Timing belt guarantees - Confiteor

I have an Audi 80 2.0E, registered in 1993.

It was fitted with a new timing belt at 113,283 miles in June 2003.

The car has been used fairly intermittently for the last couple of years.

My uncle borrowed it this summer, and the timing belt failed at 135,701 miles.

The belt only covered 22,000 miles but the time period was just over three years.

The guy who fitted it at 113K says I have no claim. He claims the guarantee period would only be a year.

Since belts are meant to be replaced every 60k miles, I find this claim of a one-year guarantee ludicrous, since very few people do such mileages in a year.

Luckily, there was no damage done to the engine, and a simple replacement of the belt was all that was needed. The bill came to £163.

Should I pursue this for a refund?
Timing belt guarantees - Dynamic Dave
Since belts are meant to be replaced every 60k miles, I find this claim of a one-year guarantee ludicrous, since very few people do such mileages in a year.

Does it state anywhere that the belt is guaranteed for 60,000 miles though?

On the rear of the invoices I get from my Vauxhall garage, it clearly states that parts are only covered for 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever comes soonest).

I imagine VW and other manufacturers have a similar 'get out clauses'.

Timing belt guarantees - L'escargot
The life of rubber items is bound to be age related as well as mileage related.
Timing belt guarantees - Simon
I don't think you will have much luck pursuing it for a refund, but you can always try if you like. Was it a genuine belt or a spurious one? Was it fitted by a main dealer, an independant or yourself? These factors will all make a difference to your 'claim'. It might have been down to incorrect fitting rather than it being a faulty belt and personally if it was me I would think myself lucky that it didn't do any other damage and the only cost was a replacement belt.
Timing belt guarantees - Confiteor
Thanks for all the replies.

Simon said: "Was it fitted by a main dealer, an independant or yourself? These factors will all make a difference to your 'claim'. It might have been down to incorrect fitting rather than it being a faulty belt ..."

It was fitted by an independent, but my thinking was that it would be HIM I would seek my refund from. He chose the brand and fitted the belt. I was thinking that if I could claim a refund from him, he could in turn claim from the manufacturer.

By coincidence, he has just done some work on my other car, and I owe him roughly what it cost to have the belt replaced. I was trying to gauge whether I really deserve a refund and, if so, whether I should withhold payment of the new bill until he agrees.

But if the balance of opinion is that I couldn't expect to receive a refund (which it seems to be), then I'll obviously pay up.

Timing belt guarantees - 659FBE
Was the tensioner wheel (and any idlers) changed at the same time? The failure must have been a slightly unusual one such as a loose idler bearing causing the belt to run adrift, otherwise the usual engine destruction would have followed.

I don't think it's at all fair to withhold payment on another job because of this. The failure may not be the fault of the independent, and he may have been poorly instructed (such as "change belt only"). It would be far better to keep the goodwill and find out what happened, especially as you have been so lucky to escape major damage.

Timing belt guarantees - Ruperts Trooper
There's no time link between length of guarantee and scheduled life of a component.

It's unreasonable to expect a guarantee to last 4 years or 60,000 miles. Most new cars don't get guarantees that good. Those that do exclude wear and tear.

If your independent garage gave 12 months guarantee at the time, that's all you can reasonably expect.

If you withhold payment for work on another car, the garage are entitled to retain that car PLUS storage charges until you pay for it.
Timing belt guarantees - Glaikit Wee Scunner {P}
I'd be very grateful that the bill was only £163, rather than having to pay for a new engine.
I doubt if a guarantee on the belt could be held to cover anything other than the belt. One year seems generous to me.
I wasna fu but just had plenty.
Timing belt guarantees - nortones2
I think the issue of guarantee is irrelevant here: its the expectation of a reasonable service life if the component was faulty. If the installation was incorrect, the workmanship. Re a reasonable component life: the replacement belt, if a genuine part, should last for the same time as the Audi belts are expected to. If the part was a pattern part, did the installer give advice on replacement interval? These issues are covered under consumer protection law, already cited recently. Suggest if OP wants to pursue this , he gets legal advice, but first determines why the belt failed. It may not be worth it unless you are really aggrieved.
Timing belt guarantees - bell boy
i agree lets go for a hanging.........
disgraceful garage Behavior.............
31/2 years and the belts gone.............disgusted of GB :-(
Timing belt guarantees - yorkiebar
Would you take a pair of shoes back after 3+ years and say the laces have broken I want a new pair ?

Would you take half used tin of paint back after 3 + years and complain because the colour on the wall has faded?

If no to above why can a car part be any different? What conditions were the car used in? Were all parts replaced as required? Could oil or water (including atmosphere0 get to the belt etc.

No body would even entertain a claim for this be it afternarket, main dealer or the guy you spend thousands of punds with. It lasted for the amount of time it was guaranteed for! The guarantee is against faulty workmanship or materials, not short life span.

If you even attempted to hold back payment if you were my customer I wouldnt even quote you for any future work, sorry. Give your mechanic a break and pay up.

If you have any real problem just ask him never to fit that make of part to your vehicles again !

No offence intended !
Timing belt guarantees - Confiteor
For the useful replies, let me say thanks. You have cleared up any confusion.

I think only nortones2 addressed my disquiet at a part carrying a recommended replacement interval of 4 or 5 years and 50k or so miles, and yet only being guaranteed for a year --- and even then with all the get-outs of bad fitting, other faults etc etc etc. When the failure of this part has the potential to ruin an entire engine, the owner would really have to have the belt replaced EVERY year to be protected. I think that is nonsense.

< snip >

And, following the same logic, if the makers of timing belts cannot guarantee they will last more than a year, I don't understand why that fact is then muddied with recommended replacement intervals of 4 or 5 years and 50k or so miles.


Edited. Wondering why? www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/post/index.htm?f=2&t=46...3 PG

Timing belt guarantees - bell boy
Timing belt guarantees - jc2
I would never take a belt change to an indepedent no matter how good they are supposed to be.At least a main dealer has the proper tensioning equipment available(whether he chooses to use it or not).At an independent you're likely to get it set to whatever the fitter(or apprentice)thinks will work or in some cases not.
Timing belt guarantees - LeePower
Dont worry about it oldman, let him get on with it.

No chance of a refund & he would be laughed out of court anyway, wants a refund on work done over 3 years ago that came with 12 months warranty & was fine throughout that warranty period.

If the belt had failed in the 12 month warranty period then the independent would have had to repair it, but over 3 years since it was done & your moaning about a bill for less then £200 for a new belt because of a failure.

Even car manufactures dont give warranties on brand new cars longer then 3 years (hyundai excepted) & you expect an independent to cover a failed timing belt that he replaced over 3 years ago?

Could have been a lot worse, Your lucky no other damage was done.
Timing belt guarantees - Micky
">Should I pursue this for a refund?<"

Timing belt guarantees - cheddar
>>Since belts are meant to be replaced every 60k miles, I find this claim of a one-year guarantee ludicrous, since very few people do such mileages in a year.>

Belts are supposed to be changed every 40k miles on VAG cars IIRC. Otherwise they have a time limit as well as a mileage limit, i.e. 50k miles or 5 years on my wife's Clio. Perhaps your man only replaced the belt on and not pulleys/ tentioner, perhaps he should have advised that these should be done with the belt, perhaps he did advise and you and you dont recall as such because it was over three years ago, perhaps ........

The key point is that the recommended change limit is not the same as the warranty period for the work done.

Timing belt guarantees - yorkiebar
Spot on cheddar !

But you are more likely to get an apprentice on your car at a main dealer than an independant ! JC

Old man i still like you !
Timing belt guarantees - jc2
I agree but then he is more likely to use the proper equipment than rely on "experience".
Timing belt guarantees - mss1tw
oldman is one of my favourite members. This guy is just trolling, ignore him.
Timing belt guarantees - yorkiebar
93 car 135k miles £ 200 repair and still not happy though and considering holding money back !

Trades favourite sort of customer !
Timing belt guarantees - Confiteor
So, yorkiebar, what is the trade's favourite sort of customer? The one who pays up, no questions asked?

I'll leave you all to your mutual appreciation society. But, please, read my post timed at 10.52 one more time and ask yourself if I was really being so unreasonable? The tone of this thread only changed when 'oldman' got involved.

I posted an identical question on another board and the issue was discussed and sorted out without any problems.

I understood oldman's comment to be tongue in cheek, and all other replies have been entirely reasonable. You asked for opinions and that's what you got. Just because they weren't all what you wanted to hear, there is no need to get personal or offensive. A balanced view has been presented so to avoid further upset I've locked the thread. smokie, BR Moderator

Timing belt guarantees - LeePower
You had the timing belt replaced.

The person who did the job put a 12 month guarantee on the work / parts fitted.

This work & the parts they fitted worked fine for the 12 month guarantee period & carried on for another 2 & a bit years on top of that.

Timing belt has now failed at over 3 years since it was replaced & hasn't done any damage, you have been very lucky it didn't bend any valves.

Your now talking about withholding payment for a job done on another car, They are within there rights to not release your car back to you & also charge you for storage.

You would be laughed out of any court in the land.

oldman has been in the trade a very long time, he has been there, done that, got the t-shirt to prove it. So you didn't like oldmans humour but at the end of the day he does speak a lot of sense.

Ask Honest John

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