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Timing Belt

Community Veteran
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Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Timing Belt

Took car in for a mot today (petrol engine) However I saw the following notice on the wall......

If you have a diesel car we require evidence that the timing belt has been replaced at the correct interval otherwise we will be unable to do the mot.

The reason for this is that the engine has to be run at maximum speed for the test and there is a danger the belt could break.

I understand that belt changes can range from 60,000 to over 100,000 depending on make and model of car.

Has this always been the case with mot’s for diesel cars or just some additional way of getting more money out of motorists 

34 REPLIES 34
RobPN
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Re: Timing Belt

Likely to be the garage covering themselves against engines which haven't been maintained properly being seriously damaged and possibly due to past experience of the owners of damaged vehicle(s) trying to blame the garage, .

 

As well as mileage limits for timing belts, some manufacturers also specify time limits.

I'm probably looking at having to have it done on my car in 6-7 months time even though it only has about 18500 Miles on the clock due to the conditions of my extended warranty stating that it must be maintained according to the manufacturers (VW) schedule, which I believe is 5 years.  Sad

Another gotcha in the warranty conditions is having to have the work (and normal oil servicing etc.) done at a VAT registered garage, which is something I would normally do myself.  In fact a service is due right now which I'm reluctantly going to book with the local VW dstealershipSad

 

Edit:  Text in italics added.

Community Veteran
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Re: Timing Belt

If it's stipulated in the MOT test regulations, then it would be legitimate, if it's not, then it's just the garage trying to make an extra bit of cash basically advertising it as a"requirement" and it just so happens "they can do it for you at £xxx" amount, definitely one to be wary of...

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Baldrick1
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Re: Timing Belt

It's been a requirement to run the engine at max revs for many years. It's easy to say it's the garage trying to make money out of belt changes but looking at it from the garage.point of view you can anticipate the response of the average customer if their engine is wrecked, which could result in an older car being a scrapper.

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Timing Belt

Any vehicle where the timing belt / chain breaks is undoubtedly going to suffer from bent valves, holed pistons, shattered con rods or bent cams, or indeed any combination thereof.

Do a search for Dyno fails, to see what can happen when running at high revs.

Community Veteran
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Re: Timing Belt

Now, Here`s a little story ! !!  ..

Many years ago, when I first started to run a diesel engine car... my 2nd was a Montego 2ltr... an old banger, but.... I never bothered with oil changes, or stuff like that... did not know about the timing belt change schedule... etc..

Been running it for a couple of years, going on long journey hols from Portsmouth to North Wales and all stops in between, taking about 2 weeks for the hols... so ,.. did many miles... then we decided to have a couple of weeks in Scotland, doing the same thing... driving around seeing the sights etc.. managed to do 2500 miles in a fortnight... incl the journey up and back... a week later, was driving to the local supermarket... BANG... clatter... stop.. !... oh dear... goodness gracious me..  what has happened, "quoth he"  ! ! ( Shocked )

managed to get the car towed back home by a friendly local...!   and then called a garage to come and have a look... he looked... and "sharp intake of breath" said... "you`re going to need another engine mate... the conrod has come out the side of the block"..( Shocked.  )  not being very rich at the time, I explained the financial situation, and he agreed to source a ( what he called ) decent 2nd hand engine...  OK... that will do me..

so he got one... put it in.. and then found out the clutch was rock solid, and had rusted/stuck on !  !   doh !  (Undecided )

so he had to take it out and free it off,.and re-install it ! ! ..

so I got the job done... and was pleased that the car was back on the road again... lasted for about 3 weeks, and same thing happened again... Huh  Ooops...( garage then got another "decent" 2nd hand motor and installed that... 3 weeks later I had sold the car on! !  ) ..

anyway... upshot of that was.. I bought the famous Skoda Fabia that I had for 10 years, ( see previous mentions in many threads ! ! ) . the garage guy said that I must pay attention to the scheduled 10,000  mile oil & filter changes... and also to change the cam belt, and the rollers at 100,000 miles... which I did ...( and still do ) ...

and that car was ACE.. it served me well,...

now, I do the same with this newer Skoda... get my tame mechanic to come and do the oil and filter, and other stuff outside my house.

BUT had to book it in to a "proper" garage for the cam belt, at scheduled 130,000 miles... while it was there, they suggested that I should change the water pump as well as the rollers, as it was "prudent" to do so...

I always buy the parts from local "motor factors"... ( was in the motor trade for some years- so hard habit to stop ! ! )... the price for doing the cambelt with the water pump, would be the same... but if the water pump had failed a week after the cambelt job had been done, then there would have been extra expenses, regarding fitting a water pump, apart from the inconvenience of being stuck somewhere miles from home, and another days work to get the job done..

. so ... £40.00 for the water pump and job done the same day..

well worth it.. got peace of mind for the next 130,000 miles. Smiley Smiley

 

So... no...I don`t think the garages are trying to "con" people in to getting a new cambelt to make money on the labour cost side... it is more of an "insurance" for them..(and it is "educating" the customers) . because, as related above, if they are doing the smoke test, which requires ( I think) 4 good sessions at almost max revs, they do not want to be accused of "wrecking" a customers motor... apart from the "bad feeling"... the garage reputation would also be tarnished, by twitter/facebook comments... Don`t take your car to XXXXX Motors.... they will blow the engine up.... etc etc..

I`m not sure that it is a "requirement" of the M.O.T test... but it is "sensible" to get a new one, when it is scheduled...

 

 

RobPN
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Re: Timing Belt


@shutter wrote:

...not being very rich at the time,...

 


@shutter 

So can we assume you're now wadded?   Cheesy

Anonymous
Not applicable

Re: Timing Belt


@shutter wrote:

Now, Here`s a little story ! !!  ..


You say little... Wink

Community Veteran
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Re: Timing Belt

I guess I must just be lucky......never changed a cam belt in my life, always purchased second hand cars, usually between 3 to 7 years old but with low mileage.....around 50,000 miles mark.

Cars have included a couple of diesels.....first one VW Golf....excellent no problems with it, second one Ford Focus, absolute nightmare, everything went wrong on that car except the cam belt....put me off diesels for life.

Best car ever....old Volvo 144....50,000 miles at time of purchase, sold 7 years later with over 150,000 on the clock & only got serviced when I got around to it.

Currently got a 2012 Nissan Juke....early days but so far so good.

Community Veteran
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Re: Timing Belt

@RobPN   Well, yes,... in a way.... I am richer than I was then.... but not in monetary terms... more "rich in experience" of life ! Smiley

 

@Anonymous   Yup !... as in ....

 

"Now here`s a little story.....

 

To tell it is a must.....

Etc Etc....."Smiley

( Lonnie Donnegan ) .

Luzern
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Re: Timing Belt

I had the cam belt, water pump etc etc done last week, needed every 4 ys or 40K. Together with a large service and MOT cost was "ouch and twice ouch" (No emoji for Frankie Howerd crone. £ guess, and I do very little mileage now. I womder if daughter might take it for my grandson, who is using it more than I.

 

No one has to agree with my opinion, but in the time I have left a miracle would be nice.
Community Veteran
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Re: Timing Belt

@Luzern  only 40,000miles for a timing belt change ? ? ? ?   SOoooooooo Glad, I bought a SKODA !... 130.000 is the benchmark for the timing belt change... ( Skoda Fabia 1.6D  2011 reg)

Cost ?

 

Timing Belt Kit.... £94.00  (inc vat)

Water Pump ....... £40.00 ( inc vat)

Labour ....... .......£130.00 ( inc vat)

total.....................£264.00 (inc vat)

Courtesy car provided,   text messages to advise when job was completed ( same day) .

 

RobPN
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Re: Timing Belt


@Luzern wrote:

 

 £ guess,


@Luzern 

Depending whether or not you had it done at the Stealership, my guess £750 - £800, or quite a bit cheaper elsewhere.

RobPN
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Re: Timing Belt

@shutter 

From a previous post I think @Luzern  also has a Skoda.  There is also a recommended time limit on timing belts, which might come around before that mileage figure you quoted is reached.

And is your 130,000 referring to Km or miles?

 

 

Edit:  typo

Minivanman
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Re: Timing Belt

Funny thing is this was never something that ever went on cars back in the day - unless my memory is playing tricks on me. Now it seems to be the big bogeyman of motoring and like the monster that hides under the bed.

My only experience has been first with a Renault Megane we had for a short while and being told that the timing belt had to be changed at 60,000 miles and being quoted £700 for the work err... no thanks, and with my current Fiesta and being 'advised' that it had to be changed at 100,000 and being quoted by one garage £750 for the job, and by another 'one man band' garage £200 "but really, it does not need doing"

Had it changed anyway for £200 quote, and the guy changed the alternator belt as well as it was easier to chop that out and change it in order to access the cam belt, and he changed the oil filter while he was at it included in the price as long as I supplied the new oil which I was more than happy to do.

Don't mind being taken for a ride in the car, but being taken for one by the garage....

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