156 timing belts - Alfa Romeo Forum
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156 timing belts

1998 Alfa 156 2.0 T/S Now I'm worried. After having read recent postings on the replacement of Timing belts and their early failure tendencies I thought I better check.

My service manual indicates that I haven't had one since new. The car is 4.5 years old and has done 45000 miles (54000 Kmtrs) and the book definately says 72000 miles. The cars currently covered by a warranty, but why do Alfa not let owners know that there is a weakness before it breaks? Does anyone know how much a belt replacement costs and is it better to go to an Alfa main agent or independent specialist to get it done?
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Any timing belt can fail at any time. It is just a toothed rubber belt. It deteriorates with age regardless of use, so according to the manual it is 72,000 miles OR six years - which ever comes first.
If it goes, you'll more than likely get nowt from the warranty, and nowt from Alfa.
I believe the 36,000 mile replacement is being suggested by dealers, rather than Alfa UK themselves.
All I can say is - how much for peace of mind??
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As a point of interest, I had the belt on my V6 done at 60K by a local Italian chap.
Glad I did because the belt tensioner was seized solid, and the belt was slack as hell.
Cost including a 60K service (ie plugs etc) 660, not by Alfa UK though.
If I am right, be wary of the warranty because if the belt fails the may ask you to pay labour?
If its your pride and joy get the belt tension checked by somebody you trust.
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Another thing to note on 3rd party warranties is there maybe a claim limit of say 1000.
When the cam belt went on my Vectra it cost 3500 to repair the damage.
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I recently had my cambelt go on me while I was driving. Having only done 60k on the clock, and going by the manual I didn't think of changing the belt until the book said. How wrong of me! Cost almost 1400 to put the damage right. Anyway, from my experience and having spoke with both an Alfa dealer garage and an Alfa independent garage I'd advise you to find yourself a good independent. Not only do they know what they are doing (as most Alfa garage mechanics aren't Alfa specialists but just mechanics who happen to work in the garage when Alfa took over the franchise) and they are a lot cheaper, and if you find a good one, a lot more bloody honest too! Alfa dealership suggest that it will cost 400+ for a cambelt change, whereas most independents will do it for a shade over 300. A ton in your pocket beats having a main dealer stamp in the book seeing as the Alfa "goodwill" doesn't really exist despite having a main dealer service history.

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