Is it worth $1850 (dealer repair price!) to replace timing belt, water pump & tensions/pulleys for my 2003 VW beetle convertible w/ 60K mi? Anyone know a RELIABLE knowledgeable private mechanic near Manhattan NYC so I don't have to go to the (unreliable!) dealer?


Asked by Jul 01, 2013 at 04:51 PM about the 2003 Volkswagen Beetle Turbo S

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

VW 2003 New Beetle Convertible, window regulator probs & dealer says needs new timing
belt, water pump & tensions/pulleys wanting to charge $1850 for that! Also, how frequently
do tires need replacement?

8 Answers

That's about the going price at a dealer

Tires need to be replaced by using the old penny trick. Stick a penny in the tread, Lincoln's head in. If you can see the top of Lincoln's head you need new tires.


The New Beetles are notoriously expensive to maintain and repair- like little Mercedes- wait! they are both German!- having said that, I'm not sure why you would need new pulleys- the rest, yes, but new pulleys? maybe the Gurus can explain this to me- and they must be very expensive new pulleys- I question that- search high and low, make it a Zen quest to find the one honest garage in NY- then tell your friends and help them out, too

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

THAT is a very good question jam. I can understand the water pump, it has to come off anyway, but new pulleys? Unless she meant tensioner only, maybe they call that a pulley. It's not like they wear out, especially at 60k miles.

Scott Sr.

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and ask if your car has the 1.8 Turbo motor. There were some produced with waterpump that had PLASTIC impellers. I'm not sure if there was a recall...there should have been. At 60K, the pulleys and tensioners should be fine. If the timing belt is showing wear, get it will save your engine. As far as the window regulator, it not an expensive part...just a pain to get to and shop hours are over $100/hour anywhere you'll go in NYC. If you can get the car ship-shape with all that fixed and a warranty on the work, it may be worth it for the peace of mind.


I'm in the same situation with our VW beattle but our has 110K miles. Our mechanic said $696.30 so i thought I'll call the dealership $1100.00. Ouch we are waiting and hoping nothing happens.

Scott Sr.

Waiting for something to happen is very unwise. You must change the timing belt at the prescribed interval with that you change the timing belt idler pulley and it's always advisable to at least inspect the water pump and if need to change it. Ignoring this maintenance will lead too much more expensive repairs, like replacing your entire engine.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you that is very helpful. Every time we take it to the mechanic 2 times in 2 weeks now they call with recommend things we should be doing. Last week it was additional $1000.00 in repairs. Flushing some fluids and serpentine belt. This week it was the timing belt and an additional 696.00. It's hard for me being uneducated in automotive repairs to know what is legit and what is overboard. I blue book the car and its worth about $3500. If I did everything they recommend I would be at $2200.00. So I truly appreciate your advise!

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