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Newbie cam belt question...

Discussion in 'A3/S3 Forum (8L Chassis)' started by Dirty Badger, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. Dirty Badger
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    Dirty Badger New Member

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    [Jul 31, 2007]
    Hi there! New to Audis and new to the forums so be nice…

    I bought a 2001 A3 1.6SE at the weekend. From browsing the forum it seems they’re much-reviled, but I’d been knocking about in a 1995 Peugeot 106 for the last six years (my first car!) so this is a real step up and I loves it!

    My first question is about the timing belt. Looking in the service book, the intervals for replacement are listed as follows:

    40,000 miles on the 2.7 ltr V6 biturbo RS4 engine
    60,000 on TDI engines and TDI engines with unit injector system
    80,000 on 2.4, 2.8 and 3.0 ltr V6 engines, 2.7 ltr biturbo V6 engines and V6 TDI engines
    115,000 on 4-cylinder 5V 1.8 and 2.0 petrol engines

    So! Where does that leave me and my humble 1.6 litre engine? I did a few searches but couldn’t find a definitive answer for the 1.6.

    There’s no stamp in the service schedule book to suggest that it’s been done, so I assume it hasn’t. The invoice for the last service (Nov 2006, 68k miles, now at 73k) lists the full service, plus the 40k miles stuff (air filter etc.) and one line item saying “CAMBELT ADVICE” with no price against it. Presumably the garage suggested changing it but the previous owner declined.

    I got my torch out and had a squint at the belt this evening and it doesn’t look worn/cracked/shiny or anything – just an unassuming piece of rubber snaking its way all over the show. Trouble is, it’s an unassuming piece of rubber with the potential to cost me thousands of pounds if it goes bang.

    What do we think? Should I get it done ASAP? My gut says yes, but I’m guessing it’ll cost me the wrong side of 300 quid and I’m not in a position to be spending that amount of money unnecessarily. Assuming I do get it done, can anyone recommend a specialist in the Bristol area? Sounds like getting it done at an Audi garage would be the expensive option.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Cheers,

    James
    #1
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  3. S3_MCD
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    S3_MCD Member

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    [Jul 31, 2007]
    its not un necesary if it saves you thousands..... mine went at 3yrs and 60k miles. New engine top to bottom, would have cost 7k if dealer and AUK hadnt stepped up.

    get it sorted ASAP, dont kick yourself when its al too late.

    ..and welcome :)
    #2
  4. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    The rule of thumb seems to be anywhere between 40k 4 years and 60k 6 years for any car with a timing belt.

    The 115k you quote for the 1.8 20v is a known error in the Audi literature (although some people still deny it) when they mistakenly quoted kms instead of miles. 70k is more like it.

    So in answer to your question, yes, I'd get it changed.
    #3
  5. Stewart
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    Stewart Member

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    That 'unassuming piece of rubber' has the potential to totally trash your engine (well, beyond economical repair) so I wouldn't spend too much time thinking about it ;)
    #4
  6. gkf9
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    gkf9 Member

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    my Audi im picking up Friday is on a 53 plate with 56000 miles will i be ok to wait till i reach 60000 miles (need to save for the service and cambelt) after spending every penny i have on it?? Im panicking now!!:huh:
    #5
  7. jcs356
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    jcs356 Brum brum

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    The extra 4k miles shouldn't make much difference, but I'd definitely get it done at next service (so start saving now).

    Also worth remembering that you should change the cambelt tensioners and the water pump at the same time. They aren't too expensive and it is cheap and easy to do whilst the cambelt is being done. Allow £250 - £300 for an independent to do it or double that for an Audi Stealer.
    #6
  8. gkf9
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    gkf9 Member

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    ok thinking of getting it done at Awesome gti (vag specialist)

    cambelt,tensioner,and water pump £295+vat

    and the service £170+vat

    Audi Blackburn

    cambelt,tensioner...no water pump change! £430

    and service £230

    would like the Audi stamp but will keep the car for years to come
    so think i will go with Awesome in Manchester.

    Still alot of money to folk out within months of owning the car!!
    #7
  9. steebo888
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    steebo888 Member

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    Yer Awesome are very good VAG specialists.
    See if you can get a discount for being a member on this forum/having both things done at same time. Contact them via forum.
    #8
  10. gkf9
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    gkf9 Member

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    ok thanks will give it a try..service not due just yet tho
    #9
  11. Ibzzzzz
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    Ibzzzzz Member

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    mate take it from me you dnt wana be doing 50 downhill and then having your belt has snap. cost £800 or so to repair.
    #10
  12. S3_MCD
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    S3_MCD Member

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    ............or 90mph uphill - new engine £7,000 :)
    #11
  13. AndyMac
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    AndyMac Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 1, 2007]
    "Audi Blackburn

    cambelt,tensioner...no water pump change! £430"

    Classic Audi dealer, they want to cream you for another £400 in labour when the water pump fails (all for the saving of a £35 water pump), that's if you have an engine left.
    #12
  14. stevess3
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    stevess3 Member

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    [Aug 5, 2007]
    I'm glad i've seen this thread ! I did wonder at the 115m cambelt !
    My s3 has doen 63k and had a service at 58k from Audi but i don't think they did the cambelt !

    How hard is the cambelt on these ? and how much is the kit from audi ? For the belt etc
    #13
  15. S3_MCD
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    S3_MCD Member

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    [Aug 5, 2007]
    I would suggest u have to be very competant to DIY
    #14
  16. stevess3
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    stevess3 Member

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    [Aug 6, 2007]
    I am pretty compatant dispite not being a mechanic !

    If you take it easy and do things in the right order there is no reason for it to fail !
    I have done a few peugeot cambelts with no trouble at all , just wondring on access etc ?
    #15
  17. a3daveo
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    a3daveo Member

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    [Aug 6, 2007]
    Its entirely up to you stevess3 but personally I wouldn't attempt this in a million years. The cambelt is really difficult to remove and to gain access I think you remove a good chunk of the engine.

    I agree in theory follow the steps carefully and everything may be ok but if this was the case how come so many of us bodge it up. Not having a go matey but if you like to look after your car take it to a proffessional who can get this essential work done properly, first time and at least you may have a come back if something goes wrong.

    Daveo
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  18. Dirty Badger
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    Dirty Badger New Member

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    [Aug 6, 2007]
    Well I did some ringing around for quotes late last week and got the job done today. £239 all-in for the cam belt change, a new water pump (with a metal impellor, apparently the plastic one is garbage) and a new v-belt. Labour was £100, parts £103.

    The quotes I got varied far more than I was expecting, from £364 down to £200. Didn’t even bother calling a main dealer. The guys I went with weren’t quite the cheapest but I was impressed with the guy’s knowledge/manner on the phone and the free collect/return sealed the deal. I dunno what the rules are about plugging places on these boards, so I shan’t. I’m in Bristol though, so if anyone’s looking for a recommendation, just pm me.

    Cheers for the advice folks!

    Next project – fixing that ruddy door sensor!

    James
    #17

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