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Volkswagen Golf fan belt replacement - please advise

14
Found 9th Mar 2013
My wife bought a second hand Volkswagen Golf automatic (1999) 1.6 engine last year. We had to change the alternator last week and the RAC authorised repair centre said we should immediately change the fan belt as it has never been changed before and can damage the engine if it breaks. Their estimate was £250. I also called up Halford and they said we should change the water pump as well and the whole thing would cost £375.

Do I need to change the water pump or is changing the fan belt enough? Can anyone recommend a cheaper but reliable place, preferably in west London? We're not car experts and while we don't have plans to buy a new car soon, we don't want to keep spending loads on an old car either. Any advice would be appreciated.
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AskFanGolfVWBelt
14 Comments
the fanbelt is connected to water pump, if either the belt or the water pump go (in almost any car) it will 90% likely completely damaged the WHOLE engine.
it really depends on how much your car is worth.
they still sell even if the engine is broken, so if you bought the car for £1000 and the engine does go, you could get around £500 for it for example.
it seems a bit extreme to replace the belt, alternator and water pump, nearly a £500 job there to be honest.
Do you do a lot of miles, has the car done a lot of miles.

also try another garage for a quote

Edited by: "garbage456" 9th Mar 2013
Both quotes seem a bit steep but here is a breakdown of whats involved.
ehow.co.uk/how…tml
I think you mean cam belt or timing belt rather than fan belt, but anyway...

If the engine is an interference engine then the cambelt breaking would most likely do a lot of damage to the engine. If the engine is non-interference then it would just be inconvenient if the belt snapped.

The timing belts normally come as a kit which includes tensioners etc, but it is a general recommendation to do the waterpump at the same time as for most cars it's only then a very small bit of labour. If you risked not changing the water pump then it started leaking a few months later you would have to pay the full labour charge to change the water pump as they have to remove the cambelt and basically do a cambelt job again. A waterpump typically costs £35 or so and maybe adds half an hours labour on to the job.

I had a cambelt snap on a ford escort when I was first driving, the car was worth about £3000 at the time so I obviously had it fixed, I ended up having a recon head fitted - the whole job including collecting the car and putting a new cambelt on etc cost £400. The quote for that car at the time fopr a cambelt was £150 - so it ended up costing £250 more which wasn't the end of the world, but the hassle was worse (2 weeks without car)

You've got to weigh up the cost versus the cost of replacement and the hassle caused.
Thanks garbage456. The car has done around 96,000 miles but most of it by previous owner. I also just called the Volkswagen repair centre and they said changing water pump along with fan belt is advisable since it saves labour cost but was up to us. Their estimate was £369 for fan belt and £449 for both.
Or buy the belt set yourself and ask how much it would be for labor from your local garage. You can get kits cheap of ebay or eurocarparts
RTP

Thanks garbage456. The car has done around 96,000 miles but most of it by … Thanks garbage456. The car has done around 96,000 miles but most of it by previous owner. I also just called the Volkswagen repair centre and they said changing water pump along with fan belt is advisable since it saves labour cost but was up to us. Their estimate was £369 for fan belt and £449 for both.



phew don't go with a main dealer especially for a 1999 car.

try 2 local garages ask how much for them all to be replaced belt and . all cars are different but an average time to replace is 70000 miles.




Can't recommend a good garage but when i was looking for one in Bath I used this website.

http://www.goodgaragescheme.co.uk/

Found an excellent one 5 years ago and haven't changed.
You mean the cambelt. The water pump acts as a partial tensioner for the cambelt. When the belt is removed, it can cause the water pump bearings to collapse which can lead to the cambelt failing and subsequently causing engine damage again. Also make sure the tensioners are replaced as part of the repair process. The camcover gasket/front camshaft oil seal, if showing evidence of oil leaks should also be changed as oil leaks onto the belts will cause the belt to perish prematurely leading to failure. It is an expensive job but make sure it is done right from a trusting garage. Any skimping now will lead to a minimum 4 fold repair cost in the future.
Thanks everyone for all the explanation and advice.
The Therapist

You mean the cambelt. The water pump acts as a partial tensioner for the … You mean the cambelt. The water pump acts as a partial tensioner for the cambelt. When the belt is removed, it can cause the water pump bearings to collapse which can lead to the cambelt failing and subsequently causing engine damage again. Also make sure the tensioners are replaced as part of the repair process. The camcover gasket/front camshaft oil seal, if showing evidence of oil leaks should also be changed as oil leaks onto the belts will cause the belt to perish prematurely leading to failure. It is an expensive job but make sure it is done right from a trusting garage. Any skimping now will lead to a minimum 4 fold repair cost in the future.



Actually if the water pump fails/leaks it usually causes the engine to quickly overheat, which inturn causes head gasket failure..!!!

A fanbelt would certainly be extremely expensive at prices quoted lol, Fanbelt about £10 and probably £60 labour.

Fanbelts are usually for alternator, power steering and other auxilies, they would cause little damage to the engine if they snap however obviously power steering would go, eventually battery would go flat etc..
shauneco

Actually if the water pump fails/leaks it usually causes the engine to … Actually if the water pump fails/leaks it usually causes the engine to quickly overheat, which inturn causes head gasket failure..!!!A fanbelt would certainly be extremely expensive at prices quoted lol, Fanbelt about £10 and probably £60 labour.Fanbelts are usually for alternator, power steering and other auxilies, they would cause little damage to the engine if they snap however obviously power steering would go, eventually battery would go flat etc..



That's an aux belt, some people call them fan belts but a fan belt is the belt on older cars which drives the fan infront of the radiator. Most modern cars now use electric fans so don't have a fan belt at all.
nbuuifx

That's an aux belt, some people call them fan belts but a fan belt is the … That's an aux belt, some people call them fan belts but a fan belt is the belt on older cars which drives the fan infront of the radiator. Most modern cars now use electric fans so don't have a fan belt at all.



Yeah, Auxiliary belt is more appropriate.
phone your local vw dealer cause they will beable to tell u and they will get the parts in for you and the next answer to your question (that will cost the earth going through a main dealer) the answer is no it will not because the main dealer will not have to souce them from else were but from the main vw depot
shauneco

Actually if the water pump fails/leaks it usually causes the engine to … Actually if the water pump fails/leaks it usually causes the engine to quickly overheat, which inturn causes head gasket failure..!!!A fanbelt would certainly be extremely expensive at prices quoted lol, Fanbelt about £10 and probably £60 labour.Fanbelts are usually for alternator, power steering and other auxilies, they would cause little damage to the engine if they snap however obviously power steering would go, eventually battery would go flat etc..



These vehicles have a water pump which is operated by the cambelt. Usually the plastic impeller becomes detached which leads to overheating. The water pump pulley is operated by the cambelt. Once the tension is released by removing the old cambelt, it relaxes the bearings for the water pump and once fitted with a new cambelt and retensioned, can cause the bearings to become noisey and if it fails, will lead to the cambelt slipping resulting in serious engine damage (these are not 'safe' engines). Reputable garages including main dealers will advise the water pump is replaced as part of the process. Non-reputable garages will want you to go back to them in the future and having to pay them twice. That's why they will quote an initial 'cheap' price. Reputable garages will only charge an additional 1/2 hours labour plus cost of pump/antifreeze.
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