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    Thread: 80000 mile service - Timing Belt Replacement

    1. Member JulianBenjamin's Avatar
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      06-16-2009 09:27 AM #1
      I know it's a big service item; I just wanted to know how important is it to replace the timing belt at that time? Is it worn down enough that it absolutely requires it, or is it more of a preventative measure?
      -Julian

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      06-16-2009 09:51 AM #2
      Julian:
      It is not preventive or optional maintenance. The timing belt is not that dissimilar from your serpentine belt in construction. However, if it breaks it is essentially time for a new engine. A broken timing belt means that valves and piston movement will be out of sync and since there is not enough clearance, valves hit the top of pistons and your engine becomes history.
      Keep in mind, when replacing the timing belt the water pump is also replaced as are many of the timing belt carrier parts.
      I have the same service in my future too and certainly don't look forward to it.
      Good luck.

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      06-16-2009 03:01 PM #3
      I've changed timing belts when I was an Audi owner, on my 1999 A8L and later on my 2001 A8L 4.2. The newer 4.2 motors engines are actually not too bad to do. If your mechanically inclined and have some tools, you can buy the timing belt kit from Blau Parts and do the whole thing yourself for a reasonable amount of money over a weekend. You will probably need to rent the cam locking bar and crankshaft lock plug, and the tensioner tool. But the job is quite straight forward. Yes - always change the water pump when doing the timing belt.

    4. Member
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      09-17-2010 09:12 AM #4
      Has any one gone over the 80,000 mile mark without replacing the belt and has any one ever had a timming belt come apart and "end" the engine??? At what mileage?

      Thanks, Mike

      First post, "new" owner.
      haven't even seen the car yet.

    5. Member george777's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 09:37 AM #5
      Just had that service done in July. Even though I'm only at 38K miles, it was recommended to do now because of the age of vehicle (2004). Also, as the car is in a hot climate (Arizona), heat is a major reason as well... Serpentine belt, water pump, and all that stuff was replaced as well as all Liquids/Fluids, plus Alignment and so forth. Total cost was around $2,800.
      I wouldn't recommend doing this yourself!
      I've maintained my vehicle through the dealership since the beginning... but I'm thinking - for next service - to take it to an exclusive German auto shop that I've been told about.

      As for the extended warranty stuff, it did not apply, since it fell under 'preventive maintenance'.

      As with anything else with this fabulous machine, it's your Peace of Mind that comes into play here. Would never suggest to just keep going (after 80K) without having the required service done. You DO NOT want any of the Belts to fail on you... even with an extended warranty...(just my point of view)
      Last edited by george777; 09-17-2010 at 09:40 AM.

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      09-17-2010 10:19 AM #6
      Quote Originally Posted by seawind3000 View Post
      Has any one gone over the 80,000 mile mark without replacing the belt and has any one ever had a timming belt come apart and "end" the engine??? At what mileage?

      Thanks, Mike

      First post, "new" owner.
      haven't even seen the car yet.
      Mike:

      I've heard reports on the Touareg forums of 4.2l V8 owners going well beyond the 80k mile mark. One current poster brags of 150k and still on the original timing belt. Do I think the average Phaeton timing belt will last more than 80k miles? Yes. Would i go beyond 80k miles with my Phaeton? No.

      The only time i would risk going beyond 80k miles would be if I were in the process of selling or trading the car in the immediate future. Even then I would limit driving and be very "easy" on the car.

      Jim X

    7. Member tynee's Avatar
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      09-17-2010 11:41 PM #7
      I went ahead and did mine at 60k because my trans was being replaced. They had to drop the engine and trans to do it, so I asked the dealer if they could cut me a deal since it was so accessible at the time. If you have anything major like that going on, you may want to tack it on for good measure.

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      09-18-2010 08:17 AM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by george777 View Post
      Serpentine belt, water pump, and all that stuff was replaced as well as all Liquids/Fluids, plus Alignment and so forth. Total cost was around $2,800.
      I wouldn't recommend doing this yourself!
      I've maintained my vehicle through the dealership since the beginning... but I'm thinking - for next service - to take it to an exclusive German auto shop

      Took the V8 Touareg for the same service at 85K miles (same engine/trans, I think?) to an exclusive VW/Audi shop around here. Mostly Beetles, Golfs, and A4s, although I did spot 2 Q7s and 2 Touaregs.

      Since they already had the front of the engine open, I asked them to change the thermostat which added $29 in parts to the job. They included new spark plugs, but performed no alignment. They recommended to leave the transmission fluid alone, but did replace the brake fluid. $2096 + tax.

      I asked if they would take the P W12 in the future, they demurred.

    9. Member tynee's Avatar
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      09-18-2010 10:35 AM #9
      Yeah, my dealer recommended the thermostat as well, since it's hard to get to.

    10. 09-21-2010 02:35 PM #10
      Julian -- I just had mine done, at 92k, by Will Fielitz, a colleague of mine at Brookhaven National Lab, who does some VW work at home to pay for medical school. It worked out great and was a great cash price. He is a certified VW mechanic.

      By the way, the belt still had some life left in it.


      -Paul

    11. 09-27-2010 03:48 PM #11
      is it better to get it done at vw/audi dealer who doesnot specialise in phaeton or drive 150 miles to get it by phaeton vw dealer?
      ms

    12. 01-04-2015 05:37 PM #12
      I have had a Phaeton with 78,000 miles for 3 years....never had a problem at all. I am 72 and said THIS IS MY LAST CAR!!!! I love it....THEN I had a chance to buy a 2004 V8 with 19,000 miles. I am told DON'T WORRY to YOU BETTER change it. The car was always in a garage and rarely drove (I assume this...the car LOOKS LIKE it never left the garage (paint and condition etc). I spent more than I should have for the car.....but could not let it go.
      The car was in a minor accident and I purchased it at auction. The accident was repaired by the best guy I have ever seen and the paint is flawless ( I say this because I am a perfectionest and I have 3 awards for custom painting when I was a young fellow ).
      Now I do not know what to do. I do not know if the guy that had it replaced the belt or not (is ther a way to find out).
      I know when its not your money it is easy to say DO IT. I have to tell you it is not so much the money...it is the fact I have to trust someone to take the front end off. It is so hard to trust someone these days. I can give them instructions and how tight each bolt should be and I know they will toss it. So PLEASE...YOU GUYS that KNOW this car....SHOULD I replace it....or????.
      2nd part....if I replace it....is there a better one? You know better materials have come out from 2004. If yes where do I get them? Also does someone make a better set of hoses (if i do the belt I guess I should do the hoses).
      Is there anything else I should do to this LOW mile car? I am going to make it my LAST car. So please...I read thissite a lot after I got my 1st Phaeton and I know some of you guys are really smart about these wonderful cars. Also is there a way I can find out if the belt has already been done (the car is from Florida)
      Ed

    13. Senior Member PowerDubs's Avatar
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      01-04-2015 07:17 PM #13
      Ed,

      While I can't promise it won't break, and I'm sure you will get others here on the forum that disagree with me-

      I wouldn't touch it.


      I'm in my 40's and have owned countless VW since I was 16. I have taken them apart and back together as if they are legos. Engines, transmissions, interiors, it doesn't matter. I've converted automatic cars into stick shifts. I've done timing belts on many generations of VW on many different engines.


      The choice is yours.. but you can ask the guy I sold my '05 V8 Phaeton to with 90,000 miles on it.. original belt- He did the job after I sold the car to him..and If I am not mistaken, he said the belt looked fine.

      Don't take this the wrong way- but at your age, you probably aren't driving the car hard, nor putting a lot of miles on each year. I'd just drive the car and be happy.


      -Josh
      Current VAG collection- 08 TT coupe 3.2 MT | 06 Phaeton 4-seater 6.0 W12 | 04 VW R32 | 03 GTI VR6 - all of them 24v VR6 based.
      Current other- 00 M Roadster | 12 Kia Soul 1.6 stick |01 ZRX1200R | 03 KLX400R
      Past- too much too list.

    14. 01-04-2015 10:21 PM #14
      Yep, I'd disagree! Having said that, I did run the belt long on my 944, but only after checking the condition. If you don't want to have it changed, at least have the belt inspected for cracking, especially since it's a Florida car (hot). If the belt was changed by a dealer, any other dealer should be able to see the record of it, I believe. I assume you know it's an interference engine? If the belt fails, the engine is toast.

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      01-04-2015 11:48 PM #15
      Timing belts don't fail from mileage, or time directly. They fail from a long list if things that are VERY difficult to measure.

      Dirt, oil, sun, from not cleaning the engine, or the chemicals from cleaning and detailing the engine. Temperature, high speed, who know? Grandchildren driving like teenagers?
      This is a cost vs risk thing and knowledge of your car's past is critical information.
      I have seen belts fail, it is not a pretty sight.

      Now your location is not disclosed, so climate is unknown.... And it is a BIG factor.

      Removing the bumper is not an issue - It takes an hour and a few screws. I know there are some fear factor posts about cracks caused by sequence of tightening. The sequence should be followed, but more critically the compensating nuts behind the foglights need to be reset before assembly. This has not been part of any discussion so far.

      The distance the car drives (mileage/kms) plus years is supposed to be a point where risk outweighs cost. Clearly in the best conditions the belt will last longer, but the belt will not last forever.

      I am a mechanical engineer, and I suspect the failure point under optimal conditions is close to double.... Under worst case conditions, the belt will fail before the warranty ends (this would be rare - a fraction of 1%)

    16. Member
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      01-05-2015 04:39 AM #16
      Below was my contribution to this thread few months back



      Quote Originally Posted by Bindaham View Post
      I changed my timing belt a month ago and my car had 111250Km and ten years young. First of all, I was amazed by the quality of the old timing belt, it was solid with no cracks at all. The car was driven in Kuwait were it's very hot in the summer and cold in winter. Secondly, I changed the serpentine belt, thermostat, pulleys, tensioner. I did change the water pump simply because you're going to work in that area and the guys here recommended it. You could also change the camshaft seals.

      It all boils down to your peace of mind. If you want to have a peace of mind, do all the above in the place of your choice. Mind you, Audi mechanics as well can do the job, so you have lots of options.

      My mechanic didn't even remove the front bumper or the lights or any thing else, I was watching the whole time. The parts price tag is not a big issue, the labor cost is. My job took more than four hours straight.
      Regards,

      Salah
      Give a lot, expect nothing

    17. 01-05-2015 09:07 AM #17
      It's not just the belt, it's all the rollers, tensioners, water pump, etc, anything that can interrupt the movement of the belt and cause a camshaft to turn out of sequence.
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/showthrea...-Tensioner-Fun

    18. Member
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      01-05-2015 09:58 AM #18
      True
      Give a lot, expect nothing

    19. 01-26-2015 04:44 PM #19
      Thanks for all the answers. I feel deep down I will never have a problem. The car has 20,000 orig miles. I have not driven it yet. There was a minor hit on the body and I took it to a shop that builds million dollar cars. The car came out as good as...maybe better than NEW. The paint is flawless....in fact I had the whole car shot with a super clear coat and then sanded down with 2,000 and buffed. I have seen MANY paint jobs in my life and this is the best I have seen. If you guys ever want your car to look better than new....contact me and I will put you in touch. The car is now show quality. So after doing all that I feel I will not be able to rest knowing the belt COULD fail.
      The car was from Miami (I called every dealer in Miami to see if MAYBE they had replaced the belt). You can tell that the car was garaged from 2004. Engine is like new with hardly any dust (you can tell it had not been cleaned).
      I have spent more on the car than I was going to spend....but its nice to have a NEWish Phaeton for less than the cost of a new one. It even smells new.
      Soooooo I guess I will spend the extra money to replace the timming belt. I am in Houston, Texas...and it is a hot weather town.
      Normally I would not want to drive it much because of the low miles....but (at my age) I think I will enjoy it.
      I understand replacing the belt....and it is only a few dollars more for a water pump and pullys....but they have NO WEAR (I saw the car on the rack and looked under the car...I do not think it was ever drove in rain. All things metal under the car looked new...no rust....no corrsion. So it has put me in a bad place....I know I will do it. I know I am old and I should not worry....but it will be on my mind until I get it done (Oh...I heard it can be done without removing the bumper etc. Does anyone have instructions to do it that way? I really do not want anything to come off the car. It is perfect now and I know MOST mechanics do not care about each bolt being the correct tightness etc.
      Fianlly....what should I expect to pay for the labor to replace the belt?

    20. Senior Member PowerDubs's Avatar
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      01-26-2015 06:55 PM #20
      Ed,

      I wouldn't touch it. If the car is as pristine as you say it is, you run a much great risk of screwing something up by needless invasive work than if you just left it alone.


      -Josh
      Current VAG collection- 08 TT coupe 3.2 MT | 06 Phaeton 4-seater 6.0 W12 | 04 VW R32 | 03 GTI VR6 - all of them 24v VR6 based.
      Current other- 00 M Roadster | 12 Kia Soul 1.6 stick |01 ZRX1200R | 03 KLX400R
      Past- too much too list.

    21. Member
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      01-26-2015 06:56 PM #21
      with this post, and if it were me, I think I would drive the car for a little while.
      It sounds like a fantastic car, and the risk of a timing belt issue is very low.

      maybe drive for a year, and revisit the idea. by that time you will have a good idea if there are any other things that need attention.

      Keep an open ear for any funny sounds under the hood... and make sure they are addressed.

      It would make more sense to me to wait another year.. maybe 10k miles and then decide to go for it.

      I am particularly impressed with the "shoot with clear - wetsand and polish" that is the Klavierlack method... well done!

    22. Member
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      01-26-2015 06:57 PM #22
      Oh god.. the planets aligned...

    23. Member
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      01-26-2015 09:15 PM #23
      If it isn't broken don't fix it. If in doubt, couldn't you just pull the covers of to peek at the condition of the belt?

      Damon

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      01-27-2015 12:00 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by dlouie View Post
      If it isn't broken don't fix it. If in doubt, couldn't you just pull the covers of to peek at the condition of the belt?

      Damon
      timing belt condition is not something that can be seen.... if there is any damage it is already past its due date.
      the belt must be visually good even up until the day it is replaced.

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      01-27-2015 02:03 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by cbh123 View Post
      the belt must be visually good even up until the day it is replaced.
      I concur.
      Give a lot, expect nothing

    26. Member
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      01-27-2015 02:18 AM #26
      Quote Originally Posted by Ed LeBlanc View Post
      SHOULD I replace it....or????.
      Hi Ed,

      I say YES. Go ahead and replace the timing belt and all the parts that are associated with changing that belt (there are quite a few).

      If you don't, you will be thinking about the belt each minute that you drive the car and you wont be able to enjoy this outstanding vehicle. Unless doing the belt job will force you to file for chapter 11 , I suggest you do it and start fresh and never think about it for the next 80K miles. I'm sure there are some VW (Phaeton) or Audi shops that are either in TX or some other nearby state that you could do the job in a proper manner and you dont have to take it to a VW dealer unless you want to.

      I would stick to oem materials in general, others might agree or disagree but that's what I do.

      On a different angle, why not drive it every day? Why would you want to keep it a "low mileage" car? The way I see it, this car should be driven on a daily basis.

      Regards,

      Salah
      Give a lot, expect nothing

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      01-27-2015 05:38 AM #27
      Hi Ed
      I just had my timing belt (tensioner, rollers, cam seals), water pump, thermostat, serpentine belt, tensioner, and rollers replaced by a very good independent for $2300 on my 04 with 78K miles. The belt that came off showed no degradation and looked fine but I feel a lot better having it done. It would have been $400 less, but unknown to me the water pump had been replaced before I got the car and someone really loved RTV. It was in all of the bolt holes and all but one of them sheared during removal making a lot of work to get them out and repaired. And on top of that the right cam shaft was a couple of notches out of phase with the left and they had to adjust it just to get the locking bar in place. Ugh. I did print out and give them the write up Michael did on removing the front bumper cover and emphasized a few times that it was fragile. Awesome resource. No cracks when complete and car runs like a top.

      John

    28. Semi-n00b
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      02-12-2015 05:48 PM #28
      If it were mine I wouldn't risk it. 11 years is a long time for a timing belt no matter what the mileage. The job isn't too difficult, did mine in the garage in about 8 hours and didn't even have to take the bumper off as there was plenty of room between the front of the engine and the radiator unlike all the other VW's and Audi's that I've worked on.

      It's a pretty straightforward job on the 8 cylinder engine, I only needed the bar to lock the camshafts, crank pin locking bolt, and a gear puller to do it.

      Good luck
      Max

    29. 02-12-2015 06:19 PM #29
      Max, would it be possible to change the thermostat without removing the bumper or the belt?

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      02-12-2015 09:56 PM #30
      You can get at everything on the front of the engine without removing the bumper. It's been a year since I did mine so I can't remember if the thermostat was easily accessible or not with the timing belt still in place and to be honest as soon as I had the covers off the timing belt I took it off so I can't remember if the thermostat was accessible with the belt still on but I think it is.

    31. 02-12-2015 10:13 PM #31
      From the pictures I've seen, the belt passes right over the top of the thermostat housing. My thermostat wasn't changed when the belt was done, and I'm pretty sure it's now stuck open, which I suppose is better than being stuck closed....

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      02-13-2015 03:29 AM #32
      I don't think there's enough clearance to pull the thermostat housing (the part with the green dot on it) out sideways.



      Stephan

    33. 02-13-2015 09:12 AM #33
      Thanks for that Stephen.

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