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A much forgotten item

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Hi Gents, after a year almost of lock downs and a thin amount of work in the taxi trade I had finally reached the 80k mark and having read the service history for my car I was not to worried by the cam belt situation as the service history claimed that the belt kit was changed at 40k under warranty because of a squeaky idler pulley bearing, that said I did actually phone the dealers in Manchester to see if it tallied up with the print out of the worksheet I had, the service manager was very reticent to talk at first until he realised I was not trying to bag any freebies and just wanted information to form my own service schedule, he explained their definition of belt kit which was belt, tensioner, idler pulley and they wouldn't have changed the water pump as the recommended milage interval for that was 110k.

I felt I might be able to force the changing of the cam belt and water pump to about 90k, then the sudden cold snap we have had forced the issue, only a two mile drive to base but a total absence of warm air, in fact it took a further fifteen minutes of idling to get any lukewarm air, all this equated to a massive increase in fuel consumption, I had second guessed that the thermostatic pump cowling had become jammed open which was proven correct when I had the belt and pump changed today, thank god it had not jammed shut as overheating is not a favourite past time for a CNHA engine.

When I was down to pick my car up I met my neighbour who had his Q5 in the work shop, back in the summer I had noticed a rather rotund mobile mechanic hanging in the engine bay of his car but did not think anything of it, it transpires the guy had changed the cam belt at Audis recommended 110k but not changed the auxiliary drive belt as he said it looked ok, the belt had eventually shredded itself and fallen off, a breakdown engineer fitted a new one but by then it was to late as the debris from the old belt had gotten behind the cam belt shroud and made the cam timing jump one hundred and eighty degrees, the thing now was devoid of compression even after  new belts fitted so they had the rocker cover off to find the bent valves, I don't think I ever want to see that far into my engine, I always change my ancillary drive belts every thirty thousand and when the cam belt is replaced regardless of what they look like, I honestly believe if I buy ten belts during the time I own my car it still won't come to the  eighteen hundred quid the poor sod with the Q5 is looking at and thats if none of the valve seats is cracked.

There are some very wise people on this forum who recommend 80k or four year belt changes which duly noted as well as the advice on using OE parts from companies like TPS who definitely don't have the same sense of humour as the dealers, so a word to the wise DONT forget the humble ancillary drive belt which lives in a very hostile part of the engine bay and for the sake of £20 for the part could end up costing thousands.

Regards Steve.

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