New Timing belt brakes after ~300 miles

johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
So put a new timing belt on my car and I drive the car about 300 miles or so and then getting on the interstate less than a week later. POP the belt shears in two and kaboom

I contact the vendor I bought from and he says he'll send me "some replacement parts" and some valves but he is not paying for anything or giving me any money or compensation for this cost.


Am i crazy to try to take this guy to small claims court?

Anyone else had a NEW belt break?
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
what all was replaced? tensioner, rollers, water pump, stretch bolts? how many miles are on these other components?
 

dabear95

Veteran Member
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Sep 26, 2002
Location
Roseville, MI
TDI
2002 Golf GLS, Silver
Seems to me they would only be liable for the belt without significant litigation effort.


Jason
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
dabear95 said:
Seems to me they would only be liable for the belt without significant litigation effort.


Jason
i don't think you can even assume that, unless one can prove that the belt was installed correctly, and that no other parts caused the belt to snap....:(
 

Farfromovin

Torque Addict
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Apr 9, 2005
Location
Ventura, CA
TDI
03 Golf 2dr- PD150 6m
I heard of a contitech belt snapping after 10kmiles before but that's about it. I was worried when I did mine recently because the tension seems pretty tight but the tensioner was installed correctly in the right position so I have to assume that all will be well.

As for your "case", I think all the vendor is responsible for is a new belt and it's unfortunate for you at best. Sorry bud.
 

johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
tditom said:
what all was replaced? tensioner, rollers, water pump, stretch bolts? how many miles are on these other components?
Everything was replaced at this time.

new tensioner, rollers and water pump.
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
jdr-
did you do this job yourself? what tools did you use? how many of these have you done? what reference document did you use? have you concluded that the belt failed with all other components intact, and the tensioner was correctly set? Not trying to imply anything- but we need to know the whole story....
 

johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
oilhammer said:
Sounds too much like installer error to me. Sorry. :eek:
Ask your self the question... (IF you know how a timing belt is installed)


The belt pulled into two pieces.
What can you do WRONG that that would cause a belt to pull a part?

Too much tension? The belt is designed to handle forces in that direction. Not to mention the tensioner is designed that it can't be over tensioned past the belts stress level.

Any other reasons... well the belt could fall off?

Or could break after years of use..

BUT 200 miles?
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
john, if I had a dollar for every time this happens to someone not familiar or not inclined for this type of job I would be a rich man.

Belts typically do not just fail. Usually, the ones I get in that this happens on, the methods used to install them were the problem. Tensioners tensioned backwards, installed out of the slot, cam and pump sprockets not loose during the tensioning process, the ubiquitous "Mark and Pray" method, all ways to cause your exact same problem.
 

johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
tditom said:
jdr-
did you do this job yourself? what tools did you use? how many of these have you done? what reference document did you use? have you concluded that the belt failed with all other components intact, and the tensioner was correctly set? Not trying to imply anything- but we need to know the whole story....
I did my self. I used tools supplied by the same supplier as the belt.

I used print out obtained from the dealer. As a referance I used a write up i found off here.

All other components were intack and spun freely and in proper opperation condition.

Tensioner was set correctly.. Line up the two marks.. I checked this like 15 times when doing this.
 

johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
oilhammer said:
john, if I had a dollar for every time this happens to someone not familiar or not inclined for this type of job I would be a rich man.

Belts typically do not just fail. Usually, the ones I get in that this happens on, the methods used to install them were the problem. Tensioners tensioned backwards, installed out of the slot, cam and pump sprockets not loose during the tensioning process, the ubiquitous "Mark and Pray" method, all ways to cause your exact same problem.
What you seem to be discribing is something that would fall apart. A belt would fall off.... This belt litterally pulled apart. As if the belt were of too poor of quality.

The supplier said "i changed suppliers a couple months ago"
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
All I can tell you is this happens a lot, when the install procedures are not strictly adhered to, and it has never happened to me (and I install a LOT of timing belts!)
 

chittychittybangbang

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 8, 2007
Location
TX
TDI
none
My suggestion : first start taking pictures and document everything.

You aren't getting much support here so anything other than hard evidence won't sway people.

Don't mention vendor names yet because they are working with you. Convince enough people here and stay on good terms with the vendor and they might be willing to work with you more.

Defective parts are possible, the other question is what liability the parts seller has to you.
 
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johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
oilhammer said:
john, if I had a dollar for every time this happens to someone not familiar or not inclined for this type of job I would be a rich man..
Well all we are are some name on a screen. For all you know I could be a Design Engineer for an Automotive manufacture in which I would design and spec out all of the components in and around engines and would be reponsible for failures.

oilhammer said:
Belts typically do not just fail. .
And if my previous statement were true. I'd also realize that there is a thing called faulty parts, and understand the purpose behind changing suppliers.
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
what brand of belt? can you post photos of it? what is the total damage to the engine?
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
here is an interesting prequel to this incident.

dude- you won't get much more help if you keep acting like a dick
 

johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
oilhammer said:
All I can tell you is this happens a lot, when the install procedures are not strictly adhered to, and it has never happened to me (and I install a LOT of timing belts!)
People drive 300 miles and then it fails?

After about ~150 i checked the tensioner to make sure the pens were still aligned.
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
johndeereranger said:
People drive 300 miles and then it fails?

After about ~150 i checked the tensioner to make sure the pens were still aligned.
Yep. Happens more than you think:

http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=212873

One of the links in that thread is to one of my threads, and one of the last jobs noted in there went about 200 miles....a dealer did it. These timing belts are NOT for the novice. If you have never done one, best bet is to have someone that has do it, or at least have them look over your shoulder while you do it.
 

johndeereranger

Active member
Joined
Apr 7, 2007
Location
Atlanta,ga
TDI
1999.5 Jetta
chittychittybangbang said:
My suggestion : first start taking pictures and document everything.

You aren't getting much support here so anything other than hard evidence won't sway people.

Don't mention vendor names yet because they are working with you. Convince enough people here and stay on good terms with the vendor and they might be willing to work with you more.

Defective parts are possible, the other question is what liability the parts seller has to you.
Thanks. I got several pics.

And i havn't mention the name due to that reason.

The liability is what i'm asking about...... I know people are gonna ask about install problems etc.. Lay off that Lets look at the assumption that everything was installed correctly... then what?
 

oilhammer

Certified Volkswagen Nut & Vendor
Joined
Dec 11, 2001
Location
outside St Louis, MO
TDI
There are just too many to list....
If something like this were to happen at our shop, our parts supplier and ourselves would work something out, the customer would not be out a dime. We'd even pick up the tab for a rental car.

I would be happy if the vendor supplied some parts, and we would cover the labor for the valve job, and get the car fixed ASAP and get the customer happy.

Does that answer your question?

But I have to tell you, if I called my timing belt vendor up and said I had this problem, he would be far more likely to think there was a problem with the parts and not the installer because he'd know just how many of these I install.

If it was the very first one I installed, and given the circumstances behind people messing this job up, I would not expect him to do anything at all to be quite honest.
 
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Growler

Got Soot Vendor
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Nov 24, 2003
Location
Millersport, Ohio
TDI
Schmutz, 2015 Golf Sportwagen DSG & Schnurren, 2001 Golf GL 2 door 5M
pictures of shredded belt and the timing belt tools you used to install it...
 

tditom

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Sep 5, 2001
Location
san antonio & austin
TDI
formerly: 2001 Golf GL, '97 Passat (RIP) '98 NB, '05 B5 sedan
this guy has a history of only coming here with problems, and then not following up, or insulting the folks who are trying to help.

I'll be watching from the sidelines on this one :rolleyes:
 

chittychittybangbang

Veteran Member
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Jun 8, 2007
Location
TX
TDI
none
Growler said:
pictures of shredded belt and the timing belt tools you used to install it...
That's my point too....johndeereranger, you're asking for opinions and you're getting strong ones that are not successfully addressing. The vendor already said they would send replacement parts and any further burden of proof to get any more compensation is on you. Please post the pictures that you took and you'll get more positive help. Until you do, people will continue to blame you because they have nothing else to work off.

johndeereranger said:
Lets look at the assumption that everything was installed correctly... then what?
Stop worrying about the liability for now because the ball is in YOUR court - show that the belt was installed properly and that the belt is defective and you'll get more support. If they were, then you can get support and pressure on the vendor to be responsible. If you don't want to deal with this scrutiny, contact an attorney in your state, your local laws may be different.
 
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