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Discussion Starter #1
Very confused. Took my up to my local VW dealership yesterday to have a new key programmed and they say the timing belt needs changing after 5 years or 70k miles whichever comes first. I said the service schedule stated that the belt is a long life item and should only be checked at 130 k km and not changed before then. I think, this is what it says . I wish someone could once and for all put this common issue to bed. How do we make contact with vw in Germany to confirm this? A replacement belt via vw is an expensive job. Thanks.
 

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VW UK say 5 years regardless of mileage
VW rest of the World say 160000 kms is a check only and replace if necessary.

We had a 12 plate Up here recently on 18k miles, they did the belt due to time, and there is not a mark on the old belt, its in perfect condition.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Lupogtiboy - are you therefore suggesting we in the uk are getting ripped off yet again and if so, why are VW HQ letting this happen?

So do I leave it or change the belt?

Cheers
 

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It's personal choice. From what I understand Vw had some cases of cambelts breaking earlier than they should so too be on the safe side they made cambelt changes 5years or 75000miles whichever is sooner. It's also the fact that the coolant Water pump is driven by the cambelt. See more water pump failures nowadays than cambelt failures.
 

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And the labour of changing the water pump is the same as cam belt, so you may as well change it if water pump has an issue...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hi Guys

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my messages. Well it looks like I will have to bite the bullet and get it done just after the summer. I will get a quote to do the cam belt and the water pump from the main dealer and a reputable VW specialist in Cardiff. I have changed many cam belts/water pumps in the past myself, but not sure if I need specialists tools otherwise I would do it myself.

Anyone done this themselves who can offer any advice please?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi All

This may be of interest. The Skoda Citigo uses the exact engine as the VW Up! and they too have had conflicting advise when it came to the timing belt replacement interval so someone contacted Skoda HQ who responded:

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See earlier post on the same subject http://www.briskoda.net/forums/topic/295006-citigo-cambelttiming-chain/











This is the reply I Got from Skoda UK in regards to both the cam and water pump belts change period





'I am happy to confirm that the information I previously provided is correct, and to confirm, the cambelt replacement intervals
for your vehicle are 160,000 miles'

'Having
your cambelt replaced every 4 years is a UK recommendation on most
Skoda vehicles, but Skoda UK's Technical Departmentmaintain that every
160,000 miles is the interval for a cambelt replacement on your Citigo
based on the engine type and size'





This is very poor by VW if they are saying have it replaced when in fact its designed to go on for much longer. I wouldn't mind if it was say around £50 to get it replaced, but its over £350!




I will contact VW in the UK and HQ in Germany to get to the bottom of this.




Cheers
 

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The continued conflicting info over cam belt change intervals (UK vs Europe) makes me a bit suspicious to be honest. Is there the possibility that UK dealerships are charging for work that is not needed? If this is the case, are they actually fitting the belt etc or just pocketing 'free' cash? I've no evidence to suggest any dealership is operating in this manner but, due to my experience over the years dealing with the motor trade, there will be a temptation there for some.
 

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luckyjimmy said:
The continued conflicting info over cam belt change intervals (UK vs Europe) makes me a bit suspicious to be honest. Is there the possibility that UK dealerships are charging for work that is not needed? If this is the case, are they actually fitting the belt etc or just pocketing 'free' cash? I've no evidence to suggest any dealership is operating in this manner but, due to my experience over the years dealing with the motor trade, there will be a temptation there for some.

I have to agree with your cynicism. You have absolutely no guarantee that the work has been done, as it is an unseen job. I have had previous experience of work not been done, such as oil and varying filters not being done.
On a side note, just took my daughter's Corsa for its fifth service. The dealer did the wrong service and proceeded to advise me that it needed in excess of £2500 work done on it. Glad I did not get them to do the MOT as they would have failed it on these non existent issues. Took it home and checked their diagnosis, all fantasy. Two days later took it to another more local Vauxhall dealer and it passed its MOTwith no advisories, all for £27. Needless to say I will not be returning any of our families four Vauxhall vehicles to the first dealer.
 

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The waterpump on the Up isn't driven by the cambelt, it is driven from a separate belt off the camshaft.

Please don't think that VW dealers have any decision in making the cambelt policies, they don't, VW UK do all that. From a personal perspective, I'd take more notice from the company that actually designed and built the car in the first place. If it is a check only for the rest of the world, then surely VW UK are just being 'over cautious' in their advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No , but they should change the information in the service schedule accordingly and not give customers from different countries conflicting information.
 

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Rav3177 said:
So if the cambelt breaks before 160k will you then be complaining to Volkswagen?!

If the cam belt breaks on these cars due to not being changed at 5 years - throw the car away and buy something else instead!

My reason for saying this? I've had two valuations of my car recently (for trade in purposes) - one was £5700 and the other was £5300. These sums are for a car that is thirteen months old! How much do you think a five year old Up is going to be worth either as a trade in or private sale? Not a lot...even if it is fully functional and has been well cared for. To be pedantic, a five year old Up with a broken cam belt and damaged engine is probably going to be beyond economic repair. Just saying...
 

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When you are talking about changing the timing belt, are you also going to change the water pump belt? If the engine is like the ford I3 1l, are you going to change the oil pump belt, inside the sump?
 

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Hi All,
Let's face it cars are much better than thay use to be, and car company's know this too,so to keep them selfs in business (sales and workshops) parts have to pack up, I have a friend who works for a sister company to VW, and he had to go on a training program for a few days because of the new tech on cars, and in the training program he and the group where told that the life expectancy for the electrical components (mother board the brain in the car) will only last 10 to 12 years befor it fails, at which point the car will only be worth peanuts and the new part will cost more than the car is worth. So you have a merry go round and thay stay in business. Remember when disc brakes first came out, you could leave your foot on the brake pedal and disc would not warp, was that because of better material and not so light Wight


Jeff

Jeff
 

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I agree with Jeff - cars these days are built using a spreadsheet, where every component is designed and manufactured with cost as the primary consideration. I suspect manufacturers only want their vehicles to last the length of the warranty (in our VW Up, three years) while also taking account that they have to be of sufficient quality to accomodate drivers who cover large mileages.

Honest John maintains that a car's serviceable lifetime is seven years - I presume this is the interval before, on average, any major component fails rendering the car uneconomical to repair (diesel fuel injection pump, dual mass flywheel, DPF, turbo etc, small petrol cars without all the diesel gubbins may last longer).
 

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I don't subscribe to the "They don't make them like they used to" stuff.

I'm going to show my age now but I remember as a child sitting in the back and being able to see the road go by, oh and paddling on water when ever it rained
thankfully, yes they don't make them like that!

There are some exceptions of course, such as the Mercedes W124 E Class of the early 90's. Probably one of the last cars designed and built without the interference of accountants.

New cars, are by and large better than the previous generation. They're not deliberately built to fail at 4, 7 or 10 years. But dealers and manufactures need to churn cars. They're not really interested in your 10 year old car. Again an exception, I have a 26 year old Mercedes. Just about anything is available, even if it comes from Germany it's only a 3 day wait.

So that's why forums like this, clever individuals and smart independent specialists can keep your UP on the road for many years to come. Don't take too much notice of the manufactures service schedules (designed to look like cheap motoring for the first 4 years) and I'd expect 200k miles and 15 years before it became uneconomic. Ignoring any government legislation that may appear of course.
 

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Ed463 said:
Don't take too much notice of the manufactures service schedules (designed to look like cheap motoring for the first 4 years) and I'd expect 200k miles and 15 years before it became uneconomic.

Cars are MUCH better built these days - it is just the things that tend to 'break' are so expensive to replace/repair in general. The Up has very few of such items (unless you count the turbo on the current generation) and should prove to be a good long term proposition.

As an example, my Golf had a turbo, DSG gearbox, automatic parking brake, adaptive cruise control not to mention the usual electronic control gubbins etc. If this car lasts seven years and then needed any one of these items replaced, it would result in a BIG repair bill. The automatic parking brake alone costs £600 per side to replace if it fails - a potential £1200 on a seven year old car worth say £3000 (on a good day)! I will not even speculate how much a clutch pack or replacement turbo would cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hi Guys

I contacted VW Germany regarding the conflicting advise regarding the VW UP! timing belt replacement schedule. I spoke to a representative in Germany VW, who did confirm that the timing belt on the UP! is inspected on ONLY at 160k miles (not replaced sooner) but he recommended that it was checked a little sooner around 120k miles to be on the safe side.

I then received a phone call from VW UK a couple of days later, who replied to my email, asking why Germany recommend check only at 160K miles, but the UK dealership sate that it should be changed either 5 years or 60 k miles. She said , its was just a recommendation (UK only) to be on the safe side and the 160k miles check only is for the European market. She said that the Service Schedule books are all printed with this generic information for all countries.

It has placed my mind at ease, and I will now go buy the Service Schedule as supplied with the vehicle and the VW German recommendation. I will have it replaced when the vehicle reaches 100k ish miles if I still own the vehicle.

I hope this has cleared this issue once and for all?
 

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I completely accept everything you detail above but and to me this is a big "but", although the cambelts will undoubtedly last for many miles the tensioner may not and this is the problem I have with the advise from VW Germany.

The other thing I've just thought of is that when I spoke to my local VW dealer regarding cam belt intervals they told me that they change the water pump with the belt which to me definitely suggests that the pump is cam belt driven. It was only after coming on here and questioning the issue that I was made aware that the pump is not cam belt driven !

Personally there is absolutely no way on this earth I would trust a belt tensioner to last 160'000 miles !Edited by: Uruk Hai
 
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