Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please! - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 10 Old 16-12-07 Thread Starter
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Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

Firstly, hello everyone!

You may remember me, had a 156, sold it, moved to oz (where i am now) but havent as yet replaced it with another alfa. Been off the site as felt like to much of a lurker with no Alfa.

However i've had an email from my best mate in the uk i sold my Alfa too. Basically here is his email to me i got today:

The cam belt went on the Alfa, and all 16 valves got knackered. Anyway took it down to that garage where you got it serviced. Did you ever have a new cam belt fitted by them? Anyways they turned round over the phone and told me to bring it down. I took it down, and they said the diagnostic would be £22 which then turned into £44. It cost me £45 + vat to get it down there, and then they turned round and said the damage was £1380!! And then immediately offered me £500 for the car. Iíve just had 4 brand new tires put on it 3 weeks ago for £200 quid, and they said yeah we noticed them!

I told them I was not interested and they basically got funny and said they can knock £90 off the repair bill. I said Iíll get a second opinion. I took it to a bloke I know in Ringwood - After waiting a couple of weeks Iíve now got the car back on the road for £670. The mechanic said the problem was the cam belt had never been changed. Point is £670 - £1380 bit of a difference eh!!


Ok, first things first. I sold it to him in March. It definitely had the cambelt done on it last year (checked my old posts on here for memory verification) and had the variator and service done at the same time.

I passed all service history to him but am yet to find out if he has it.

I also realise there are 2 sides to every story but figure as he's my best mate i go with him on this.

The garage he refers to have always been good for me, no complaints, so not chucking accusations round at the moment.

I'm just looking for a few views on:

1) The situation
2) Is there any recourse that can take place?
3) Is the quoted cost reasonable from both parties?
4) what would you do?

All suggestions greatfully read and glad to have posted on here after a long lay off.

Thanks guys.
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

£670 seems quite cheap to me to fix the results of a broken cambelt!

What recourse are you worried about? You sold your friend a car, and having paid for the cambelt to be done you certainly couldn't be accused of selling it knowing there was an imminent problem.
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

I would say that if the garage took your money for a cambelt change and said they has fitted it then there is recourse, I don't know how it affects things having sold the vehicle on though.

Proving the belt was never changed could be difficult, if a few thousand miles had been driven then it probably looked old anyway.

All could depend on distance covered.
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

How does the 2nd garage know it hasn't been changed. The marks rub off the belts quickly so how would he be able to tell?
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phoenicks View Post
I'm just looking for a few views on:

1) The situation
2) Is there any recourse that can take place?
3) Is the quoted cost reasonable from both parties?
4) what would you do?
you cant complain if a belt snaps in Dec2007 when it was fitted some time in 2006. there is no way to prove if it was actually changed in the past, but tbh thats your fault for not checking the work that was done last year. its too late to dispute anything now.

£1380 is a crazy price, they were using that as a scare tactic to make him sell it, so they could then fix it and sell it on for a profit.

£670 is still very expensive, but it depends where you go and where you live. i know it would cost me £350 for a full set of valves, headgasket, timing belt, tensioner, idler & labour at a local independant garage i use for jobs like that. at a local "alfa specialist" it costs that much just for the timing belt job so it really does depend where you go.

i would do nothing. when you buy a used car privately you accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong from the moment you pay for it. these things happen, it isnt your fault. but remember to check that the work you pay for is actually done in future. its amazing how many times i've seen garages charge for jobs that didnt get done.
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(Post Link) post #6 of 10 Old 19-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

Thanks for all the responses, many thanks.

It appears my friend cannot be bothered to do anything about so neither can i. But then as i'm in oz there isnt much i could do!

However in response to Jug:

you cant complain if a belt snaps in Dec2007 when it was fitted some time in 2006. I think that a 1, 1 1/2 year old cambelt is complainable as that is far too shorter time for it to go.

but tbh thats your fault for not checking the work that was done last year. its too late to dispute anything now. Would you check everything that was done on your car and secondly, and i may be wrong here, i believe its a pain to check the cambelt work on a 156 once its done.

£1380 is a crazy price, they were using that as a scare tactic to make him sell it, so they could then fix it and sell it on for a profit.

£670 is still very expensive, but it depends where you go and where you live. i know it would cost me £350 for a full set of valves, headgasket, timing belt, tensioner, idler & labour at a local independant garage i use for jobs like that. at a local "alfa specialist" it costs that much just for the timing belt job so it really does depend where you go. 350 is dirt cheap for a bent valves and labour job so that would worry me if i was using someone that cheap. Anyone on here like to add their view on that?
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

A few observations:

1) If the garage changed the belt and tensioners within 12 months and something broke, they can claim the supplier, more than 12 months is a problem as the workshop would need to put their hand in their pocket - and your mate want even the original customer - and he cant be arsed to check the receipt!
2) £350 for a head repair and new belts, tensioners etc! - I dont think so, you are over £250 for the parts alone, then the workshops mark up, then labour, then VAT.....
3) OK, the belt failed, but this could have been a siezed waterpump of interference from road debris or one of the other belts, so its not cut and dried.
4) The present garage arent giving much information.
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

You did well, or your mate did at that price, to get it fixed.: Live and learn.:
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

if your receipt says you have a warranty then you can complain when a premature failure occurs, but only if you have a warranty. i cant imagine any warranty lasting more than 1 year, even from a dealership, so under those circumstances a complaint would carry no weight.

i check any work that is done on my car, inspecting the timing belt on a 156 is a simply case of getting on the floor and looking at the crank pulley. it takes all of 10secs. however i would honestly remove the timing belt cover to check the tensioner and idler had also been changed as soon as i got home.
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(Post Link) post #10 of 10 Old 20-12-07 Thread Starter
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Re: Cambelt snap and garage response - your views please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zulu ferret View Post
You did well, or your mate did at that price, to get it fixed.: Live and learn.:
Agreed. Matter closed!
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