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MLC788

Cambelt change

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Hi 

Have no history of belt being changed so have decided to get it done as cars on 115k on a 62 plate. Audi want £649 including labor and water pump but have a independent Audi specialist down the road saying can beat the price. Not sure what to do as I know cheap isn’t always best. Any advice on what’s involved as others are saying replace thermo and thermo sensor at same time?

cheers

matt

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Hello Matt,

I think you are very wise to consider having this changed now, and even wiser to consider doing this via. the best rather than the cheapest route. Your particular engine is a little out of my experience zone, but your main dealer quote does seem rather high to me - but could be competitive. It would probably be worth checking with a couple of other main dealers in a slightly bigger radius to get a feel for it, and I know some dealers have special offers on such things from time to time.

As you say, cheap is not always the best , and in reality, I've never known it to be. This is certainly an engine critical part/s, and in my book it is essential to spend once and wisely, and particularly in respect of the parts that are fitted. Some may say "I had my cambelt done for £X (low)" but what quality parts were used? Personally I would not take chances and would opt for genuine Audi parts and as far as the water pump is concerned, most certainly VAG only - without exception. 

Do you know what make parts the independent are going to fit at their more competitive quote? Well worth checking.

IF they are not using genuine VAG parts, then I would consider an alternative of Gates , but not using their water pumps. VAg parts can be available at discount (pm me if it helps) so there isn't really much point in using anything else.

Changing the thermostat at the same time? Maybe worth thinking about if it lives more accessible when the belt assembly is changed, but I don't think these come cheap - unless they are the potentially unrealiable aftermarket ones. Someone else will problem advise. 

If it were mine, I would certainly renew the alternator/serpentine belt at the same time (Gates would be fine for that if necessary) since if this decides to part company it can tangle itself with pullies and possibly cause the timing belt to jump a couple of teeth.

Kind regards,

Gareth.

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Hi gareth

thanks for reply mate.....checked a couple of other main dealers nearby and they say it’s a universal price for this particular job but do offer free MOT’s for the lifetime of the vehicle which isn’t bad.

Hadnt thought about the alternator belt so thanks for the heads up on that will talk to garage when take it in. Audi specialist I’m going with quoted £490 with all genuine VAG parts including G13 antifreeze and tensioner. Said about thermo they said can be pricey so if on a budget and car is getting up to to temp normally then not to bother, hope I don’t live to regret that one. 

Thanks again will let you know how car is after the 19th

cheers

matt

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Thanks for coming back Matt. Interesting about the free MOTs for life bit ... "which isn't bad.. . Not that it applies to you now that you are going independent, but it might be worth reading  Welsh Sue's posts on here somewhere. Fair do s as we say, whoever thought of that one at the dealers deserves a pay increase! Free lunches?? 

Kind regards,

Gareth.

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Couldn’t find any posts on here under welsh sue mate?

matt

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Ignore that last msg Gareth found the posts sounds like she had a crappy mot experience with Audi so will definitely be considering who I go to carefully. Will let you know what my local specialist is like and how the car runs after belt change.

thanks for advice mate.

matt

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If it were me, I'd use the indy. Get a good quality replacement belt and do the waterpump at the same time.

I have never fitted a genuine replacement and have done many thousands of miles in many cars with no issues whatsoever.

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Yeah booked in next week mate with the indy....he’s worked on Audi’s for last 20 years so hopefully he should be alright 

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Update on belt change 

all seems ok car running fine wish i’d done the thermostat while was in garage coz noticed temperature going up and down by 1 sometimes 2 LED’s now 🙄 

going to Audi to get it plugged in thanks for replies gents

Matt

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Evening

a bit late, but another item worth considering for replacement during a belt change etc, is the alternator pulley clutch. Takes next to no time to do and part is cheapish. Failure of bearing alone is no biggie to deal with normally, unless it chews up the alternator shaft at which point things get a bit spendy.

Atb phil

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Hi l have an A6 64 plate. Had it since new only 30.000 miles on clock. Audi are saying that Cambelt should be replaced. Anyone got a view on that. Thanks. George 

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Hello George,

This is one of these imponderables I’m afraid. Belt change schedules are always on the basis of ....’x miles or x years - whichever comes first’. So just for example - let’s say that schedule states 100k miles or 5 years, the belt should be scheduled for change at 5 years even though the car had not covered that 100k. 

There will always be strong opinion and debate about low mileage vehicles and the need to change belts ( and associated components) at the ‘age limit’ scheduled time. Some will say not to bother, some will agree with the recommended change. My view - for what it’s worth - is that low mileage cars generally suffer more than cars which cover the same mileage in a short space of time, since the latter operate at optimum conditions for most of the time, and the low mileage ones are subjected to far more frequent stop starts - which is not good. OK - current stop start systems!! 

You first need to recheck what the schedule states by contacting other main dealers and independents - but expect varying answers! 

You then decide to gamble on extra time or not. This is a critical component. It’s as simple as that. If you do decide to ‘get the belt changed’ then there will be decisions to be made regarding exactly what to change and what not to, in terms of the associated assembly. 

Perhaps you could let us know how you get on. 

Kind regards,

Gareth.

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