Should I have my Volkswagen Passat's timing belt changed?

I have a 2004 Volkswagen Passat 1.9 TDI Estate that has done 105,000 miles, that I've owned for three years and am planning on keeping for the foreseeable future. The dual mass flywheel failed last year and was replaced together with the clutch, but otherwise maintenance has been of a routine nature. The toothed timing belt had been replaced in September 2009 at 58,000 miles prior to my ownership. The Service Handbook recommends that the camshaft drive belt is replaced on 4-cylinder diesel engines every 100,000 miles, with no reference to a maximum interval for replacement, irrespective of mileage. On this basis the timing belt is not due for replacement again until it has done around 158,000 miles which on my average annual mileage of 12,000 miles will take about four years, by which time the existing timing belt will be around eight years old. Do you think that it is safe to wait until then, and if not when would you replace it?
Good VAG independents say four years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes first. Since this will be the second timing belt change and since these engines are known for waterpump failures I would change that and the tensioner as well. Practical video of this job: at:
Answered by Honest John on

Ask Honest John