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Discussion Starter #1
Hey
Just picked up a 2003 alfa 156 1.6TS. (45,000 on the clock). My first Alfa

I just have a few questions about the timing belt.
Am i right to understand that of 2006 Alfa recomend the timing belt is changed on the 36,000 service?
Looking through the service history, my car had its 36,000 mile service last year (august 2007) and who ever did the service has written a recomendation that the cam belt is to be changed oct 2008, which is now. That will mean that this mechanic recomends that the belt is to be changed after 5 years.....which is surly what Alfa used to say!
So i'm a little confused.
Should the timing belt should have been changed last year when is was serviced?
Is there any way of telling if it has been changed?
 

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I would be phoning up the garage to check. It does need doing if it hasn't been done.

It does however sound like they didn't do it, which is a bit naughty. It should be every 36,000 miles or every 3 years.

Maybe you could try talking to them and getting it done at a reduced price, especially if it is a main dealer who should know better.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ye I think I agree. They should have done it but didnt!

The problem is that the dealer I bought the car from was different to the one that did its 36,000 mile service. I might give the dealer a ring and see if they know if it has been done, and maybe fish for a discount.

Having said that I bought the car from a place 40 miles from where I live so I would be tempted to go locally. Does anyone reckon that a garage would be able to see if it has been changed recently by looking at the belt?
 

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It is very difficult to tell by looking at the belt. The one I took off my last 156 had done 44,000 miles but looked pretty new.

The belt doesn't often fail on its own anyway, it's usually the tensioners that fail, making the belt slip teeth or they jam up and snap the belt.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
right well its booked in for thursday to have a new belt and all the kit that goes with it changed.
Lets hope its ok till thursday!
 

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It will be ok. :)

The belt itself is most likely to fail on a cold start, or when the revs are suddenly increased, as that is when it is under most load. The tensioners can seize at anytime however. :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've just been reading my forums as my car sounds like a diesel on tick over. The common opinion is that its the variator that needs changing. As I asked the garage to do the cambelt and the kit that comes with it will the variator be part of this?
 

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I've just been reading my forums as my car sounds like a diesel on tick over. The common opinion is that its the variator that needs changing. As I asked the garage to do the cambelt and the kit that comes with it will the variator be part of this?
No, it is seperate. It will cost around £85 for the part in addition to the belt and around 20 mins labour. They won't change it unless you specifically ask them either.

You did say you were taking it to an alfa garage disn't you? If not they probably won't have the tools to do the cambelt correctly. By that I mean a set of cam locks for the 1.6 engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
No actauuly. Its my local garage that i've gone to for a couple of years now. To be honest I dont no of an Alfa garage locally (sheffield).

I just hope they are as good with my 156 as they were with my Fiesta's!!
 

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No actauuly. Its my local garage that i've gone to for a couple of years now. To be honest I dont no of an Alfa garage locally (sheffield).

I just hope they are as good with my 156 as they were with my Fiesta's!!

if they haven't done Alfa's before then they will almost certainly try and set the timing without using the locks. This will result in poor engine performance at best, and engine damage at worst.

I would give them a call to ask them if they have the blocks. If they don't either find somewhere that does, or buy a set of blocks yourself and get them to use them.

The 1.6 blocks are different from the 1.8 and 2 litre blocks BTW.

The blocks cost around £25 from Totally Alfa
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I gave them a ring and he was pretty sure they had the correct block. If not he said they would get hold of it. Like I said I trust the garage (well as much as you can trust any garage) and they will no doubt borrow one or buy one if needed.

Sounds like they have done it before.

So I'll be back here on thrusday night with the results!
 
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