Why should it be regularly brought to an inspection?
An old or worn down toothed belt may rupture and cause damage to the engine. The reason: The engine valve control falls out of sync, the piston strikes the valve like a bullet - often at a speed of 15 m/s. More often than not, the entire cylinder head must be replaced. The tricky thing: You can't hear or see how worn down your toothed belt is.
When is it time for a toothed belt change?
Depending on the model, engine and style of driving, a toothed belt can last up to 220,000 miles (360,000 km). Nevertheless, have it checked every now and then, e.g. by your Volkswagen Partner within your service interval. It's especially important if you drive lots of short distances, your Volkswagen is often stationary (e.g. taxis) or if you have covered more than 150,000 miles (240,000 km).
Tip: Have your new used vehicle checked straight away.
Want to change it yourself?
An incorrectly installed toothed belt will damage the engine. Changing it is also complicated and expensive. The toothed wheels and guide wheels must be perfectly aligned and the toothed belt has to be tightened correctly. The coolant pump, belt tensioners and idler rollers should also be changed at the same time. Not only do you need very specialist knowledge, you also need special tools. We recommend allowing your Volkswagen Partner to change it for you.
Does the timing chain really require no maintenance?
A timing chain lasts for up to 300,000 miles (500,000 km). However, what doesn't last so long is the chain tensioners. These make sure that the timing chain always runs with exactly the right tension and that the engine remains in sync - for some 10,000 to 190,000 miles (150,000 to 300,000 km).
Should you change the timing chain or chain tensioner yourself?
The same applies as with the toothed belt: An incorrectly installed or tightened timing chain damages the engine. Moreover, both the changing and tightening of the timing chain are expensive and complicated. It requires a lot of time, as well as expert know-how and special tools. For this reason, we recommend allowing your Volkswagen Partner to change the chain tensioner and timing chain.
How do I know if the timing chain is worn down?
The timing chain isn't as quiet as the toothed belt. When it comes to wear-and-tear, this disadvantage becomes an advantage. For example, if your Golf VI is rattling unusually loud, you should definitely get your timing chain and chain tensioners checked. It is probably not correctly tightened.