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Discussion Starter #1
My wife's Touareg is rolling up on 80k miles and I'm starting to think about the dreaded timing belt/water pump service. I have looked over all the threads I could find related to this issue, but there is little information for a DIY job. Does anyone have any experience with this service? I have priced the work at the local VW dealership ($1495+tax) and a reputable independent shop (1409.80+tax). Is it worth the money to just pay someone else or is it not as difficult as it sounds. I am a good "amateur" mechanic but my time is lacking these days. THANKS!

Mostly what I'm worried about is keeping the cams in "time" when swapping out the belts...
 

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The problem is that you need special tools to do the jobs.
tools almost nobody has. However you can rent them at Blauvergnugen parts.
Where do you live?
My (VW) mechanic will do it a lot more reasonable $40 an hour and you can buy your own parts
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm in east TN. I saw the tool kit that they rent. I own most of them but was planning on renting the kit if I were to do it myself. Have you completed this service?
 

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I'm in east TN. I saw the tool kit that they rent. I own most of them but was planning on renting the kit if I were to do it myself. Have you completed this service?
Yes I have I currently have 116k on the odometer.
Did this at 70k when the waterpump failed.
So I am due at 150k again.
Last time it was the dealer doing it but not the next time.

If you are in east tennessee you might want to take a vacation to branson or so since you will be saving about a $1000 that way
 

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My water pump failed first at 57k miles. I was fortunate to catch it on a service inspection -- removed the plastic timing covers and the pulley bearing could be wobbled by hand.

I didn't dare run the engine again for fear it would take the timing belt and valves with it. I do timing belts, but when I checked the price of the tools needed, decided to tow it to an independant VW/Audi specialist.

He confirmed that it was prudent to not risk starting it and did the timing belt/water pump for $1300. He lost money on the deal as the Touareg tools cost him $600. He figured of course, that the tools would be useful in the future but I've never seen another Touareg on his lot and he won't sell them.

If you can rent the tools (one of which locks the cam sprockets) and have the service manual it's not technically much different from any other timing belt.

You do have to place the lock carrier in the service position and this requires additional tools although some guys have made lock carrier sliders out of hardware store parts.

(As noted below, the water pump tends to fail first and should be checked often. ANY bearing play means immediate replacement!)
 

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I have been looking into this myself. I need the 80k service done in another 15,000 miles. My local VW dealer quoted me $850 for the entire service with the timing belt and $1200 if I also want the tensioners and the water pump done.

I thought this was a good price compared the the prices i have seen on here??

I am assuming it is a good idea the get everything done at once.
 

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I have been looking into this myself. I need the 80k service done in another 15,000 miles. My local VW dealer quoted me $850 for the entire service with the timing belt and $1200 if I also want the tensioners and the water pump done.

I thought this was a good price compared the the prices i have seen on here??

I am assuming it is a good idea the get everything done at once.
I would do the tensioners and waterpump, especially the waterpump.
have them do the serpentine belt too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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.
A pictured filled DIY on this inspection procedure would be fantastic. hint hint

And I personally would rather spend $600 on tools and do it myself than $1200+ for someone else to do it. I could then rent the tools out and get a little money back on them.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
DIY Reply

A pictured filled DIY on this inspection procedure would be fantastic. hint hint

And I personally would rather spend $600 on tools and do it myself than $1200+ for someone else to do it. I could then rent the tools out and get a little money back on them.
Check the DIY section, maybe someone has posted one but probably not since all that is required to check the belt is to release 4 or 5 clips and to lift the covers upward.

$600 is just for the tools (if you plan on buying), remember you have to buy the parts as well which are not cheap.
 

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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.
This is very interesting info. I have 150,000 miles on my '04 V8. I have owned it since 26,000 miles and literally 95% of my miles are genuine interstate miles. I frankly don't know if the dealer did the timing belt at 80,000 miles - I will call tomorrow and post on this thread. What you are saying makes sense to me.
 

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Just as an FYI, I know this thread is a little old, but you are not replacing your timing belt due to driving the car hard. The reason is the heat coming from the motor, it dries the belt out over time. Mileage really doesn't have much to do with it which is why they say...I believe it is 5 years or 80k. If you drove 80k in 2 years you would be fine, if it took you 10 years to get to 80k, you definitely need it done. We are approaching 80k within the next year so I plan on doing it, the car has been in service for about 6 years now so will be due.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Belt Replacement

Just as an FYI, I know this thread is a little old, but you are not replacing your timing belt due to driving the car hard. The reason is the heat coming from the motor, it dries the belt out over time. Mileage really doesn't have much to do with it which is why they say...I believe it is 5 years or 80k. If you drove 80k in 2 years you would be fine, if it took you 10 years to get to 80k, you definitely need it done. We are approaching 80k within the next year so I plan on doing it, the car has been in service for about 6 years now so will be due.
I am going to agree and disagree with you. True, one reason to replace a belt would be that it is dried out to the point that it may fail but this is not the only reason (and not so much the reason on a Touareg). A timing belt is typically rubber with high-tensile fibers running the length of the belt. Rubber degrades with higher temps and with contact to motor oil & coolant so if your vehicle runs hot or is leaking oil/coolant you might have more of a fail issue with this type of belt. If I am not mistaken the belt driven 4.2L Treg's have a belt made of HSN (highly saturated nitrile) which is a temperature resistant material. Three common failure modes of these (and all for that matter) timing belts are stripped teeth, delamination and unraveling of the fiber cores, and stretching of the belt which is the most common. Outright snapping of the belt due to heat cycling or other factors, is very uncommon because of the nature of high tensile fibers. OEM timing belts will stretch at high rpm, retarding the cam timing and therefore the ignition which can cause engine damage. Repeated trips into the higher rpm's (which one might see when "driving hard") is THE most common mode of failure. This is why I posted the conversation above. Correct tension on the belt will help negate these issues in most cases so inspection is key!

FYI - Motors are electrically driven and convert electricity into mechanical motion. Engines are combustion driven and burn a fuel to create mechanical motion. Pet-Peeve of mine.
 

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I have an 04' V8 with 89K miles. I intended to buy a 10' but missed the cutoff for ordering and can't find the one I want. I plan on doing the timing belt, waterpump and buy an 2011 or 2012. My question is if the belt is getting bad could you actually hear it make an occasional squealing noise or would that be another belt or something.

4x4Bug
 

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The timing belt itself is toothed and not very likely to make any noise. If it slipped in the manner of a squealing accessory belt, it would make a few clunks followed by very noticable and expensive......silence.

The timing belt does however, run on several pulleys with bearings -- and worn bearings do make noise. The water pump, tensioner pulley and idler pulley all have bearings which can squeal or shriek loudly as they deteriorate. Even if the belt is OK, a bad bearing can take out the timing system and the valves/pistons with it.

Additionally, cam shaft seals can leak contaminants into the timing system (Audi V6s were known for this) and the water pump can leak into the timing system. In short, there are multiple ways for it to fail.

The answer is....check it. Undo the couple of snaps and remove the covers. The timing compartment should be clean and dry. Examine as much of the belt as is visible and check the pulleys for bearing play. How much bearing play is acceptable? That's easy....absolutely none.

According to the Bentley, bent valve replacement on the 4.2 V8 requires engine removal. I don't know why this is, as it appears (and my indy V-dub specialist friend agrees) that the valves should be replaceable with the engine in. Regardless though, the dealer is likely to charge for the Bentley procedure and engine removal/valve replacement could easily hit $10,000. Maybe more if it fails in the woods, or 4 states away from home.

Ignoring a timing belt is a very bad gamble -- the house will win. Keep it checked and change it on time.
 

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I'm at 73K miles on my 05 V8 and am dreading the time when I hit 80K. I am still undecided if I will buy the parts and rent tools and do myself or find a a good VW dealer or European service center to do the work.
I have a few questions if someone has answers:
1. Breakdown of parts prices (belt, tensioner and water pump) + tool rental + approx hours of time it could take if I do myself:
2. Approximately dealer price to do the above so I can determine how much I will actually save doing myself:
3. I'm in the Denver CO area, anyone know of a good proven VW dealer or reputable mechanic or European car service center that can be vouched for?
 

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I just got done doing the timing belt, water pump, thermostat, etc on mine. it is not as hard as it may first seem. I didn't rent any tools so I am not sure of what everyone is talking about. There are some very nice pics and DIY's on here. i just followed those. I did run into a very avoidable problem with my alternator not bolting back in and bending a coolant hose in the back of it (bent back and replaced o-rings) but everything else to do with timing belt replacement and such went relatively smoothly. The wife just thought the world was coming to an end when she saw the whole front clip removed on her baby! The thing runs great and now it is time to tackle the next problem with it out of about five others.
 

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I just got done doing the timing belt, water pump, thermostat, etc ...
Ahhh...the thermostat. My dealership did the water pump with the timing belt approx 6 months ago. They did NOT replace the thermostat, which has now failed. 7 hours at shop rate to replace this $50 part, as the timing belt must once again be removed. Don't let this happen to you - make sure your shop (or you ) replaces the thermostat at the same time as all the other 80K replacement items.
 
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