I got my timing belt done just yesterday. The factory interval is around 105,000 miles in California, maybe even longer. Apart from an irritating squeaking noise when cold, the belt was no worse for wear. Unlike the 1.8T, which was known for destroying timing belts around the 60-80,000 mile range, VW has made the 2.0T much gentler on its timing belt. The timing system has been optimized to reduce stress pulses on the timing belt. It seems to have worked. The mechanic who worked on my car mentioned that everything looked good for the mileage. He also mentioned that he has never seen one go out due to age, yet. There have been a few failures, but I haven’t read about any of them being below 100,000 miles. The rollers / tensioners were also changed out along with the coolant and water pump.
The timing belt isn’t something to mess around with. The 2.0T is an interference design and valve and piston contact will result if the timing belt breaks. The job can be expensive at many dealers and even independent shops so be sure to shop around. I’d recommend a shop that either specializes on Volkswagens or has experience with the 2.0T’s. The procedure is pretty straightforward but it requires removal of parts in the right order so prior knowledge is best.
I don’t drive hard most of the time, just a spirited run once in a while. 2.0T’s running in more spirited settings should probably get them changed around 90,000 miles. I have a lot more faith in the belt after seeing the condition at the shop yesterday.
-Get your timing belt done around 90-100,000 miles, earlier if you inspect the belt and it is starting to look a little tired. I replaced mine at 101,000 miles and it could probably have gone another 10,000.
-Shop around, the best prices are not always the independent shops. If you’re not having it done at the dealer try to find a shop that has worked on this particular engine (2.0T FSI).
–ECSTuning.com and DBCPerformance.com both sell excellent part kits if you would rather supply the parts.