Re: Pumping up the price - I was advised at my first service (Golf 1.6TDI, Oct 2011, bought January 2013), that the Timing Belt, Waterpump etc should be changed at 5 years without fail. This was done on 30/09/16, at 57,000 miles and inspection of the old belt revealed thin cracks developing. As previously mentioned by HJ, the Alternator Belt should be changed at the same time, which I had done. The work was carried out by a reputable non VW Garage, and since I've passed the 5 year mark my local VW Garage has been reminding me several times now to have the work done, and offering to discount the job because the service I had carried out was not by an official VW garage and therefore not on their VW computer system. (Despite me telling my VW Garage when it has been done)

Anyhow, don't cheapskate on the Timing Belt, get it done on time with the Alternator Belt at 5 years.

I've also declined the "Emissions Fix" which VW has told me is voluntary.


- glidermania
Two points; I had the cambelt changed three times on my wife's Zafira at the recommended intervals. Never had the water pump replaced each time and never had an issue with overheating or failed water pump. Car was sold at age 14.

Secondly, when I recently sold my Z4 auto, I told the guy to teach his partner how to left foot brake especially when parking or reversing. It is amazing the number of people who claim their automatic suddenly accelerated. I was saddened that the old lady who killed someone in similar circumstances was able to con the jury it was the car's fault even though the manufacturer found no fault with the vehicle.
- saluja
Ref Is my driving style to blame for damaged brake pads and discs? This senior driver has concerns about brakes and asks if his driving style might be relevant. HJ suggests hard braking in mornings to scrub of rust. Driver then says he goes down through the gears to slow down, as he was taught 40 years ago. But no response about this ancient slowing down technique - unnecessary, potentially unsafe (engine braking is only via driven wheels, normally just front or rear two wheels - as opposed to using brakes, acting on all four wheels and designed to slow the car down) and effective in wearing out the clutch. This method has not been taught in decades and I'd suggest joining RoSPA or IAM local group, or any ADI to get driving up to date. Improve skills and confidence, be safer.
- karenannanina
I reckon the advice to drivers of automatics to brake with the right foot relates to the possibility of also driving manual cars. If you sometimes have to drive a manual, the mental confusion and consequences of trying to brake with the left foot can be extremely disturbing!

Another point is that with some electric cars, if you're a left-foot-braking devotee and you're manoeuvering in a car park and happen to press the accelerator and brake at the same time, the car can go into a kind of "panic" mode and will then refuse to move for a few minutes. This can be highly embarrasing, even if not dangerous!

Ask Honest John

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