Shouldn't they have done more?

timing-belts
belts
golf
volkswagen

#1

46K, 2001 turbo- upon retrieving car from dealership service for non-diagnosed non-repaired $150 check up - water pump blew 20 blocks from dealership. Towed in - waterpump replaced. “noticed oil-leak on cylinder head & replaced valve cover gasket” - all under 10yr warranty. However also replaced timing belt tensioner but not the timing belt - stating that would need belt sooner rather than later. Shouldn’t they have done this? No engine lights today but just waiting for the next time, have been too many. Change dealership service depts? Independant mechanic.


#2

I’m confused. Was this the dealer or an independant mechanic?

I cannot imagine anyone changing the tensioner and not the belt. If that’s true, and of you’re unhappy with the shop, then yes you should go elsewhere.


#3

I agree with mountainbike as to both his answer and his confusion.

However, I very much doubt if the timing belt is covered under any kind of extended warranty. The tensioners might be, but the belt? Probably not. In this case, the dealership (?) should have phoned you and offered the option of paying to replace the belt when they replaced the tensioner.

If this is the original timing belt it is grossly overdue for replacement, based on elapsed time. Like some other maintenance items on the car, you can’t just go by odometer mileage when considering timing belt replacement.


#4

I agree.


#5

It’s really bizarre to me that they would go through that disassembly process and not change the T-belt while they were at it.

Go back to the dealership. Calmly and professionally explain your concerns to them and you might be able to work something out; all they can say is no. See if they will knock 50% off your timing belt bill for a future visit. But do not raise hell with them.

Generally the cost of retaining a current customer is less than the cost of acquiring a new one, so there’s a good chance that they will work with you. Again, be nice and remember that you can always go elsewhere for repairs and maintenance in the future.

Good luck


#6

sorry for confusion - I missed a ? after indi mechanic … I was at the dealership - same dealer that sold me the car & the only folks who have ever serviced it. Did the 40K tune up years ago due to age of car & multiple engine lights & rough riding. Today, when I expressed concern that the timing belt was not replaced when waterpump was, they said 80k was the recommended replacement time for belt, but that because of overheating & stress of water pump failure I should do belt prior to 80k mark. No one suggested they do it, when they were in there. I’m waiting for service manager to return from vacation - but I’m concerned about the belt & think they should have done/said something. I plan to fight for free labor (if y’all think I’m correct). In terms of warranty, I can’t figure out why belt is not covered if it was the waterpump blowing that caused the belt to be suspect. Finally, I’m also wondering if I should be concerned about the valve cover gasket leak - which was supposedly fixed by a new cap? I have never been thrilled with service @ this dealership, because I’m there too frequently, but feel that they have some responsibility due to prior service/purchase. thoughts anyone?


#7

Thanks, I’ll work on my calm & cool.


#8

I’m a bit puzzled by this one too. Belt replacement is also time dependent and since the belt is 10 years old it should have been replaced about 4 years ago.

Warranty will not pay for a timing belt except under very limited circumstances and if a belt is broken, saturated with coolant or oil, etc. due to a warrantable problem then warranty should cover it.

Personally, I think it’s extremely foolish to not replace the belt. What happens if the coolant and/or oil saturated belt decides to pop next week?
There is no way on Earth I would not replace the belt under these circumstances.


#9

Personally I would wait on the timing belt to just before the 10 year old mark. You obviously won’t accrue another 54k miles in the next year or so. VW will repair the engine.


#10

Forget cool & calm, put on your game face and take a cattle prod with you. Just kidding, a gentle and friendly, but firm, demeanor is always the best approach. There is no better maintenance/repair for a vehicle than a well maintained relationship with your dealer or private shop.


#11

hmmm hadn’t thought of that, however, surely the t-belt will go in 13 months as opposed to 12 & take the engine with it…?

Thanks all for the advise! - I gather too that I should not be concerned about the valves.?


#12

I don’t think VW will repair the engine . They have no reason to stand behind the warranty if the belt breaks because the o/p never had it changed within the prescribed time/mileage limit.


#13

You should worry about this because most VW engines are interference fit; meaning they will be damaged (severely) if the timing belt breaks.

Timing belts are considered a maintenance item, meaning it’s the responsibility of the car owner to change it as necessary.
The belt would, and should, be part of a warranty related repair such as happened to you and in my opinion the people who did this repair are very foolish for not changing the belt.
This is especially true with a failed water pump and oil leak in that area as either of those 2 fluids will ruin a belt.

If the belt gives up in 6 months, a year, or whatever and the engine is damaged VW is NOT going to pay for this. It will be looked at as an oversight on the part of the car owner.
If corporate VW is aware, or made aware, of the prior repair in which the belt was not changed they will shunt this off to the dealer because they are the ones that screwed up, not VWOA. Any argument about this will be between you and the dealer and if the dealer tries to pull a warranty fast one on VWOA they will get caught; no doubt about it.