Focus TDI Cambelt - simonjc
Can anyone please tell me how often should this be changed? I read the handbook as saying 40K miles whilst my Ford dealer who has just done the service tells me its 100k miles or 10 years on all Focus's.

Focus TDI Cambelt - mutley
I assume you have a TDi not a TDCi
I raised the same question with County Garages of Monmouth given as you say the handbook (and HJ) say 40K.
The answer was that the TDi has a chain and is therefore good for 100k plus.
I have however not checked with the Ford technical help line which was 0845 8411111 and normally very helpful.
Hope this helps.
Focus TDI Cambelt - Chas{P}

Your dealer is right - 100,000 Miles or 10 Years is the official Ford interval.

However from bitter recent experience with a Vauxhall Ecotec I would consider 40,000 or 4 years a sensible insurance against being walloped by a £1000 bill.

Hope this helps

Focus TDI Cambelt - tac
your ford dealer is corect it is 100k or 10years which ever comes first . it does not need to be changed at 36000 or 40000k .
Focus TDI Cambelt - David Lacey
.....Just to keep the fleet managers happy......
Focus TDI Cambelt - Andrew Moorey (Tune-Up)
Spot on David!!!!

Simplicate and add lightness!
Focus TDI Cambelt - eMBe {P}
DL said: >> .....Just to keep the fleet managers happy.....>>

DL: can you plese explain how the logic behind your conspiracy theory works.
For that purpose, assume that a fleet manager has on average 100 Fords in his fleet, for a period of 3 years; and he/she has a duty to provide a replacement car while any car is off the road for service or repairs.

I have personal knowledge of 4 companies with a total of 600 cars between them, the high mileage 100k+ miles petrol/diesel cars being in the main AudiA4, Laguna, Mondeo, Passat, and Vectra. There has never been a single cambelt failure in any of them.

To me it would seem that the long intervals between service are a problem only for the self-interest of garages that lose maintenance work in the 3 years that a car is in the fleet.

On the other hand, if these long intervals are causing damage to engines after 3years and 100k miles when the car has been got rid of by the fleet manager, it proves:
1. the fleet manager and the manufacturer got the services right;
2. the 2nd hand buyer who buys fleet-cars should beware, and get the engine fully serviced;
3. this policy provides more work for garages after 3 years, and so should make ROB(rip-off-britain) mechanics happy.

No manufacturer would dare to have its reputation ruined by making unsound engineering recommendations.
eM.Be. # Note: {P} means I am DECLARING that my profile can be viewed.
Focus TDI Cambelt - DavidHM

1. Fleet cars that do 100k in three years generally have an easy life for the mileage with little town driving at high revs. On a fleet, you could probably get away with 100k miles much more easily than you could for a town bound car. Even if you can't, what might be cheapest on a 100 car fleet is not necessarily the right risk profile for someone who can afford a single £150 belt change much more easily than a £2k new engine.

2. Vauxhall did give unsound engineering recommendations on exactly this point.

They had to reduce the belt change interval from 80k to 40k on ECOTEC engines ca. 1995-98. I wouldn't say their repuation has been ruined; although they produce very dull cars without a great reputation for quality among those that know, plenty of people (especially fleets) still buy them. Something like 92% of Vectras go to fleets, compared to 'only' 75% of Mondeos.
Focus TDI Cambelt - pmh

Maybe not intentionally, but history is littered with apparently unsound engineering decisions. There seem to plenty in the automobile engineering field, possibly because of commercial pressures.

Sure, we could all have super reliable and safe products but at what price? Engineering decisions (even in the Nuclear industry) have to be a compromise, and failures will (and do) occur.

pmh (was peter)
Focus TDI Cambelt - eMBe {P}
David HM and pmh : Thanks for helping prove my point. I know from personal experience that in the Nuclear Industry, extra care is built in via carefully engineered redundancy and extra quality assurance, and yet failures can/do ooccur.

As for DHM's point 2, it also goes to show "the exception proves the rule".

Rather than the old chestnut of conspiracy theories, I would like to see a reasoned thesis as to why a manufacturer and/or fleet manager would knowingly recommend extra-long service intervals for cam-belts if they know that these are going to fail prior to the specified change interval. Remember, there is such a thing as cost-benefit analysis.
eM.Be. # Note: i have added {P} after my name to indicate that my profile can be viewed.
Focus TDI Cambelt - DavidHM
As you say, it's cost/benefit analysis.

What works for the manufacturer (lower apparent TCO = more sales) may not work especially well for the workshop (an unreliable heap with no warranty = £££) or the private customer (if they're one of the unlucky ones where there is a failure).

The fleet manager will go for the lowest TCO, espeically when there is a full maintenance package and someone else is taking all the risk. By the time problems become apparent you are two or three years down the line and the model is established in the fleets.

Also, if you have 100+ cars on the books, I'm sure you're going to get much better customer service than an individual driver. So, you want an out of warranty contribution and a courtesy car? No problem if you're a fleet, doubly so if the fleet is leased as you have a contract with the lease company, maintenance or not.

An individual is more concerned not with the lowest average cost, but always being able to afford to keep the car going and their life as normal. If a belt fails, it's several days without a car (rental?), a tow, and major engine work usually costing four figures. They may get their gratuitous contribution from the manufacturer - they should - but it may involve fighting for it and most people wouldn't know they were entitled to it (like the guy who was considering paying for the new engine on the Civic he'd had three days).

On a fleet, I'd leave the belts in until the mechanic said to do them, because of the disruption caused to business by communicating this to the drivers, the inability to check if the work has been done, the ability to get things moving if things go wrong and the balancing effect of having many other cars available - as well as the direct financial cost.
Focus TDI Cambelt - DavidHM
Oh and why would the manufacturers put the fleets' interests first? Because they buy more cars and on average look far more closely into these things than individual buyers do - with the exception of the kind of person who visits this site of course.
Focus TDI Cambelt - eMBe {P}
DavidHM: again, you have shown that using cost-benfit analysis, manufacturers and fleet managers have worked out that long-service intervals for cambelts are OK.
eM.Be. # Note: i have added {P} after my name to indicate that my profile can be viewed.
Focus TDI Cambelt - DavidHM
I'm not trying to prove a conspiracy though and I agree with you that in a fleet situation, which is what most cars are sold in, the manufacturers' intervals are perfectly adequate.

Where we disagree is on what an individual who may experience a cambelt failure should do. If he has functionally unlimited time, money and spare cars, he should obviously do as the manufacturers recommend.

If, however, he wants an easy life with minimal expensive and traumatic failures, the situation may be different and that is why I believe in erring on the side of caution.
Focus TDI Cambelt - robert
I agree with this logic.

I had a V6 Omega which had an engine fault - not a broken belt but one which required a new engine. The car was 2 years old and only had the m=normal 12 month warranty.

Not only was the repair done at no cost to my company, but Vx also paid 100% of my hire car cost whilst the repair was being done.

I won't name the company - but the fleet has several thousand cars - cost to the company - = Zero .......
Focus TDI Cambelt - kal
Car co's that give 3 year product warranties do so because on average their cars are more reliable ie have less claims. Most Jap cars come with 3 year warranties for the last 10 years. Toyota on the Carina E had a particular part which was failing so they extended the warranty on that part to 5 years.

Recently Hyundai and Fiat have begun selling vehicles with 5 year warranties, know that is confidence. Fiat I beleive is doing so because they have a genuine problem in as much that thier cars are perceived as having a relaibility problem hence the decision to increase the waranty period. Hyundai know just increasing competition.

I would not be surprised that had the majority of car manufactureres followed the lead of the Japanese some 10 years ago they would be all gone bust by know. Incidently why are car warrnaties so generous in the USA? For example VW give 10 year power train warranties.

Any comments would be appreciated. Thanks.


Value my car