AO Platinum Member
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: The land that Time forgot
You don't *need* to change the cam variator unless yours makes a diesel sound when you first start it.
The variator change is "suggested" because if it starts to rattle, you have to change the cam-belt to fix it.... but a rattling/not working variator doesn't cause any damage, it just makes your car run less well.
You should also change the water pump sometime. I think a water pump can do 108,000 miles no problem (180,000 kms) so every three cam-belts, change the pump.
The variator is more unpredictable. If your engine uses a lot of oil and you don't keep the level up, the variator will probably go sooner. I'd just change it at the next cam-belt after it starts rattling... or by the 4th cam-belt service if it still hasn't died (144,000m/240,000km).