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The thread seems to have gathered the varied recommendations. It is all down to personal preference really cost vs risk, depending on what the car is worth for starters. I reckon that I'd do mine somewhere in the middle at between 60-80k miles or 6-8 years old.

On my previous Fiesta ST, the recommendation was around 125k or 10 years iirc, but I know of one owner having theirs changed at 40k and 3 years old, presumably just for their own piece of mind due to having done a couple of track days. After reading the recommendation, the decision is ultimately entirely up to the individual. I suppose it also depends on how and where the car has been driven too over its lifespan.
 

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I asked my service technician when I did the service and in Sweden its recommended to change the belt after 180 000 km. The technician will do visual inspects at 60 000 and 120 000 km to check for abnormal wear.
 

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There is no mention about visual inspects at 60000 or 120000 km in cheduled service plan. I'm not saying it's wrong to check the belt if they do it. Especially in cold climate.
 

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Very interesting debate to say the least!
My 2013 !Up recently had its 5 year service and the VW dealer recommended that a cam belt change was due - I declined. Being retired now, I no longer drive excessive miles and the mileage was in effect 29,000, this plus the exorbitant cost, which is a large percentage of my pension, supported my decision. I also did an inspection and the belt looks as new with no edge fraying or cracking as well as correct tensioning.
I would agree with VW Germany’s recommendations which are much more realistic and they should know. Also inseresting comments from the Scandinavian contributors who have much harsher weather than the UK.
VW seem to place precedent on age rather than mileage which, with the exception of brake fluid because of its hygroscopic properties, should be more related to mileage rather than age with a low mileage.
 

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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
It's to be inspected after 240000 km - that'll be 150000 miles
Then inspected every 30K km / 20K miles
To be replaced when necessary

Guys in Germany are pushing 300000 km - almost 200000 miles on the original belt ...
 

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VW UP! cambelt

I have a 2013 Up which has 44,000 miles on the clock. I have received a number of reminders from VW that my cambelt needs replacing. Accordingly, I booked the car in to have the work done next week. Earlier this week I then received a phone call from the dealership to say that the Technical department had looked at upcoming jobs and that the 5 year/120,000 interval didn't apply to my Up. Having had a cambelt go on a Ford a number of years ago I was cautious about this piece of good news, so contacted VW through their livechat. I was then told that my car should have the cambelt changed at 5 years. So what's going on?
 

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Personally, I would change after 5 years... Normally I have done after 4 years in the past. 44k is ok mileage, but age also helps degrade the belt.
 

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I have a 2013 Up which has 44,000 miles on the clock. I have received a number of reminders from VW that my cambelt needs replacing.
It doesn't need replacing

Dunno what VW UK is up to, trying to push its users to do unnecessary "repairs" :sad:
 

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VW UK recommend early replacement to generate work for their franchisee/s.

The designer and manufacturer VW (Germany) have specified, supplied and comprehensively tested a Kevlar reinforced timing belt that requires inspection (and replacement if required) at 165k miles.

VW (Germany) has not requested any date specific checks.

By all means we could change the belt at an earlier date/mileage, but in all honesty how many of us know the vehicle better than the manufacturer does?

Doing nothing (until the specified mileage) really is a sensible option.

It's all covered in the workshop manual.
 

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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.
The water pump on three cylinder VW UP engines is driven independently from the timing belt and resides on the opposite end of the crankshaft from the timing belt, hence the water pump does not require to be replaced when the timing belt is replaced.
 

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I had mine changed at 160K miles 7 years old. I did have the water pump changed as well, another £140 odd as precautionary and to potentially save a labour bill if it went.
 

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I had a Fiat years ago that recommended a belt change when the car was 7 years old. The car was very low mileage,so i did not bother to change the belt. I kept the car another year and it was ok.
I dont know why all cars are not fitted with chain drive.
 

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"I don't know why all cars are not fitted with chain drive. "

I expect it's more expensive to manufacture and maybe to service (they need changing too and are harder to remove/replace), and also, belts are quieter. There are plenty of examples of vehicles well-known to have cam chain failures. The Nissan Navara 2.5 engine was famous for its (early) cam chain failures.

Interestingly, the first high-volume and well-known car to use belts was the Fiat 124 with the twin-cam engine, in the 60's!
 

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It really depends on the quality of the components, car manufacturer and your service/maintenance regime.

Cam chains can have their problems and do stretch (fatally on some BMW and Mazda diesels) and they are less tolerant of missed oil changes.

Modern high quality belts should last upwards of 125,000 miles/10 years, unlike the Alfa Romeos of 10-15 years ago. A friend's Alfa 146 GTA belt went at only 30,000 miles.

A Japanese chain cam petrol engine if regularly serviced should last the lifetime of the car. Whereas a poorly fitted cambelt can kill your engine (brothers 306 HDI).
 

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Had ours changed on our High Up (currently being traded in for a Gti) 1.5 years ago at 6.5 years old and 26000 on the clock - even the VW mechanic said it was in 'mint' condition and it didn't really need changing!!! Absurd situation really. Easy money for the dealers.
 

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It doesn't need replacing

Dunno what VW UK is up to, trying to push its users to do unnecessary "repairs" :sad:
I wouldn't trust a VW dealer to tell the truth about anything. Told me my Golf R needed a belt change. Good luck with that you Muppets, it's chain driven. They're constantly trying to up sell unnecessary, expensive stuff.
 

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Hi Guys
Been watching this from the back of the room, mine is out of warranty next year. So, starting to think about longer term servicing. A few questions
1) Does the Up 3 cyl fail 'safe' if the belt lets go (or does it lunch the valve train)
2) How much are VW charging for the belt change (I see a few of us have had it done)
3) Did someone post a copy of the workshop manual page with the mileage/ time recommendation

Thanks in advance
 

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Someone's got a chip on their shoulder....
Me!?
If so not at all. There are some very knowledgeable, experienced decent people in VW dealers. I will use them but for very specific things where technology and experience count.
But getting them to do an oil change/service. No chance. The lowest paid with the least experience under time and cost pressure. If you're lucky you may get the right spec. oil. If you're really lucky the correct amount. No thanks.
I'm not blinded by the meaningless stamps in a service book.
I object to the up selling and taking advantage of people who know very little about cars (why should they, for most it's just a tin box to get them from a to b)
Someone has got to pay for the free coffee, Danish pastries, the plate glass, marble and the dealer principles bonus. But not me:)
The cam belt is a blatant example of this :-(
 
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