1.8T Audi TT Timing Belt Replacement Info

Everything you need to know about 2000-2006 Audi TT timing belt replacement on 1.8T engine.

The 1.8T 20 valve engine was used in the 2000-2006 Audi TT (US) 8B Platform. The 1.8T 20 valve engine is driven by a timing belt system that links the cylinder head, camshafts, and crankshaft to run in sync. This Audi TT timing belt system consists of a wear-resistant, high strength, corded/molded rubber timing belt (a.k.a. Audi TT toothed belt). There's also an assortment of tensioners and idler rollers to guide and tension the TT 1.8T timing belt.

It's very important to service your 1.8T 20 valve timing belt. The timing belt, tensioner, and idler components eventually reach the end of their recommended service life. The 1.8T TT is an interference engine (a.k.a. non-clearance engine). If the TT 1.8T timing belt fails, the timing belt system that links the cylinder head, camshafts, and crankshaft no longer runs in sync. Close tolerance engine designs allow for the cylinder head valves to hit the top side of the pistons. Audi TT timing belt failure on these engines will result in catastrophic engine damage (i.e. bent valves and in some cases cracked pistons).

This page discusses many different VW timing belt replacement topics, such as:

Audi TT timing belt Change IntervalWhat is the recommended Audi timing belt change interval on the 1.8T 20 valve engine? Has the recommended Audi TT timing belt interval for the 1.8T engines changed? Do we recommend the factory interval, or has our experience moved us to recommend a different change interval?

The most recent recommend interval is 75,000 miles.

Some older scheduled Maintenance Service booklets reference a 105,000-mile timing belt service schedule interval. However, according to the most current manufacturer service schedule information, the interval has been updated to 75,000 miles.

What does Blauparts recommend? When dealing with crucial timing belt service, err on the side of caution and change your Audi TT timing belt every 75,000 miles. It is our recommendation to closely inspect all timing belt components before the recommended interval. Play it safe, changing your timing belt may seem expensive. However, choosing to exceed your timing belt service interval is risky and can lead to unknown repair costs that will far exceed typical timing belt replacement service costs.

Intended Life-Expectancy of Timing Belt Components

Various Audi TT timing belt component life spans. In our service facility, we've seen a few original timing belts last over 100,000 miles and others ready to break before 75,000 miles. In addition to mileage, other factors age the timing belt and related components. The following are some reasons why you see the difference in how long an Audi TT timing belt and related components last: (1) un-logged engine idle times and sitting in traffic; (2) warm-up time in cold weather; (3) environmental climate factors; (4) related engine maintenance that may have been overlooked.

Audi TT Timing Belt Parts Life Interval 1.8TKeys to the long life of your new timing belt components after timing belt replacement. Make your new parts last! You can expect your new BLAU INA OEM components to last the specified 75,000-mile interval if the following important steps were taken: Audi TT Timing Belt Part Life Expectancy

1) Timing belt service was performed using BLAU INA OEM components. The same timing belt and timing belt tensioner that was fitted on your Audi TT from the factory, which is engineered to meet change interval requirements.

2) Timing belt service was performed by an experienced competent ASE-certified Audi mechanic who is familiar with your specific engine 1.8T engine.

3) Factory service procedures must be strictly followed. Even if installing the best parts, using improper procedures can shorten their life span. Incorrect installation or missteps during timing belt service are often done without intent and aren't noticed until further down the road. Fortunately, some common mishaps are noticed after re-assembly and during the final engine rotational timing sequences.

Audi TT Timing Belt Replacement Cost for 1.8T Models

How much does it cost to replace the Audi TT timing belt on the 2.0 Turbo FSI? How long does it take to change the timing belt on an Audi TT 2.0 Turbo FSI? How much will the parts cost? How much will the labor cost? Thinking of buying an Audi TT 1.8T and wondering about timing belt replacement?

How Long Does It Take?

How long does Audi TT timing belt replacement take?How long does it take to replace the Audi TT timing belt on the 1.8 Turbo 20 Valve? The average timing belt service labor time for this engine is around 6-8 hours depending on the technician's experience and the amount of timing belt parts being replaced.

How Much Does It Cost?

1.8T Audi TT Timing Belt Labor Cost pictureThe average shop labor rate is $75 - $200 per hour. The lesser amount is often found in smaller cities and the more expensive labor rate seems to align itself with larger cities. Depending on shop rate, technician experience, and the amount of timing belt parts being replaced it can cost approximately $600-$1,600. This is just the labor cost (not including parts).

How Much Do The Parts Cost?

It depends. Some choose to source the parts themselves, while others get the parts through their repair shop. Some repair shops prefer to supply the parts themselves. This allows for cost margins and potential profits on the parts. Also, they can control the type of parts used, reducing the potential problem of having customers come back with part issues.

You won't have to worry about this with our INA Gen II BLAU Audi TT Timing Belt Kits ranging from $150.00 to $290.00 and include the same INA OEM parts that came on your car from the factory, just without the genuine logo. This is a huge savings vs retail dealer cost. Have your mechanic call us!

Looking to Buy A Used Audi TT and Wondering About Timing Belt Replacement?

Many people who are looking to buy a used Audi TT 1.8T valve start researching the cost of replacing the timing belt. It's best to purchase a car that comes with service history records from the previous owner. Owners who value their car and took care of it will have a record of all service history, an indication of the vehicle's overall shape and reliability. The importance of service records is indisputable. A seller without any service records, is looking to take advantage of the "inexperienced" buyer, making more money at their expense.

Audi TT Timing Belt Replacement Service RecordsInspecting a timing belt that "seems fine" isn't enough. You'll also want to confirm when the last timing belt service was performed with the appropriate documentation. Don't just take the word of a seller saying "Oh, I think I changed it around 30,000 miles ago." Assumptions and no documents mean RISK. Calculate the cost of timing belt replacement into your purchase price if they don't have the records.

Example of Negotiation:
2003 Audi TT 1.8T 20 Valve - 93,000 Miles - Asking Price: $7,500
Buyer: "When was the timing belt done last."
Seller: "Oh, I just did it. I think it was about 30,000 miles ago."
Buyer: "Do you have the paperwork?"
Seller: "No, I don't."
Buyer:"Well with no documentation, I'll have to get it replaced to establish a guarantee baseline. That will cost me around $700-$1,800. Are you willing to take $700-$1,800 off the purchase price?"

What to Replace While Changing the Audi TT Timing Belt on the 1.8T 20 Valve Engine

Audi TT Timing Belt Replacement Diagram 1.8T

IMAGE DESCRIPTION The Audi TT 1.8T 20 valve engine's timing belt system is a relatively simple timing belt design. Apart from the timing belt itself, the Audi TT 1.8T 20 valve engine's timing belt system consists of 4 serviceable timing belt components. One is the water pump that is driven by the timing belt. The second is the timing belt tensioner. The third is the hydraulic tensioner damper which provides variable hydraulic loaded tension to the timing belt and lastly is the small idler bearing that mounts to the hydraulic tensioner damper. All of these components work in sync with each other to guide and tension the timing belt.

Before going through the significant work of taking your car apart for timing belt replacement, please consider the following:

Looking To Save Money... "Can I Just Replace the Timing Belt?" Simply changing the Audi TT timing belt isn't enough. Why? Around the timing belt service interval (90,000 - 110,000 miles), due to age, the integrity of the tensioner(s), damper, water pump, and other seals and o-rings are at the end or very near the end of their service life. Some individuals make the mistake of only replacing the timing belt. Then, 10,000-20,000 miles later, their new timing belt fails due to tensioner, idler bearing, or water pump failure.


Why replace your Audi TT timing belt tensioner during timing belt service? Just as the timing belt has a designated service life and subsequent change interval, so do the tensioner and idler bearings. Timing belts can indeed get old, begin to crack, and eventually fail. However, it is just as common for the timing belt tensioner and/or idler bearings to fail, thus causing timing belt failure.

How can the tensioner cause a timing belt to fail? Most tensioner bearings contain a set amount of grease behind the seal. This grease provides ample lubrication and ensures tensioner reliability for the designated life span (75,000 miles). During engine operation, constant thermal temperature fluctuations eventually cause the bearing's grease to break down and lose its lubricating properties. Over time, this results in unwanted bearing play and the eventual seizure. If a timing belt tensioner has too much play or seizes, the timing belt can become misaligned, or begin to 'burn up' and shred, causing engine failure. Thermal temperatures also affect the timing belt causing the material composition of the belt to change and accelerate its life span, often resulting in premature failure.

Water Pump

Why replace your Audi TT water pump during timing belt service? It makes sense from a labor standpoint since timing belt disassembly is required for the water pump replacement. The Audi TT water pump is driven by the timing belt and contains an internal sealed bearing that has a life span similar to the timing belt, tensioner, and idler bearings. The internal bearing and seals of an Audi water pump can weaken and is the primary reason why a water pump eventually fails.


Why replace your Audi TT thermostat during timing belt service? The engine temperature is controlled by the thermostat. Near the end of its designated service life the thermostat spring temper changes. This causes the thermostat to open too much allowing the engine to run cooler, resulting in poor fuel optimization, decreased fuel economy, and less horsepower.

Audi TT Valve Cover Gasket Replacement 1.8TValve Cover Gaskets & Cam Chain Tensioner Gaskets

Why replace your Audi TT valve cover gaskets and cam chain tensioner gaskets during timing belt service?

Oil leaks are very common on Audi TT 1.8T 20 valve models and are often noticed around 75,000-90,000 miles. Leaking valve cover or cam chain tensioner gasket is the most common, producing a foul burning oil smell in your interior. It makes sense from a labor standpoint to replace them during timing belt service and will save you precious time and hundreds of $$$ of costly labor charges.

Special Tools for Audi TT Timing Belt Replacement 1.8T Models

Please Note: Our timing belt tool rental kits are no longer available for rent. All tool rental kits are available for sale in good used condition in our online catalog.

Do I need special tools? Can I do it without the tools?

When replacing the Audi TT timing belt on my 1.8T model, do I need the special tools? On older single-cam Audi engines it is possible to achieve general timing without the special tools. However, on modern interference Audi engines this is very risky. Special tools were designed for a reason. They maintain a proper timing relationship between the camshafts and the crankshaft position. Slight variations in timing or orientation can result in catastrophic engine damage (e.g. bent valves).

This isn't the area of vehicle maintenance to cut corners or try to save time. On these Audi models, to achieve 100% proper cam to crankshaft timing, special tools are necessary. When the timing is off just a degree or two the check engine light could appear, and a lack of performance is often noticed. Remember, you're performing a crucial maintenance repair. If done incorrectly, catastrophic engine damage will result.

The Audi 1.8T engine has no specific tools to hold the crankshaft and camshaft in an exact place well changing your timing belt. The engine timing marks are referenced by the timing alignment marks placed by the factory. Some special tools can make your timing belt service much easier. This would include special tools for counter holding the crankshaft sprocket well loosening and tightening the crankshaft bolt as well as the camshaft sprocket bolt. Other beneficial tools include the cam and crank seal removers, cam and cranks seal installers, radiator valance support tools, an eccentric wrench for properly tensioning the timing belt tensioner, and a 2-jaw puller for popping the tapered camshaft sprocket loose.

Special Audi TT Timing Belt Tools 1.8TBasic Descriptions of Essential Audi TT Timing Belt Tools:

3415 - Crankshaft pulley retainer bar.
3036 - Camshaft sprocket holder.
T10020 - Eccentric pulley pin wrench.

NOTE: The following tools are used depending on the depth of Audi TT timing belt service that you're performing and if you've chosen to change the cam or crank seals.

T40001 - Camshaft sprocket puller.
T40098 - Serpentine belt tensioner locking pin.
2085 - Camshaft seal remover tool.
3241/1 - Camshaft seal installer tool.
3203 - Crankshaft seal remover.
3202 - Crankshaft seal installer tool.