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Passat TDI Cambelt Change - GrahamF1
1999 VW Passat TDi Sport (110bhp).

I'm thinking of doing the cambelt change myself, having seen the likely cost of a garage doing it. I normally do my own servicing, but haven't done a cambelt before and understand it's a bit tricky. The Haynes manual isn't especially clear.

Has anyone on here got any direct experience of having done one, and could they give me any pointers? Also, could anyone clarify the belt change interval on this car for me? Some sources have told me every 60k and some every 80k.



Tags: owning cam belts belts and chains maintenance and servicing timing belt

Passat TDI Cambelt Change - DL
Change point every 60,000 miles Graham.

Don't attempt this job unless you are quite handy with the tools; the front of the car has to come off or be slid foward to gain access to the belt. One there, it's not a bad job to do.

Whereabouts are you located?
-- - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Passat TDI Cambelt Change - GrahamF1
Thanks to both of you for your advice, much appreciated.

With regard to where I am, I'm in Huntingdon. Why - do you know a good garage for that particular job?

I'm struggling to get quotes much less than £400. With money being quite tight, and having a week's leave coming up, I'd rather take all week doing it myself than part with that sort of money.
Passat TDI Cambelt Change - Spanner
Hi Graham

If this is your first cambelt change, take your time and make notes and take digital pictures of components BEFORE you start removing things. Make sure you have the correct timing pegs/bolts/locking devices before you start. These locking devices make sure the injector pump, crank and cam shaft are all locked and unable to move once the belt is off. Don't attempt the job if you haven't.
I have lost count of the number of cam belts I have changed over the years but I still come up against particularly awkward engines - notably the 2.1 TD on my Citroen XM. I imagine the Passat is NOT an easy job as there is so much to remove just to get to the belt.
My advice is take your time, make notes and double check everything. Many tool and car part retailers sell diesel engine locking sets so get one of these before you start.

Passat TDI Cambelt Change - mark
Hi Graham

Got my Passat PD TDI belt done at the local Seat dealers for £250 all in including tensioner, rollers and VAT. That was against quotes of up to £500 + from VW garages.

The local Seat dealership mechanic used to work at the local VW main dealers and did a good job. The engine is common to Seats and Skodas so it might be worth seeing if they can do it for less, at least then you will have some sort of guarantee to fall back on. I believe the change also involves hooking up to VAG COM to reset the injector timings.

as always

Passat TDI Cambelt Change - BB
DL is spot on again.

The front of the car usually comes off to gain access. I should know, I had to have the belt replaced 3 times in a year!

Also, as Mark says, usually best to ask at the local Skoda and Seat service shops. They usually charge less £ per hr.
Passat TDI Cambelt Change - bert-j
Don't even think about doing it yourself! VW tdi's cambelts are extremely complicated and require special tools. Think of it this way - a cambelt change is cheaper than a destroyed engine.
Follow the advice already given and use a specialist who will guarantee the work. They must also change the tensioners etc.
Passat TDI Cambelt Change - DL
I wouldn't say the VW cambelts are extremely complicated - if you want to see an extremely complex belt you want to see a Rover KV6 belt setup - all three of them!

Special tools required only number one, the camshaft locating tool. An 11mm deep socket is just the right size to lock the fuel injection pump, the crankshaft is aligned using a timing mark on the easily accessible flywheel sight hole.

The auto adjuster setup is great, works really well.

If you fancy a trip down to the South West, we'll have the job done in 5hrs, you make the tea, OK? One sugar please.

A quality belt, roller and tensioner kit can be bought for less than £60+VAT if one knows where to look ;)

The Passat is definately easier to get access to the belt on compared to the A4 TDi - the bumper design is far better when it comes to maintenence on the Passat than the A4 - typical!
-- - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Passat TDI Cambelt Change - DL
Spanner said "I have lost count of the number of cam belts I have changed over the years but I still come up against particularly awkward engines - notably the 2.1 TD on my Citroen XM. I imagine the Passat is NOT an easy job as there is so much to remove just to get to the belt."

Agreed - any engine in a Citroen car usually spells bad news when it comes to maintenence. The very same P8C 2.1TD engine in the 406 is a cinch to change the cambelt on......
-- - Pictures say a thousand words.....
Passat TDI Cambelt Change - mare
Sorry to hijack thread, but where are you in south west DL?

I have a 110bhp Octavia that will need a cambelt change in six months.

Passat TDI Cambelt Change - matstro
I too was in your position recently with our year 2000 Seat TDI 110. I always get cam belt changes done by main dealer if possible or a good well known independant for that make.

This time round I had a mechanic do it on the drive (for various reasons) He didn't come across any problems apart from a lot of taking apart to get to the belt area. The new belt was a struggle to get back on and he had to improvise when tightening up the tensioner. He also changed the water pump (£25) from ECP as the cam belt drives this as well and I believe the plastic impellors can break with age.

I got a quote from a well respected independant VW garage who is not known to be cheap. Quoted £230 inc tensioner, belt and VAT (not including rollers)

One thing I keep reading about changing these belts is that the pump should be accurately timed each time using VAG equipment otherwise there is a fair chance the engine will not run 100% afterwards. That said, I beleive the differnece in running to be hardly discernable if nothing has moved.

I'd never get someone to change a cam belt unless they were trusted 100% to get it right or the firm doing it had the where with all to finance putting it right if they foul up which arguably rules out back street garages giving cheap quotes.

Finally, I read that the engine mount should have new bolts and its important to torque them correctly??
Passat TDI Cambelt Change - GrahamF1
Whereabouts are you, DL?

I'm not averse to a little trip if it means a quality job for a decent price. The opportunity to watch it being done so I could learn something would be fantastic...


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