VW Cambelts Frequently Asked Questions | Volkswagen UK (2023)

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How long does a VW Cambelt last? ›

How often should I change my cambelt. We recommend changing your cambelt once every four years for cars registered before September 2009, and every five years for cars registered after. If you reach the recommended mileage limit before 4 or 5 years, you may need to change the cambelt sooner.

What are the signs of Cambelt failure? ›

If it is becoming worn, the belt will appear to look glazed or glossy on the underside. This means the rubber is getting hard and will not provide the flexibility the belt needs. Some signs are much more obvious, such as cracking or fraying. Belts with that kind of damage should be replaced immediately.

Do Cambelts deteriorate? ›

You'll find it under a timing cover on the front or side of the engine, and it's often made out of a highly durable rubber and nylon material, usually with grooves to keep it in place. However, over time this material will degrade due to friction before finally breaking.

Do Cambelts really need changing? ›

Usually, you should replace your cambelts (or 'timing belts') between 40,000 and 100,000 miles. Although, if your car has especially low mileage, the 4-5 year mark is a good time to replace the cambelt too.

Is it worth replacing a Cambelt? ›

These engine timings are so precise that any slight deviation can be catastrophic. It's vitally important to change a cambelt when it's due because the wear caused after extended use can cause it to break, with potentially severe damage to the engine as a result.

What happens if Cambelt breaks while driving? ›

If the cam belt snaps while you're driving, it could be very dangerous. The engine could seize up, causing steering and brakes to fail. The pistons can hit the valves in the cylinders, damaging the engine. A non-interference or free-wheeling engine won't suffer as much damage, but still might sustain some.

How long does it take to fix a Cambelt? ›

How long does it take to replace a timing belt or cambelt? This varies from car to car, 1-2 hours being an easy one to as much as 12 hours for the most complex. Some timing belts are really easy to access whereas others are around the back, under a cover and inaccessible without removing a myriad of parts.

What causes a Cambelt to break? ›

With the heat and friction inside the engine, the rubber material will become worn with age and miles. Rubber teeth may wear down and no longer be able to grip the gears. This often results in a slip of the timing belt and potential damage to the engine. The timing belt may also begin to crack under stress.

Can a timing belt last 200 000 miles? ›

It is safer to replace the timing belt even earlier than the manufacturer recommends. In general, however, timing belts needs to be replaced from 60,000 miles up to 150,000 miles.

What happens if cam timing is off? ›

The cam timing regulates the valves and pistons, and the whole process is controlled by the timing chain or belt. If the timing is off, damage can occur. In some engines, called “interference engines,” the consequences can be especially bad.

How much does it cost to replace a Volkswagen timing belt? ›

Shopping around to get a few quotes is your best bet to get the best deal, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $409 to $919 (including parts and labor).

What does a broken Cambelt sound like? ›

Generally, a timing belt that goes bad makes a noticeable ticking or clicking timing belt sound that is unusual. When the timing belt starts falling the ticking or clicking sound becomes pretty audible.

Do Cambelts have a shelf life? ›

A timing belt's shelf life is approximately eight years as long as it's stored in the right conditions. After that point, its service life will begin to gradually decrease.

Is changing a Cambelt easy? ›

Technically, yes, you can change a cambelt yourself. However, the process will be a long one, as it involves deconstructing many components of your car and putting them back together correctly.

Do I need to change water pump with Cambelt? ›

Should I replace the water pump with the timing belt? It is not necessary to replace both at the same time, however, it is highly recommended due to a high risk of engine damage. All parts of the synchronous drive have the same mileage and wear.

Will a timing belt last 10 years? ›

If your vehicle is 6 to 10 years old, it is recommended to replace the timing belt.

Is a Cambelt better than a timing chain? ›

The chains do not have a replacement interval specified by the manufacturer, but they often have to be replaced quite early because the weak chain has elongated (sometimes already between 60.000 and 80.000 km). In contrast, the timing belt has proven to be much more durable.

Is Cambelt the same as timing belt? ›

The most important maintenance item in your vehicle is the engine's Cambelt (also known as a Timing Belt). A Cambelt is often ribbed and is placed in the car's engine to keep the camshaft and crank timed as it should be.

Which is better Cambelt or chain? ›

Timing chains generally have a longer lifespan than timing belts. The reason for this is quite simple: chains are made from metal, whilst timing belts are made from rubber, which simply isn't as strong.

How often does a Cambelt break? ›

Cambelts or timing belts usually need to be replaced usually between 40,000 and 100,000 miles. Alternatively, for lower mileage cars the belt is advised to be replaced around four or five years.

Can a broken Cambelt be fixed? ›

Can a timing belt be fixed? Of course. Anything can be fixed, and a snapped timing belt is no different.

Can a timing belt last 30 years? ›

Seven years is the maximum life of the timing belt recommended by most manufacturers. For example, the belt should be replaced even if the engine has only 30,000 miles but is seven years of age. More timing belts break due to age than mileage.

How many miles does a belt tensioner last? ›

Drive belts typically last anywhere between 40,000 and 70,000 miles. There aren't a lot of warning signs that a drive belt tensioner has hit the end of its lifespan, in fact there is really only one.

How do you know if your timing is too advanced? ›

Some things to look out for:
  1. Engine knocking: Engine knocking occurs when the air-fuel mixture is ignited too soon in the cylinder. ...
  2. Decreased fuel economy: The timing of the spark plug is crucial during the ignition process.
Mar 1, 2021

Why is timing belt replacement so expensive? ›

The time and labor are what make it so expensive. To get to the timing belt, the engine needs to be disassembled. Doing so takes significant time and effort. In addition, replacing the timing belt involves setting the timing and putting the engine back together.

How long does a VW timing chain last? ›

Most Volkswagen timing chains are made to last at least 120,000 miles. Unfortunately, there are multiple lawsuits for owners of the 2-liter EA888 engine because the timing chains in them seem to break much sooner. Additionally, there may be issues with Volkswagen vehicles made between 2008 and 2014.

How much does it cost to replace a timing belt on a 1.8 T? ›

Depending on shop rate, technician's experience, and the amount of timing belt parts being replaced it can cost approximately $600-$1,600. This is just the labor cost (not including parts).

What happens if a timing belt breaks on a non interference engine? ›

But what will happen if the timing belt breaks in a non-interference engine? A non-interference engine won't suffer any damage, but it will stop running. This is because in a non-interference engine, the pistons won't collide with open valves.

Can a timing belt last 100000 miles? ›

Timing belt replacement is generally recommended every 60,000 to more than 100,000 miles, depending on the vehicle manufacturer. Check ChiltonDIY's maintenance schedules or the owner's manual to determine the recommended service interval for your vehicle. Why Does Regular Timing Belt Replacement Matter?

Can a Cambelt last 10 years? ›

It'll usually need to be replaced more than once over the course of a vehicle's lifetime. Manufacturers will usually recommend to replace your timing belt after a set number of years or miles. This could be anywhere from 40,000 to 100,000 miles or 4+ years.

What's the longest a timing belt can last? ›

Seven years is the maximum life of the timing belt recommended by most manufacturers. For example, the belt should be replaced even if the engine has only 30,000 miles but is seven years of age. More timing belts break due to age than mileage.

How often do Cambelts break? ›

Cambelts or timing belts usually need to be replaced usually between 40,000 and 100,000 miles. Alternatively, for lower mileage cars the belt is advised to be replaced around four or five years. However, it all depends on the car and manufacturer.

How long does it take a mechanic to change a timing belt? ›

Replacing the timing belt is an expensive service. It is an intricate, labor-intensive process that can take 4–8 hours, depending on the vehicle. But replacing the timing belt before it breaks will prevent engine damage and save you money in the long run.

What happens when VW timing belt breaks? ›

When the timing belt breaks, the crankshaft will continue to spin, while the camshaft will stop turning. As a result, the pistons will continue to rise and fall in their cylinders and can, in some instances strike the valves.

Do I need to replace water pump with timing belt? ›

We strongly believe that, to preserve long-term system performance, timing belt-driven water pumps should always be replaced at the same time as the timing belt. So, our kits with water pumps provide you with a complete repair solution, featuring not only pulleys and tensioners, but also our long-lasting water pump.

How many labor hours does it take to replace a timing chain? ›

During the combustion process inside the cylinders, camshafts open and close the intake and exhaust valves at just the right time. Overall, it should take a qualified mechanic between 5 and 8 hours to replace the timing chain and all of the parts that go with it.

What year did VW update timing chain tensioner? ›

An updated tensioner design was implemented in July of 2012. If you own one of the following vehicles and it was built before then, your VW or Audi may require the updated timing chain tensioner: VW GTI.

How do I know if my timing chain is stretched? ›

Signs of a Faulty Timing Chain

A common finding in a vehicle with a bad timing chain is unusual rattling noise when the engine is started or when brakes are engaged. It happens due to the loose or stretched timing chain that shakes and rattles while rotating when the engine motor is running.

How can I make my timing belt last longer? ›

While changing the timing belt is unavoidable, there is a way to protect it so it can last longer, thus reducing the need for frequent replacement. As with most everything in life, maintenance is key. For the timing belt, all it takes is a few sprays of the WD-40® Specialist™ Automotive Belt Dressing.

How long do timing belt pulleys last? ›

There is no simple answer. First, check your owner's manual for the recommended maintenance schedule. Some manufacturers recommend replacing the timing belt every 30,000 miles, while others suggest 120,000 miles.


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