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David, VW Master Technician
Category: VW
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Experience:  VW Master Technician Certified for 9 years, ASE Master Technician Certified
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2001 VW Jetta: a timing belt/tensioner..TDI...local dealership

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What is an average price for replacing a timing belt/tensioner on a 2001 VW Jetta TDI. The local dealership is asking for $4000, which seems way out of the ballpark.
Yeah I would say they are way out of the ball park on this one. The TDI timing belts are not cheap but they are not that much either. You will need to replace the timing belt, rollers, tensioner, and should also replace the water pump. All of this should be around $1400 - $1500. This repair really should be done by an experienced tech, not only are special tools required, you will need a scanner to set up Dynamic Timing. I would suggest you shop it around to other dealers and see what they are willing to charge. I found out a long time ago, with dealers its best to shop it around. I worked a program a while back for a dealer and called around to get prices for a Major service, between 10 dealers there was over a $400,00 spread, from the lowest to the highest. Once you find another dealer who will do it for $$$, then you can contact your dealer and see if they are willing to match.. In todays market I think you will find they will work with you to keep your business.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I also wanted to add that the car was moving when the tensioner broke, so they also had to work on the heads. They quoted on the phone first that it should only be around $1500. There is only one dealership in our area, they have already done the work without a written estimate. We were originally going to do the work ourselves until we saw all the special tools needed. $4000 is still way to much don't you think?

If the head needed to be repaired or replaced this would be a normal amount. There is a lot work to remove the head and set everything back up.



Customer: replied 8 years ago.

We were told it would only be 10 hours labor for the whole timing belt/tensioner/heads. They didn't do a valve flush beforehand to see if the head even needed to be fixed before they did the work. They are also charging us extra labor to do a throttle body flush even though the head was already off. We were quoted $1500 and we asked them to call before they did any of the work, but they did not. Does this sound right to you?

This engine is a known interference engine, which means that the valves will get bent if the engine jumps timing. Now for unathorized work I would suggest you contact your state attoney generals office, a repair facility can not do work without authorization and an estimate. You may have rights depending on which state you live in. In California we have the Bureal of Automotive Repair and they investigage issues like this.


The dealer should not charge you to install a belt when they knew the valves were probally bent, or at a least they should have given you the option to find out. Also for the intake, this engine is known to have soot build up in the intake, but since it was already off, there should only be at a maximum one hour to clean this thing out. Normally we do it as part of the repair, but many shops will charge additional.

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Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Thanks so much for all of your help. I was just online checking out FL consumer affairs web site and we have to get a bond and take it to the dealer to get our car back. I would never have had them fix the car if I knew it was going to be that much. The car itself is only worth $6000. Thanks.

Sorry to hear that you have to get a bond. You should document everything and consider small claims if that is possible in your area. You can also post a legal question on Just Answer and the legal experts should be able to help you there. In Just Answer legal experts, most of them are lawyers and can provide some very helpful information as to any legal action that you can take. Thank you for the accept and thank you for using Just Answer

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