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Cambelts....can we all agree?! (LONG)

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by evotista, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. evotista

    evotista Member

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    In the interests of the greater good i decided to do a bit of research into the constant confusion about when cambelts should be changed on 1.8T engines...and the costs involved. My car is a MY01 1.8TQ engine code ARY...but i've tried to cover all angles including S3's. So acting as a mystery shopper i gathered info/quotes from several audi stealers around the north/midlands and also asked the following questions. I emailed 8 dealers and got 5 responses...mostly the dealers gave a consistent story..with the odd exception. Those that responded were

    Listers Stratford
    Listers Worcester
    Smith Knight Fay - Stockport
    Wakefield Audi
    Shrewsbury Audi

    The Questions
    1 - Can you confirm the exact maximum mileage for the replacement - my understanding is 180,000 kms for my engine ARY (111k miles)...although audi recommend 80k miles generally.

    Answer - 111k miles is correct for all 1.8 and 1.8Ts from 97 onwards (this is rounded to 115 k miles). Listers stratford however were the only ones to recommend replacement irrespective at 80 k miles


    2 - Is it true S3's with AMK/BAM engines need a replacement at less than 180,000 kms?

    Answer -
    Technical Data held on A3 as of 1997 onwards
    Engine derivative
    1.8 & 1.8T 5 valve (except S3) = 180 km - 115 K miles
    1.8 S3 5 valve > MY2000 = 180 km - 115 K miles
    1.8 S3 5 Valve MY2001 > = 120 km - 80 K miles

    So if you have an S3 on a X plate (facelift) or more recent, IT IS 80k MAX


    3 - Is it true that water pumps are not replaced as standard during a cambelt swap..only if suspect?

    Answer - There is no recommended audi policy on when they should be replaced!..however see below

    4 - Exactly which parts are replaced as part of swap? - i presume cambelt, cambelt tensioner, tensioner pulley as a min

    Answer
    All dealers only replace the actual cambelt itself and the tensioner pulley (usually just referred to as tensioner). 4 out of 5 recommended replacement of the alternator ribbed belt at the same time. 3 out 5 recommended replacement of the water pump at the same time. The hydraulic damper/tensioner is also not replaced as standard...shrewsbury audi claimed that they can count on one finger the number of replacements required for this unit.

    Prices for parts across dealers were virtually identical...but the interesting bit was the difference in labour...i asked for quotes for replacement with and without water pump. The breakdown goes like this

    Smith Knight Fay - 4.5 hours @ £70
    Listers Stratford - 3.0 hours @ £79.5
    Shrewsbury Audi - 2.9 hours @ £75
    Wakefield Audi - 2.2 hours @ £79.95
    Listers Worcester - 2.2 hours @ £79.5

    However only SKF and Listers worcester included the labour free of charge if the water pump was replaced...others charged usually 0.5 hours of labour!

    Parts

    Cambelt - £20 + VAT
    Tensioner Pulley - £35 + VAT

    Optional
    Water Pump - £25.8 + VAT
    Ribbed Belt - £21 + VAT
    Hydraulic damper/tensioner - £60.57 + VAT

    Summary

    So the winners for a cambelt change including belt, pulley and water pump including VAT would be (we need a drum roll here /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif)

    1 - Listers Worcester = £300.45
    2 - Wakefield Audi = £359.51
    3 - Shrewsbury Audi = £382.40
    4 - Listers Stratford = £447.29
    5 - Smith Knight Fay = £465.07

    So the most expensive is 54% more than the cheapest...stealers...don't you just love them!
    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
    All comments appreciated guys

    Martin /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/dancing.gif


     
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  3. jojo

    jojo Looking for Boost!
    Staff Member Moderator Team Daytona quattro Audi S3 Audi A6 Audi Avant Owner Group

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    That's some excellent research Martin, top job /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif. I would have just taken my car to Listers of Stratford for this cambelt change if it were time to, but would consider traveling the extra 10 miles to Listers of Worcester to save 147 quid.
     
  4. i was also told by one audi garage that it was 12ok miles on 97-99 a3 1.8t's!?

    then another told me 80k??
     
  5. dickys3

    dickys3 Moderator
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    Excellent work! Thanks for the info.

    Rich.
     
  6. RichA3Turbo

    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you!
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    Fantastic job matey! Thats definately some damn good info to know... My A3 is only on 63k at the moment, but going to get it replaced before the 80k mark so this will come in handy!

    Cheers

    Rich
     
  7. evotista

    evotista Member

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    Rich,

    You mean you're not going to do it yourself!...after your masterful IHI work i would have thought that a HTC guided cambelt change would be a walk in the park for yourself....or perhaps you can do without losing more knuckles /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Just thought i'ld point out that that wakefield audi would almost be the same , but they charged extra labour for the water pump....which is a total cheek since apart from a bit of coolant i would have thought it only adds 5 mins to the job! Perhaps foolish3 could comment if it really is any extra JUSTIFYIABLE hassle to replace the water pump.

    Also AndyMac if you're out there....ever got a quote from you're southampton specialists for this job?....would be interested to know what hours a specialist reckoned for this

    Martin /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
     
  8. PaulBelsham

    PaulBelsham Member

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    Why is it you need to change the water pump anyway, are they known for packing up after a cambelt change or something ?
     
  9. jimboA3

    jimboA3 Member

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    may be a daft question ...... but do they have to be replaced just after a certain milage .. or is a time scale involved too . ie 80,000 miles or 7 years whatever is sooner?
     
  10. RichA3Turbo

    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you!
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    [ QUOTE ]
    Paul_Belsham said:
    Why is it you need to change the water pump anyway, are they known for packing up after a cambelt change or something ?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    They are just know for pakcing up... And the cambelt has to be changed when doing a water pump change so its best to make one thing of it and just get it done one time.

    Rich
     
  11. RichA3Turbo

    RichA3Turbo ...Watching you!
    Staff Member Moderator

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    [ QUOTE ]
    evotista said:
    Rich,

    You mean you're not going to do it yourself!...after your masterful IHI work i would have thought that a HTC guided cambelt change would be a walk in the park for yourself....or perhaps you can do without losing more knuckles /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Nah! Thats one thing im not touching thanks! I couldnt get a turbo conversion wrong but when the potential of trashing the engine is present, i think i will stay well clear.

    Rich
     
  12. [Dave B]

    [Dave B] Daddy

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    Well I've just had the following done at Awesome GTI which might interest you:

    - Full 80k inspection service (car at 74k)
    - New Water Pump
    - 3 new tensioners
    - Cambelt
    - Alt Belt
    - New reversing light switch
    - A new bulb
    - The wheels changed from front to back to even out wear

    The total bill was £650 inc. Vat, I was getting similar quotes from Audi but I rate independent specialist's much higher then Audi for workmanship! The last two services through Audi were abissmal, the car came back worse than when it went in!
     
  13. leespears1

    leespears1 Member

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    My advice - forward your findings to Audi Head Office (dunno where it is, but its somewhere) and see how they respond to it! That would be intresting!
    You might even get a free tax disc holder for your efforts!
    Top Job Mate!
     
  14. evotista

    evotista Member

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    JimboA3,

    To the bests of my research i've never come across an age definition for cambelt replacement...it's only ever quoted on miles covered...which lets face it for the average 12-15k miles a year person 7-8 years to hit 115k miles on an A3.

    I don't know if everyone noticed, but back in july there was a thread where audi were sending out leaflets drumming up business and saying generically that 60k miles was recommended!

    Funky,

    Do you have a parts breakdown (to part number) of what awesome did in relation to the cambelt...or did they just lump it all together?

    /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/beerchug.gif
     
  15. [Dave B]

    [Dave B] Daddy

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    I don't have it to hand but i'm sure they gave me a cost breakdown when I signed on the dotted line...I'll see if I can dig it out tonight.
     
  16. foolish3uk

    foolish3uk Member

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    i will get the official shhets from work which list a breakdown in chassis numbers when a cambelt needs changing, i will try scanning thema nd posting them, if it works right!

    then you will have the true, and correct intervals, we do encourage changing your water pumps as audi came up with a silly idea of plastic and metal impellars whic split of and break, could save you maney in the long run.
    the official time on the package system for any A3 1.8 or 1.8T is 2.9hrslbr and should not be quoted any more, as that is what audi say to charge!!! i think smith knight fay might be trying it on.
     
  17. [Dave B]

    [Dave B] Daddy

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    I've had a look but they haven't broken all the costs down, its just detailed as 'Water Pump/Cambelt/3 Tensioners - £330'...sorry guys!
     
  18. HTC

    HTC Active Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    RichA3Turbo said:
    [ QUOTE ]
    evotista said:
    Rich,

    You mean you're not going to do it yourself!...after your masterful IHI work i would have thought that a HTC guided cambelt change would be a walk in the park for yourself....or perhaps you can do without losing more knuckles /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Nah! Thats one thing im not touching thanks! I couldnt get a turbo conversion wrong but when the potential of trashing the engine is present, i think i will stay well clear.

    Rich

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If you can do a turbo swap, then you CAN do a cambelt swap. But I understand peoples worries about getting the cam timing right.

    Great info BTW, this thread should be made sticky or something.
     
  19. evotista

    evotista Member

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    After more work (and special thanks to AndyMac)...to give everyone another price to deal with, autotechnik in southampton are quoting £285 for cambelt swap on all 1.8 and 1.8T's. This includes the following

    Cambelt
    Cambelt Tensioner Pulley
    Idler Pulley
    Water Pump
    Coolant top up

    The only thing they don't do as standard is the hydraulic damper/tensioner unit since this is not in direct contact with the belt. However if you have a pre 98 car then the hydraulic tensioner is an older revision so needs replacing with the more up to date component.

    The price is inclusive of VAT /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gifand they reckon on 3 hours at £40 per hour labour.

    Martin
     
  20. HTC

    HTC Active Member

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    Thats a damn good price.

    I bought a new hydraulic damper/tensioner for my car, and on inspecting it, I really didn't need to as it was in perfect condition. So I agree that you do not need to do the damper/tensioner.
     
  21. dwarfslapper

    dwarfslapper New Member

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    As with all my cars i have had its one of the first things i replace,then i know that i will never need to do it again unless i keep the car that long.Which at least it gives me piece of mind it may be quite expensive but a shed load cheaper than a new engine /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
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  23. jcs356

    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [ QUOTE ]
    evotista said:
    After more work (and special thanks to AndyMac)...to give everyone another price to deal with, autotechnik in southampton are quoting £285 for cambelt swap on all 1.8 and 1.8T's.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    I've used Autotechnik for the past 5 years on my Ibiza & Speedster, and my S3 will have it's first visit just before Xmas. I rate them very highly - Vanessa & Alan are always helpful. It's a 100mile round trip for me to visit, but well worth it.
     
  24. Mike.M

    Mike.M Well-Known Member

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    What is the address and tel number of "autotechnik" in Southhampton then...........as I may pay them a visit!
     
  25. HTC

    HTC Active Member

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  26. Mike.M

    Mike.M Well-Known Member

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    Cheers!
     
  27. Kellerman

    Kellerman New Member

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    At last I find a post that i can make a meaningful contribution to! This is my first post so dont be too harsh. Anyway, my two cents on the cambelt question is this. I got my 1.8T six months ago with 60K on the clock and a badly worn cambelt which simply didnt look like it was going to make it to 70K so it was replaced at 61000 miles. The work was done by Whites Audi in Camberley. They charged me for 2.4 hours @ £80/hour for the timing belt, ribbed belt, tensioner and damper but i missed the boat on the water pump. The total cost inc parts and labour was £390. Also, there was an S3 on eBay a while back whose timing belt had snapped at 70K so it can happen.
     
  28. Add7

    Add7 Member

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    nice one. thanks for the advice. and welcome
     

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