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Cam-Belt Change

Phil-1 Sep 3, 2018

  1. Phil-1

    Phil-1 Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    My A3 is now 5 years old with 30,000 miles on it. I have been advised to have the Cam-Belt changes. is this something I should get done ASAP or could it wait as the car is still very low mileage?

    Phil
     
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  3. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    It’s a rubber belt and rubber perishes with age so if it was me I would get it done. It’s one of those things that if it goes it’s goodbye engine.
     
  4. Schizophonic

    Schizophonic Registered User

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    I asked a qualified mechanic who works on a lot of VAG cars and he has a Arteon himself. He said my car has a timing chain and dont requires unless they fail .

    True or just BS?
     
  5. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    some have chains and some have belts depending on the engine.
    Chains generally doesn’t need changed whereas belts do.
    Only time chain gives issues is when they stretch and this can be caused by numerous things. Poor oil quality is a main one as they can leave deposits within the links and cause it to stretch. Doesn’t take much for it to cause damage or problems.
     
  6. Schizophonic

    Schizophonic Registered User

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    thanks - sound stupid but how do i know exactly if mine has a chain or a belt? How do i find out other than looking because I swear its a rubber belt for my car.
     
  7. Phil-1

    Phil-1 Well-Known Member Regional Rep

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    On my old 8P I also had the water pump changed. Is this the same for the 8V?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  8. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    If it’s a cam belt driven pump I would get that done as well. In the old pd engines the water pump was a problem so always changed the pump, pulleys and the belts(balance belt if it has one as well)
     
  9. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    My suggestion is google your engine code.
     
  10. AJB

    AJB Registered User

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    If your signature is correct and you've got an 8V A3 with a 1.4 TFSI engine then you've got a belt. The previous generation of 1.4s as used in the previous generation of A3s had chains.

    If it's a belt, there's almost always a plastic cover over it, to the left hand side of the engine as you stand in front of the car looking backwards. Chains are more built-in and don't generally have any sort of removable cover. Like I said, yours is a belt though.
     
  11. AJB

    AJB Registered User

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    On the 1.4 TFSI Audi UK are now saying every 5 years for the belt, but in the car's printed service book it just quotes a mileage (122,000 IIRC) and no time limit. Audi's own website, if you log in with the car details, also only quotes the mileage and no time limit, so I'm suspicious that this 5 years is partly/largely Audi UK making work for its dealers (along with recommending air con servicing every couple of years).

    What does it say in the printed service booklet for your engine under timing belt change (or "cam belt", or "toothed belt" - all the same thing). If it says 5 years there then I'd get it done sooner rather than later. If it doesn't then I personally wouldn't worry too much.

    Obviously there's a gamble in there - you might put it off, and it might snap tomorrow. But if you don't get it done you'll save a fair bit of money and it will probably be just fine. And, besides, you might get it done and the garage might ruin something whilst doing it...

    Personally I've got a 1.4 TFSI that's just reached 5 years old with a fairly low mileage (just over 40,000), and I'm not planning to get mine changed yet.
     
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  13. traindweller

    traindweller Registered User

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    I have the 1.4 TFSI COD (My16) I printed out the work schedule from the previous My Audi site and that states the 'Camshaft drive toothed belt' should be renewed every 140,000 miles with no time limit . Not sure I am brave enough to go that long but that's what it said!
     
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  14. traindweller

    traindweller Registered User

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    Crossed post with @AJB info, so Audi now gone back to 5 yrs and the usual confusion leaving the customer to sort it out.

    Wonder what sort of claim we would have if we left it for the mileage dependant, (in my case possible 14 yrs) before considering changing and it failed between the five and 14 .I think I know the answer to that one.
     
  15. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    Thing is at 120k or 140k your car will be well out of warranty so if it goes bang Audi isn’t gonna care too much about it.
    This comes back to what I said in a different thread. It’s all the carbon footprint nonsense. If your car does more mile before it needs serviced it will have a lower footprint. Service includes belts and stuff. This is why it’s 18-20k service schedules.
    As Ajb said it’s the gamble you need to take. I seen belts snap at 15-20k before.
     
  16. AJB

    AJB Registered User

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    I think it's Audi UK who've gone back to 5 yrs, not Audi Germany. I've never seen anything from Audi themselves saying 5 years... I just tried to find what I'd found once before on Audi's website, and it all seems to have changed... I can't find my service history or service schedule any more, even after I finally managed to get myself logged in... When I looked it up before, a fair while after Audi UK were saying 5 years, the Audi website (logged in with my specific car) was saying 122000 or 140000 or whatever, but no time limit. I've also never seen anything from Audi themselves saying air con needs any servicing unless it stops getting cold or starts getting smelly, despite UK Audi dealers writing to me saying it needed doing as the car had reached 2 years old or whatever.

    Personally I'm not going to worry about my cambelt until its 10 years old, and I haven't yet decided whether I'll start worrying then or wait until the mileage. FWIW when they launched this generation of 1.4s, various technical websites noted that it had a new "lifetime" cambelt. That doesn't mean it'll never break, but I do think Audi meant it to last longer than previous designs and/or perhaps never need changing in the expected lifetime of the car.
     
    traindweller likes this.
  17. Scotty75

    Scotty75 Well-Known Member Silver Supporter

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    For my A3 8v 2.0 tdi, cam belt needs replacing every 70 K or every five years. Whichever comes first.

    Yes you can gamble on not doing it but the thing with gambling is to weigh up potential loss versus potential gains.

    In my personal opinion, the potential losses ie: engine damage should the belt snap....... Far outweigh paying for the belt change. Had mine done at Audi Portsmouth and got free MOT for the life of the vehicle...... Nice bonus.

    Sent from my HTC 10 using Tapatalk
     
  18. AJB

    AJB Registered User

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    I totally agree - it's about weighing up potential loss vs potential gains.

    For my 2013 1.4 TFSI, when the service book was printed Audi had decided it was 122,000 or 140,000 miles (I can't remember which) and that time-based replacement wasn't needed. This was years after they'd changed their advice on the previous generation of engines to say "every 4 years or the specified interval - whichever comes first". Since then Audi UK have started to say "do it every 5 years". So I'm not blindly ignoring official advice and chancing it, I'm personally planning to go with what the manufacturer printed in the service book and, as far as I know, the most up to date advice from the manufacturer themselves (rather than their UK distributor).

    There certainly are belts designed to last much longer than traditional cambelt intervals (e.g. this specs 240,000km with no time-based interval that I can see
    https://www.contitech.de/en-GL/Industries/Passenger-car/drive-belts/CONTI-DIESEL-RUNNER).

    But coming back the the risk/reward, that's what it's all about. There's a risk to not getting it done which slowly increases over time. The risk is of a ruined engine. Once I'm beyond the official interval, that risk starts to make me more nervous. There's also a risk to getting it done, in that the garage might damage something else or damage the new belt whilst fitting it (it took 3 visits a few years back before I managed to explain to a Skoda main dealer how to adjust the diesel injector timing correctly after a cambelt replacement). If you got the belt changed every 6 months then I'd say that you'd massively increase the overall chance of a belt failure.

    And the reward is not having to spend however many hundred pounds they want for the replacement.

    I'm trading off the risks of getting it done and of leaving it for too long against the rewards (money saved and avoiding other potential damage to car by mechanic) and coming to my own conclusion. For me personally I'm happy to go 10 years and I'll think again after that. I'll also revisit if I start to read lots of reports of belts failing on these engines, or if I see official advice from Audi Germany that they've changed their mind and it should be done more often.

    What I'm not doing is blindly ignoring the manufacturer's advice in a misguided attempt to save a bit of money! And I'm also not telling anyone else what the appropriate risk/reward balance is for them.
     
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  19. aqibi2000

    aqibi2000 Registered User

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    Chains themselves may not require replacement but you need to inspect the hydraulic tensioners and spacers/guides that go with them.

    It is certainly an inspection item (for competent technicans) even if it isn't stated as a service item.
     
    AlS3BE likes this.
  20. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    I think it’s the other components that I worry about. Belt could be good but things like water pumps and pulleys and tensioners can go.
    Have had this in an old car before, water pump went and car was constantly overheating.
     
  21. Adam14

    Adam14 Registered User

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    Far from a mechanic, but as I understand it cam belts are pretty cheap. Most expensive part is the labour and parts needing to be removed to access them. Much cheaper to get it done early when they can access it, if it breaks or goes wrong...you're looking at a much larger bill

    Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
     
  22. DaveW1946

    DaveW1946 Registered User

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    Lawyers in Australia and the USA are examining claims against Audi that several of their cars have been fitted with defective timing chains and tensioners, resulting in early engine failure and unsafe vehicles. Is anything being pursued in the UK about this issue?

    Vehicles affected are: 2008 - 2012 A3, A4, A5, Q3, Q5, TT

    My granddaughter’s A3 timing chain slipped and wrecked the engine at 88,000 miles.
     
  23. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    At 88k it’s pretty low but then as I said there’s so many factors that cause them to break/fail so I bet audi isn’t going to go down without a fight.
    Poor oil, incorrect spec oil, no mechanical sympathy when cold can all contribute towards early failures.
    In some of the hondas the problem was the pulleys/tensioners and not the chain.
    similar issues can happen with belts like the tensioners etc breaking before the belt. Had that twice in an old car, the auto tensioners applied too much tension on the belt and when I checked there was half a belt there. Lucky nothing catastrophic.
    Proper maintenance and check is always necessary unfortunately on chains it’s more difficult to make simple visual checks.
     
  24. msdmjb

    msdmjb Registered User

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    My 2014 S3 is 5years old next year, will have done approx 40k miles.
    It will have the cambelt and water pump replaced, but understand why some people wouldn't do it.
    Head tech at dealership confirmed 5yrs or I think 160k kms but tbh the mileage was irrelevant.
     
  25. T-800

    T-800 Guest

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    2.0 litre S3 engine is Chain driven.
     
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  26. Rideen

    Rideen Registered User

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    Info on my 2017 1.6 TDI says 210 000 kilometers or 5 years.
     
  27. DaveW1946

    DaveW1946 Registered User

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    Noted with thanks AIS3BE. My granddaughter’s affected car is an Audi A3 Sport 197 TFSi 2008 1984cc, it’s vin identifies the engine brand, size and type as ZZZ8P and I’m assuming that it falls within the scope of the lawsuits being pursued. I’ve also been informed that the chain and tensioners are non serviceable items, consequently, Audi should have ensured that they are top quality, long lasting and very reliable.
     
  28. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    I never liked the ‘non serviceable item’. It’s like that with some torque converter gearboxes meant to be sealed for life. Nothing lasts forever and Audi don’t elaborate on what does sealed for life means or how to service a non serviceable item. All they know is when it fails it’s out of warranty and it’s not their problem unless we pay through the nose.
     
  29. aqibi2000

    aqibi2000 Registered User

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    Not service item by book but certainly requires inspection
     
  30. DaveW1946

    DaveW1946 Registered User

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    Looks to be sad but true AIS3BE. Nothing customers can do. Once bitten twice shy though.
     
  31. DaveW1946

    DaveW1946 Registered User

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    When are you supposed to inspect the items though aqibi2000? At each service interval, after 100,000 miles etc. especially when defective parts can break at any time? It also looks difficult and costly to inspect the timing chain, and especially the tensioners, on this 2.0 ltr. 8P type engine. Luck of the draw I think and sheer bad luck when they fail prematurely. I feel Audi should ensure good quality, and well proven parts, are used in these instances.
     
  32. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    To be fair audi aren’t the only manufacturer at it.
    They all are to a point so like you say it’s luck of the draw. Percentage of failures is probably like 1-2% so pot luck who gets the failures.
     
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  34. msdmjb

    msdmjb Registered User

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    upload_2018-9-10_23-52-47.png

    I just drive the thing but seems to disagree with your statement? All i did was enter my old UK reg number.
     
  35. AlS3BE

    AlS3BE Registered User

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    Just look under the bonnet. Timing belts will have a big plastic cover on the side of the engine.
    Or google your engine code.
     
  36. T-800

    T-800 Guest

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    AlS3BE and Scotty75 like this.

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