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Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

Old 01-02-2013, 06:53 PM
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Default Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

Hi all,

My timing belt broke on new years day (lucky me), on my 2003 A4 1.8T . What sucks is that it had only 100K KM's on it. Anyway, I'm told my options are a) straighten the bent valves, replace gasket, replace belt around $2500 before tax b) replace engine or c) sell car as is and get another one. My car is worth about $6500, 215K KM's on it.

Has anyone else experienced this? What did you do? I'm told by one mechanic that if I just straighten the valves and replace the belt I might still run into other issues. He's currently sourcing some engine prices for me. Thanks for your help.

Last edited by guhbuhjuh; 01-02-2013 at 06:58 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

No suggestions?
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:56 PM
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Default Re: Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

Unfortunately timing belts do degrade over time as you found out. Can they really straighten valves so that they are perfectly aligned to slide without extra stress within the valve guides.

My recommendation would be to replace the whole engine or at a minimum replace those valves that got bent, rather than straightening them.

All really depends on how much longer you want to keep the car. After this work is done, you are unlikely to have any engine issues for at least the next 4-5 years.

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Old 01-03-2013, 01:08 PM
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Default Re: Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

Thanks for your advice, so rather than straightening them, my mechanic tells me they'll fix the head, so I'm assuming that means replacing the valves etc. I think I'm going to go this route mainly b/c it's significantly cheaper than replacing the engine and the fact that I'd like to keep the car for another two years or so.
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Old 01-04-2013, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

I would definitely consider replacing the entire engine, especially if you're planning to keep your vehicle for a while longer. It will probably save you money in the long run since those smaller repairs, that will be necessary if you just "fix" the top end of the engine, can often add up quickly due to labour costs.

Plus, new engine doesn't hurt the resale value as much as an damaged engine.


Hope this helps,

-Nick
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Old 01-05-2013, 01:13 AM
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Default Re: Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

Fix the head and enjoy the car!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Timing belt broke. Replace belt, engine or sell car?

Thanks! That's what I've opted to do.
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