Does my cambelt need changing before the service schedule suggests?

My Audi Q3 diesel is 5 years old and has covered 46,000 miles. The dealer says it needs a new belt and water pump for £1300, but according to my service schedule, it isn’t due yet. I’ve had a mechanic look at the belt and he said it’s in perfect condition and he wouldn’t personally replace it till it’s covered 75,000 miles or 10 years — whichever comes first. The dealer say they prefer to err on the side of caution! What do you recommend? Are they just scaremongering in order to get me to spend my money when it’s not necessary or should I have it done (albeit at a recommended garage, not Audi). Thanks in advance for your advice.

Asked on 30 July 2021 by Peter Graham

Answered by Dan Powell
Your local Audi dealer is giving you good advice. The service schedule may claim 220,000k but the cam belt, tensioner, pulley and water pump are not guaranteed to last that distance. This means you will be responsible for the costs of a replacement engine, should the belt fail. Most cam belt failures we hear about occur after five years and/or 60,000 miles. I would recommend getting it changed now. If you do not want to pay dealer prices then use an independent Audi specialist - the costs will be much lower and the quality of the work will be just as good as the Audi centre.
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