Volkswagen Front Wheel Drive 1974-1989 Repair Guide

Timing Belts



See Figures 1 and 2

Severe engine damage could occur if the timing belt should break. On some models, Volkswagen uses an "interference" engine design. If the timing belt breaks, the valves could the contact pistons and become damaged.

Volkswagen does not specify an inspection or replacement interval for timing belts. However, since some engines utilize an interference design, it is highly recommended to inspect the timing belt at 60,000 mile (96,000 km) intervals (especially on diesels). It is an even better idea to replace the belt at these intervals. It is far less expensive to replace the belt than to repair the engine damage which could result from the belt breaking.

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Fig. Fig. 1: Check for belt teeth which are cracked or missing

Inspect the belt for cracks, missing teeth and wear on any of the surfaces. Inspect the sprockets for grease and other deposits. If any of these conditions exist, the belt should be replaced. Please refer to Engine & Engine Overhaul for procedures on timing belt removal and installation.

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Fig. Fig. 2: Check for wear and cracks on the belt face as well