Volkswagen Polo (2005 – 2009) At A Glance
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What is a timing belt failure?
My 2006 Volkswagen Polo has done around 65,000 miles and is regularly serviced. While doing a long journey, the emission control warning light illuminated. Shortly afterwards the engine cut out and I managed to make it to a layby. Roadside assistance suspected a faulty coil, but back at the garage they quickly diagnosed a timing issue that has ruined the engine. I know very little about cars, so what does this really mean? They also said scrap value is minimal these days. I’ve gone from having what I thought was a healthy vehicle to suddenly having to rent a car home and kiss my Polo goodbye. They are a large company, so I don’t think they are attempting to swindle me. They are, however, extremely busy due to recent snow conditions so I wonder if that’s why they don’t seem interested in doing anything further to my car. I’m unable to take to my local guy because I’m so far from home, so need to act quickly but don’t really have many options.
The timing belt controls the valve timing and if it has failed, valves will have hit pistons and the engine will probably have self-destructed. I guess it's possible that it tore apart slowly, so firstly the timing went out (explaining the emissions light), then, when it snapped, the engine died completely. On these engines the timing belts, tensioners, waterpumps and alternator belts need replacing every five years or 60,000 miles - whichever comes first if such disasters are to be averted.
Can I sue a garage for giving bad advice?
My son has has numerous warning lights appear on the dashboard of his 2012 Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI. He immediately took it to a local garage and was told it needed a new part. They assured him the car was fine to drive until the part was delivered; but 10 days later the car broke down with timing chain failure.
As a gesture of goodwill the garage has agreed to waive labour charges, but my son still has to buy a replacement engine at a cost of over £1200. We believe that the garage are responsible as they gave bad advice to keep driving car. Do you have any advice please and do we have any legal possibilities to recoup money?
Unfortunately, if no money changed hands for the bad advice given by the garage there was not contract and nothing to sue for. But if the car was originally bought from that garage, then you may have a case that the car was "not of satisfactory standard". Timing chain failure in VAG 1.2, 1.4. 1.8 and 2.0 TSI engines are commonplace because of the varying quality of the links in the chains. See: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights/
Should I keep or sell my old Polo?
I have had my 2008 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 TDI since new. It has covered 37,000 miles and hasn’t given me any major problems. I am wondering if I should keep it or sell before it starts to give me any costly repairs? What replacement small car would you recommend?
That's quite a good deal: £7500 for the new car and a good p/x allowance for your Polo: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/used-prices/Volkswagen/Polo/2008/?q=1.4+TDi/
oil pump chain snapped and engine ruined
2008 plate 1.4TDI with 64k on clock and always serviced by VW from new. The chain has snapped and main crankshaft bearing cylinder scored. Estimated repairs are a new engine £3500 plus. Is this chain a problem that VW already know about in this model and can I insist VW contribute as cost more than car value
No, unfortunately, because the car is more than 6 years old. Just more crap VAG engineering. It is a known problem.