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Another cam-belt wreckage

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by chris432626, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. chris432626
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    chris432626 S3 Upminster

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    Hi all. Bought an 02 S3 6 months ago 66k miles. Due a cam-belt change but was waiting for a company bonus in February before getting it done. Unfortunately the car had other ideas and broke down on the M25 the other night while I was doing around 70mph.

    Symptom: Engine dies, management light comes on and no response from the engine when trying to start.

    Phoned round a couple of independents and decided on 4 rings in Dartford. The guy there is ex Audi and seems to really know his stuff also comes across as a really nice guy so I'll forego the free cup of coffee and the 100% increase on the bill at the dealership. Initial investigation by 4 rings shows 16 valves bent and slight piston damage, the valve guides may also need some work but an x-ray of the top end will show full extent of the damage. The estimate is around £1700 (worst case) which includes all the cam-belt change etc.
    The damage was done (as best they can tell) by a problem with a tensioner which stripped the belt. To be honest it's just one of those unfortunate things that happen but I'm also a bit hacked off that a company as large and reputable as VAG has produced a vehicle where a single component failure that can cause so much damage.

    Now looking forward to getting the car back and letting it put a smile back on my face. My advice to anyone who has doubts or is dithering about changing a cam-belt or associated component.....get it done now!
    I'll post a reply here once I get the car back next week.
    #1
  2. Andrew@A.L.D
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    Andrew@A.L.D Cylinder Head Master

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    I also advise that you should listen to you engine and if there is any noises your not sure of then get it checked out asap

    Always get a cam belt changed sooner than later i say
    #2
  3. Johnny Bravo
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    Johnny Bravo 6+1 Gears

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    I've just changed mine yesterday :)
    #3
  4. jojo
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    jojo S3 Drift King! Staff Member Moderator

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    The forum recommendation for cambelt changes are every 60k miles or 5 years, whichever comes first. Not your fault obviously, but 7 years and 66k miles is the unlucky result we have here. Goodluck with the repairs, and hope it all comes together a better car for you to enjoy again.
    #4
  5. MIKE GTR
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    MIKE GTR Member

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    Had mine go last month while overtaking on the m1 at about 90, it bent all 20 valves, and also damaged the pistons, when removing the head turbo was also found to be leaking oil.

    So far its cost me about £700 for a new head (gaskets, VSOS, H.tappets, Guides, New valves, cams), £450 for new pistons and £400 to have my turbo made into a hybrid. Then theres the cam belt kit, new water pump (a must if you have the original one still) new big end bearings, shells, all gaskets etc - you've done well if it only costs you £1700!!!! As all my parts (except the head) have come via a friend at a very reduced rate.
    #5
  6. Lemon S3
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    Lemon S3 Alex

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    Just out of curiosity, how much does it cost to have a cam belt changed. I would do it myself but it looks like a pig of a job, is it an engine out jobby?
    #6
  7. MIKE GTR
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    MIKE GTR Member

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    I've got a mate who works at southend audi (no excuse for not having mine done i know) - if you go down there and ask for Glyn he might do a PJ for you, but be discrete! I think Euro's charge about £150 for the cambelt kit and that comes with an uprated waterpump, but don't quote me on that. Its def not an engine out job but i've heard its a git to do
    #7
  8. abdus
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    abdus Top Gear

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    sorry to hear the damage and the costs. However, you won't be dissapointed by 4Rings. Dean really knows his stuff and will always help and advise as much as possible. Good luck

    I bought my cambelt kit and water pump and did the job myself. Took me about 6 hours. (I'm not a mechanic btw). Not bad and also peace of mind
    #8
  9. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Wouldn't a recon engine swap be cheaper?
    #9
  10. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    I use 4Rings for all my work and they are very good. Dean sorted out my alarm electrical issue and was quite happy to work through his own time at no extra cost to get the work done.
    #10
  11. chris432626
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    chris432626 S3 Upminster

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    Not according to Dean, by the time you find one and then add labour. At least with mine I know it's had a FASH and have bills for the duration of the cars life.
    #11
  12. chris432626
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    chris432626 S3 Upminster

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    Not according to Dean, by the time you find one and then add labour. At least with mine I know it's had a FASH and have bills for the duration of the cars life.
    #12
  13. Welly
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    Welly VX220 SC Driver :)

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    Sorry to hear that dude, thats a good start to the new year :(
    #13
  14. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Member

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    Audi do it as a fixed price job for £349 and to my mind it is worth it becasue on the S3 it's a pig of a job, mine to Audi Plymouth 8 hours. Whilst you are getting it done make sure you also change the water pump regardless, its only about £20 for the pump, but saves a fortune on labour if it needs doing 5000 miles later or so.
    #14
  15. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Member

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    In fairness it's the same with ANY modern belt driven Overhead camshaft engine, if the belt snaps its going to wreck things big time - moral of story is change belt when due before sods law kicks in. Hope you get it fixed soon.
    #15
  16. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    #16
  17. MIKE GTR
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    MIKE GTR Member

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    I guess thats just the short engine, you'd still need your head rebuilt if its bent valves, plus new tensioners, water pump, gaskets etc
    #17
  18. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Nope that's everything, full head rebuild, valves, seats, plus oil pump recon & cambelt kit. I think they even include the gaskets!
    #18
  19. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, but why oh why is it a belt and not a chain?
    #19
  20. jonny87
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    jonny87 Active Member

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    i was thinking this whilst reading the thread, and to be honest dont understand why all higher powered/more torquey engines use a chain, in my mind a metal chain is more durable than a rubber belt any day
    #20
  21. Andrew@A.L.D
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    Andrew@A.L.D Cylinder Head Master

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    Where would be the best place to get lifters? cheapish ones at that if possible
    #21
  22. MikeA3
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    MikeA3 Active Member

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    Please check this company isn't the same one that's based in the heathrow area and has changed it's name about 6 times so far (used to be called rivermead engineering, heathrow engines and a few others that I've forgotten).

    They've been on those garages from hell programmes quite a few times.
    #22
  23. OllieH
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    OllieH Member

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    This is what I liked about my Integra type R. All the K20A's in the type R's have chains instead of belts, and don't need changing at 60k, just checked for tension. Much better design imo.
    #23
  24. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes you're absolutely right, it's the very same company, did a search on their 0208 telephone number and they are MPH Engineering aka Engine Warehouse aka Heathrow Engines, dodgy as you like avoid like the plague - good call!
    #24
  25. Andy´
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    Andy´ Member

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    My poor S3 is at Audi's right now, Changing belt, tensioner and so on. Cause when I started her up one morning there was a strange sound from the engine and the engine management symbol said goodmorning to me :( Audi told me that a tensioner were worn out. I sure hope nothing else was damaged.. Getting it fixed puts me back 1200 euros. I will invent a wireless construction instead or beltless if you will!! :D
    #25
  26. <tuffty/>
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    <tuffty/> Badger 5 Edition Staff Member Moderator

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    A friend had his cambelt go but in actual fact it was the tensioner that caused the belt to slip... the Audi dealer dealing with the repair failed to notice this despite (as it turns out) the belt had not actually snapped but had slipped which should have pointed suspicion at the tensioner too... this however was not changed at the time of the head rebuild (pretty much the same damage as the OP's) and an inspection for an unrelated issue a month or so later showed the belt to be very loose due to a worn out tensioner....

    Moral of the story is, if you think you need the cambelt done then suck it up and get it done and make sure all other components are replaced at the same time as its just a false economy not too... cambelt, tensioner pully, tensioner damper and water pump minimum IMO...

    <tuffty/>
    #26
  27. Westy
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    Westy Double Dark Side! Diesel & 8P

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    My last change was 3 years ago next month and Its done 36K miles since but I'm getting it done this year anyway.
    #27
  28. Effect
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    Effect Member

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    I was under the impression that cam chains are noisier than belts and this would be the reason that VAG use belts ?
    #28
  29. jonny87
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    jonny87 Active Member

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    yer i had a chain on my corolla t sport, it gave me so much more peace of mind than a belt, im so wary of them its close on keeping me up at night lol

    if thats true then whoever made that decision is a fool imo, the 1.8t makes plenty of toher weird and wonderful noises, cam chain would be the last thing to bug me!!
    #29
  30. Keeno
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    Keeno Spooly Spooly Boosty Boosty!

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    Probably all down to cost. 200,000 belts are going to cost a ***** sight less than 200,000 chains, the same reason the standard DV' and water pumps are plastic not metal...
    #30
  31. martin g
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    martin g [censored]

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    ??? I intend to have my cambelt and water pump done asap regardless, but just reading the servce book, it clearly says 'toothed belt for camshaft drive replacement' (1.8 5 V petrol) every 115,000 miles??
    #31
  32. martin g
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    martin g [censored]

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    ah......just noticed the 'may vary on some models ' hmmm, confusing
    #32
  33. A3Tomlin
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    A3Tomlin Drive it like you stole it

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    Planning on taking mine in to Audi this week. Bought mine at 72k without a change and done 2k on it in the last couple of weeks, so I'm thinking it needs to be done asap. Does anyone know how long a job this is from an Audi Service Centre? I only ask because I'd need it done and back in a day as I use the car for commuting and no other way to work!
    #33
  34. tjc
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    tjc New Member

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    Hi,

    I have been around a long time, bought a 52 plate S3 new and still have her and she has only done 23K miles. Love her to pieces.

    Audi changed the advice on the S3 three or four years ago for the cambelt. I had a lot of email exchanges with Audi UK and Fontain as I was looking at buying another S3 from Fontain's to go wild with - According to Audi it should have had a cambelt change. The Audi advice I received was as follows:


    Dear Mr XXXXXXXXX

    I have spoken to our technical department and they have checked the records for your car and confirm that your cam belt needs changing at 80,000 miles or 4 years whichever is the sooner.

    I do hope this information is of assistance to you and if I can help further please do not hesitate to contact me.


    Kind regards


    Lesley Wright

    Audi UK Customer Services



    -----Original Message-----
    From: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    Sent: 01 June 2007 18:34
    To: Wright, Lesley
    Subject: Re: Audi S3

    Lesley,

    Thank you for your prompt response. My registration is XXXXXX, the Chassis Number is WAUZZZ8LXXXXXXXXXX.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards,

    XXXXXX


    "Wright, Lesley" <Lesley.Wright@audi.co.uk> wrote:

    Dear Mr XXXXXX

    Thank you for your recent email.

    In order to obtain the correct information for you I need the following information:

    · Vehicle registration number
    · Chassis number

    As soon as I have this information I will contact you again.

    Kind regards


    Lesley Wright

    Audi UK Customer Services

    Volkswagen Group United Kingdom Limited
    Registered Office: Yeomans Drive, Blakelands, Milton Keynes, MK14 5AN Registered in England No: 514809


    Mine is due again this September. If the car is low mileage the belt can still wear. My car is low mileage and the belts still showed wear after 4 years despite being well under 80K mileage. From experience I would say 60K max and 4 years.

    Has anyone tried the carbon fibre reinforced ones?

    Cheers,

    tjc
    #34
  35. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Just on the issue of belts vs. chains...

    VAG don't always use belts... A good mate of mine has a Mk IV R32 and the chain failed on that at ~50,000 miles. Apparently he read of another going at 44,000. Apparently it's not an uncommon problem on the 8P 3.2 either, but not so bad on the Mk V R32.

    The grass aint always greener...

    Regards,

    Rob.
    #35
  36. martin g
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    martin g [censored]

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    best i get mine done then as shes passed 100Kmiles!! original cambelt !!
    #36
  37. A3Tomlin
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    A3Tomlin Drive it like you stole it

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    Just spoke to Audi and they confirmed that it was £349 fitted (special offer apparently). This does NOT include the water pump which they say they'll inspect and replace it if necessary, at a cost of "about £100"... And I guess that wouldn't include the tensioner damper either.

    What kind of quotes have people had for cambelt replacement, with water pump and tensioner from private companies? Is there a chance in hell that Audi would fit one of these if I turned up with it? http://www.awesome-gti.co.uk/product.php?xProd=13222&xSec=390 :D

    Cheers!
    #37
  38. sportquattro
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    sportquattro Member

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    i had mind done in Sept 09 and the water pumps replacement was just an extra 31.68 +vat by Plymouth Audi, total bill for Cambelt change, new water pump, thermostat and a full 60000 mile service was £638.57 (the service was £199 fixed price incl parts)
    #38
  39. Matt82
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    Matt82 Active Member

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    do you have to bring your own vaseline? the water pump is a £30-£40 part which is only a further few bolts to remove. to charge you £100 is just stupid. go elsewhere

    i bet they wont be changing idler pulleys or the tensioner either
    #39
  40. DaveA3
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    DaveA3 Audi A-Trizzle!

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    For the cambelt kit (includes tensioners etc) and water pump and the labour mine cost £246 all in at my local vag specialist
    #40

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