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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just bought a 2010 SW with 75k.

Its first cambelt was at 44k, Feb 2015 by the aforementioned London garage. The cambelt then snapped at 73k in Oct last year, leaving the owner with a massive bill. The repair job was done by the SAME garage as the first change in ’15.

When I picked the car up, and gave it a detailed check-over, I saw the tell-tale white marks on the cams. So, unless Alfa align it that way from manufacture, this garage did the changes the old-fashioned way. Unless there’s supposed to be white paint/marks on the cams for some other reason??

The car has been remapped and runs well. I’m planning on getting the change (done properly) at the next service (i.e. well inside the 30k the car managed before it broke).

Seem reasonable?
 

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Only 29k before it snapped (73 k minus 44k=29k)! Might be more important to name the brand of cambelt....so we can avoid it!!! LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
According to the invoice (unfortuantly I only have the invoice for the 2nd change, but it's a reasonable assumption they used the same brand), the cambelt is "SK15 1750 TBI Belt Kit, part no 71775896". No name mentioned.

As for stating the garage, I'm not going to mention the name, but I'm sure you can figure it out!
 

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.....me too !

Back in the good old days ...on cars without an engine mount through the middle of the belt....I sometimes would just slice the old belt along its length....remove most of the belt leaving a 5mm ish thick strip to hold everything in place and then slide the new one on. When it was on just cut the thin piece off....job done! Worked fine if you did not want/need to replace water pumps and tensioners!! Ahh the good old days.
 

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There was a bad batch of cambelt tensioners a couple of years ago in the genuine Alfa cambelt kits for the 1750 TBI engines. I had two of them - you don't know until you have the belt fitted and tensioned, on rotation the tensioner doesn't spring, it just stays in a fixed position. Would allow the timing belt to constantly go slack and tight instead of holding the tension at the same value all the time. Wouldn't surprise me if that was the cause of the snap. Visible tippex marks is not a great sign, but could also have used locking tools (they fit in the other end). Doesn't inspire confidence though.
 

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On another similar note - A very well known and upmarket dealership in the W/Midlands ‘used’ to service my Audi......until one fateful day!
I had a major service due so (being a trusting fellow) I marked all the belts with a white paint marker, including oil filter and the like.
They collected my car from work that morning and I was expecting her back at around 17:00, sure enough there they were with my nicely valeted Audi.
Before they shot off & paying them the extortionate service fee of £600.00 I lifted the bonnet to inspect the engine bay, to my shock and horror I found my original paint marked belts still fitted to include the oil filter!!
Needless to say all hell broke lose with the service manager - It all worked out in the end but with the loss of a customer!
 

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On another similar note - A very well known and upmarket dealership in the W/Midlands ‘used’ to service my Audi......until one fateful day!
I had a major service due so (being a trusting fellow) I marked all the belts with a white paint marker, including oil filter and the like.
They collected my car from work that morning and I was expecting her back at around 17:00, sure enough there they were with my nicely valeted Audi.
Before they shot off & paying them the extortionate service fee of £600.00 I lifted the bonnet to inspect the engine bay, to my shock and horror I found my original paint marked belts still fitted to include the oil filter!!
Needless to say all hell broke lose with the service manager - It all worked out in the end but with the loss of a customer!
Yep, I'm sure there's a lot of that still going on Topic.
And it's the reason why I'll never use a main stealer or similar large and faceless rip-off merchant.
It's all about trust - finding a good local outfit and sticking with them and talking to the guy who'll actually be doing the work instead of a pretty girl behind a counter offering you 'free' coffee...
 

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i dont trust garages never will, ever since i have had wheel nuts finger tight, and on a separate occasion the drive shaft bolts fall out because they didnt use loctite when replacing the clutch. different garages
 

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I had a customer bring a car in for service with little paint marks all over...oil filter, plugs, air filter etc etc. I serviced the car...then put paint marks back on all the new parts......! I got a shouty phone call later. So I dropped all his old parts on his doorstep on my way home. Please don't tar all garages with the same brush...I'm not in that game any more....but it's pretty easy to tell the good ones from the bad with just a little research.
 

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...and I bet you never saw that 'customer' ever again!
 

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i dont trust garages never will, ever since i have had wheel nuts finger tight, and on a separate occasion the drive shaft bolts fall out because they didnt use loctite when replacing the clutch. different garages
The lack of loctite wouldn’t have been the problem,the problem is even more basic than that....... the bolts should have been torqued up they clearly forgot to tighten let alone torque.

Not all garages are the same as said above,I worked at Vauxhall’s many years ago and took pride in my work and refused to ‘upsell’ Needless repairs.
Vauxhall issued a recall on brake res caps for Astra F,part of the procedure was test fluid and replace if required along with an new cap and once that done look for any work that needed doing so they could quote.
I always changed fluid and cap regardless of the test result,unless it was a dangerous defect I didn’t report it officially as the customer didn’t expect a big quote to come from a recall. I would simply speak to the customer and inform them if I noticed anything amiss so they were free to do what they want without being pressured by some overly persuasive service assistant on bonus.
 

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...and I bet you never saw that 'customer' ever again!
....LOL....to be honest it was too long ago to remember. But we were always booked full at least three months ahead (VW main dealer) so we would not have been that worried about loosing the odd awkward one!....certain customers we would tell that it was even longer in the hope they went elsewhere. Don't forget they are way more awkward and unreasonable customers than there are bad mechanics!!! Its the same in the caravan industry I'm in now!!
 

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....LOL....to be honest it was too long ago to remember. But we were always booked full at least three months ahead (VW main dealer) so we would not have been that worried about loosing the odd awkward one!....certain customers we would tell that it was even longer in the hope they went elsewhere. Don't forget they are way more awkward and unreasonable customers than there are bad mechanics!!! Its the same in the caravan industry I'm in now!!
Interesting, for a main VW dealership, that you had such a close relationship with customers that you knew them and not just their cars; that's certainly much better than the experiences I've had on the odd occasion I've had to use a main agent.
They always wanted to keep me 'front-of-house' rather than speak to someone in the 'oily part' of their empire. I always want it to be the opposite and have a good chat with the actual chap who'll be doing the work. Which is what I have with my local garage - he knows me and I know him and that works great - we respect each other , and no need for anybody to use paint!
 

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Good to hear. It's funny...when I was there at first (87 on) we were encouraged to talk to the customers on who's cars we worked....which was nice for both parties...talk through the problem..perhaps go on a test drive with them. Then mid 90s VW said no to that...customers talk to the front of house service receptionists only. They were trying to push their image up and did not want customers talking to us "grease monkies"! And that's how it was until I left. A year ago my wife bought a VW Eos (a leak prone disaster that was rejected and returned...stay away!)...and I took it to the dealer I used to work at. Full circle...I was immediately introduced to the fitter that was to work on my car so I could talk through the problems!
 

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On the odd occasions I visit my Indy, MOT or the odd job above my skill level, I get pestered to put the kettle on, I always take them a packet of chocolate biscuits which they obviously can’t eat without a cuppa.

They’ve lent me specialist tools, given advice in exchange for me sitting in cars when I visit, while they do the MOT, me turning the wheels, operating the horn, washers, lights etc.

Great set of lads.
 

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On the odd occasions I visit my Indy, MOT or the odd job above my skill level, I get pestered to put the kettle on, I always take them a packet of chocolate biscuits which they obviously can’t eat without a cuppa.

They’ve lent me specialist tools, given advice in exchange for me sitting in cars when I visit, while they do the MOT, me turning the wheels, operating the horn, washers, lights etc.

Great set of lads.
Sounds like a great garage, old-school. :thumbs:
 
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