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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, hoping it won't be my last...

Bear with me, a bit of a saga this....

So I have a 99 2.5 tdi short wheel base t4, bought in 2008 with 40 000 on the clock. Changed the cambelt as soon as I got it.

A few weeks ago, as I got to 119 000 I decided to get it changed, as every 80 000 is recommended, so took it to the garage that regularly does my MOT.

So I go and pick it up after the work has been done , and find it sluggish, so much so it won't get up the hill to my house. I call up the garage, and they come out- they had forgotten to re connect the turbo hoses. They reconnect them and I go on my way...slightly perturbed

2 weeks later, a clattering starts to come from the engine. Fearing the worst I pull over and get Green Flag out to come and pick me up. The garage that does the recovery ( a different one) opens up the engine and finds the cam belt tensioner has failed, leaving the cam belt loose . As I was on my way to Leeds (the other end of the country) I have no choice but to hire another vehicle from them to continue my journey. Whilst I'm away I get the van delivered to my original garage to sort out the problem. They do the following ;

Check Fuel Suppy: No fuel
2 Gallen Fuel £14.00
No Fuel Supply
Remove Diesel Stop solenoid And test, Working OK

Check Timing:

Timing Belt Slack: Fault Tensoner Broken.

Replace timing belt kit

Warrenty
Vehicle Still Not Starting: Suspect Alarm Fault:
Bypass Alarm System. Still Not Starting
Transported Vehicle to diesel Specialist: £60.00
Fault found Injecton Pump Timing Tensoner Damage Due to Main Cambelt Failure

Diesel Specialist does the following;

Replace Injection Pump Belt and Tensoners. £180.00
Vehicle Starts and Drives

So when I get back from up country, I go and pick up the vehicle- they say that the fault lies in the faulty Tensioner, and they will recoup the cost of the repair from suppier, as well as the cost of my hire vehicle for a week.

Four days later, as I am towing up a main road, there is a thunk, a fluttering sound, then the engine dies. Luckily I can just coast it into a layby, and I call Green Flag again....

The recovery garage (same one as previously) open it up again, and find the following-

No 1 valve broken
A hole in the piston
injector damaged
head damaged
and they suspect a damaged crankshaft.

They recommend getting another engine to put in it.

Slightly more than miffed (but reasonable) I call the original garage again, and point out that I have had 80 000 miles trouble free driving out of that engine til they changed the cam belt.

They deny culpability, saying

2.5tdi's a re notoriously unreliable
They are already out of pocket , and have decided not to try and recoup from the parts manufacturer, leaving me out of pocket for the car hire also.
They do not know if a compression test was done on the engine by the Diesel experts
They feel the problem is a co incidence, and not their fault.

After some persuasion they send the diesel expert's report, which confirms that no compression test was done....

Which leaves me looking at a hefty bill for a new engine.

So, saga finished, it leaves me with a couple of questions you could help me with-

If there had been any problem with a cam belt wouldn't a garage automatically do a compression test? What reason would they have for not doing one?

Could it be that the dropped valve is a complete co-incidence?

I feel that they are culpable, but I don't know how to force them to deal with it - is there any professional body I could go to? Obviously they know there is only so long I can go without a vehicle,but neither can I afford a new engine in one go!

Any advice/ similar experiences much appreciated

Cheers

Joe
 

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Citizens advice mate they can put you in the right direction. Also you could take the to the small claims court I think you can claim up to around £1500. Ask at the citizens advice about this also..T:
 

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Joe that's terrible :*. I too had a similar problem with my 2.5tdi last year, I ended up getting a vw specialist to look over my van, provide a report and put it right. The first garage did refund some of the cost, but I too was left out of pocket :(

Hope you get sorted,
Jo
 

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Short answer - yes 99% sure that the garage screwed up.

However you'd have to get a decent VW specialist to write a report, fix it and then sue the garage.

Even if you win they may not pay up but it doesn't cost much to take them.

I sued someone for £600 and it cost me around £100 to take them to court BUT even though they admitted they owed me the money they got out of it on a technicality so it's NOT as simple as it appears however I'm glad I caused them some sleepless nights.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks all,

I suppose that is what they rely on if they have cocked it up- that you'll want the vehicle back up and running so badly that you'll just swallow the cost. 200bhp- I assume you went to small claims before getting another outfit to put it right? Or can you try and recoup retrospectively?
 

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Best to dbl check but IIRC you have to offer the garage the chance to put it right.

Then you have to inform them what you propose to do - ie fix it elsewhere and sue.

Then you fix it and sue them

It took approx a yr to go to court.

Details are at Moneyclaim - you file online but then have to go to the local court chosen by the defendant.

You can try Cit Advice / Trading Standards but they can be awful.

Based on my experience I'd get an opinion from a solicitor (they would need to see the specialist's report) BUT they always tell you that you'll win because that's how they get cases and they get paid win lose or draw.
 

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Therre are trade associations for the motor trade just depends upon if they belong.

Have a look-see at http://tinyurl.com/pz8r9yg which is the link to the Citizens Advice Bureau self help pages for motor trade issues and in there is a look up for trade membership.

Many modern engines are "notorious" for self-destruction if their cam belt goes; this is because they are all what is called "interference engines" which simply means that the valves and pistons share the same space at some point in their respective cycles. So cam stops turning, piston hits valve. I would strongly suggest "design feature" is a much better term and that the VW engines are not notorious at all.

Best wishes with this.
 

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T5.1 4motion 180 dsg lwb t30 highline panelvan
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What a bummer such a pity that you have been messed around. I had a timing belt failure and learnt one very important thing from it and that is the 2.5 is an interferance engine therfore if there was a failure of a tensioner and the belt slackened that would mean there would definitly be a problem in the head i.e. the valves. So whoever repaired your engine in the first place should have checked the head before putting new timing kits etc on to it.

If you can afford it sue them but really it might be cheaper to buy a secondhand block and swap it out.

Best of luck whatever happens.
 

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I'd get a RAC engineers report and see what they say, must probably damage caused by original tensioner failure contributed to final engine failure and garage were negligent for not carrying out a basic cylinder pressure test to ensure no valves were damaged.

Your contract should be with original garage and not the diesel specialist (unłess you paid the specialist direct) so garage responsible for ensuring pressure test done.

RAC report will most probably say most likely garage contributed to failure, then go back with report and see what they say.
 
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