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    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 3rd Oct 17, 10:15 PM
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    Fireflyaway
    Cambelt - change it or risk it?
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:15 PM
    Cambelt - change it or risk it? 3rd Oct 17 at 10:15 PM
    My astra has done 120,000 miles and is 12 years old. At recent service, mechanic advised I replace the cambelt.

    My dilemma is I'm planning to save for a new car and can't decide whether to do the cambelt now ( prob cost more than car is worth) or risk it for a few months till I buy a new car? I've been told if the belt fails the car will be wrecked but I'm reluctant to spend money on a car I only need for a few more months.
Page 1
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 3rd Oct 17, 10:18 PM
    • 10,927 Posts
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    DUTR
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:18 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:18 PM
    So what is it you are asking? As you have already considered the car may run for a while it may not, nobody on here can predict the out come.
    • Stoke
    • By Stoke 3rd Oct 17, 10:18 PM
    • 1,934 Posts
    • 702 Thanks
    Stoke
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:18 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:18 PM
    My astra has done 120,000 miles and is 12 years old. At recent service, mechanic advised I replace the cambelt.

    My dilemma is I'm planning to save for a new car and can't decide whether to do the cambelt now ( prob cost more than car is worth) or risk it for a few months till I buy a new car? I've been told if the belt fails the car will be wrecked but I'm reluctant to spend money on a car I only need for a few more months.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    How much of the car actually worth?
    • Tarambor
    • By Tarambor 3rd Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • 1,328 Posts
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    Tarambor
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Oct 17, 10:23 PM
    Without proof of the cambelt being done you are likely to find it very hard to sell. If the cambelt goes you may as well just phone a scrap merchant to come and collect it.

    You are planning to save for a new car but how would those plans be wrecked if your engine got totalled before you'd saved enoug to save you £100 or so now on having the belt replaced?

    False economy not to change it.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 3rd Oct 17, 11:01 PM
    • 582 Posts
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    sevenhills
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 11:01 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 17, 11:01 PM
    My dilemma is I'm planning to save for a new car and can't decide whether to do the cambelt now ( prob cost more than car is worth) or risk it for a few months till I buy a new car? I've been told if the belt fails the car will be wrecked but I'm reluctant to spend money on a car I only need for a few more months.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    Not much of a risk, unless you do loads of miles.

    • Apodemus
    • By Apodemus 4th Oct 17, 7:39 AM
    • 912 Posts
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    Apodemus
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 7:39 AM
    • #6
    • 4th Oct 17, 7:39 AM
    How much of the car actually worth?
    Originally posted by Stoke
    I appreciate that this is the way most folks would look at it, but in my view, the world of bangernomics works differently. The question for me would be how much extra life would it give the current car, costed against the potential costs and depreciation on any replacement.

    18 months ago I got a new timing belt on my 13-year-old car, it definitely cost more than the car was worth, but I have had another 36,000 miles out of it since then. Tomorrow it is getting a new exhaust, again probably costing more than I could get for the car, but as long as the car lasts for another three months/6,000 miles, I’ll be happy with the return on the investment.
    • Frozen_up_north
    • By Frozen_up_north 4th Oct 17, 8:15 AM
    • 1,212 Posts
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    Frozen_up_north
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:15 AM
    • #7
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:15 AM
    Not much of a risk, unless you do loads of miles.
    Originally posted by sevenhills
    Breaking a cambelt has nothing to do with how many miles you do, the age of the belt comes into it too. A friend bought a "decent" second hand car with low mileage, was only a few miles from home on a shopping trip and it went... The car had cost him £4000 and he got little more than scrap value when it was collected, the loss left him unable to afford a replacement car.

    Changing a cambelt on age or mileage is in my opinion a vital part of car servicing.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 4th Oct 17, 8:27 AM
    • 15,545 Posts
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    motorguy
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:27 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:27 AM
    My astra has done 120,000 miles and is 12 years old. At recent service, mechanic advised I replace the cambelt.

    My dilemma is I'm planning to save for a new car and can't decide whether to do the cambelt now ( prob cost more than car is worth) or risk it for a few months till I buy a new car? I've been told if the belt fails the car will be wrecked but I'm reluctant to spend money on a car I only need for a few more months.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    Whats the car and what are you being quoted for a cambelt change? Unless its something oddball, its likely to range from £50 to £150 to do.

    Any 2005 car with a years MOT is worth £750 i'd have thought, maybe more.

    If you're only planning to start to save for a new car then what happens if the belt snaps next week?

    Unless the belt price is ridiculously prohibitive, i'd be getting it done. You're driving around in a time bomb and having the belt done means you've something thats going to be worth a bit more come resale time too.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 4th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    • 15,545 Posts
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    motorguy
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Oct 17, 8:29 AM
    Not much of a risk, unless you do loads of miles.
    Originally posted by sevenhills
    Very real risk. It could snap any time. That wholly leaves the O/P on the back foot with no means of travel (to work presumably) and no savings yet towards a new car.

    Wholly unnecessary risk for the price of a belt change.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • bertiewhite
    • By bertiewhite 4th Oct 17, 8:34 AM
    • 665 Posts
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    bertiewhite
    Whats the car and what are you being quoted for a cambelt change? Unless its something oddball, its likely to range from £50 to £150 to do.
    Originally posted by motorguy
    £50? That's the costs of the kit on it's own without labour. I've been quoted £250-350 for my 1.25 Fiesta and that's hardly oddball.
    • onomatopoeia99
    • By onomatopoeia99 4th Oct 17, 8:40 AM
    • 3,433 Posts
    • 7,574 Thanks
    onomatopoeia99
    My astra has done 120,000 miles and is 12 years old. At recent service, mechanic advised I replace the cambelt.

    My dilemma is I'm planning to save for a new car and can't decide whether to do the cambelt now ( prob cost more than car is worth) or risk it for a few months till I buy a new car? I've been told if the belt fails the car will be wrecked but I'm reluctant to spend money on a car I only need for a few more months.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    If you can save for a new car in a few months, since you say you're only planning to start saving at this point and only need the existing car for a few months, then you must have quite a lot of disposable income each month, so the cost of a cambelt change will be negligible in the grand scheme of things.

    Basically the longer you leave it, the more likely it is to fail. Both age and mileage affect the lifespan of belts (and a host of other factors) so it's a sliding scale. It'll probably be OK for another few months as the replacement intervals tend to be conservative, but no-one will tell you it definitely will be OK.
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    • AdrianC
    • By AdrianC 4th Oct 17, 8:48 AM
    • 15,286 Posts
    • 13,617 Thanks
    AdrianC
    Sod's law says that if the belt's going to fail, it'll do so at the most inconvenient time possible.

    There are 140-odd 2004 Astras on Autotrader. Most of them are in the £500-1,500 price range.
    Let's assume yours'll sell in six months for a grand, with the belt done.
    The belt costs £250 to change. Without the belt done, you'll probably get £700, because anybody buying it will deduct the cost of doing it plus a bit more for ballache.
    If the belt lets go, you'll get scrap value - £100.

    Seems to me to be a no-brainer to do it.
    • n217970
    • By n217970 4th Oct 17, 8:50 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 141 Thanks
    n217970
    My astra has done 120,000 miles and is 12 years old. At recent service, mechanic advised I replace the cambelt.

    My dilemma is I'm planning to save for a new car and can't decide whether to do the cambelt now ( prob cost more than car is worth) or risk it for a few months till I buy a new car? I've been told if the belt fails the car will be wrecked but I'm reluctant to spend money on a car I only need for a few more months.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    Why on earth did you bother paying for a service if you don't want to pay to change the belt?
    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 4th Oct 17, 10:10 AM
    • 15,545 Posts
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    motorguy
    £50? That's the costs of the kit on it's own without labour. I've been quoted £250-350 for my 1.25 Fiesta and that's hardly oddball.
    Originally posted by bertiewhite
    From memory the 1.25 engine in the fiesta is tricky enough because the end bolt is very highly torqued. Also depends on whats in the kit and what is considered "essential" to change when you're in there - belt, water pump, tensioner etc for example.

    A lot of garages dont like doing belts so they charge more because its hassle.

    I've had a belt changed for £40 on a Vauxhall Vectra 1.8i before now, including the price of the parts, so its not beyond the realms of possibility that dependant on the car, it could cost £50 to £150. £250, depending on the car might not be excessive. More than that and i'd be starting to ask questions.
    Last edited by motorguy; 04-10-2017 at 10:12 AM.
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • Strider590
    • By Strider590 4th Oct 17, 11:10 AM
    • 11,613 Posts
    • 6,512 Thanks
    Strider590
    Despite what some would say, it's not usually the belt that fails, it's usually the tensioner, the water pump or the rollers that wear out and snap the belt.
    So changing the belt alone is just a waste of money.
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    • motorguy
    • By motorguy 4th Oct 17, 11:24 AM
    • 15,545 Posts
    • 8,895 Thanks
    motorguy
    Despite what some would say, it's not usually the belt that fails, it's usually the tensioner, the water pump or the rollers that wear out and snap the belt.
    So changing the belt alone is just a waste of money.
    Originally posted by Strider590
    Belts do just snap. They crack with age / mileage and eventually just give.

    A worn out water pump will usually just leak / get noisy.

    I would expect any competent mechanic to check the condition of the tensioners when he is replacing the belt.

    If the water pump is working perfectly well and leak free and the tensioners are good, i wouldnt be replacing either if the O/P is planning on changing the car relatively soon anyway.

    Risk of a belt snapping however.....
    You are not special. You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake.
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 4th Oct 17, 11:27 AM
    • 582 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    sevenhills
    Any 2005 car with a years MOT is worth £750 i'd have thought, maybe more.
    Originally posted by motorguy
    My car(2006) has 11 months test remaining, I would snap your hand off at £300, it does need a timing belt though.

    • iolanthe07
    • By iolanthe07 4th Oct 17, 11:29 AM
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    iolanthe07
    Not all cambelt failures result in catastrophic engine damage. Some (Mazda MX5 for example) cars have non-interference cambelts where the pistons will not hit the valves in the event of failure. Does the Astra have a non-interference belt? If it does, I wouldn't change it.
    I used to think that good grammar is important, but now I know that good wine is importanter.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 4th Oct 17, 11:53 AM
    • 1,269 Posts
    • 1,287 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    Thanks everyone for your input.
    In response to some question if this helps clarify things. I had the car serviced to ensure its safe as possible for winter. Mechanic said can belt would cost in the region of £250 and my guess is the car is probably worth about the same, maybe a bit less even.
    I'm hoping to have saved enough by February to buy a new car.
    If worse happens, my work is within walking distance so could get by for a while without major issues. Husband commutes and daughter is collected for school. Can do online shopping. Would be a bit of a pain but not a disaster.
    • andrewmp
    • By andrewmp 4th Oct 17, 12:00 PM
    • 1,540 Posts
    • 791 Thanks
    andrewmp
    My astra has done 120,000 miles and is 12 years old. At recent service, mechanic advised I replace the cambelt.

    My dilemma is I'm planning to save for a new car and can't decide whether to do the cambelt now ( prob cost more than car is worth) or risk it for a few months till I buy a new car? I've been told if the belt fails the car will be wrecked but I'm reluctant to spend money on a car I only need for a few more months.
    Originally posted by Fireflyaway
    I'd risk it. It's likely to last, if it does't, you've lost nowt. The alternative is spending circa £250 now guaranteed, money you could put towards a new car.
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