I have a 2013 1.4cc Polo, 28000 miles, when should I change the cam belt? VW reccomend after 5 years

  • Why do you expect us to know better than VW? The safe life of a cam belt depends on the model and engine size of the car. If VW say change it after 5 years even for below-average mileage, then changing it will be a lot cheaper than buying a new engine if it breaks! – alephzero Oct 25 '18 at 8:54
  • @alephzero - I think the OP's issue is the 5yr recommended period would be waiting too long to change it. It sounds as if they are trying to be proactive about wanting to change it sooner, rather than waiting to the 5yr mark and having it break, thus lunching the engine. – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 25 '18 at 10:57
  • @Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 The way I interpreted the question was (1) 2018 is 5 years after 2013 and (2) the mileage limit is unlikely to be as low as 28,000. (On my fairly cheap and cheerful European car it's 5 years or 72,000 miles whichever is reached first.). In other words the real question was "do I have to change it after 5 years, if it's only done low mileage?" – alephzero Oct 25 '18 at 14:15
  • @alephzero - Ah, good point! :o) There is sparse information, so interpretation is going to be widely varied! I don't know why there'd be a time element on it as I've always thought of it being mileage dependent maintenance (definitely needed maintenance). I rarely worry about time for a timing belt (pun intended), as I don't see how it would affected much by it ... I guess 20years of non-use might dictate a change, but if an engine sat for 20 years without use, I'd be changing a lot more than the timing belt! :o) – Pᴀᴜʟsᴛᴇʀ2 Oct 25 '18 at 14:29

According to Volkswagen UK, the belt ought to be changed at 5 year intervals on a vehicle built from Model Year 2010 (VW model years run from September). Here is the link to Volkswagen UK's specific advice. They state:

We recommend a cambelt change interval at 4 years for cars registered before September 2009, 5 years thereafter. Customers who reach the recommended mileage limited on their vehicles cambelts before 4 or 5 years maybe advised to change their cambelt sooner.


My 9 year-old Polo has been garage serviced since new. Nowhere on the service manual does it mention a timing belt change, but they look ok (not the polished tooth-lines of a well used belt, and makers marks still visible) According to auto trader, its 82,000 miles is above average for its age! So do I assume that around 9,000 miles a year is average? It means either 5years or approx 45,000 miles is the service interval! I've had an Audi A4 TDi belt fail catastrophically at 179,500, having had the previous main dealer belt change at 119,000 on a 60,000 mile regime.So no, I'm not taking any risks!

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