Should I change the cam belt on our 4-year-old Volkswagen Golf?

Our local Volkswagen dealer is recommending that as my partner's 1.4-litre petrol Golf is coming up to four years old, it should have its cam belt changed (around £500). It's done modest mileage (26,000) and I find it hard to believe that a modern cam belt requires changing after just four years. On my car it's 10 years/100,000 miles.
This was a piece of terrible German engineering on the 1.4 16v engine. Despite the fact that in the 1990s GM had a disaster after fitting plastic timing belt pulleys that inevitably failed, several years later VAG went ahead and did exactly the same thing. It isn't the belts that fail. It's the pulleys – and without warning. But caution dictates changing both at the same time. However, if your engine is a 1.4TSI 122 there is no need to change the belt because the engine has a chain driven camshaft.
Answered by Honest John on

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