Timing belt broke

I just bought a 95 Golf and it was running fine. One day I pulled off the highway and into a parking lot. While going fairly slow in the
parking lot the car stalled when it shouldn't have. It wouldn't start back up. I got a tow to a garage and they listened to the sound of it trying to start up and thought it might be the timing belt. They took a look and could see right away that it was loose. When they took it off about a 6" strip of the belt had the nubs worn off it, the rest of the belt in poor condition but not totally broken.
I've been told you can really damage your engine like this but I am not noticing anything wrong. Could it be because the belt didn't totally break, or the low speed I was traveling? Would I noticed if i did damage? It seems fine now that it is fixed.
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007 wrote:

Some engines are "interference" engines and others are not. I am guessing that you have the 2.0L engine?
nate
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I lost the belt in exactly the same way on my 16V at a stop light. I've been told that on a low compression 8V engines you can loose the belt and be OK quite a bit of the time, but on the high compression ones it has to be at or near idle and has to stop at once and in one of two positions or you'll mangle the valves and / or the cylinders. I've gone 20K miles since, so it looks like I got away with it.
On the other hand, I had a Fiat engine I lost the belt on (broke outright) where I did loose a couple cylinders and six valves. It made amazing noises for about two or three seconds then went dead silent. I was doing about 4,000 RPM, as I recall, when it went. The starter would crank the main shaft, but it sounded mighty funny without the valves opening and closing.
- Bill
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noises
Yeah, I had the same thing happen to me on my '79 Fiat X1/9 many years ago. That taught me to take their recommended service interval (Was it 30K miles? it was something ridiculously low) very seriously.
I thought on VW and Audi engines, only the diesels were considered "crashers" ?
- FM -
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outright)
closing.
ago.
Yes. This was an X-1/9. I can't recall the year now, but a later '70's one I think.

miles?
Unfortuantely, I hadn't heard about that. I learned a great deal about Fiats after that. I was fortuanate enough to get the car towed to a mechanic who loved the things. Along with fixing the valves and replacing the cylinders, when he put the engine back together he disconnected all the polution control stuff and did, well, I don't know what, but it was real zippy after that. He cautioned me to bring it back to him for inspections. I did, and he hooked everything back up, had me drive it for an hour (WHAT a difference) did the inspection, then disconnected/adjusted everything again and sent me on my way. We did this routine for three years or so until the car got destroyed.

I can't about other ones, but I've been told by several folks that the 16V ones will do it in most cases and that I was damn lucky. The first couple of people I talked to just flat out assumed the valves, at least, had been whacked but one mechanic asked if it was idling when it happened and when I said "yes" said "well, maybe..." and suggested just putting in the new belt and timing it to see if I'd gotten lucky. I did.
- Bill
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Fred Mau wrote:

It's a case of compression, for the most part. Obviously oil burners compress greatly but there are two main groups of gas burning motors in the VW line up, low and high compression.
Normal low compression is about 8:1, High compression is about 9.5 or 10:1.
16vs are by default high compression motors, w/ knock sensors and all that.
GTI/GLI motors in A2 chassis and later are most likely all hi-comp, and so on and so on.
There is no guaranty a low compression motor will avoid valve trouble with a snapped timing belt but they are the best bet to survive.
TBerk
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Drive it & be HAPPY!

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Chalk me up as the lucky 16v'er who got away with his belt breaking... My 87 16v Jetta had its belt break while getting on the hwy going about 15 MPH. I got it replaced and drove another 50K miles or so before my Tranny just recently took a dump. Tranny fluid is all over the place but the car still runs and pulls hard.. Hoping to get this 8v tranny from a local dubber to put in it for this winter. I guess I'll all need is and 8v clutch disk.

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I have replaced 3 'broken' belts on the 16Vs and 2 engines were fine probably due to conservative and lucky drivers. The third was always driven hard and the belts always break around 40K-45K miles. That cost a pretty penny! :-(
later, dave Reminder........ Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them, and you have their shoes. Frieda Norris
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Speed has nothing to do with it. You are lucky you had an 95 model. Otherwise your pistons would strike the valves and the engine would be junk right that moment.
NOTHING TO FIX ANYMORE.
On 95 models the head is high enough so it does not happen.
Lucky you that this engine did not start when you wanted to start it.

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