VW Up! Dealer recommending cam belt change rip off or not?

VW Up! Dealer recommending cam belt change rip off or not?

Author
Discussion

cuprabob

8,181 posts

162 months

Friday 30th June 2017
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Connaissance said:
You may have been advised that the cambelt is due based on the recommended replacement period of every 5 years for a car made after 2009. Considering this is a VW Up! the engine is in fact fitted with a long life cambelt as opposed to a traditional cam-belt. These cambelts are made for life and are not changed upon any interval as they're supposed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, unless of course there is a problem that requires them to be replaced (which is pretty much unheard of on those engines). The advisory on replacing might have been the result of someone looking at the age of the vehicle and noting it down without consideration of the engine; if you'd given authority for replacement they would have soon realised their mistake when they try to find the part on their system so it's not as if you'd been charged for something you wouldn't need.

Edited by Connaissance on Friday 30th June 21:18
3 cylinder engine used in the Up, Citigo and Mii is belt driven.

InitialDave

5,933 posts

67 months

Friday 30th June 2017
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Connaissance said:
You may have been advised that the cambelt is due based on the recommended replacement period of every 5 years for a car made after 2009. Considering this is a VW Up! the engine is in fact fitted with a timing chain as opposed to a traditional cam-belt.

micky metro

255 posts

134 months

Friday 30th June 2017
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If the belt deteriorates with age then should they not have a "use by" or a "best before" date on them? They could sit on a dealers/spares shelf for years before you buy/have it fitted!

cuprabob

8,181 posts

162 months

Friday 30th June 2017
quotequote all
The VW service booklet that comes with tbe car only specifies a mileage limit, which these days is north of 100k miles.

The time limit of 5 years for cars registered after Sept 2009 is actually a VW UK recommendation. Some cynics might say it's just a money making exercise like the air con services that are not listed in the service booklet either.

Justin S

3,200 posts

209 months

Friday 30th June 2017
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I enquired about the cambelt when I bought my Citigo and was told that is was a mileage I would probably not get the car to and not to worry. I bought it at 5k miles !! Fords have 100k for a belt and so do many others. VW have had their fingers burnt with cambelt changes , so my mate said, who used to be in the motor trade. Hence the non confirmed change frequencies. I guess ours will do 6k a year and at 10 yrs will either be gone or I will get a belt change done then. As said, most belts stay good, its the tensioner or if run on the belt, waterpump which causes failures, rather than the actual belt.

ZX10R NIN

15,733 posts

73 months

Saturday 1st July 2017
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When it comes to cambelts I tell people to change them every 5 years just for peace of mind, the belt failing is something no one wants.

Riley Blue

15,490 posts

174 months

Saturday 1st July 2017
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dme123 said:
Riley Blue said:
Cupramax said:
5 yrs for a cam belt change is pretty normal, as above if it goes you'll have even more to moan about. It's done on age or mileage, whichever comes first so low mileage is irrelevant, rubber perishes with age.
Agreed. We have an '05 Fiesta that has done only 43,500 miles. It's had its cambelt changed twice, mostly recently two months ago. Having looked at the belt that came off, I wouldn't have wanted to run it much longer as it was starting to 'go' between the teeth.
Wow, really? The last three cars I had with belts were north of 100k and 10 years for a belt change. 105k for a Jaguar S-Type Diesel, and 105k or so for a D5 Volvo and a T5 Volvo. 10 years for all three of those, if it wasn't done on mileage.

I'm pretty sure even the T Series in my '97 Rover Vitesse was 90k for a belt change.

I honestly thought that was normal these days, with 50k/5 year changes required for stuff built in the 1980s and stuff built to 1980s standards, like Alfa Romeos hehe

Are we quite sure that this isn't like Americans changing their oil every 3000 miles because that's what their 1957 Chevrolet required?

Edited by dme123 on Friday 30th June 21:18
The Fiesta is built down to a price - two back boxes have dropped off, one front spring has snapped, a door trim has fallen off, the injectors have leaked and the cambelt has worn prematurely; I've never had any of these happen on any ojther car, never mind all on one car.

It was originally bought as a cheap commuter car by my O/H but in the last seven years or so has been used mostly for very short journeys of up to a couple of miles, several times a day and I reckon that the frequent start-drive-park, start-drive-park has most likely contributed to the issues we've had.

I think that continuous running on longer journeys causes less belt wear than multiple starting. In any case, a precautionary belt change costs a lot less than a seized engine even in a stbox diesel Fiesta.

ukaskew

5,357 posts

169 months

Thursday 24th May 2018
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Holy thread revival but this process really is a mess. I use a trusted local indie and took the Citigo for a service/MOT today, bang on 5 years old and they use a servicing system (I forget the name but it’s commonly used apparently) that is indicating they need to change my timing belt.

I said not to bother as I’ve had confirmation in writing from Skoda UK that it does not need to be done, so they (understandably) are adding a disclaimer to the bottom of my service receipt to say ‘customer rejected timing belt change’.

Of course I’m a bit paranoid anyway now, so will end up getting it done next year regardless and VAG will win.

Who me ?

6,923 posts

160 months

Thursday 24th May 2018
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Belt change intervals change constantly, but dealers (aka Stealers) always seek the best opportunity to rake it in. My fabia interval was 120kmiles at the outset, but that dropped to 60kmiles/4 years. Plenty of well qualified techs on Briskoda to ask.

jst_at_home

1 posts

15 months

Friday 7th September 2018
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Hi all

This is my first post and I've come to this one a bit late.

My wife's Citigo is coming up to 50,000 miles at 3 and a half years old. My nephews 64 reg Citigo has just had it's MOT test and the dealer did a check on the vehicle and handed him a piece of paper recommending amongst other things (air con regas, brake fluid change) a cam bet change at £399.

ow I am aware that there has been a lot of discussion on the Citigo forum at Briskoda and I believe the same is true of the UP!.

I have seen references to cam belt changes on this engine at 160,000 miles, never and 4 years.

I decided to contact Skoda UK and have just had the following:

"Thank you for your recent contact regarding the cambelt. Please accept my apologies in the delay with our response.

I have looked into your cambelt query and there is no ŠKODA recommended interval, so I would recommend the UK interval which is every five years.

I hope this information proves useful and should you require any further assistance or have any further queries, please do not hesitate to come back through to us using any of the details below. For more immediate assistance, I would recommend that you use the Live Chat function here: www.skoda.co.uk/about-us/contact-us, or our Social Media channels.

Thank you for contacting ŠKODA UK."

So, there is apparently no change interval suggesting it is a lifetime part.

John

Sheepshanks

18,637 posts

67 months

Friday 7th September 2018
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jst_at_home said:
So, there is apparently no change interval suggesting it is a lifetime part.
If it's a lifetime part why do Skoda have a "UK interval" of 5yrs? The trouble is that if it (or anything else associated with it) fails, then that might finish the car off, so 'lifetime' could be self fulfilling.

Uggers

1,150 posts

159 months

Friday 7th September 2018
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My partner has an UP! Which is approaching the 5 year point. As all her previous cars, they are run into the ground so she will be unlikely replacing the cam belt.
She claims that there is so little value in the car. And a replacement engine isn't far off the cost of changing a belt, so will risk it. The type of journeys she does, tend to be long distance so maybe quite easy on the belt. Or she has been lucky.

She has previously racked up 160k miles in a 2002 Clio and 180k miles in a 2006 Fiesta. Where the belts were changed once at 60k.

Sheepshanks

18,637 posts

67 months

Friday 7th September 2018
quotequote all
Uggers said:
My partner has an UP! Which is approaching the 5 year point. As all her previous cars, they are run into the ground so she will be unlikely replacing the cam belt.
She claims that there is so little value in the car. And a replacement engine isn't far off the cost of changing a belt, so will risk it.
I've recently discovered that a lot of people do this. They don't service or maintain their cars, just get them MOT'd and fix them as they break. Sends shivers down my spine.

Butter Face

19,566 posts

108 months

Friday 7th September 2018
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Uggers said:
And a replacement engine isn't far off the cost of changing a belt
confused

Cambelt kit is less than £100
Mechanic to fit at non VW labour rates maybe £200 max.

I'd wager a replacment engine is a lot, lot more than that.

Uggers

1,150 posts

159 months

Saturday 8th September 2018
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Butter Face said:
Uggers said:
And a replacement engine isn't far off the cost of changing a belt
confused

Cambelt kit is less than £100
Mechanic to fit at non VW labour rates maybe £200 max.

I'd wager a replacment engine is a lot, lot more than that.
eBay seems to show complete engines going from £300. Looking in the engine bay of an Up! I imagine a decent mechanic would have it changed out pretty quick.

Like I say its not my car and I wouldn't do it myself. But she seems to have done okay out of it so far and believes it's worth the financial risk.

va1o

15,914 posts

155 months

Saturday 8th September 2018
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I remember when this engine launched all the press material from VW in Germany talked about the lifetime cambelt. It was designed from the off to not need replacing

The Skoda UK 5-year interval is completely generic and more relevant for the older engines, like the 1.4 16v MPI etc.