Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - grn
I'm sure there was a thread on this by HJ some time ago.
However, just to let HJ and others know that we have had a letter from our Skoda dealer announcing a change to cambelt intervals - now every four years, regardless of mileage.

This follows advise from VAG based on customer feedback and consultation.

As an aside, does anyone know what the cost of this should be, as we are being quoted a "discounted rate" of £185 inc pars,labour and VAT for a diesel Felicia 03 plate, and not due until April 07 by rights. I'm tempted to wait until it reaches 4 yrs.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - alan kearn
Baffles me this change at four years regardless of mileage. I know age is a factor but surely stress is also a factor especially on high mileage/four year old cars. Which cambelt would you back your life on, one that has done 4 years/40 thousand miles, "the recommended change time" or 4 years/10 thousand miles. My Polo 1.4 tdi pd comes under the latter of these two comparisons and I intend having it changed because I am frightened of the consequences if it goes kaput, but at the same time I cannot believe it will not be in far better condition than a belt that has done 4 times the mileage.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - Roly93
Baffles me this change at four years regardless of mileage. I
know age is a factor but surely stress is also a
factor especially on high mileage/four year old cars. Which cambelt would
you back your life on, one that has done 4 years/40
thousand miles, "the recommended change time" or 4 years/10 thousand miles.

I can see the rationale in the 4 year time limit, as its not all about mileage when it comes to cam belt wear and tear. If a car has done relatively little mileage in the period, this means that the driving pattern has been mostly stop-start driving, where the cam belt is being constantly slowed down and accelarated, this coupled with the natural ageing due to heat cycles etc, may mean that a 20,000 mile cam belt is as 'degraded' as a 40,000 mile cam belt on a car used for mainly motorway cruising at fairly constant speed.
VaG have to cover themselves a bit by stipulating a 4 year time window, after all, sadly I dont know a lot of people now that do less than 12,000 miles a year.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - mike hannon
I don't think anything VAG says will provide peace of mind for owners any more.
My friend in the trade changed the belt on his girlfriend's Golf well within recommendations because he was aware of the problem. But the new one broke anyway within a few thousand miles, with the usual consequences.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - grn
Our Fabia certainly comes under the more frequent journey category, albeit we try to avoid really short runs, but some journeys will be only 3->5 miles; we also try to take it on longer runs (50+ miles)to compensate.

I recall my wife's old Mk3 Escort cambelt failing many years ago, when pulling away at a junction - expensive repair; so the fear factor is now transferred to the customer it seems, especially as the warranty is only 3 years. The letter says this change is based on feedback etc, so must assume others have had the belts go at very early stages in their lives (<5 yrs maybe?).

Oh, and the price I mis-read too, it is £225, the felicia is £185. So what the price before discount is, I have no idea.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - Roly93
Since the mid-eighties I have probably driven about 400K miles in cars with cam belts, Cavaliers, Escorts, numerous VW's & Audi's and have never had a cam-belt problem. Ithink a lot of the people who do have cam belts seemingly break before time, is possibly due to 'clocking' ie they are unaware of the 'real' mileage a car may have done.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - 659FBE
VW Group have mismanaged their engine design to such an extent that this blanket change recommendation is the only safe course of action. In the "good old days" of VW engines, there were no PD diesels, all idler and tensioner wheels were metal, the water pump was separately driven and the crank wheel had 22 teeth. The consequence of all this was that the drive was well engineered with low stresses and a large safety factor and failures within the recommended change interval were rare.

Now, due to cost cutting, many petrol engines have plastic faced idler wheels which break up and some engines have a shared drive to the water pump. A seal failure here can write off an engine.

The diesels now all have unit injectors (System PD) which imposes a considerable shock load on the belt - fine for a commercial vehicle engine with a geared drive, but unwise and probably unreasonable for a belt drive. Despite the best efforts of Continental and other makers to improve their belts, this is probably a step too far.

If any belt fails shortly after being renewed, the fitting procedure has been incorrect or the engine has not been checked for other defects.

659.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - alan kearn
In reply to roly93:-

Sorry the comments in your post do not apply

My car is used on average twice a week on semi rural roads I live on the outskirts of Sheffield and it has never seen the centre of this city or any other consequently no regular stop/starting.

As an after thought,
I bought this car new so I am a customer that VW will not have lost track of. As such you would have thought they would have sent me a letter warning me that the age/mileage change recommendations had been lowered from 60,000/6years to 40,000/4years (they have recently sent me a letter to say my car is due a brake fluid change but no mention of cambelt). As far as I know there has been no public warnings about this change and I would like to bet that the majority of VW Group TDI PD owners don't know of it. Some could be in for a a very expensive repair shock.
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - Dr Rubber
My VW dealer is sticking to 4 years or 40k, which ever is sooner. In my case it will be 40k, probably around the time of its first MOT.

I can't see many business drivers sticking to 40k changes though. Some of the VW diesel rep-mobiles at work cover in excess of 80k in two years!

Joe
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - JohnM{P}
The 3 VW dealers I have spoken with have said that the change is to impose a 4 year maximum - the mileage limit remains the same. In the previous thread started by HJ, mention was made of another forum where a member of the VW diesel development team (Sean, for those BR's with memories) confirmed that the recommendation had been changed, though wasn't very specific. I looked last night at the other forum thread again and see that Sean has made a later posting saying that it was 4 years or mileage dependant on the engine code.

The dealers have all confirmed my Golf V 105TDi's belt should be changed at 80k - the car's done 39k+ at the moment so that should be reached in the next 15months...
Cambelt change announcement from Skoda - Dr Rubber
Thats the same lump as my Touran, except my dealer says 4yrs/40k! I wonder if VW UK can be any more specific.

 

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