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All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - runnerbean14

VW Audi Service Schedules now quote two different Timing Belt intervals for each car. In the case of my A5 2.0 TDi the interval is 120,000 miles if the vehicle is designated as 'fleet' i.e. if VW Financial Services are contracted to pay for the maintenance, or only 75,000 miles if it is designated as 'retail' i.e. if you or I are paying dealer for the work.

How can they possibly justify this differential? There is no control over the usage for vehicles in either category. It's just manufacturer-sponsored sharp practice. I'm particularly annoyed because my car, which I bought outright through my company and for which I nevertheless pay VWFS for maintenance, has passed 75,000 miles and they have refused to change the cam belt. It's due for disposal shortly, by which time it will have done about 90,000 miles, and will be badly devalued accordingly unless I cough up myself, by which time I will effectively have paid twice.

Anyone want to join in a campaign to get VW to see the error of their ways?

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - john farrar
Typical money grabbing VW.

My Audi handbook details belt change at 95,000, no time limit. Dealer says 75000 and 5 years. This is for 2008 2.0 PDI. Handbook also mentions common rail diesel at 114,000 miles, no time limit. Dealer says 75,000 and 5 years. I have seen several PDi belts that have been changed at 75000 to 120000 and they were allperfect. If you look at VW blogs Worldwide the UK is the one place that gets this 75000 and 5 years nonsense, everywhere else I've looked the handbook rules, and yes I know all about the earlier engines where the tensioner fails and 40000 is about the max life.
All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - nick62

Anyone want to join in a campaign to get VW to see the error of their ways?

If you are thinking of having a "go" at VW UK Customer Service, all I can say to you is "good luck", but don't hold your breath.

Their arrogance is astounding!

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - Armitage Shanks {p}

Don't mess about with petitions - contact the Top Man direct

Audi UK Mr André Konsbruck Managing Director Email Andre.Konsbruck@audi.co.uk Telephone 01908 601303 Fax 01908 601184 Website http://www.audi.co.uk Social Media <*** style="border-width: 0px;" src="http://twitter.com/favicon.ico" alt="T" /><*** style="border-width: 0px;" src="http://facebook.com/favicon.ico" alt="F" /><*** style="border-width: 0px;" src="http://youtube.com/favicon.ico" alt="Y" /> Postal Address Yeomans Drive, Blakelands, Milton Keynes, MK14 5AN, UK<*** style="border-width: 0px;" src="http://maps.gstatic.com/favicon.ico" alt="M" /> Company Number 00514809<*** style="border-width: 0px;" src="http://www.ceoemail.com/ch.png" alt="C" width="16" height="16" /> See also Customer Services Companies House data for UK companies from 00514800 to 00514809 Related lists UK Companies

Link is a bit corrupt but you can work it out I hope or gio to www.ceomail.com and fing a cear version - search for Audi UK, obviously

Edited by Armitage Shanks {p} on 23/12/2014 at 08:50

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - LikedDrivingOnce

Post your comments on Audi's facebook page. You may be pleasantly surprised at the speed of the response from Audi UK.

(And, no, I am not Audi's number 1 fan either)

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - Smileyman

I thought the use of Twitter to broadcast corporate shortcomings etc was an effective way to vent one's spleen

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - 659FBE

VAG just can't resist this cash cow. It's a beauty, based on a combination of fear and the likelihood of a newish car getting dealer attention ("love" factor still there).

My old 1.9PD came with a scruffy bit of paper in the service book stipulating a belt change every 4 years - regardless of mileage. Nowhere in the printed service book is this stipulation made. Enquiries via the Internet confirm that this is a UK "special".

I'd love to be a fly on the wall in meetings at VAG M-K. They must think we Brits are real suckers. The lease companies are evidently haveing none of it.

My approach now is to trust nothing which is published by VAG. I use my own judgement and the experience of others - made easy on an international basis by Internet forums. This approach also helps a potential buyer avoid the "lemons", of which there are a fair number.

If my 1.9PD had been a little younger, it would have been a 2.0PD - renowned at that time for engine failure due to fretted oil pump drive couplings. Thanks to the Internet, I avoided this.

Wake up, VAG - the wool is harder to pull these days.

659.

Edited by 659FBE on 28/02/2013 at 12:16

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - mark999
Had a leaflet from VW a couple of years ago stating that all cambelt change intervals were now 40k and 4 years.
Mark
All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - 659FBE

In all probability, you had a leaflet from the VAG importer at Milton Keynes.

This is by no means the same thing as "Had a leaflet from VW".

As this is the essence of the issue, please clarify.

659.

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - craig-pd130

@659 -- wasn't it established that the belt interval for the 1.9 PD in the US was 80,000 miles and 6 years?

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - mark999

In all probability, you had a leaflet from the VAG importer at Milton Keynes.

This is by no means the same thing as "Had a leaflet from VW".

As this is the essence of the issue, please clarify.

659.

As far as I can remember it was a leaflet from VAG at Milton Keynes which was posted to be by the dealer.

When setting up the service plan for my Octavia 140PD the sevice manager advised

"Please note that at 4 years old it is recommended that the cambelt is replaced regardless of mileage"

Mark

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - TeeCee

Actually that makes perfect sense to me. The current trend for ludicrous service intervals, including "dice with death" cambelt mileages is entirely driven by the fleet business.

So VAG have taken the sensible approach of letting the fleet lads, who'll be paying for any pig's ears themselves, have their way while also ensuring that their private customers are protected from this stupidity.

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - NARU

VW Audi Service Schedules now quote two different Timing Belt intervals for each car. ..

How can they possibly justify this differential?


Well. given that cambelt changing intervals are rather like insurance, it might be that the two populations are percieved as having differing risk appetites.

Henry Ford is quoted as saying that a 1% failure rate to Ford is just a statistic, but to the unlucky customer who got the duff car, it is a 100% failure rate.

Let's say that no cars suffer a cambelt failure if changed at 75,000 miles, but 1% suffer a failure if run to 120,000. If its VW finance who pay for the new engine for the 1%, it might still be cheaper for them, than paying to have the belts changed.

I imagine the economics become very clear if the majority of fleet cars are defleeted between 80,000 and 100,000 miles!!!

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - LikedDrivingOnce

Good post, Marlot. This is one of the reasons that I read the Back Room. It never occurred to me to look at the situation like that! Thanks!

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - runnerbean14

The reason it's sharp practice is because the maintenance contracts in question don't run beyond 3 years. So the chances of a car doing 75,000 miles in that period is a lot greater than of a car doing 120,000 miles. Ergo, in my case, I am paying VWFS a contracted rate (on a cost per mile basis) for a maintenance contract over 90,000 miles but by sleight of hand they escape having to pay for a cam belt change until after the car is off contract.

If I was paying for the maintenance myself the dealer would advise me that I MUST change the cam belt at 75,000 miles. Equally, any private used car buyer will expect the cam belt to have been changed, and are very unlikely to accept that the advice is not to change it until 120,000 miles since, if asked, any Audi dealer will tell them that the interval is 75,000 miles.

It's an almost perfect manufacturer-sanctioned scam, and I don't seem to be able to do anything about it.. . . .

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - galileo

It's an almost perfect manufacturer-sanctioned scam, and I don't seem to be able to do anything about it.. . . .

Having bought one of these you are unfortunately stitched up by VAG.

So many people buy their products (and increase their profits) there is, as you say, not a lot an individual can do the change their attitude.

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - Paul87

There may be a way around it. Go to another VW Fanchise dealer if your local one knows you well. When you reach 75k tell them what their recommended milage is to change the cam belt. If they say 75K say great can I have it done please. As they book you in tell them you have a maintainance plan. It would be difficult to back track out of that one.

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - John F

Spot on, Marlot. I don't think it is 'sharp practice', just belt and braces advice to almost completely reduce the risk of breakdown due to cambelt failure. It's only advice - you don't have to take it.

As i have said many times, cambelts should last the life of the engine provided the things they drive don't break or seize.

I have never, ever changed a cambelt at an advisory time and have no intention of ever doing so. Our 1998 A6 2.8 is on 124,000, our 2000 1.6 Zetec Focus is on 92,000. Our last Passat did over 240,000 on the original cambelt [I detected a whining tensioner pulley and changed it before the bearing completely failed], the Passat before that was changed at 140,000ish, only because the water pump was leaking and it made sense to spend an extra few notes to fit a new one.[the old one looked perfectly OK].

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - TeeCee

There's a flip side to that. My father just changed the cambelt on one of his cars. It wasn't even particularly overdue a change.

The old one looked perfectly OK in situ and there was no hint of any pulley noise. Once it was off, it was very clear that it wouldn't have gone much longer. Obvious perishing and cracking around the base of the teeth.

My brother was less lucky on another car. He put a change off for a shade over six months (i.e. a "wait 'til it's due a service on miles" approach) on his Rover 200 coupe and butchered the engine.

I regard it as one of those things things that you probably can get away with, but the risk/reward equation doesn't stack up. I'd push it on a non-interference engine, but I reckon you'd be mad to on an interference unit.

Edited by TeeCee on 08/03/2013 at 12:45

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - john farrar
I cannot comment on other than VW recommendations, but the thing that really annoys me, is that there are there are large differences between what VW Milton Keynes recommends the cam belt change frequency to be and what is recommended by VW the manufacturer in their published literature. Milton Keynes VW are not being altruistic, they are just trying to make money( and succeeding!).

As I and others have said the evidence via the forums around the world and the independent garages that I know, is that the original manufacture's literature recommendations are just fine.

I suggest that doubters examine a few VW belts that have been replaced before assuming that VW MK knows better than VW itself.
All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - A3 A4

Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but does anyone know of, or had experience of a VAG cambelt actually letting go?

If so what were the circumstances, age mileage etc.

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - skidpan

On my 2013 Seat Leon 1.4 TSI the belt maintenace is to inspect the belt at 60,000 miles and then every 20,000 miles and if there are signs of deterioration change it. It also states that it must be changed at 5 years or 120,000 miles max.

To me that is not a problem since it seems a sensible interval and I did my research before I purchaed thus will not be surprised when its needs doing (doubtful since I change at 5 years). Even if I keep the car its not that expensive at £360 including pulley's and VAT all with a 5 year warranty. Water pump replacement is recomended but not included.

As for cam belt failure we have had 4 VW's in the past, 2 petrols and 2 diesels. No cam belt failures, petrols were changed at 72,000 miles and diesels at 60,000 miles.

Most of the cars that have issues are poorly or not maintained at all and when they go wrong its everyones fault but the owners. Look after the car properly and its unlikely you will have an issue.

Edited by skidpan on 18/12/2014 at 17:15

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - Hamsafar

VW are being sensible.
If tyou lease out cars, you have many single eggs in many baskets and can stand some getting broken. If you buy the car retail you have all your eggs in one basket and if they all get broken it would be devastating. Come on look how a battery farmer deals with sick chickens compared to someone who has one as a pet.

Edited by Hamsafar on 18/12/2014 at 18:25

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - John F

Apologies for resurrecting an old thread, but does anyone know of, or had experience of a VAG cambelt actually letting go?

No apology necessary - delighted to provide an update to my March 2013 post. Pick your engine carefully and look after the belt - it will last the life of the engine if the things it drives don't seize or disintegrate. I might venture the contention that in some models and garages, more trouble is caused by changing them than not.

The Audi V6 water pump is wisely driven by the flat side, so even if it gives trouble it shouldn't wreck the belt. I sold mine 6/12 ago at 134,000 and 15yrs old - belt still pristine at last inspection. Current car has chains so it gets more expensive oil [but not annually].

Focus Zetec belt now 14yrs old and 108,000m - had a squirt of belt dressing last summer. Teeth looked fine, belt reasonably supple, load spread over 2 cams.

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - skidpan

Pick your engine carefully and look after the belt - it will last the life of the engine if the things it drives don't seize or disintegrate.

Belts are maintenance free as are all the parts they drive but the belts, pulleys and in some cases water pumps need changing at the recomended intervals. Not to do so is inviting disaster.

Focus Zetec belt now 14yrs old and 108,000m - had a squirt of belt dressing last summer. Teeth looked fine, belt reasonably supple, load spread over 2 cams.

I changed the belt on a Focus Zetec in my Caterham last winter. The engine was exactly 10 years old, stood in a crate for 5 years, been in my car for 5 years and had done about 10,000 miles. Ford recomend 10 years or 100,000 miles for this engine. The old belt appeared perfect but who can tell what its like under the surface. The new kit will pulleys (on a Zetec 2 litre it does not drive the waterpump) was about £100 and took about 3 hours for me to fit. That is very cheap compared to a new engine both price and time wise. Even on a perfectly good 10 year old car £100 is cheap to keep it on the road, a wrecked engine would most probably mean the car was a write off.

I for one have always adhered to manufacturers service recomendations and will continue to do so. I have to agree that a Zetec belt is unliekly to fail at exactly 10 years or 100,000 miles, if it was likely to the interval would be shorter. But For know a thing or 2 about their own engines you know and ignoring them is just plain stupid.

If you cannot maintain your car properly you should not be on the road.

Edited by Avant on 22/12/2014 at 17:19

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - madf

The worst stress on cambelts is starting from cold. Instant acceleration from engine at 0rpm to 1500rpm.

This means when it is cold, the belt teeth are under huge stresses.

Company cars and fleet drivers tend to do 20k miles + per year so few cold stop/starts.

Consumers tend to average 10k miles a year - often around town.

Guess whiuch stresses the belts most?

Hence the advice given to consumers.

Anyone who ignores maker recommendations is like a person not insuring their house against flooding. Most times you get away with it: when you do get a flood, the costs exceed all monies saved on premiums - by a large factor.#

Anyone worried about maintenance costs does their sums BEFORE they buy a car. And that involves the costs of changing cambelts.Some of us buy cars with good reliability records and chains. Others buy VWs :-)

# this is a polite way of saying what I think.

PS The repuation of VW dealers in JD Power surveys is so poor they come near to bottom!

Edited by madf on 23/12/2014 at 10:16

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - bk.bas

My first Passat was a 98 1.8 20Valve. VW service schedule said 80K miles for the change, but my local indie (Grantleys in BAsingstoke, highly recommended) said they recommended 60K but as I had the new tensioner it should be fine to 80K, but was my choice.

Belt went at 72K (and 5 years), looked fine from outside but teeth had come off inside of belt. Went to VW to complain that service schedule said 80K and they said they had changed it to 80K or 4 years, but as I didn't have it serviced with them that was my problem as they would have told me of the change...yea right.

They wanted £2500 just to change the head, with no guarantee of being able to fix if there was 'further engine damage'...my indie said £12-1500, so I took head off myself and got it reconditioned with all new valves, skimmed and supplied back with full gaskets and stretch bolts for £350. Car ran fine for another 6 years and 140K miles. I now have an AWX 130 diesel but get the cambelt done every 60K out of paranoia!

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - slkfanboy

I have had a cam belt break, thankfully on an older car with simplier engine , 8 valve engine.

If you are lucky you just bend the valves which are £20-£30 each depend on if they are inlet or outlet valves and each cylinder has 2/4 (depend on engine), so thats £50/£100 a pot. Less lucky and it's a new head on top. Then labour which I think was 16hours worth.

I was told that I was unlucky in that te belt completely broke, it's more common the belts slips as teeth brake off. Not easy to see unless the belt is removed.

So well worth changing the cam belt rather than end up looking at a new engine or total rebuild!

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - skidpan

Belt went at 72K (and 5 years), looked fine from outside but teeth had come off inside of belt. Went to VW to complain that service schedule said 80K and they said they had changed it to 80K or 4 years, but as I didn't have it serviced with them that was my problem as they would have told me of the change...yea right.

If the scehdule had changed and you did not visit the VW delaer how would you expect them to tell you. Its not a VOSA recall so they rely (like all manufacturers) on the customer using the official network for servicing and being told of such changes.

Basically you had gone past the 4 year limit by a year so you had tempted fate and lost.

Even your trusted Indy recomended a change which you ignored.

Sorry but your own fault.

Edited by skidpan on 05/10/2015 at 13:44

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - bk.bas

Belt went at 72K (and 5 years), looked fine from outside but teeth had come off inside of belt. Went to VW to complain that service schedule said 80K and they said they had changed it to 80K or 4 years, but as I didn't have it serviced with them that was my problem as they would have told me of the change...yea right.

If the scehdule had changed and you did not visit the VW delaer how would you expect them to tell you. Its not a VOSA recall so they rely (like all manufacturers) on the customer using the official network for servicing and being told of such changes.

Basically you had gone past the 4 year limit by a year so you had tempted fate and lost.

Even your trusted Indy recomended a change which you ignored.

Sorry but your own fault.

Not looking to escape blame, but at the time there was still no official statement as to the 4 year rule, and I am fairly sure taht you still get much conflicting advice. I have been told it's 80K and 6 years on the ADX engine I have now, but everyone I speak to says that is un-realistic and its 60K and 4 years (which I follow). The whole timbree of this poost is the scam way that the manuyfacturers give spurious info to retail and fleet owners. Of course we now know that VW would never fiddle their results or be untruthfull...ever

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - gordonbennet

I'm a belt and braces chap, not risking trashing a perfectly good engine in a perfectly good car for the sake of trying to get the last knockings out of something like a cambelt.

My problem is why can some makers design these (and other parts that will need fixing) in such a way that makes them cost effective, yet others have made the job so complicated that it's nearly easier to pull the engine out with appropriate costs.

The only vehicle we run with a belt is the 3.4 V6 petrol in my Lancruiser, Toyota themselves quoted the cheapest @ £290 all in to change....sensible simple design too, all the belt does is drive the 4 camshafts off two sprockets so it's not twisting its way half way round the world day in day out all its life, why for such a minor amount would you risk it at all.

Edited by gordonbennet on 05/10/2015 at 13:49

All VW & Audi - VW Audi Cam Belt Change Intervals - Sharp Practice - skidpan

Not looking to escape blame, but at the time there was still no official statement as to the 4 year rule, and I am fairly sure taht you still get much conflicting advice

When I bought my Seat 2 years ago I got conflicting advice regarding cam belt changes from the brochures and dealers. So I e-mailed Seat Customer Services and received an answer from them that made complete sense and I have the e-mail for future reference.

They said

"I am delighted to confirm that on your SEAT Leon, we recommend the cam belt is first checked at 60,000 miles, and every 20,000 miles thereafter. If there is no damage at these points the cambelt will not need changing. If the belt is not changed, regardless of condition, it must be replaced at 120,000 miles or when the vehicle is 5 years old, whichever comes first."

As I said, simple straitforward advice and it cost me nothing. Anyone can do it, get the e-mail from the web or brochure.

Due to my low mileage (about 10,000 miles a year max) it will need changing at 5 years which will be done (if I still have the car).

But as always people will look to blame anyone but themselves when a little keyboard work will provide the ciorrect answer.

 

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