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Go Back   TDIClub Forums > TDI Model Specific Discussions Areas > VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD)

VW MKIV-A4 TDIs (VE and PD) This is a general discussion about A4/MkIV Jetta (99.5-~2005), Golf(99.5-2006), and New Beetle(98-2006). Both VE and PD engines are covered here.

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Old August 12th, 2010, 20:18   #1
rgshredder
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Default Need advice re broken serpentine belt 300 miles post timing belt change

Okay, first off, I'm pretty upset. I always come to this forum for excellent advice and I am in need of some right now.

I got a 100k timing belt job done on my 03 Jetta TDI (@ 95000 miles). The work was performed by a TDI Guru pulled directly from the list. About a month and 400 miles later, my serpentine belt broke. I removed what bits I could from the engine, however one strand of belt remains lodged. Aside from the ****ty service I got from this TDI Guru, I was glad to be done with the maintenance on the car...and now I've got to deal with this.

I understand **** happens, but 400 miles after changing out the belt?
The alt pulley shouldn't die at only 95K...

any advice on how to approach this situation would be greatly appreciated.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 20:31   #2
cfm56
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have you contacted this TDI guru that you used to remedy this situation and see if their is any type of warranty on that serpantine belt and if he is willing to replace it considering that its so close from when he did the work on the car....did he replace the serpantine belt at all initially? i would assume he changed it as is recommended on a timing belt change...not that its a big deal to go purchase it yourself and put it on.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 20:33   #3
cfm56
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you also mentioned the alt pulley...did the sieze which caused the serpantine belt to shred?

if thats the case, then the tdi guru would be off the hook in my opinion unless he worked on the alternator pulley.

s**t happens and like anything mechanical...its bound to break and on its own time clock not yours.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 21:34   #4
rgshredder
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Thanks for the input; I tried contacting him, but they were closed.
He did replace the serpentine belt, well, he was supposed to at least...
The belt was shredded, so I guess that sounds like the alt pully, but I was under the impression that this part was meant to last upwards of 200k miles...
Outside of getting absolute **** service with this guy during the timing belt change, I'm worried some sort of incompetence is at play in this scenario hence, my need for advice. If someone can say one way or the other that alt pulley's go at the drop of a dime irregardless of miles, than I'll do the work in getting a new one in...but if it sounds too coincidental then I may need to call a lawyer.

The other hiccup is he's the only guru in a 150 mile radius from me...I'm pretty confident he's not going to pay a tow truck and I'm sure as hell, not going to spend another day driving it there...
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Old August 12th, 2010, 21:41   #5
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Originally Posted by rgshredder View Post

I understand **** happens, but 400 miles after changing out the belt?
The alt pulley shouldn't die at only 95K...

any advice on how to approach this situation would be greatly appreciated.
So, where did you come up with the conclusion on the lifespan of the alternator pulley? Mine went out at 70K and a lot of them fail at way less than 100K. The OE ones are poor quality and the replacement is an upgraded unit. And, sometimes they DO fail in a moment's notice when the internal clutch fails.
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Old August 12th, 2010, 22:02   #6
rgshredder
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aja
I'm reading up on everything now, I was quickly reading through some of the older posts and some mentioned not having to change them that frequently...I'm now reading other posts that are simliar to yours (and my) situation...guess I'm gonna have to take the bloody thing apart tomorrow and see what I see.

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

It's just really frustrating having only 400 miles on a new belt; if the guy was a friggin guru, he would've known the life and told me to flip out the pulley...I would've done so had I known...
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Old August 12th, 2010, 22:03   #7
cfm56
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alt pulleys can fail without warning...personallly if it froze up, then i can see why the belt came apart... off the top of my head without knowing what exactly was touched by the other mechanic i would say it isnt his fault because when he's doing a timing belt job he shouldnt be removing the alt pulley.
Did anything else break due to this issue?
The only thing the guru would be liable for would be the timing belt job and related componants replaced due to that service being performed. If the pulley failed, then replacing the pulley would be on you as well as the serpantine belt

the timing sux on the pulley failing but thats part of life...it happens to each one of us one way or another
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Old August 13th, 2010, 03:35   #8
stevekris
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Even if the pulley freezes up it should not shred the belt. If it slips it should not shred the belt. If it comes apart it could shred the belt. Something was not done correctly or he should have seen the problem when he had the car apart. 400 miles, there was a problem when it left his shop. Hope this helps. Thanks Steve
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Old August 13th, 2010, 04:44   #9
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**** can happen at any time, until you find a source of the issue you cant blame anyone or anything. sometimes new products are just defective, it happens.

find the source of the issue, if it cant be found, replace the belt and keep going.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 05:51   #10
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Originally Posted by rgshredder View Post
aja
I'm reading up on everything now, I was quickly reading through some of the older posts and some mentioned not having to change them that frequently...I'm now reading other posts that are simliar to yours (and my) situation...guess I'm gonna have to take the bloody thing apart tomorrow and see what I see.

Thanks for the advice, much appreciated.

It's just really frustrating having only 400 miles on a new belt; if the guy was a friggin guru, he would've known the life and told me to flip out the pulley...I would've done so had I known...
You are making invalid accusations against the "guru" . It is just a conicidence the pulley crapped out.
You are more than welcome to go to the stealer for service
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Old August 13th, 2010, 08:02   #11
rgshredder
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You are making invalid accusations against the "guru" . It is just a conicidence the pulley crapped out.
You are more than welcome to go to the stealer for service
Seriously? I go to an expert when I need someone to provide me with knowledge that I do not possess. I do not know the life of an alt pulley; however, being labeled as a guru on this site implies a certain level of experience and more importantly trust...If my car is pushing 100k miles, I would at least liked to have had the offer of replacement of a part that has been clearly seen to go out at any given time, particularly at this mileage mark...

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You are more than welcome to go to the stealer for service
When you put it that way, why wouldn't I?
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Old August 13th, 2010, 08:07   #12
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rgshredder: There are many parts that can fail now or later. You are essentially asking the guru to predict the future.

Turbos have been known to fail at 80-100k. Mine did, I know others who have. On the other hand many last 200k. Should he push you to replace your turbo because it _could_ fail? Or would you then just accuse him of trying to fleece you with unnecessary service?

Given that many alt pulleys have failed at under 70k, should he have been responsible if you came in at 20k to tell you to replace it? I mean come on, yours could have lasted much longer...there was no way for him to tell.

He did not feel it was necessary to replace the alt pulley, and his decision is a very reasonable one. The only person here being unreasonable is you.

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Originally Posted by rgshredder
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitri16V
You are more than welcome to go to the stealer for service
When you put it that way, why wouldn't I?
If you went to the stealer you would only have had your timing belt replaced and maybe the water pump (but not likely). This means that in 300 miles your alt pulley would have failed anyway, followed a few thousand miles later by either a tensioner, wp, or some other TB system component that would have trashed your head and cost you a lot more.

That is, of course, assuming the car actually runs correctly after the job and you don't have to go to the guru you are complaining about to have the timing fixed because the dealer didn't bother to lock down the engine...

Last edited by puter; August 13th, 2010 at 08:34.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:02   #13
rgshredder
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@puter

I respect your comments; I didn't go to the stealership originally basically bc of all the point you've made. I don't plan on going to a stealer at any point for that matter, past or present.

Okay, yes, no one can predict the future, but everyone can hedge bets; for instance, everyone in this thread is making the assumption that it's the alt pulley...I still don't know if it is, as I've not taken the car apart...but we're all making assumptions based on what's presented to us. I started this thread bc I don't have experience and sought advice from those that do. My point that a few seem to take offense to is that being a guru, one should have the foresight to know what needs to be done in the best interest of the car, particularly at the 100k mile maintenance interval.

Replacing the timing belt @100k miles is recommended, why not 120K or 150k or 45k for that matter? The water pump technically didn't need to be replaced, but it did, bc, "well, you're already in there, and it has a life too."


I can appreciate it if the car had more miles on it before the belt shredded, but 400? and 200 of those were place the day the timing belt was done...

It's frustrating bc I followed the rules, and I am a believer in preventative measures to ensure things like this don't happen...Actually, the car belongs to my wife, and on a whim, she decided to take my golf instead...the idea that my pregnant wife would have sat there waiting for a tow truck for 1-2 hours at the hottest part of the day is upsetting to say the least.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:32   #14
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There are a few things you have not considered.

1) This was pure chance. Would it have made any difference if it was 2000 miles later? how about 10,000, 50,000? It could have easily been much later.
2) The amount of damage caused by a broken serp belt compared to a broken timing belt is not comparable. It would be way more expensive to replace every single component that "may" fail regardless of how much damage it would do. You replace those components that may fail and would cause a lot of damage if they did. The alt. pulley is not one of those.
3) The guru's decision was in agreement with the opinion of most everyone who works on these cars. Are you really going to hold him to blame for something that pretty much everyone else would do?
4) it is easy to want to play the blame game, but what's the point? I think it's pretty clear that the guru did what he thought best and made good decisions...why are you trying to blame him for something that happened by pure chance simply because it was shortly after he worked on your car? No offense, but in the end you end up kinda looking like a jerk who is badmouthing someone who did his best to help you. I honestly don't mean offense by that comment either, I just wanted to make sure you were aware that that is how you are coming off.

In the end, I think most people would agree that the guru did not do anything wrong and your experience really is just a "**** happens" experience. I think people would be much more up in arms if the guru was pressuring all of his customers to change the alt pulley at 100k since that would end up wasting a lot more money overall than having to replace a serp belt a second time.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 09:39   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgshredder View Post
Okay, first off, I'm pretty upset. I always come to this forum for excellent advice and I am in need of some right now.

I got a 100k timing belt job done on my 03 Jetta TDI (@ 95000 miles). The work was performed by a TDI Guru pulled directly from the list. About a month and 400 miles later, my serpentine belt broke. I removed what bits I could from the engine, however one strand of belt remains lodged. Aside from the ****ty service I got from this TDI Guru, I was glad to be done with the maintenance on the car...and now I've got to deal with this.

I understand **** happens, but 400 miles after changing out the belt?
The alt pulley shouldn't die at only 95K...

any advice on how to approach this situation would be greatly appreciated.
All I can speak to is the alternator pulley. Mine failed at 96,000 miles and many others on this list repoprt early failures as well. It is a failure-prone part. Although mine just locked solid on its shaft and caused the belt and tensioner to vibrate a lot when the engine idled.

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