I bought a used VW Golf Mk. II recently and I have to go on a trip soon. Does this timing belt look healthy? I do have some experience with cars, but not much with timing belts. The sticker on the car says it was replaced less than three years ago, but that might be fake and I know that the mileage was reset.

I spun the engine by hand for the whole circle of the timing belt and I couldn't see any defects.

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Does this question/answer help you at all? Bottom line, if you don't trust the timing belt and you don't really know it's history, it's a much better proposition to replace the belt than to think you can discern whether a belt is good or not ... you just never know.

If you can do this yourself, the kit to replace the belt/water pump is far cheaper than a new engine. When you get it replaced, you are no longer guessing what's up with the belt, you know. Then you can assume it should last as you'd expect. My general rule of thumb is, unless it's a new car, I'll change the belt. Hasn't failed me yet.

  • I have the same rule, buying used = changed timing belt. – Mauro Apr 11 '17 at 12:17

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