Does Your VW Need New Belts? Here’s What You Need to Know

Does Your VW Need New Belts? Here’s What You Need to Know in Shaker Heights OH, closeup image of VW engine with belts

Does Your VW Need New Belts? Here’s What You Need to Know

Each time you take your beloved Volkswagen out for a spin, the automotive belts work hard to help keep your engine and accessories operating as expected. Over time, the various belts wear out and lose their flexibility, increasing the risk of breakage. To prevent that from happening, you can have your VW belts replaced at regular intervals by your trusted mechanic in Shaker Heights, OH. Here’s what you need to know about this vital service.

Types of Belts Used for Volkswagens

The type of belts used by your Volkswagen depends on its year, model, and engine. Modern VWs typically use a timing belt – or chain – to sync up the moving parts in the engine, plus a serpentine belt to power the accessories.

The timing belt attaches around the cam and crank pulleys to keep the camshaft and crankshaft moving together. If applicable, the serpentine belt wraps around the pulleys on the crank, alternator, power steering pump, and air conditioning compressor. As the crank spins to life, the connected belts move the other pulleys in tandem, keeping your engine running strong and accessories working as expected.

On older Volkswagens, the accessories may have their V-belts instead of a single serpentine belt. If you prefer the single belt, you can convert the V-belt setup on your 8V or 16V engine to serpentine, although it does require you to ditch the AC.

Ideal Belt Service Intervals for Your VW

Belt service intervals for VWs vary depending on the engine, although you can typically expect:

  • Timing belt: 60,000 to 100,000 miles
  • Timing chain: 80,000 to 120,000 miles
  • Serpentine: 50,000 to 100,000 miles
  • V-belt: 20,000 to 40,000 miles

If you do not change your belts on time, they could break, leaving you in a world of hurt and regret. If the accessory belts break, you could lose power steering and air conditioning when you need it most. Beyond that, your alternator won’t be able to charge up your battery, potentially leaving you stranded on the side of the road.

The situation gets even worse if your timing belt or chain breaks since most VWs have interference engines. In this engine design, the valves and pistons move through the same space in a perfectly timed dance, all running in unison largely thanks to the belt or chain. So, when the belt fails, a nasty collision results. At that point, you’ll likely need head work, if not a complete engine rebuild, costing you far more than it would have to get Shaker Heights, OH timing belt service done on time.

Need Auto Repair in Shaker Heights, OH? Call to Schedule Your Visit

If you’d like to get the belts on your Volkswagen replaced, reach out to our team at Heights Swedish Solutions for VW auto repair in Shaker Heights. We’re always available at 216-371-5100 to help you find a great time to visit the shop. You can count on our team to let you know which services are due and complete all the work to spec at your visit. So, please feel free to reach out whenever you need help caring for your beloved VW.