Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Fit a Timing Belt on a Volkswagen Beetle

 In this month’s article, Schaeffler replace the timing belt and water pump on a 2008 Volkswagen Beetle 1.9 TDI (BSW engine) that has covered just over 66,000 miles.

Volkswagen released the new Beetle in 1997. Prior to that, two concept cars had been designed and a strong demand had been noticed for a new Beetle, which went into production and was based on a Golf platform. Assembly took place in Mexico and it was available in petrol and diesel, with two body types; coupe and convertible.

This engine has been identified as an interference type, so in the event of a timing belt failure, the likelihood of engine damage is extremely high. It is always important to install a new timing belt system on an engine at ambient room temperature. Always adhere to turning the engine in direction of rotation unless otherwise advised by the installation instructions. Recommended torque values should always be used. It is also recommended that all the tensioners, idlers and fixings are replaced at the same time as the timing belt.

For safety reasons, it is best practice to disconnect the battery earth lead. The vehicle may also be fitted with locking wheel bolts, so make sure the key is available before starting the repair.

For this repair, the workshop equipment used was a two-post ramp, crank and camshaft locking tools, two pin tensioner wrench, engine support and a stud extractor.

All workshop repair information and repair times are available from

With the vehicle placed on the ramp, start by removing the engine cover, then remove the top intercooler hose, coolant expansion tank, fuel filter and fuel filter mounting bracket (see below).

Remove the tension from the auxiliary drive belt and lock the tensioner with a pin (see below), remove the auxiliary drive belt, check the auxiliary drive belt for wear and cracking/perishing and replace if required. Also, check the Over Running Alternator Pulley (OAP) for correct operation and then remove the auxiliary belt tensioner.

Raise the ramp, remove the o/s/f wheel, the lower intercooler hose, the engine under tray and then the o/s/f wheel arch liner, o/s lower engine cover (see below), and lastly remove the metal mounting bracket and the crankshaft front pulley. At this point, we need to support the engine as the engine mounting needs to be removed. This can be done with either an engine brace beam, a support that is located on the front sub-frame or, in this instance, we supported the engine with an axle stand, as most of the work is carried out from above.

Support the engine, then remove the engine mount and disconnect the mounting bracket from the engine block. This cannot be removed as there is not enough clearance, but can be manoeuvred to allow belt replacement. Now remove the upper timing belt cover, and then with access through the o/s/f wheel arch, take off the two lower timing belt covers, rotate the engine in a clockwise direction and align the timing marks. Then insert locking tools into the crankshaft (see below), and the camshaft (see below).

Once the cam and crank have been locked, slacken the tensioner nut, remove the tension from the belt and then take out the timing belt and the tensioner. A crucial point of this repair is to replace the studs for the tensioner and the idler (see below). They were removed easily with a socket type stud extractor and replaced and torqued with the same stud tool (the torque procedure of these studs is very important, so always refer to the latest information).

Now take out the water pump by removing the three retaining bolts and easing the pump out of the engine block, and then drain the engine coolant into a tray placed under the vehicle. Once drained, ensure the mounting and sealing faces for the pump are clean and dry, install the new water pump and tighten to the manufacturer’s specification. Remove and dry any remaining coolant in the timing belt area and fit the new idler and tensioner.

Using a counter-hold tool, slacken the three retaining bolts on the camshaft pulley and rotate the camshaft pulley in a clockwise direction until it is against its stops (see below). Now fit the new timing belt, starting on the crank pulley, then the idler, tensioner, camshaft pulley, and finishing off at the water pump.

Lower Viscosity – COMMA Tech Talk

Fuel Economy

Vehicle technology has changed dramatically in recent years driven by the introduction of increasingly demanding environmental legislation. Tougher regulations are forcing manufacturers to continually improve fuel economy, reduce harmful exhaust emissions and reduce oil waste across their vehicle range.

Choosing the right type of engine oil is one way to make an engine more fuel efficient. Lower viscosity oils combined with high performance additives significantly reduce the friction between engine components making them the best choice for fuel economy.


Lower Viscosity

Fig 1 – The move towards lower viscosity engine oils

This is one reason why many manufacturers are recommending fully synthetic 5W30s, 5W20s, 0W30s and even 0W20s for their newer vehicles and is also an example of how the different demands of the manufacturer has led to multiple products of the same viscosity and whilst we do our best to try and combine these specifications its virtually impossible to combine the requirements of every manufacturer into a single, cost effective product.


Latest Additions

Although 5W30 is still the most common fuel economy engine oil grade, vehicle manufacturers are now looking to take fuel economy a step further by developing even thinner oils grades, with 0W30, 5W20 and 0W20 viscosities becoming the preference for the most recent formulation developments.

Following its strategy to maximise the UK vehicle park coverage, Comma has recently introduced Eco-P 0W30 (for the latest PSA petrol and diesel engines), Eco-FE 0W30 (for new Ford TDCi DuraTorq engines (1.5, 1.6 & 2.0)) and Eco-V 0W20 (for the latest Volvo engines with VEA (Volvo Engine Architecture) Drive-E Powertrain), formulated to meet the very latest and highest vehicle manufacturer requirements. When added to the pre-existing Performance Motor Oil products, Comma can now o er up to to 99% UK vehicle parc coverage.


How do I know which product to use on which car?

The safest way to make product recommendations is to use one of Comma’s application tools. At you will find product recommendations with 100% compatibility guarantee
for engine oil and antifreeze & coolant for virtually every European vehicle going back over 30yrs, including system capacities and recommended service intervals. It also covers brake fluid, gear oil and power steering fluid should you find you need some help with those as well.It also covers brake fluid, transmission and power steering fluid recommendations.

KYB Releases Over 1,700 3D Product Images

KYB Europe GmbH Aftermarket have announced their ambitious new project to provide live 360 degree images of all of its products.

Jordan Day, Marketing Manager for KYB Europe Aftermarket, explains “we launched our new 360 degree images at Automechanika in Frankfurt and I’m excited that they are now live for our customers to view”.

The over 1,700 3D reference images rotate completely and allow the users to zoom in on their desired product. The database of images is designed to help technicians and distributors identify the correct part for their vehicle, increasing the efficiency of the ordering process.

The 360 degree images are the latest support tool developed from the ‘KYB Suspension Solutions’ portfolio which was developed for technicians and distributors to make their job easier.

The reference images are now available to view on



Water Pump Failure Signs – A Technical Tip from Gates

If during the course of an inspection the water pump is found to look like any of the below, Gates recommends properly flushing the system, filling the system with a new mixture of the correct coolant, and possibly replacing the water pump depending on the issues found.