Renault Laguna TimingBelt/Steering Probs - aliasojo
Hi All

First post here so bear with me please. We have a Renault Laguna dti estate which had to be towed home by the AA the other day. Turns out the timing belt had gone, but after some serious discussion with Renault and the Renault garage involved, it was agreed that Renault would cover the cost of replacement since the garage had put on a new belt during servicing 2 years ago. We're still waiting to hear if there's any other damage caused to the engine by the belt going, but I'm assuming Renault would cover that too since it stems from the belt???

Our problem though, is that a problem developed with the power steering too. Steering was fine until car stopped when the belt went, but it couldn't be steered during tow home and fluid leaked from car thereafter. Garage says two hoses have gone and it's going to cost £400 for repair bill, as this problem has nothing to do with belt failure.

Can anyone advise if this is correct? Could the tow home by the AA have caused the problem? Or is it 'just one of those things' and we should be happy that that is all we're having to cough up? Needless to say we don't know a great deal about cars so if anyone could shed some light I'd be grateful.

Thanks in advance. :-)
Renault Laguna TimingBelt/Steering Probs - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
Was the vehicle towed on a rigid bar or suspended from a spectacle lift with the front wheels off the ground? If it were towed I would say it is not inconceivable that damage may have arisen as a result. I would get the AA involved as much as to look after your interests as theirs.If there is an issue towing these cars they would surely want to know to issue a directive to their patrols.

Simplicate and add lightness!!
Renault Laguna TimingBelt/Steering Probs - RichardW
Yes, it seems too much of a conincidence that the two are not connected. But, what you do mean by "could not be steered"?

I wonder if the sequence of events might be slightly different - PAS pump seizes, wrecking aux belt which then finds its way inside the timing covers and rips off the timing belt. Car is now towed with the steering working against the seized pump and hey presto 2 burst hoses.

Hope you get to the bottom of it - and let us know the outcome!


Is it illogical? It must be Citroen....
Renault Laguna TimingBelt/Steering Probs - Altea Ego
Richards explanation sounds plausible to me. Dont think however Renault will pay for the power steering fixes if this is the case, as the act of recovery caused it.
Renault Laguna TimingBelt/Steering Probs - aliasojo
Thanks to those who replied.

Just to clarify; the car was towed by a rigid bar with all wheels on the ground. When I said it couldn't be steered, it would have been more accurate to say that the POWER steering aspect seemed to have gone and the steering felt heavy and unresponsive immediately the car started to be towed. (The steering seemed normal previously, the first we knew of ANY problem was when the car coasted to a halt when it conked out.)

We still haven't heard from the garage yet with a definitive answer as to what damage has been done, but as soon as we hear something I'll post an update. Thanks again for advice.
Renault Laguna TimingBelt/Steering Probs - Aprilia
Can't quite understand what is going on here.

If the engine is not running then there will be no power-assistance - hence the steering will be very heavy. Towing the car will have no effect on the power steering system - there is no way for energy from the road wheels to feed its way back into the PAS system.

Since I assume that the engine has not been run since the timing belt snapped then it must be assumed that any burst hoses and leaks with the PAS system were present *before* the belt snapped and not consequential damage from the belt snapping. So it could be a completely separate and pre-existing problem and the garage could be correct in what they say. £400 would be expensive for leaking hoses - I would think they are talking about a new hydraulic pump for that sort of money.
Renault Laguna TimingBelt/Steering Probs - aliasojo
Hi folks, update time.

Finally got our car back from garage last night. Renault covered the cost (well over £1000) of the timing belt repair as the belt was deemed to 'have failed prematurely'. Apparently the back of the belt can be examined for signs of stress/damage etc but there was nothing on our belt to indicate what had caused it to go. Valve damage had occurred to the engine so a fair bit of work was needed and we had to wait for parts to arrive which is why it took so long.

After examining car, the garage insist the power steering problem was not connected in any way to the timing belt problem and they reckon it's possible it has been building up slowly as the aluminium pipes were corroding and that it was sheer bad luck that it went at the same time. They also say that towing could not have had any effect on the problem as the pipes are covered by some sort of plastic 'tray' which would have acted as a barrier between the pipes and anything external.

(I have to say that the car feels better to drive now, so it may well be that the problem has been pre-existing and slowly building?)

We still had to cough up £400 (Renault prices) for the repairs but at least it's a lot less than the total cost that was needed to get the car back on the road.

Thanks again for eveyone's input.

Value my car