fiat brava timing belt tensioner - fiat brava sucks
I took my fiat brava 1.4s (P Reg) to the local fiat "specialist" for a replacement timing belt this October. The recomended replacement interval is 72000 miles, I'd reached 75000 miles - so more or less on time.

2000 Miles and less than three months later the timing belt tensioner has shattered! As you might expect there's lots of damage - pistons, valves etc.

When I took the timing belt cover off it was clear that the tensioner wheel was the original. I didn't explicitly request replacement of the tensioner wheel, but to me it would seem common sense to replace both timing belt and tensioner together.

My instinct is that the repair shop failed to carry out the timing belt replacement with reasonable care and skill. The garage disagrees and doesn't accept responsibility. I would be greatful on any opinions on the garage's stance on this one.
fiat brava timing belt tensioner - M.M
These are a known issue on these engines and it is a miracle it lasted to 75K. I would have refused to do the timing belt job unless you allowed me to fit a new tensioner at the same time.

Amazingly even with a new tensioner they can fail in another 20K or so.

Do a search on this site using the Forum Search to the top right, not the Site Search above, we've talked about this loads over the years.

fiat brava timing belt tensioner - peteH
Any idea of how much it should cost to change the timing belt AND tensioner on a 1998 Fiat Brava SX1.4?

fiat brava timing belt tensioner - teabelly
The interval for timing belt and tensioner changes has been changed to 36k not 72k. But it is strongly recommended that the tensioner is changed at the same time. If your original belt and tensioner lasted to 75k then you have been damn lucky!

How did you know the tensioner was the original? Have a word with your local trading standards and see where you stand legally. I would imagine that you should be able to write to them and say you are holding them responsible as according to the service schedules the tensioner must be replaced with the belt. This wasn't done so the tensioner shattered and caused the damage. Had they replaced the tensioner then it wouldn't have occurred or if it did the new tensioner was faulty so it would be covered by Fiat.

There is also the possibility that they tensioned the belt incorrectly and too tightly thus over stressing the tensioner. They may be disclaiming responsibility as you disassembled things yourself rather than taking the car straight back to them as it was. I think because of this you are going to have a tougher time with proving that it was their fault. They could argue that you had the belt changed then damaged the tensioner on purpose so you could get a new engine out of them. I think an independent inspection is the best way forward. If that categorically states that the tensioner failed due to age/ misfitment of the belt then take that to them and see whether they change their mind about accepting responsibility.
fiat brava timing belt tensioner - Adam Going (Tune-Up)
I must say I was not aware that the interval had been changed, but certainly knew there have been tensioner problems on these, and agree that anyone asked to carry out this work should at least have discussed tensioner replacement with you beforehand.

If you get to the stage where you need an expert engineer / witness report, speak to Douglas Wragg on 01444 811349. He is based in Haywards Heath, W Sussex, UK, but if too far away to help he may be able to recommend someone closer to you.

Regards, Adam.
Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble.
fiat brava timing belt tensioner - DL
......Another reason to avoid Fiat Bravas...........
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