volkswagen 2003 golf timing belt replacement

Asked by Jan 16, 2014 at 10:15 PM about the 2003 Volkswagen Golf GL 2.0

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Wont turn on after we replaced the timing belt. We lined up the crank shaft and pulley
shaft to the marks and number one piston was up. I read the book some, the tensioner
had to be lined up .. but it was hard to see the mark so i let as is. Also when the belt
broke off we were driving. does that mess up anything?

16 Answers

109,925 file=GatesTBR.pdf&folder=brochure -- according to this your engine is an interference engine. That means that if the timing belt breaks while engine is running the pistons can come in contact with the valves causing bent valves. Do a compression check on all cylinders. Any cylinders with bent valves will have low or 0 psi compression numbers.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

mmmm interference motor is what I'm tryin' to baste my buns with here~

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

that's why thoughtfully....if they "cupped" the pistons so this catastrophe would not would be just fine with a broken timing belt....again put a brand new one in...don't risk it, put a BRAND NEW tensioner and pulley on that as well (think these are circular with a twisty spring you must pre- load~) so, again with all new stuff line up the marks per the book and do a compression test to reveal that this is a NON-interference motor (I hope....cross your fingers)~

as your number two expert, is quite an embarrasment that I'm not intimate with the 2.0 liter model~ if you could get a surgical cam into the cylinder, you would know right away if this is or is not an interference engine....Volvo's 240 series NEVER were a problem...that's the way that they designed them~


I have just purchased a Volkswagen beetle 2.0 and had to put a camshaft sensor on it. This involves removing the camshaft gear and timing belt in the head..And yes this is an interference engine.If it broke while driving you bent several valves in the head. Your only option is to have the head reworked or replace the engine.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

Yep - been there too

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Engine replace is a bit too far, just change the damaged valves. The 2.0 engine is a basic engine no tricks. You need to check the timing mark on the crankshaft pulley or the tranny has a hole also to check on the flywheel. If the piston is up at the wrong timing the sensors give a bad signal and won't turn on. Do the compression test and work through there.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

this engine has the same timing as the 1982 golf, it is really an engine built on this tech. Just the electrical parts differ and the injection system but basically it is the same. Careful with the cam sensor it breaks easily if the cam pulley isn't carefully removed.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

If it bent the valves it damaged the valve guides and seats which means reworking the complete head. By the time you pay a machine shop to do this and the labor at the garage to install it you could probably buy a good used low mileage engine installed cheaper. Also the bottom end of the engine would have high mileage against a new head.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

It can be the case, but not necessarily. I have had many cases in my shop of bent valves on those engines and none had to change the guides. it is a very robust engine. just had to change the valves.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Not to disagree with you but sometimes the guides crack where you can't see it up inside the head. I would hate to take that chance and have to do the job twice. I have seen them crack bad enough that the head had to be replaced and you couldn't see it with the naked eye. But that is why we're here so they can weigh out all their options.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

that is true, the thing is that this engine the valves are not that close to make a great damage, but everything is possible. i have been working with vw for more than 20 years know and this particular engine is very uncommon to change valve guides. but as you say it is a possibility that he has to know. in his case, i would take the head and inspect the engine inside, if a valve bent too much get a quote for the fix and the engine and pick one. But normally i get this cases and when the head is off you can hardly see and sometimes i have to test the valves with liquid gas to check if they seal correctly. that's why i think changing the engine is too much, if it was another engine maybe i would agree...

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

You sound like you've been doing this for awhile too. 30 + years for me. ford,chevy,subaru,cadillac. But ford is my specialty.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Hey, think some people are trying to run before they can walk here. Back to basics first. 1) recheck your timing marks are all aligned crank & cam, and with the spark plugs removed you can turn the engine freely there should be little resistance. 2) Vw also recommend that the water/coolant pump is replaced at every cambelt change! 3) Before you go stripping off your cylinder head try doing a compression test this will show if you have bent any valves as they will no longer be able to seal on the seats.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

paul, you are correct, we talked about the compression test. I hope the compression is correct so he doesn't have to take the head out.


I'm having the same issue.just bought a 2001 vw golf 1.6 auto.its trying to crank over but no has 77000 miles on it bad timing belt was never replaced.could it be broke or skipped a cog ??

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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