timing belt age as a sole replacement indicator

mboucher70 hotmail.com mboucher70 at hotmail.com
Tue Apr 22 20:15:01 PDT 2014

This has been an interesting thread.

One comment that surprised me a bit was that changing the timing belt on the 
I5's was relatively easy.  Everything I've read about the job made it sound 
challenging (removing front bumper and the rest of the front end, loosening 
crank pulley bolt and the cam pulley bolt, etc.).  If you get the job done 
by an Audi shop, any idea what the job typically goes for, either in dollars 
or in hours?

Another surprising comment was from the original poster...only one to two 
hundred miles in ten years?  Ten to twenty miles per year, so the car's been 
essentially parked for ten years?  Was it maintained?

Finally, full confession: I bought my 1990 Audi 100 when it was ten years 
old.  I've now had it for 14 years, without changing the belt.  So best 
case, the belt is 14 years old, and worst case, its 24.  That being said, I 
only drive it about 1000 miles per year for the past ten years.  Its well 
maintained in terms of safety (brakes, tires), and it fact it runs great 
with even the original air conditioner working.  If I knew the timing belt 
was a few hundred to change I'd jump at it, but given the work involved, I 
expected it would be closer to $1000.  Given the car's age, and the fact 
that its not a particularly interesting collectible (non-turbo, 
non-quattro), I'd likely balk at any single repair cost over 500.  It would 
be interesting to hear how other thread owners do the calculus of when its 
time to retire their car.

-----Original Message----- 
From: Richard van der Hoff
Sent: Tuesday, April 22, 2014 8:28 AM
To: quattro at audifans.com
Subject: Re: timing belt age as a sole replacement indicator

Interesting that this should come up. My B5 S4 was in for a service a
few weeks ago, and the shop owner pointed out that the recommended
timing belt replacement interval was 60 months, or (I think) 60k miles.
It was last done over 6 years ago, so I figured I would take a couple of
weekends to do the job myself and replace some seals and gaskets while I
was in there.

Perhaps I'm being over-cautious. Really didn't fancy having to get 30
valves repaired though ;)

On 22/04/14 12:40, Grant Lenahan wrote:
> Rubber dry rots.  So yes, age is a determinant as well.
> But i’m fairly convinced that the belt itself is rarely the issue in our 
> cars.  More often it is a tensioner or water pump that is failing, placing 
> more drag not he belt, and then poof.
> That said, after 8-9 years, although i will only have  50-55k on my belt, 
> I’ll do another nose job on my C5
> Grant
> On Apr 21, 2014, at 10:14 PM, DeWitt Harrison <dewitt635 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Some time ago, in fact quite a long time ago, a veteran, very active
>> q-lister by the name of Phil Payne expressed the idea that timing belts 
>> can
>> become dangerously damaged by the simple passage of time, mileage
>> notwithstanding. The belt on my venerable 5ktq is in that situation now
>> with maybe one or two hundred miles of use but several years -- I hate to
>> think how many: ten? -- on the clock.
>> I would be very interested to learn what this group thinks about (the
>> late?) Mr. Payne's opinion on this matter.
>> Thanks,
>> DeWitt Harrison
>> 1988 5000CS

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