VW Passat Crankshaft Timing Belt Pulley Removal

Please Note: The following service bulletin and VW Passat crankshaft pulley / crank seal replacement information corresponds to STEPS 24-26 of our VW Passat Timing Belt Installation Guide.


VW Passat timing belt installation is a complex repair procedure and should be performed by experienced automotive technicians, trained in performing proper timing belt installation.

Blauparts recommends that an Audi VW Factory Trained ASE Certified Technician perform timing belt repair on your VW Passat. One who has been trained in timing belt procedures for your exact vehicle model. This is for your safety and to prevent improper installation by untrained and unqualified installers and technicians, which may lead to possible engine damage.

Always read the factory service manual safety instructions and guidelines.


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How to prevent front VW Passat crankshaft timing belt pulley key damage on 2.8L 30 valve engines?

CautionPERTINENT TO: 1998-2005 V6 30 Valve Models With AHA, ATQ, APB, and BEL Engine Codes

Please read the following information BEFORE removing the VW Passat front crankshaft timing belt pulley on your engine!

Blauparts has received reports of inadvertent damage occurring during the removal of the lower VW Passat crankshaft timing belt pulley on 2.8L 30 valve engines. These engines have a lower timing belt pulley that utilizes a minimally sized ‘key’. This ‘key’ is devised to engage with the corresponding keyway in the crankshaft. See the photos below for indication on the location of the small key located on the lower timing belt pulley.

Some have reported that while loosening the main crankshaft bolt, existing friction, corrosion, rust, or more commonly stray thread locking compound, between the bolt head and pulley, can inadvertently cause the small ‘key’ to be damaged and in some cases completely twist off the pulley. Because this ‘key’ engages just the tip of the crankshaft, the crankshaft keyway can also be damaged.

Upon removal, it is crucial that you inspect the small ‘key’ protrusion found on the inside of the pulley for any damage. You must also inspect the very front edge of the crankshaft keyway for damage. If the VW Passat crankshaft keyway shows signs of damage, it will no longer engage properly with the key on the pulley.

Short of complete replacement, it may be possible to locate a qualified welder and have the end welded up and ground to shape. We stock a Lower Crankshaft Timing Belt Pulley Kit because of this problem.

Blauparts warns that using a pulley that shows ANY signs of ‘key’ damage is unacceptable! If reinstallation is attempted with a damaged pulley ‘key’ or crankshaft keyway, the lower crankshaft timing belt pulley can easily fall out of time during main crankshaft bolt contraction, ultimately leading to catastrophic VW Passat engine failure.

Due to the possibility of this damage, the installer may want to contemplate the need for the removal of the lower crankshaft timing belt pulley to access the front crank seal. If there is no indication of oil leakage from the front crank seal, the installer may want to leave the lower crankshaft timing belt pulley as is, not risking damage. However, if your VW Passat front crank seal is leaking and needs to be replaced, you have little option but to remove the pulley. Please read more information below: Should I replace my VW Passat crankshaft seal?

VW Passat Crankshaft Pulley - Audi Crankshaft Pulley Removal - Damaged Pulley Key

Should I replace my VW Passat crankshaft seal?

Not leaking dry VW Passat crank seal

You may wish to forego crankshaft seal replacement during timing belt service IF the engine has low mileage and upon inspection the crank seal is 100% dry (see image). Seals can last up to 200,000 miles. If the crankshaft area is dry, the seal will typically last until the next timing belt service interval.

During VW Passat crankshaft seal removal, there is a risk of scaring the area between the seal and crank mating area. This can cause irreversible damage to the crank, resulting in an unsealable crankshaft and subsequent oil leaks.

Leaking VW Passat Crankseal

Pictured Example: Note the accumulated wet oil residue in the crankshaft seal area (Image 1A). Once the lower most timing belt crank cover was removed, a stream of oil is easily noticeable on the backside of the cover (Image 1B).

If your crank seal is leaking, it should be replaced. See Installation Steps 24-26.

All information and images © copyright of Blaufergnugen Inc