Was just informed that the timing chain on my 2010 VW Passat broke and the whole engine needs to be replaced. Is that plausible on a 5 yo car with 50K miles?


Asked by Feb 06, 2015 at 11:53 AM about the 2010 Volkswagen Passat

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Went for an oil change and the car literally stopped running in the parking lot.  Had it towed to VW dealership where it was purchased.  They've had the car for over a week (it happened day of the first blizzard). This morning they informed me that the timing chain broke and basically destroyed the engine.  It will cost 7k to replace the engine.  Is this legit? Ive had other cars last well over 100k miles 10 to 12 years and  still when replaced! Was planning to keep this car to at least 100k.

13 Answers


Yes it is legit. You have a zero tolerance engine. If the belt/chain brakes the pistons slap all of the valves and destroy the heads, valves, pistons, ect. You should have done the timing belt/chain at around 60,000 miles.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Bob Beaman

Unfortunately the dealership is probably correct. You might ask them to give you some good will and reduce the repair bill due to the low mileage.


Thanks Bob and Transam. Thinking of just moving on, as it has barely 50k miles. This car had been trouble since the beginning!


Is it still under warranty? Wouldn't hurt to find out.


The general Powertrain warranty is 5 year and 60,000 miles. So it should be under warranty

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Same exact thing just happened to me on my 2010 Passat Wagon. No one informed me the chain should have been replaced at 60k. I find it incredible that the chain failing causes catastrophic engine damage. That's a faulty design. Now I'm replacing a faulty engine with another faulty engine. Really sad.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Hi Kenji2015, Sorry to hear that! I meant to give an update. So, the dealership suggested we get in touch with VW USA and express our disappointment as loyal VW buyers/owners. We were skeptical, but they were actually helpful, as was the dealership. Ended up paying only 1k (rather than 7k) as it was so close to the expiration of the warrantee. I was pleasantly surprised with the dealership and VW corporate for working with us. However, I agree with you-it must be due to faulty design and it shouldn't have happened. Caused major stress, not to mention money for rental. Just got the car back yesterday. I would definitely give VW a call! Good luck

Chris Van Kleeck

Glad that VW was helpful with this big repair. The timing chain doesn't actually have a maintenance schedule for replacement though. For Passat owners of this vintage that may read this in the future... If the chain brakes, it may or may not damage the lower portion of the engine. Sometimes the cylinder head can be removed for inspection and repaired or replaced. As for the block/ lower end of the engine, I've seen issues with the oil pump, which is an assembly with the lower balance shafts. That is prudent to inspect through removal of the oil pan, too. Remember that there is a specific oil requirement for this engine that should always be adhered to, to avoid internal wear issues.

Ted Dannemiller

TB service intervals are described in the service manual. The design was changed a few years ago to a low-maintenance belt. But it is not a faulty design. Maintenance is maintenance, and VW clearly spelled it out.

Ted Dannemiller

...low maintenance chain, and a tensioner.....

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

This just happened to my 2008 2.0T passat. This is a common problem and there is a class action against VW for faulting timing chain tensioners. Timing chain is supposed to last the life of the car.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

same problem happened to me. the dealer report showing no compression coming from 1,2,3, and 4 Cylinders, also all engine valves bent. he didn't documented but told me the chain belt tensioner common to cause that. other website shows there are law cases against VW. dealer quote repair $10.000. the car isn't even equal to that!!! continues problem with VW. not recommended to any one.


I have a 2010 vw jetta wolfsburg with 80k on it and all maintenance done to it, I went to turn it on last week and the motor wouldnt turn, VW says the timing chain broke and i'll need to replace chain,cylinder,valves and whatever else. They also said 7000+ to repair. I will never buy a german car again and i will just tell them to take it the way it is and throw it away!

Your Answer

Add photo

Related Questions


Looking for a Used Passat in your area?

CarGurus has 22,343 nationwide Passat listings starting at $1,074.


Search Volkswagen Passat Questions

Volkswagen Passat Experts

#1 Tom Demyan
Tom Demyan
Reputation 1,030
#2 tenspeed
Reputation 900
#3 littlehorn
Reputation 890
View All

Related Models For Sale

Used Volkswagen Jetta"
686 Great Deals out of 32,772 listings starting at $1,200
Used Volkswagen CC"
107 Great Deals out of 3,696 listings starting at $4,990
Used Honda Accord"
1,315 Great Deals out of 78,660 listings starting at $1,395
Used Toyota Camry"
1,653 Great Deals out of 98,470 listings starting at $895
Used Audi A4"
342 Great Deals out of 13,069 listings starting at $1,500
Used BMW 3 Series"
1,618 Great Deals out of 39,936 listings starting at $1,500
Used Nissan Altima"
1,483 Great Deals out of 87,903 listings starting at $1,195
Used Honda Civic"
1,183 Great Deals out of 58,586 listings starting at $1,295
Used Audi A6"
151 Great Deals out of 6,576 listings starting at $1,995
Used Ford Fusion"
1,465 Great Deals out of 79,565 listings starting at $1,450
Used Volkswagen GTI"
102 Great Deals out of 6,093 listings starting at $2,900
Used Volkswagen Golf"
38 Great Deals out of 2,657 listings starting at $2,250
Used Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen"
21 Great Deals out of 445 listings starting at $3,695
Used Volkswagen Touareg"
45 Great Deals out of 2,483 listings starting at $3,799
Used Hyundai Sonata"
992 Great Deals out of 51,794 listings starting at $1,200

Used Cars For Sale

2017 Volkswagen Passat For Sale
10,661 listings starting at $16,925
2016 Volkswagen Passat For Sale
14 Great Deals out of 2,224 listings starting at $12,795
2015 Volkswagen Passat For Sale
78 Great Deals out of 3,709 listings starting at $8,999
2014 Volkswagen Passat For Sale
32 Great Deals out of 759 listings starting at $9,950
2013 Volkswagen Passat For Sale
50 Great Deals out of 1,192 listings starting at $5,999