OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Help OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Well, it's happened! Yesterday, the cambelt went on my 2002 2.0l 147 at 49,650 miles.

I've only had the car about three months and have done about 2200 miles in that time. Before buying the car from a dealer (Stockport Car Supermarket- http://www.stockportcarsupermarket.c...stockport.htm), I informed him that I was aware of the cambelt issue on the 147 and that AR recommend that the belt should be replaced at around 36000 miles. I had even offered to pay the dealer a little extra if he would replace the belt. However, he had told me that their garage had checked the belt and were of he opinion that it did not need changing. Also he had agreed to extend the standard 3 month standard warranty to a 12 month warranty saying that if there were any problems with the belt it would be covered under the warranty.

The dealer has now told me that I need to get them some quotes for repair costs BUT that the warranty will only meet repair costs up to £500 even though there is no term in the warranty mentioning that limit and there was no verbal mention of that limit when I bought the car.

Having got some quotes for the repairs (ranging from £700-1,400), it looks like my pocket is going to be hit heavily! I haven't yet informed the dealer of the quotes; I'm trying to think of ways in which I can limit any contribution that I may end up having to make towards the cost of the repairs.

I would appreciate it if you guys could give me some idea of how much it normally costs for repairing the cambelt, and also any garage recommendations in/around Swansea (which is where it broke down; I live in Manchester but came to Swansea to visit some family a few days ago...on holiday...some holiday it's turned out to be!)

I knew at the time I should have avoided buying an AR, what with all the horror stories...but I was carried away by the looks and stylish appearence of the car...the head gave way to the heart! NEVER AGAIN will I touch an AR with a bargepole! As soon as it's repaired, i'm part-ex'ing it for a decent car that's not going to financially rape me on a regular basis!
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

sorry to hear about your problems

you took a gamble not getting the work done and the coin flipped the other way
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Harsh for that to happen, but material fatigue and wear doesn't always happen superficially. That this garage said you can carry on fine when AR specifically states now that they need replacing every 3 yrs /36000 miles makes me think they are a little on the 'cowboy' side of things.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

I can't understand why you chose to ignore the advice of AR and take the advice of an independent garage on such an important issue.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbullit View Post

I knew at the time I should have avoided buying an AR, what with all the horror stories...but I was carried away by the looks and stylish appearence of the car...the head gave way to the heart! NEVER AGAIN will I touch an AR with a bargepole! As soon as it's repaired, i'm part-ex'ing it for a decent car that's not going to financially rape me on a regular basis!
To be honest, you did know that the belt needed changing but it was not done, and any car can/will snap a cambelt if you don't get it changed on time, whether its an Alfa or a Toyota.
Your best bet IMHO would be to go back to the dealer and explain what has happened. You could argue that the car was not of merchantable quality, esecially if you have suffered a failure after owning the car only 2200 miles. The belt would probably have been checked as he said, but this is likely to have been at 36,000 miles. (Alfa orginally said the belt needed to be checked and not changed at 36,000 miles). The dealer told you the truth but not the whole truth IMO.

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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

why should you have to get quotes - the supplying dealer should repair the car at a price to suit the warranty they sold you.

I would ask them to sort it out and settle it between them and the warranty company mate.

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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

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Originally Posted by symonh2000 View Post
To be honest, you did know that the belt needed changing but it was not done, and any car can/will snap a cambelt if you don't get it changed on time, whether its an Alfa or a Toyota.
Your best bet IMHO would be to go back to the dealer and explain what has happened. You could argue that the car was not of merchantable quality, esecially if you have suffered a failure after owning the car only 2200 miles. The belt would probably have been checked as he said, but this is likely to have been at 36,000 miles. (Alfa orginally said the belt needed to be checked and not changed at 36,000 miles). The dealer told you the truth but not the whole truth IMO.
Completely agree. I would never have driven anymore than 500 miles without getting that change done.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

sorry but you can't slate alfa's as being crap because YOU haven't followed alfa's own guidelines you have admitted that you knew it should have been replaced at 36k, why did you not insist on it being done just playing russian roulette and you got the bullet don't meen to seem harsh but you have started off saying alfa's are crap and you won't buy another but you took a BIG chance with your cam-belt and lost the gamble, hard luck but as the saying goes 'don't bet what you can't afford to lose' the cam-belt is the FIRST thing i change no matter what
 
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

A few points based on your comments:

Quote:
've only had the car about three months and have done about 2200 miles in that time. Before buying the car from a dealer (Stockport Car Supermarket- http://www.stockportcarsupermarket.c...stockport.htm), I informed him that I was aware of the cambelt issue on the 147 and that AR recommend that the belt should be replaced at around 36000 miles. I had even offered to pay the dealer a little extra if he would replace the belt. However, he had told me that their garage had checked the belt and were of he opinion that it did not need changing. Also he had agreed to extend the standard 3 month standard warranty to a 12 month warranty saying that if there were any problems with the belt it would be covered under the warranty.
Did you get that in writing, and does the warranty information pack clearly state this also? Unless that warranty documentation clearly states that it will only pay the first £500 of every claim, they CANNOT make you pay a single penny.

Obvious question, but does the car have full service history with all services carried out, stamped and within the acceptable mileages/time frame for each service?

That said, if the cambelt parts have failed due to a manufactural defect within their warranty period you could stand with a claim. But you need a receipt to prove this.

Speak to the dealership that did the 36k service and find out exactly what they did at the service, and if possible ask for a copy of the invoice for the purposes of following this up with AR UK.

If it has indeed failed after being proven to have been replaced within such a short mileage then you could have a claim with AR UK and the manufacturers of the parts fitted when the cambelt was replaced.

Quote:
I would appreciate it if you guys could give me some idea of how much it normally costs for repairing the cambelt, and also any garage recommendations in/around Swansea (which is where it broke down; I live in Manchester but came to Swansea to visit some family a few days ago...on holiday...some holiday it's turned out to be!)
The cambelt having snapped is the least of your worries. The more worrying factor here is the subsequent damage caused to your valves, due to piston/valve contact.

Quotes will vary dependant on the severity of the damage caused. Obviously replacing 16 valves, and associated parts will cost more than replacing 2-3.

Quote:
I knew at the time I should have avoided buying an AR, what with all the horror stories...but I was carried away by the looks and stylish appearence of the car...the head gave way to the heart! NEVER AGAIN will I touch an AR with a bargepole! As soon as it's repaired, i'm part-ex'ing it for a decent car that's not going to financially rape me on a regular basis!
Your clearly angry, i would be, but your blaming the car, when infact its yourself that in some respects caused this to happen. Unless there was documentation proving otherwise, you should have had it changed. The responsibility falls on yourself for ensuring that maintenance is upheld and on time. Times have moved on, Alfa Romeo make exceedingly good cars. But neglecting routine maintenance on any car, or leaving anything as crucial as cambelt changes to chance on anything will ultimately end up with this result. Sometimes your lucky, sometimes your not. This time you werent.

Hope this helps.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

posting this is like walking into a bingo hall and saying "now I'm not saying my mother in law is fat..............."

hope you get it sorted - my first port of call would be to politely harangue the dealer
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

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Originally Posted by Alfa_156 View Post
Did you get that in writing, and does the warranty information pack clearly state this also? Unless that warranty documentation clearly states that it will only pay the first £500 of every claim, they CANNOT make you pay a single penny.
Errr What He Said !!

Threaten court proceedings based on that warranty document (if you have it) and then see what they say

Good Luck getting it sorted fella !!
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

NOt related to Alfas. but related to warranties ...

Many years ago I bought a 2nd hand car and with it came a 3 month warranty (yes, three months). Two days before the warranty expired, so did the differential ... we towed the car to the dealer and the usual conversation started ... "not our problem", "too close to the end date", "you'll have to pay something towards it", etc.

I showed them the warranty paper work again and the dates, plus I asked them to show me where it mentioned limits to how much they would pay. I threatened them with (a) legal action for refusing to honour the warranty and (b) I'd talk to the local press .. the car was fixed at their expense and I got it back a few days later.

Press them to show the cost clauses and try the above ... it will probably still work!

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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

You were unlucky and most of the time you are going to be unlucky. If you depend on a dealers point of view on maintaining you car then it wound not mater if you own a AR or BMW or anything with 4 wheels in this world.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Good old fashion - 'caveat emptor' and don't believe the dealer either. You do have the law behind you though. One thing I learnt from a problem with my wifes car years ago was that you must give the dealer a chance to fix it, it's the reasonable thing to do according to the law (in our case the dealer fixed the £1000 problem without much fuss (non AR)).

Gather your facts, gather the details in the warranty and be calm with the dealer. If you have no access to free legal advice, eg workplace employee schemes, motoring legal cover with your insurance or breakdown - there's always the Citizen's Advice Bureau. But it's better to threat after you've given the dealer a chance - it will look better in your favour should it get to court.

Oh, and don't just blame the marque. You have been unlucky. As said above, it could have happened to a BMW if it wasn't maintained. Shouting 'crap' on this site doesn't help, but we're a patient lot and still many of us want to help. It could get you ignored.

Good luck.

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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

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Originally Posted by Dai Alfa View Post
Good old fashion - 'caveat emptor' and don't believe the dealer either. You do have the law behind you though. One thing I learnt from a problem with my wifes car years ago was that you must give the dealer a chance to fix it, it's the reasonable thing to do according to the law (in our case the dealer fixed the £1000 problem without much fuss (non AR)).

Gather your facts, gather the details in the warranty and be calm with the dealer. If you have no access to free legal advice, eg workplace employee schemes, motoring legal cover with your insurance or breakdown - there's always the Citizen's Advice Bureau. But it's better to threat after you've given the dealer a chance - it will look better in your favour should it get to court.

Oh, and don't just blame the marque. You have been unlucky. As said above, it could have happened to a BMW if it wasn't maintained. Shouting 'crap' on this site doesn't help, but we're a patient lot and still many of us want to help. It could get you ignored.

Good luck.

Dai.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Its bad luck indeed and you have my sympathy, but to NOT change it at the recommended interval is like buying a Mars bar and complaining that it tastes of choclate.

Good luck with your repair, I hope it doesnt break the bank
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Bad luck, but AR do state that the belt should be changed at 36000 miles as you know.

If i were you i wouldnt slag off alfa on this site if you want help from us Alfa enthusiasts.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

I'd seek legal advise especially as there not cooprative, I'm sure that they are trying to pull a fast one!
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

You MAy Find That The Dealer May Put This Down To Wear And Tear And Not Refund You Anything ...like Everyone Else Says Always Get The Cambelt Done. Alfa Also Printed This In Black And White (nov 2006)that The Cambelts Should Be Changed On 36,000 Miles ...SORRY ABOUT THE BAD NEWS

Last edited by jizzbee; 24-10-07 at 20:46.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbullit View Post
Well, it's happened! Yesterday, the cambelt went on my 2002 2.0l 147 at 49,650 miles.


I knew at the time I should have avoided buying an AR, what with all the horror stories...but I was carried away by the looks and stylish appearence of the car...the head gave way to the heart! NEVER AGAIN will I touch an AR with a bargepole! As soon as it's repaired, i'm part-ex'ing it for a decent car that's not going to financially rape me on a regular basis!
Wow, that's putting it a bit strong don't you think?????? I always thought that the 156 was a decent car.
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

According to 'Honest John' in the Daily Telegraph:

"The Sale and Supply of Goods to Consumers Regulations 2002 compels the selling dealer to fix any faults, particularly those present at time of sale, for six months from the date of sale."
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Thanks to all you guys for taking the time to express your views; i really do appreciate it.

I feel I should apologise for the tone of my last paragraph in the original post; i'm sure you'll appreciate, though, that it came from a place of anger so soon after the event and I didn't mean to malign the entire AR marque!

Now an update:

After much to-ing and fro-ing with the dealer this morning ("I'll have to call you back in an hour", "I'm with customers at the moment, can I call you back?", "I haven't been able to get hold of the owner yet"), the upshot of the various conversations I had today is that the dealer has instructed me to take the car to the garage and get a precise estimate for repairs, but he is still reiterating that the warranty will only meet repair costs up to £500. I calmly and politely set out the facts:

-prior to the puchase, i had expressed my concern about the cambelt and had requested that it be replaced; i even undertook to play a little extra, but i was assured that the dealer's garage had checked the belt and had determined that it did not need changing and, moreover, the warranty (which he extended from the standard 3 months to 12 months) would cover the cambelt in any event (this undertaking was witnessed by a work colleague/friend who was with me at the time). It was on this assurance that i proceeded with the purchase.

-there is no reference to a limit of £500 in the warranty nor had he mentioned this during our conversations leading up to the purchase. On this point, i clearly detected the guy trying to bullshi* me because he said "At the time you bought the car, i had only just started working here and i didn't know about the limit which the owner [of the dealership] has since informed me". So, not only was no limit mentioned either in the terms of the warranty or during the verbal negotiations prior to the purchase, but the head salesman was himself unaware of any such limit; therefore, how can the company now seek to insist upon any such 'limit'?

So, I intend to take the car into a garage later today to get a precise estimate after they've had a chance to establish the full extent of any damage.

I told the dealer (again politely and calmly without threats) that if, in spite of the facts as stated above and in spite of the absence of any 'limit' in the warranty, they insist that they will only pay £500, then I will meet the outstanding amount myself but I will seek to recover that amount from the dealer via the County Court if necessary. If I have to go through the court to recover that amount, I will also seek to recover consequential losses - loss of earnings (i will have to take next week off work since there's no way the car will be repaired before the end of next week), loss of amenity etc. I told the guy i have no desire to be unreasonable or to take legal action unnecessarily, but i will not hesitate to do so to avoid having to incur financial costs which should properly be borne by the dealer.

Wish me luck and i'll keep you posted!
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbullit View Post
Thanks to all you guys for taking the time to express your views; i really do appreciate it.

I feel I should apologise for the tone of my last paragraph in the original post; i'm sure you'll appreciate, though, that it came from a place of anger so soon after the event and I didn't mean to malign the entire AR marque!

Now an update:

After much to-ing and fro-ing with the dealer this morning ("I'll have to call you back in an hour", "I'm with customers at the moment, can I call you back?", "I haven't been able to get hold of the owner yet"), the upshot of the various conversations I had today is that the dealer has instructed me to take the car to the garage and get a precise estimate for repairs, but he is still reiterating that the warranty will only meet repair costs up to £500. I calmly and politely set out the facts:

-prior to the puchase, i had expressed my concern about the cambelt and had requested that it be replaced; i even undertook to play a little extra, but i was assured that the dealer's garage had checked the belt and had determined that it did not need changing and, moreover, the warranty (which he extended from the standard 3 months to 12 months) would cover the cambelt in any event (this undertaking was witnessed by a work colleague/friend who was with me at the time). It was on this assurance that i proceeded with the purchase.

-there is no reference to a limit of £500 in the warranty nor had he mentioned this during our conversations leading up to the purchase. On this point, i clearly detected the guy trying to bullshi* me because he said "At the time you bought the car, i had only just started working here and i didn't know about the limit which the owner [of the dealership] has since informed me". So, not only was no limit mentioned either in the terms of the warranty or during the verbal negotiations prior to the purchase, but the head salesman was himself unaware of any such limit; therefore, how can the company now seek to insist upon any such 'limit'?

So, I intend to take the car into a garage later today to get a precise estimate after they've had a chance to establish the full extent of any damage.

I told the dealer (again politely and calmly without threats) that if, in spite of the facts as stated above and in spite of the absence of any 'limit' in the warranty, they insist that they will only pay £500, then I will meet the outstanding amount myself but I will seek to recover that amount from the dealer via the County Court if necessary. If I have to go through the court to recover that amount, I will also seek to recover consequential losses - loss of earnings (i will have to take next week off work since there's no way the car will be repaired before the end of next week), loss of amenity etc. I told the guy i have no desire to be unreasonable or to take legal action unnecessarily, but i will not hesitate to do so to avoid having to incur financial costs which should properly be borne by the dealer.

Wish me luck and i'll keep you posted!


Good luck in getting your car sorted quickly and with as little hassle as possible
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

good luck mate, thats the best approach
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Re: OMG! I'm FCUK'd! Cambelt Gone on 147!

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverbullit View Post
Thanks to all you guys for taking the time to express your views; i really do appreciate it.

I told the dealer (again politely and calmly without threats) that if, in spite of the facts as stated above and in spite of the absence of any 'limit' in the warranty, they insist that they will only pay £500, then I will meet the outstanding amount myself but I will seek to recover that amount from the dealer via the County Court if necessary. If I have to go through the court to recover that amount, I will also seek to recover consequential losses - loss of earnings (i will have to take next week off work since there's no way the car will be repaired before the end of next week), loss of amenity etc. I told the guy i have no desire to be unreasonable or to take legal action unnecessarily, but i will not hesitate to do so to avoid having to incur financial costs which should properly be borne by the dealer.

Wish me luck and i'll keep you posted!
Not just to you, but to others on here who share the British justice system. Be VERY careful when dealing with vendors and expressing ultimatums of any kind. It may seem very logical to say to someone for example "If you don't fix the problem I'll report you/see you in court" but it can backfire. It's amazing what one can see as innocuous debate, being seen by courts to be threats/coercion or blackmail.

Not saying you're doing anything wrong and if what you say is fact I believe you're totally in the right. This just seemed a good as place as any to tag on advice on what to look out for when dealing with problem vendors. The bad ones know exactly what they can get away with and will attempt to incite you to dig your own hole. If you're going to take them to court do it without making a song and dance of it beforehand.

All the best and good luck.

P.S. I have a client who has a very fiery wife. She went into one of the banks here and publically gave them a earful of what she thought of the staff and the bank. She was taken to court by the bank for a form of assault even though it was all verbal. Cost a fair few dollars to straighten it all out.

Last edited by PT14; 25-10-07 at 00:14.
 
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