other was about how he feels the quality of the Touareg we own is lacking (we've had a couple issues) in certain areas. They then started talking about timing belts and he(father-in-law) asked why they didn't use a chain on the 4.2L (something he and I have talked about many times). The engineers there told him the main reason for belt instead of chain is quiet operation and that they had lost the chain battle with the NVH guys (noise, vibration, harshness). He was also told that the 80k mile timing belt service is based on if the vehicle is driven hard (balls to the wall) over that 80k mile period. He said that if the vehicle is driven easily (normal) then the belt should last "forever".
By telling this story I am not saying that it is not important to change the timing belt, water pump, etc. The only thing I'm saying is that if you are pretty easy on your Treg and know the vehicles use for the entire life (didn't buy it with 60k and drive it easy from that point on) then I wouldn't worry too much about changing the belt right at 80,000.
737 Jock made a good observation that you should take off the inspection covers and do some "inspecting". See what condition the pulleys and belt are in and if there are any major issues/signs of failure. I checked mine this weekend and everything looked good...so far.
I still plan on changing the belt, wp, pulleys, but I am going to try and work out a deal with a service shop where I buy the parts and they provide the labor. I looked at it pretty hard this weekend and although it doesn't look too tough I don't really want to use that much of my time with a new baby due any day.
2004 Touareg V8
2002 F-250 7.3L Powerstroke
1972 FJ40 Landcruiser/Money Hole