If I refer to my Skoda Fabia Service schedule (service book - 2003 edition)
"QG0 (standard fixed interval servicing) In addition every 150,00km (100,000 miles) * Toothed belt and guide pulley for camshaft replaced (diesel engines except ATD petrol engine)"
Refering to the official Skoda Inspection serve checksheet I have for my Fabia
"Toothed belt change interval Fabia
1.9 litre and 1.4 litre PD diesel engines up to 07.03 60,000 miles
1.9 litre and 1.4 litre PD diesel engines from 08.03 80,000 miles
1.9 litre naturally aspirated diesel engines 80,000 miles"
IIRC a service schedule published somewhere on the Skoda website (under business running costs) refers to "Inspect the belt and pulley condition...." at 60,000 miles
VAG have much conflicting information around regarding cambelt change intervals.
VAG have revised their cambelt replacement schedules to 40,000 or 4 years whichever is sooner. Make sure all tensioners are changed as well, its also a good idea to change the water pump at the same time.
"VAG" haven't revised their cambelt change recommendations - VAG UK have. As far as I can see, they have declared unilaterally that there is a 4 year (+ mileage) limit for cambelts. There is no proper paperwork to support this - all of the printed literature with the vehicle refers to VAG D recommendations. The cambelt change information I have from the Milton Keynes brigade is on scrappy bits of paper, "typewritten".
I believe this to be a VAG UK scam. There is no parallel recommendation anywhere else in the world as far as I can establish. It's a neat trick - it doesn't detract from fleet sales and brings valuable dealer revenue from worried private owners with a newish car which they still want to "cherish". (If I cherished mine, the last place I'd take it would be to a VAG dealer).
The PD engine places a substantial load in the belt, which is dimensioned to suit and is of reputable manufacture with a metal tensioner wheel. My AWX diesel will get its first new cambelt when it is 5 years old. The OE water pumps with plastic impellers are rubbish so a metal one will be fitted at the same time.
I was confused with the conflicting information on this two years ago with my Fabia vRS at 40,000 miles but only 18 months old. I rang the very helpful (clearly not VAG trained) people at Skoda UK Customer Services. They asked for my reg and chassis number and came back with "5 years or 57,500 miles." I figured if this was the information they held on my car that was what I should stick to. That may have now changed but worth a phone call to the horse's mouth I'd have thought
I fully understand what you are saying and totally agree with you. But VW now state it is 40,000 miles or 4 years (On my Passat 130 TDI) what ever is first. Is it worth the chance to let the cambelt go to 5 years. Surely it is safer to spend £300 than £2000 on a new engine if the cambelt goes.
At present my Passat is on 37000 miles and is 4 years old at the end of November. It goes into the garage in a couple of weeks to get the cambelt and water pump replaced. I will let you know the condition of the parts.
Not sure about that. On the tensioner I have in my hand, it looks easy to release. You could always just remove the bolt (after making sure the belt is secured and wont jump a tooth).
In the past, there was "Inspect the condition of the cambelt and tensioner and replace if necessary" on the Skoda business maintenance plan.
The fact that you need to remove the engine mount (and support the engine) to remove the cam cover is a major pain in the backside. How stupid.
The other thing to consider is the "implied warranty", of a recommended service interval. If the thing was to fail within the recommended interval you have a good chance of claiming against the manufacturer.
I wonder how that Volvo owner is getting along with his claim?
On the N-S installations of the PD diesel (Passat) there is no conflict with the engine mounting bracket, but you have to pull the front panel of the vehicle forward. Not difficult, but tedious.
I wouldn't change a tensioner independently of the belt - there's another small idler on the PD engines too. The OE tensioner looks like plastic but it's black enamelled steel - I stuck a magnet to it.
The "9 year" timing belt referred to earlier would be pre-PD - a totally different set up.
I would be interested to hear of the condition of the parts removed from the 4 year old engine. Visual inspections are of limited use but gross defects will show. I ran the engine with the covers off and used a stethescope on the idler bearings - no undue noise over the general racket.
Thanks for your support I decided that change was the best option as I have
decided to run the car for a few more years. We rely on it as I live in
Rural area with M5 Ihr 20m away. ( Nearest Motorway).
Job done by local garage with brake fluid change £222.00 VW parts
Quote from Skoda dealer £345
I have a 2004 Fabia fitted with a 100bhp (74kW) BBZ engine which follows the QG0 service schedule. This is the 16v DOHC petrol unit. My dealler recommended that I should change the belt at 40,000 hours or 4 years. My manual states 80,000 miles, and my Haynes manual states 60,000 miles, without any time limit. I called Skoda U.K and they could not offer any official service bulletin, and could not explain technically why the expected service life of the belt had been halfed, and a time limit put on its life either. Skoda U.K said that the dealler network had access via their internet portal to skoda service information that Skoda U.K were not prevy too. Does anyone know who is the technical authority on these engines, and who has issued this life reduction? I will have the belt changed if it is at risk of failure, but I'm relucatnt to if this recommednation is just a money making ploy by Skoda service sales based on little evidence of actual failures. I would welcome any useful comments people have.
This sort of thing makes me hate all importers and dealers!
But being pragmatic about it, the car is 5years old. How long are you thinking of keeping it? If a change would fall within your period of ownership anyway, then it doesn't make a lot of difference when you get it done.
It only becomes an issue if you get forced in to an un-neccessary change, or perhaps a second one.
My feelings with regard to VAG UK's recommendations, which are not matched anywhere else in the world to my knowledge are stated above - it's a scam.
called Skoda U.K and they could not offer any official service bulletin and could not
explain technically why the expected service life of the belt had been halfed and a
time limit put on its life either. Skoda U.K said that the dealler network had
access via their internet portal to skoda service information that Skoda U.K were not prevy
Well done - you've rumbled them - did you ever hear such unlikely utter rubbish?
Speaking completely generally I would recommend that a DOHC engine with both cams belt driven (which gives unfavourable belt wrap angles and tempts makers to use belt wheels which are too small) should have a full belt kit fitted after 50k miles or 5 years. This is playing pretty safe, unless your particular engine is a known belt-smasher.
Factor your belt change interval according to the anticipated total mileage within your period of ownership. An early belt change may not result in any more cost to you and will slightly lower the risk factor. If your engine has a belt driven water pump, change that too. I'm not familiar with the VAG petrol engines, only the diesels.
i know i am going slightly off topic manufacturer wise but how can skoda(vw) only get a belt that has a supposed life of 40,000 or 4 years, when ford recommend 10 years or 100.000 mls on there zetec engines , i had mine done (73k 10 years) including tensioners in February along with a new alternator belt £110 all in , so if one can do it why cant all manufacturers, must be a german thing , are bmw not very similar on there belt schedules as someone wrote earlier easy money from the motorist
I asked several times regarding my 05GolfTDi - each time, the answer back was "computer says 80k" so that was when the belt and tensioner was changed. The '40k/4years' was explained as being general advice when specific recommendation was not available...