AO Silver Member
Join Date: Mar 2003
Re: Cambelt & Variators
Its not essential to change the variator unless it's faulty (noisy). Some noise just after starting is normal. Probably if it's the 36,000/3yr cam belt change it's no so likely as the 72,000/6yr when I think it's better to invest it a new one. I changed mine at 43,000 miles with the cam belt because it only added £70 to the bill.
You should find plenty of descriptions of the noise by doing a search on AO even finding a noise clip that been posted I think, or your Alfa specialist/dealer will tell if it's definitely failed.
Just look at it being 'insurance' against having another big bill in the next three years. If you don't want to pay for it now are you going to better able to pay a bigger bill in the future? Not everyone changes the variator and if it does fail you can postpone changing it until you can afford it (performance and economy will suffer but it won't harm the engine unlike the cam belt failing). Some people have also got a faulty variator going again by using an oil flush/additive.
'A business absolutely devoted to service will have only one worry about profits. They will be embarrassingly large.' - Henry Ford.