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Discussion Starter #1
Hi - Yesterday my cambelt broke (so says the AA man)....no idea how much damage has been done yet until I get someone to look at it but reading this forum makes for a grim outlook.

Can anyone tell me what best case scenario is - I know worst case is I need a new engine.

But more importantly part of my AA cover is that they will deliver my car to my nominated garage and don't know what to do - get it taken to a main dealer to assess and quote for it or get it taken straight up to AutoLusso or Alfa Workshop etc (I live in SW London). Advice greatly appreciated.

Last question - I had my car serviced by a non-Alfa specialist but country wide chain (Nationwide Auto Centers) in February, only 5000 miles ago. Part of the service is "Check for timing / cam belt replacement (report if due)" they told me nothing about my cambelt - should they be liable for helping with the repair costs?

I really appreciate your time and help.

Oh yeah...hear Ned at AutoLusso is a good man to talk to on here - how do I find him!?
 

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Worst case isn't a new engine, that fairly standard for a cam belt failure! Its often the easiest fix as well and can be done for about £1200-£1500. The other way is a second hand head plus changing the big end shells or if you are handy with a spanner you could rebuild the exisitng head.
Engine swap is the simplest and fastest way of getting your car back on the road though.
 
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With regard to your service and possibility of a claim, it all depends on the mileage of the car, whether it was due for a belt change, what service you asked for or they quoted for. They could well have looked at the belt condition and judged it ok. Unfortunately on these engines its often not the belt that breaks but tensioners etc that fail. I wouldn't expect any joy with a claim but you could give it try, you never know your luck:)
 

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You may have more of a chance of a claim if it had been an Alfa dealer that did the service.
How many miles had it done since the last belt change?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hi - Thanks for the replies guys...

The car has never had the belt changed. Last service was at 41k and is at 46k now.

Never knew this issue is so common with Alfa TS until I started reading all the posts here (after the event) or I would have got it changed long before now...

Thanks all
 

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When you had the service @ 41000miles, the belt change was already 5000miles overdue...

You don't say how old the car is either, which has an effect on belt change intervals too.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi - Sorry it is an 02 plate.

Like I say if I knew I would have had it done long before but as far as I knew up until yesterday was that the cam belt gets changed about 70k.

Anyone got any advice about taking it to my main dealer for a quote or straight up to Auto Lusso?

Thanks
 

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Hi - Sorry it is an 02 plate.
ok, so actually 3.5 years overdue on the revised 3-year/36000mile schedule!

BUT more importantly, it was also overdue on the original 6-year/72000mile schedule... :tut:


Sorry!
 

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Dutton Forshaw in Cardiff (only recently been an Alfa dealer) did mine last week for £576, including changing the variator which apparently should be done at the same time.
Not sure if this was a good deal or not, but the service was [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #10
ok, so actually 3.5 years overdue on the revised 3-year/36000mile schedule!

BUT more importantly, it was also overdue on the original 6-year/72000mile schedule... :tut:


Sorry!
Fair cop guv...fair point and acknowledge but genuine mistake and just trying to work out what to do now...trust me I won't be making the same mistake again!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
UPDATE
Spoke to Tony at ItalAuto's and looks like the best option will be a recon engine. He said they can recon mine for the same price (£1250 fitted, inc VAT) + recovery costs.

Seems reasonable enough...

Advice still appreciated though!
 

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Just got your PM, I have read you post.

Don’t take it to a dealer, what they will do is take the head off then charge you £300 - £400 for diagnosis, we have quite a few turning up like that.

Also the other important thing is often when you have a snapped can belt you do damage to the big end bearings there is a bit on our web site about it

“Please note, if your engine suffers a cam belt failure the valves will hit the pistons and will bend the valves, very often the impact will cause damage to the bottom end of the engine which will not become apparent until approximately 500-3000 miles after the top of the engine has been repaired. This is why we don't just rebuild the top half of the engine after a cam belt failure.”

We will charge you £1,500 for a fully rebuilt engine supplied, fitted and guaranteed. You are welcome to come and see where and how we build our engines, we are completely open about the process, link to our engine page of our web site

Auto Lusso - Alfa Romeo Engine Rebuilds, Replacement and Repairs - Hertfordshire, Bedfordshre UK

Please feel free to give me a call to discuss

Ned

01525 221921

I will not be in tomorrow morning as I have to go to the hospital, we are expecting or third baby at the end of the month
 
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as David C points out, the belt was due for change at the service, even on the old change intervals. as part of the service is stated as "check for cam-belt wear" and you have that in writing then you clearly have a valid claim, even if they haven't got the up to date change intervals (which have been applicable for probably over a year :confused: ) so they have no excuse :tut:
whatever you do though, get ned to do the work. you may be able to find somewhere that will knock a few quid off the price, but only in the short term. once it blows again because they haven't done the job right it becomes expensive.
pay the right people the right price, just once ;)
 

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... even if they haven't got the up to date change intervals (which have been applicable for probably over a year :confused: ) so they have no excuse :tut:
The revised schedule came along in November 2006, so 2-years ago now.

However, from 2002 there has been an official "recommendation" to check them after 3-years and change if any doubt. That then simply became "change after 3-years/36000miles" in 2006.
 
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The revised schedule came along in November 2006, so 2-years ago now.

However, from 2002 there has been an official "recommendation" to check them after 3-years and change if any doubt. That then simply became "change after 3-years/36000miles" in 2006.
seems an open and shut case on liability then David? if he has it in writing that they "checked" it then they obviously are liable?
 
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another moral here though is not to trust servicing to people who aren't really capable of the job :tut: a few quid saved on the servicing soon gets wiped out when these things happen. an alfa specialist such as autolusso or jamie porter wouldn't have let it pass through without being changed :tut: no need to use the dealer network on older cars, just people who know how to look after them ;)
 
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Thanks Guys - Don't you worry - lesson learnt big time!
yes mate, not trying to apportion blame your way at all ;) i really do hope you get some joy out of claiming against the half-wits that "serviced" your car, if i was facing a bill like that :rant: :rant: :rant: the fire brigade would be needed at that garage :lol:
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
I've discovered another twist in the tale...and this one is definately my fault!

Can't find the receipt for the service (I know). Searched high and low for the last hour.

What I do have is this:
http://www.nationwideautocentres.co.uk/pdf/menu_service_schedule.pdf

6th item from the bottom is "Check for timing / cam belt replacement (report if due)" and I had a major service. I can get a credit card statement to prove, also have their stamp in my service book confirming date and mileage. Going to phone and ask for a replacement invoice.
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Phoned the guys who did my service and asked for a duplicate invoice, no excuses, and they said absolutely - no problem. Just need to pop down. Be doing it later today or first thing tomorrow morning.
 
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