Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive? - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 22 Old 21-08-07 Thread Starter
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Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Hi,
My 147 last had a Cam Belt change at 57000km and the next one was due at 120000km. When i bought the car at 70000km the guy at the dealership told me that it had just been done at 69000km so i wouldn't have to worry until 130000km only to be surprised when i call the dealership last week to get more details of the service at "69000km" only to be told that the service was done at 57000km, therefore meaning i should have done mine when i was 117000km. My problem is that now i'm at 130000km about 13000km extra.

I've parked the car since then not wanting to take any chances. I now need to take the car to the garage for changing the cam belt (23km). Now I'm a bit worried about driving the car, should i be or should i get it towed? The car was running fine before i parked it.

Please help...
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Darren156
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

To be honest mate, the chances of it going on the way to the garage are VERY VERY slim, but they still exist.

Ideally, if it IS overdue (Which you claim it to be) you should NOT drive the car at all until the cambelt is done.

Trouble is, some cambelts can go at 54,000 miles and others won't go for the entire life span of the car, its kinda like a pot luck really. But getting it changed is a necessity if you want to enjoy your car without that black cambelt shaped cloud hanging over you.

Ideally, if you can get it towed or trailered to the garage for free that's what you should do, even if it's a hassle.

Because sods law mate suggests that it may go on the journey to the garage.

Good luck,
Darren
 
(Post Link) post #3 of 22 Old 21-08-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Thanks Darren156 for your post. According to my manual the changes should be ever 120000km but the dealer said this changed afterwards down to 60000km. At intervals of 120000km I'm very safe so i figure that chances of it snapping are as much as they were before now and even after i change it it's still a probability, so I'm going to take the chance and drive it cause it's going to cost me to tow it. I'll let you know what happens.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Go for it then mate, and good luck, I have my fingers crossed for you!

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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

ive just said a prayer , since joining this fantastic forum ive become totally paranoid about my cambelt snaping so once ive reached my mileage its going straight in for changing , but like a friend of mine found out , a cambelt can break at anytime causing just sheer agony for the owner.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

I'll say just drive it there unless you have access to free or very cheap towing truck. The fear of it snapping is just in your head and yes I know it could snap but still it probably wouldn't.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Mine snapped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

mine snapped at 57k! Was heart broken! The belt was almost new at the time but i had overlooked changing the tensioner and this is what failed. Don't worry about driving to the garage, as has been said its highly unlikely to go.
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(Post Link) post #9 of 22 Old 22-08-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Thanks for your prayer kmky Also ever since i started driving an alfa i've been paranoid about the cam belt, for me it's the more than normal cost involved in changing it.

I also think that it's just ones luck... it can snap anytime. So i'll be driving my car will let you know what happens.
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(Post Link) post #10 of 22 Old 23-08-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

I made it to the mechanic safely with no problems this morning.

When i get there the mechanic says "Ok let me take it for a test drive" I start thinking i must have been really stressing about nothing. The same mechanic i had told him my concerns about driving the car and he had suggested i tow the car is taking it for a test drive. He then tells me doom and gloom stories about snapping cam belts and strongly suggests i tow it to him to change the cambelt immidiately.

As soon as he starts the car and revs it "your exhaust is blowing" ?!?! I was like what? and I walked away i didn't want to hear more bad news.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Uh oh... Is this guy an Alfa specialist or just a normal mechanic?
 
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Also, a blowing exhaust is no big deal, probably just a loose clamp somewhere like I had on mine. Got mine done for free at a local exhaust place.

They'll try convincing you that you need an entire new system though.

Bloody mechanics!
 
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

pollitley suggest that he concentrate more on the cambelt change rather than lining his pockets I hate garages, but unfortunatley looking under the bonet of my 156 scares the hell outa me. Is this bloke a specialist or a spanner monkey as darren said? If he's the latter, and you do use him, make sure he changes the tensioner and make sure he does it with the new metal type not the older plastic one. ask to have the old bits back before he starts (just make up some reason why you want them) I only do that to people i dont fully trust and they shouldn't have a problem with you asking for them
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(Post Link) post #14 of 22 Old 23-08-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Yeah he is an alfa specialists... i don't trust mechanics either they all want fatten their pockets. Especially if you look like you know nothing about cars. My quoted bill is now up by 35% cause my brakes are "down to the metal". Thanks for the tips Ginderalfa, i'm going over to see the progress on the repairs now. I'll keep you guys posted.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

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Originally Posted by Mzansi147 View Post
Yeah he is an alfa specialists... i don't trust mechanics either they all want fatten their pockets. Especially if you look like you know nothing about cars. My quoted bill is now up by 35% cause my brakes are "down to the metal". Thanks for the tips Ginderalfa, i'm going over to see the progress on the repairs now. I'll keep you guys posted.
Which garage have you gone to mate?
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Why isn't he just getting on with the damned cambelt for Christs sake?

He seems to be making crap up as he goes along mate, be very wary of this bloke.
 
(Post Link) post #17 of 22 Old 23-08-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Just got back now. I asked to see the the replaced belt including the tensioner. He told me that when he orders the tensioner from the agent they sometimes get the metal and sometimes they get the plastic one and it seems i was unlucky as he had receievd the plastic one and installed it.

The cam belt is now done and he is busy with changing all the brake pads.

I asked him about the comment he made earlier about the exhaust and he said he wasn't able to say cause he needed to lift the car and was waiting for my go ahead with the brakes be fore he lifted it.

Thanks to Darren, i mentioned that it might just be a loose clamp so nothing serious. I think he thought i knew what i was talking about cause he changed from predictions of gloom and doom about the exhaust to agreeing that it's probably something minor.

He ended the conversation with "it looks like you have been neglecting your car" when i asked him to elaborate, wherether there was anything wrong he wasn't too clear, but beat around the bush as if he is thinking of some mechanical term to confuse me.

I'm picking my car up in the next hour.

I'm actually in South Africa and not the UK. Will let you guys know about my drive home.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

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Originally Posted by Mzansi147 View Post
Just got back now. I asked to see the the replaced belt including the tensioner. He told me that when he orders the tensioner from the agent they sometimes get the metal and sometimes they get the plastic one and it seems i was unlucky as he had receievd the plastic one and installed it.

The cam belt is now done and he is busy with changing all the brake pads.

I asked him about the comment he made earlier about the exhaust and he said he wasn't able to say cause he needed to lift the car and was waiting for my go ahead with the brakes be fore he lifted it.

Thanks to Darren, i mentioned that it might just be a loose clamp so nothing serious. I think he thought i knew what i was talking about cause he changed from predictions of gloom and doom about the exhaust to agreeing that it's probably something minor.

He ended the conversation with "it looks like you have been neglecting your car" when i asked him to elaborate, wherether there was anything wrong he wasn't too clear, but beat around the bush as if he is thinking of some mechanical term to confuse me.

I'm picking my car up in the next hour.

I'm actually in South Africa and not the UK. Will let you guys know about my drive home.
One word for this mechanic: Cowboy.

He is making excuses to do further work on your car. Try to find someone else mate because he sounds like bad news.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Hmm, to be honest with you mate he sounds like a jackass (And to reiterate; A cowboy), any Alfa specialist worth their salt wouldn't stick on another plastic tensioner. All sounds a bit dodgey.

Also, as long as you check your levels on your Alfa once a week (Water and Oil, Oil especially) and make sure you heed notice of any warning lights / noises / odd feelings etc, there aint much else you can do to look after your car. Short of making sure you wash and wax it once a week.

If the mechanic is suggesting you drive it around at 30MPH all the time and never rev it over 3000RPM or something then he clearly should NOT be an Alfa Specialist.

If you can I would find someone else to do any Alfa work for you in the future bud.

Take it steady,
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Where in south africa are you based mzansi, cape or joburg side?
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Hi mate,just got my 147 out of mechanic after cambelt snapped,1300 pounds for the lot,talk to the people who are doing your cambelt,probably theyll be happy to come and tow it to the garage.my garage towed mine free of charge,so if you dont ask,you dont get.good luck.
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Re: Cam Belt change. Is it safe to drive?

Hi Guys... Picked up my car yesterday afternoon. Got the cam belt sorted out 270 pounds (after negotiating) and the brakes 95 pounds. Everything seems to be in good running order again.

Thank you guys very much for making a usually Harrowing experience a bearable one.

I really enjoyed and appreciated the driving experience after being forced for two weeks to drive my 1979 Mini Clubman, as fun as it is to drive, it's best kept for weekends.

Mlatalfa, i'm based in Durban. Thanks guys.
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