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Timing belt replacement. How often?

Starflex Aug 29, 2020

  1. Starflex

    Starflex Registered User

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    Hi All,

    I am the owner of an Audi A3 / 8V / Diesel (110 kW), with just 40,000 km (25k miles). The car is 6 years old, I have been the only owner and I simply do not use the car that often. Always garaged.

    Being 6 years old, I am now puzzled whether I should replace the timing belt or not, considering the very low kilometers run.

    I am aware that "timing belt is made of rubber" and rubber gets old but.. it is a bit of an expensive operation, and the fact that the car hasn't really done heaps of kilometers makes me wonder whether I should / could push it safely a bit further. What's your idea?
    I am aware of what it means if it snaps.
     
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  3. Ben H

    Ben H On a journey...

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    The VW / Audi UK guidance is generally 4 or 5 years, but you may see from internet research that this is subject to debate!

    Guidance for continental Europe is often that the belt is for a much higher time or distance interval, even that it's for the life of the vehicle. Personally, I went for 5 years on our 2.0TDI van and was pleased that my current A3 had it also done at 5 years by the previous owner.
     
  4. Fatbloke

    Fatbloke Registered User

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    The dealer did mine under warranty last year as there was a noise from I presume, the tensioner. They said it should get done every 140,000 miles and didn't mention a time limit. Worth checking this though.
     
  5. Peter82

    Peter82 Registered User

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    You don't have to bcos u didn't use car so much so your belt will be like new..
    Don't worry about it.. But every 50k you should..
     
  6. zac7654321

    zac7654321 Registered User

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    if you are aware of what it means if it snaps than you know it's a no brainer, change it.

    as for the interval, it depends on how the car was originally sold, if it was for a private buyer the interval is shorter in km/miles, if it was a lease the interval is longer... 220k km i think, vs. 120k on private purchase... read this somewhere while looking to get mine done earlier this year... had it done by an audi garage in the end as the price difference was nothing... strangely enough, they changed the service interval from 30k to 15k, which somewhat confirms the above

    Sent from my SM-A530F using Tapatalk
     
  7. etron Wales

    etron Wales Registered User

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    I had the timing belt changed on my etron at an Audi main dealer. It cost £600 and includes a free MOT for the life of the car. The technician told me it was the first belt changed he’d changed on an etron - it made me think most people don’t bother changing them at 5 years.
     
  8. Retroman

    Retroman Audi A3 2010 Sportback 2.0 TDI 170 (CBBB engine)

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    The situation is ambiguous to say the least. I would be guided by your car's service manual. About 5-years ago Audi UK introduced an overriding 5-year term for lower mileage cars.
     
  9. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Fibres degrade overtime, so the general 'Audi' rule of thumb is 4-5 years. However some Fords for example is every 10 years. So Ford seem to use some magical fibres that Audi can't?

    I personally feel the Audi 5 year rule is just a con to get you to spend money on servicing, but it would also depend on geographic location, for example a belt in Canada is gonna degrade quicker than a belt in the South of France.

    My 8P had its belt done at 25k, 5 years. We examined it under a scope and there was absolutely no degradation of the fibres. Compared to a brand new genuine one, under a scope, they where identical.

    But, the seed is planted about 'when' you should do it..so how long do you wait till it eats away at you, an engine is an expensive item to buy and fit!
     
  10. T-1000

    T-1000 Registered User

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    I did our GTD in 2018 as it was coming up to 5 years old. Old belt looked fine however it ain’t worth the risk.
    Plus I changed the water pump and coolant at the same time.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Peter82 likes this.
  11. Liam Morris

    Liam Morris Registered User

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    Hi Starflex, I've attached a Maintenance table that is provided within the A3 Audi service training available to techs on their tech Training site (LEAP) as well as a Google drive link to the entire A3 Information PDF itself in case it interests anyone here.

    The intervals for timing gear that they state seem a little optimistic so for comfort and peace of mind i'd personally halve their mileage recommendation or aim for the 5-7 year mark depending on mileage/condition of the car but it depends on what the owners happy with at the end of the day.


    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DLne4Aw6_W5EcNOI11kV8pGa19lPWMve/view?usp=sharing
     

    Attached Files:

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  13. Peter82

    Peter82 Registered User

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    Jesus u been PROPERLY ripped off .. and + on etron?? what for?? u put money in bit man...
     
  14. Starflex

    Starflex Registered User

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    You are a legend. Thanks heaps!!!!

    And thank you all ! :)
     
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  15. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    In my service booklet for my old A3 8V (now have an S3) it said 133K miles or 5 years, which ever comes first.

    Just had my T5 done, 5 years since the last change, not worth the risk.
     
  16. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Audi brain washing at is finest!

    I wonder how Ford belts last ten years....
     
  17. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Mate, if you want to take the risk, be my guess, for what it cost, every 5 years, for a car/van I love, I'm happy.
    (There again, some people are happy to smoke 40 a day, now that is burning money!!)

    My daughter's cam belt snapped in her Peugeot last year, 76K miles and 6 years old!!

    Oh, don't have the problem with my S3!!
     
  18. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Im not having a pop dude I bought in to it too, but as long as you realise it's just Audi brainwashing, there is no published factual evidence to support the whole 5 year claim and many other manufacturers quote double that.

    Its not about spending the money, its about being manipulated into spending the money for no real defined reason
     
  19. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    I cant understand people who spend £15K on a car, but wouldn't spend £400 on a cam belt change every five years.

    Tell me how you get on after 10 years!

    My daughter's cam belt snapped in her Peugeot last year, 76K miles and 6 years old!!
     
  20. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    You're missing my point.

    Its not about spending the money, its about spending it on something that is nothing more than marketing strategy to get you to spend money.

    It's like saying, ' if Iwewrite in this book that customers have to change their steering wheel every year' then you'll do it. But theres no real reason to.

    75K, sure Id change mine, but my last 8P had done 23k in five years...that was a pointless and expensive exercise in my view.
     
  21. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    My daughter's cam belt snapped in her Peugeot last year, 76K miles and 6 years old!!

    Did you not read the above, it was not 10 years, that's MY point.
    You cant ignore it because Ford say its okay.
     
  22. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Like I said, do the 10 year test and prove me wrong, good luck!
     
  23. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    That was addressed when I mentioned the mileage, you missed that bit.

    Who is ignoring anything? I am just not being suckered in again to change a belt at 23k because Audi says 'or five years'. No one is ignoring having to change belts but its making a more reasonable adjustment for mileage in those years.

    We have multiple VW's in the fleet running close if not over now of ten years, but still very low mileage so havent one the belts as sheerly work horses that were intended to be replaced, so you are already 'proved' wrong if you want to go down that line of response, It's a little crass for me, but thats cool.

    You believe Audi's marketing strategy, I don't, thats all the conversation is about, so best to leave it there :)
     
  24. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Only have your word for that, but its your gear, do as you please.

    For the sake of £400 every five years, people **** that up a against a wall and smoke it, I wouldn't risk it and any warranty that you may have, even a used motor with warranty, don't change it, its invalid.

    The reason they say, 5 years or 133K miles which comes first, because at low miles or high miles the belts been sat there, maybe not doing much and perish, just like you see on tyres when the walls crack, sat around doing low miles, but perish. Its the same with a belt.

    I would never take the risk.
     
  25. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Only have your word for it over your daughters, but I didnt play that card as its a very poor debate tactic.

    Have you any evidence of a low mileage belt being examined and stress tested next to a brand new one or are you just repeating hearsay?

    I do accept, the 'life' of the car does need to be taken into consideration somewhat, as I mentioned earlier, a car in Canada seeing out five winters, is going to be in a different condition than one thats spent its life in the South of France.

    I've never **** 400 quid up against a wall ( I literally have no idea what this means though), but I do like science.
     
  26. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Okay, lets look at it this way, we have two cars, both have 23K miles on the clock, one has a cambelt that's been in for 1 year, one has a cam belt that's been in for 5 years, again both have done 23K miles. (both cars in London)

    Both cam belts are going to be in the exact same condition??

    Because that's what your saying.

    If that's what you truly think, fine, I'm out of here lol
     
  27. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Having tested a new one against a 5 year 23k one, under scope and then a stress test, there were very minimal differences. Have you actually read this thread, this was explained earlier?

    So its not about 'thinking' it , its about relying on some basic scientific observations to support the hypothesis.

    But yes, good to go, this is a bit boring now!
     
  28. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Perhaps you care to upload supporting video evidence and documents to support these claims!

    You Obviously know more than the boffins at VAG so please enlighten them with your proof and supporting evidence!!

    Im sure they will change their stance straight away!! lol
     
  29. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Oh hang on, minimal differences, so enough not to take a risk and change it, or let’s risk it for another 5 years!! lol
     
  30. zac7654321

    zac7654321 Registered User

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    23k in 5 years? sell the car and get a taxi

    Sent from my SM-A530F using Tapatalk
     
  31. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Exactly!

    nice car sat their rotting away, oh of course not, nothing will perish!!!!

    Enough ********, I’m going to laugh somewhere else lol
     
  32. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    No, no interest in doing so really as I don't have anything like that, it was merely an observation for myself and the technicians at the time. These observations I cared to share with the forum, to give others an idea of the varying scenarios when there is huge discrepencies between manufacturers of life span of something like cambelts, where essentially the parts are made with the same/similar materials, and more often or not at the same factories.

    I did used to work in Marketing and have a Masters in Psychology so I do have a fair understanding of consumer manipulation techniques, which is probably what sparked my interest in this somewhat.

    I learned a long time ago to question everything especially when money is involved.
     
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  34. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    Quite expensive to do so, with disabled dependants, this wouldn't be practical. Plus living in London, journeys are always shorter, but guaranteed to be more comfortable than the bus :)
     
  35. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    Nothing to back up your claim!

    you couldn’t make it up.

    I was an engineer in the Royal Navy for 32 years, retirement two years ago from that job, I liked to carry out my engineering tacks with solid facts and protocols in mind.

    Enough now, seeing you have nothing to support your claims............
     
  36. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    You do seem very hostile and aggressive about such a simple nondescript thing?

    Your commentary over presenting facts and evidence, yet not supplying any yourself does make your argument fall down somewhat.

    As I've said before, this is merely discussion and offering observations to support personal hypothesis. Nothing more, nothing personal, nothing ground breaking really. Just conversation.

    The strangest thing is on nearly every post you make you claim you are (paraphrasing) going to go somewhere else now to do the things you do like laughing, ******* up walls etc, but yet come back, so it's all a bit confusing as to your motivation.
     
  37. Ormesome

    Ormesome Registered User

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    Photo attached showing the service schedule for my 2.0tdi Q2 with the 190bhp engine. Make of it what you will, argue endlessly that it’s right or wrong, do what you want, but I will be sticking to my belief that the U.K. car industry as a whole stipulates time frames that are only relevant to increasing profit for the company. There is NO other reason, not climate, not the way the British drive.....Before anyone replies, to this post, you really have to ask yourselves 1 question: Why are the timeframes different in the Uk than the EU? And I GUARANTEE your answer is = Ermmmmm

    Also, the question of "what if it goes bang" isnt really the question that is being asked.....

    1214E20A-2947-4B72-BF71-D6ABB958E945.jpeg
     
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  38. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    The point is, your claims you can’t back up with any solid evidence, but claim VAG are brain washing us, another claim you can’t back up!

    I would trust VAG any day than some unsupported claims and gossip on a forum!

    you were trying to say I was talking rubbish, then when challenged couldn’t back up your claim!

    im not hostile, I would just trust VAG more than what amounts to gossip on a forums!!

    Have a nice day!!
     
  39. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    and a repost of the A3 one from the Service Technicians manual

    A3 service sheet.png

    @Cornish John

    Some evidence supplied over the technician service schedules for the belts for the Q2 and A3 not stating a time frame, direct from VAG themselves. Not from the UK marketing department issued 'public' information (which seems to the one that states '5 years', and then that gets recycled on the internet repeatedly)

    Is this 'solid evidence' and trustworthy 'VAG' information? Merely curious.
     
  40. Cornish John

    Cornish John Guest

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    It’s different to the service booklet in my glove box in my car, I will take a picture of it once home after work.

    But it states, 133K miles or 5 years, which every occurs first.
     
  41. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    lol this is hard work.

    Yes all know what the UK literature states, i referenced this above as did @Ormesome , we all have the service book. Do you actually read the posts and threads before ranting with your overuse of exclamatory notation?

    I believe the info above is the service technicians global information, not the (probable ) ‘made up’ version Audi UKs marketing team give to their customers to increase aftersale profit.

    I really don't know how else to explain this to you as I genuinely feel you wont ever be able to get what is being said.
     
  42. Ormesome

    Ormesome Registered User

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    Old thread i created around 4yrs ago. Might stoke the argument a little:

    https://www.audi-sport.net/xf/threads/1-6tdi-cambelt-water-pump-intervals.339984/
     
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  43. Dubjam

    Dubjam Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    I think in those posts it really does show there was a marketing move at a certain time by Audi UK to ensure a profit stream is generated at a set point.

    The repeated thoughts of ‘five years’ is just quoting the UK literature and it generates this blind faith fear scenario in peoples minds, which I admitted earlier, I have and do still have somewhat!
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2020
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