VW Timing Belt Service Intervals

On VW’s Prior to 1997 they do not have a specific timing belt service interval. We at Smitty’s Auto Service, Inc. however recommend the timing belt and tensioner should be replaced every 80,000 miles on the gasoline version, and 75,000 miles on diesel engines since they are interference engine, and in most cases would do severe engine damage if the timing belt fails while driving.

On VW’s with the 16-Valve Double overhead camshaft engines, we would recommend that the timing belt and tensioner be replaced at 60,000 miles, since we have seen many of these engines fail even earlier in some cases.

  • 1997-98 models, inspect every 10,000 miles, replace timing belt & tensioner every 60,0000 miles.
  • 1999 1.9L TDI engines, inspect every 10,000 miles, replace every 40,000 miles.
  • 2000-01 1.9L TDI engine, w/automatic transmission, replace timing belt every 40,000 miles.
  • 2000-01 1.9L TDI engine, w/manual transmission, replace timing belt every 60,000 miles.
  • 2000-01 1.9L all TDI engine, replace timing belt Tensioner every 105,000 miles.
  • 2002 models, replace timing belt & Tensioner at 80,000 mile intervals.
  • 2003-06 models, replace timing belt & Tensioner at 100,000 mile intervals.
  • 2007-08 models, replace every 80,000 miles.
  • 1999 models, replace timing belt & tensioner every 90,000 miles.
  • 2000-06 models, replace timing belt & Tensioner every 105,000 miles.
  • All other models, the manufacturer does not recommend a specific maintenance interval.

On all the engines mentioned above its always cost effective to add a water pump at this time, since there is very little additional labor, plus the price of the water pump.

(NOTE) Please remember that VW will warranty the engines that fail before their recommend mileage only if you are the original owner, so that is very important to remember when making your decision to replace the belt.

These repair tips are provided by Smitty’s Auto Service, however we accept no responsibility for repairs you make via these tech tips as they may not be appropriate for your vehicle, so use them at your own risk. Please seek advice from a professional mechanic for all repair problems or contact Smitty’s Auto Service for more information:
(352) 373-3060 8 am-5 pm Mon-Fri EST