How to tell if timing belt broke?

Asked by Apr 16, 2012 at 02:54 PM about the 2004 Volkswagen Passat GLS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

The car will not start. It turns over / cranks but no start.
The question is how to tell if the belt broke, where to look what to check ?
Will the engine crank? Will there be noise in the engine if it damaged ?
2004 Passat, Gas 1,8 L front drive.
Thank you very much friends :)

2 Answers


if its turning over ..but sounds different to normal its broke take the belt cover off,, if the bottom is moving and the top is not moving its broke

3 of 3 people found this helpful.
Best Answer Mark helpful

You would notice right away from the second you turn that key to start it if the timing belt broke the engine would crank over very fast (alot faster then normal), there is not room in the 1.8's for a timing belt to break and not do valve damage, if your timing belt did break then you more than likely have a few bent valves, which will require the cylinder head to be removed and rebuilt as required depending on the damage you may also need a piston or two hopefully thats not the case. Like the answer above me mentioned pull the plastic timing cover off and check to see if the belt is broke and go from there...good luck.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

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