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Opinions on cam belt replacement and brake fluid

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photomephotome Forumite
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Wifes car due a service, Seat Leon 5 years old owned from new and only done 23000 miles ( hardly any since march last year)  Seat want £200 ish for service and MOT which I am happy with as it also gives her 12 months SEAT roadside assistance. They have also said cam belt is due as its 5 years old and brake fluid change is due , they want £500 for cam belt and £70 for brake fluid, Do they both need doing?  

She has said she definitely doesnt want Fred to do it
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Replies

  • fred246fred246 Forumite
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    I am good at changing cambelts.
  • edited 20 January at 5:30PM
    oh_reallyoh_really Forumite
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    edited 20 January at 5:30PM
    I usually change belts myself, but as I'm getting on a bit and don't care for hours of stooping over engine bays, I left it for the dealers, VAG 2.0 CUNA engine.
    I m glad I got the dealer to do the job as I'm told there is around 4 hours hard labour in it.

    Depending on engine, you could try an indy for s quote.

    Out of interest mine was 140k at your car age and the belt had the appearance of being in good condition and likely good for long time yet.

    The dealer offered a good discount over the website price so call and ask what they can do. IIRC their warranty is for up to 4 years.

    You could also get quote from VW/ Audi dealers.

    They did try to upsell me around £1100 of additional work, I did some of it myself for under £200 - rear dampers and rear discs and pads. Didn't bother with the fluid, might change it in the summer when I do the oil and filters.


  • fred246fred246 Forumite
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    I remember for my first VAG cambelt I was tempted to take it to Audi Stafford. This was a few years ago. They were doing them for about £275 and people were driving for miles to get them done. I thought if they were doing so many maybe they would know what they were doing. In the end I did it myself but if you aren't far from Stafford it may be worth checking with them.
  • daveyjpdaveyjp Forumite
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    It all comes down to how you view the concept of preventative maintenance.

    £70 of brake fluid is cheaper than the new components which may be required from it not being changed (brake fluid is a misnomer, its actually hydraulic fluid and also operates the clutch on most manual vehicles).  

    Cambelt change is far cheaper than a new engine.

  • edited 20 January at 6:07PM
    AdrianCAdrianC Forumite
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    edited 20 January at 6:07PM
    @daveyjp has it on the nose.

    Brake fluid is hygroscopic - it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. That's what causes brake calipers and wheel cylinders to fail internally. And, yes, clutch slaves - which are often the same job as a clutch change...
  • frost500frost500 Forumite
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    Brake fluid will need doing, no questions, you do not want to be in a car when the brakes fail, it should be done every 24months. Cambelt will need replacing also. VAG used to be 5years or 60k? You could possibly pay less at a VAG specialist or other garage. A figure of £300 always comes to mind for cambelt changes on 4cyl engines.

    I remember a 10year old Polo I sold once, it had only done 30k, all the rubber on the vehicle had started to perish on the bushes etc. The cambelt had little cracks in it due to the aged rubber. It just shows that vehicle maintenance is not just about mileage, but also time.

  • EctophileEctophile Forumite
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    If the cambelt snaps, then the car won't go.  If the brake fluid boils because it's got too much water in it, then the car won't stop.  Neither is good.
    There's nothing to prevent you from getting a regular service and a stamp for the book, then getting the expensive stuff done at an intependent garage.
    If it sticks, force it.
    If it breaks, well it wasn't working right anyway.
  • frost500frost500 Forumite
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    Exactly, makes sense, the FSH is at the dealer, maximising the resale.  The major work at the indys, minimising the cost of ownership. 
  • fred246fred246 Forumite
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    I have never changed brake fluid. Last car 17 years on original fluid. Current car 16 years. Still alive. I keep my fluid in pipes. If water could get in brake fluid could get out.
  • Homer_homeHomer_home Forumite
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    If your brake fluid is old and has water in , when the brake fluid gets hot it will bind your brakes and eventually they will lock on , until they cool down then they will release 

    You can tell when your fluid needs changing as on a hot day your brakes will be a lot sharper and require less pedal travel to brake 
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