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Car Engines - The Wet Belt Saga

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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 15:36 - 30 May 2024    Post subject: Car Engines - The Wet Belt Saga Reply with quote

A few people expressed interest in how my daughter's Peugeot 2008 was doing. Current status will be at the end of the post.

Background

Various manufacturers - Ford, Peugeot, Citroen, etc. - have in recent years used small capacity "eco" petrol engines. Timing components previously driven by a chain replaced by a toothed rubber belt... in the engine, in the oil Rolling Eyes In the interest of noise, fuel efficiency and reliability. Thank you, tree huggers.

Yes, such a belt was originally billed as more reliable than a chain. Maybe with fresh oil forever and ever it could be but as well as lubricating, oil is specifically meant to trap contaminants like petrol from piston blow-by and microscopic metal particles from engine wear. Not the ideal environment for running a rubber belt! 150,000 mile lifetimes started shrinking... down to 60,000 at the moment on the aforementioned Peugeot.

Symptoms

As the belt degrades the surface starts to flake off and enter the oil system. Mostly the bits end up in the sump so a clogged oil pickup will be the first problem. The car will complain about low oil pressure but not the oil level. Depending on the manufacturer's programming the car should at least revert to "limp mode" to avoid engine damage or even refuse to start.

Do not continue driving the car!

Engine no function oil well without Smile Worse, if the belt snaps you could destroy the top-end of the engine.

The Fix

Bare minimum is to drop the oil, sump cover, clean out the oil pickup and replace the belt. 4 ~ 6 hours at garage rates Shocked

I've also been told that belt shreds could gum up the oil galleries and write-off an engine. AFAIK the oil pickup runs to the pump and oil filter so I can't see how that makes any sense Thinking Someone enlighten me please.

Preventative Measures

"This all sounds like a ball-ache. What can I do to avoid all this?"

1) Don't ever buy an "eco" engine with a wet belt Wink
2) Religiously change the oil every year with the manufacturer specified grade. Make sure the service paperwork has the oil type, date and mileage noted down. Guard this paperwork with your life!
3) DO NOT avoid getting the wet belt changed in the time frame / mileage range specified by the manufacturer.
4) Get the work done at a recognised dealer if you can afford it otherwise KEEP ALL THE PAPERWORK!

"I did all that but my car's still fucked!"

And now we're where I'm currently at.

Blame the manufacturer

My daughter's Peugeot 2008 is specified as needing a wet belt change at 6 years / 60,000 miles (whichever comes first.) The low pressure oil fault reared its head @ 5 1/2 years, 35,000 miles.

Step 1 is getting a full diagnostic from an approved dealer before Peugeot customer service will even have a conversation with you. Step 2 is send them scans of all the relevant service paperwork. I'm currently at the point where yes, they'll cough up something towards the work but how much? Step 3 is telling the dealer "yes, drop the sump and check the belt and oil pickup" before they can price the job for Peugeot customer service.

Upshot: as well as the cost of dragging the car to the dealer you will need to stump up ~3hrs of dealer garage time before you have any idea what the eventual cost will be....

...at £174 per hour Shocked

Maybe I can get some of that back, maybe not. It's a minimum of an £800 job to swap a wet belt even at a backstreet garage. I'd imagine the dealer doing the work will be £1,000 ~ £1,500. Sweating a little bit as to what Peugeot will "contribute."

As an aside, if the car was the 2017 model or older the wet belt was changed under a factory recall but this is a 2018 one. Peugeot (and everyone else) know these wet belts are a big problem but it's classified as "good will" outside of a recall so I say again KEEP ALL YOUR PAPERWORK!

I shall keep you informed as to the outcome.
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WD Forte
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PostPosted: 16:36 - 30 May 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

174 quid an hour! jeez!
I just bought a cambelt, tensioner, idler and water pump kit for my
'new' (well new to me) pug van.
I couldn't be arsed to grovel about doing it and got my local guy
to do it for £120
Parts cost about £100 so £220 all in

If these wet belts do degrade as you say and tales abound
of them doing it, then even a new belt wont
do much good if the oil ways are polluted
fuq dat eco shit
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to v or not to v
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PostPosted: 18:44 - 30 May 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont buy cars from people who eat snails.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 22:41 - 30 May 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

WD Forte wrote:
If these wet belts do degrade as you say and tales abound...


I asked at my local (non-dealer but trustworthy) garage, describing the symptoms. They knew the problem exactly "Fords have the same issue, wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!" Reputable mechanics won't do the work so your choice is muppets or dealer rates Sad
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MCN
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PostPosted: 22:52 - 30 May 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds about a Ghey as the Dual Mass Flywheel saga.

A massive lump of wear-parts in the centre of the drive train.
Guaranteed to fail after 90k Miles.

The fix was to remap fuel injection. Duh...
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Freddyfruitba...
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PostPosted: 12:59 - 31 May 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
I asked at my local (non-dealer but trustworthy) garage, describing the symptoms. They knew the problem exactly "Fords have the same issue, wouldn't touch it with a barge pole!" Reputable mechanics won't do the work so your choice is muppets or dealer rates Sad

Same here - recently took my Peugeot 2008 in for servicing at a local garage I've used for years: they did eyeball my belt (still well within its official service life) and said they could see no signs of issues with it, but (obvs) no guarantees; and said that if I did want it swapping anyway it would be a main dealer job.
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sickpup
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PostPosted: 09:20 - 03 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, lots of back street garages are now refusing to do belts because of the problems and refusing to do chains because of the time taken.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 14:09 - 03 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update just in:

"Your car is ready to be picked up."

All work done and covered by Peugeot head office!!! Cost to me: £90 to drag the car over to the dealer and the 1hr @ £174 for the initial diagnosis.

Phew!

<addendum>

Yes, that was the final price. I suppose the upside of the diagnostic report is a list of maintenance things to do this summer. Brakes, bulb out on the number plate, tracking needs adjustment. Normal "bread & butter" stuff Smile
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A100man
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PostPosted: 12:45 - 11 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just geting up to speed with this.. so..

Is a wet belt a lot more ball-ache to change than a normal (dry) one?
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Freddyfruitba...
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PostPosted: 12:54 - 11 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
Update just in:

"Your car is ready to be picked up."

All work done and covered by Peugeot head office!!! Cost to me: £90 to drag the car over to the dealer and the 1hr @ £174 for the initial diagnosis.

So have you had the belt changed for that price, or have they just diagnosed that actually your current one's OK after all?
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jeremyr62
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PostPosted: 12:55 - 11 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a long tale of woe.
This guy has been posting about it for a while.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00YZaTexqCU&t=599s
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 13:10 - 11 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

A100man wrote:
Just geting up to speed with this.. so..

Is a wet belt a lot more ball-ache to change than a normal (dry) one?


Depends on the engine bay layout but with either you'd probably expect to jack up the engine and remove an engine mount as most are transverse mounting these days. Then on to removing ancillary bric-a-brac just to get at the belt cover. Wet belt adds the extra step of dropping the oil and most likely the oil pan too.

tl;dr extra time + mandatory oil and filter change.

The real problem with wet belts is twofold: out of sight out of mind and secondary damage.

My old Skoda, for example, has an external "dry" belt. Dealer says 60,000 miles but most people reckon 80,000 ~ 100,000 is perfectly fine. BUT you can easily pull back a cover and visually inspect the belt condition AND if the belt is starting to degrade any flakes of belt don't end up inside the engine (not that dry belts tend to degrade like that). Cost of a belt change is bearable and it's not a big deal if you put off the work for a bit... within reason of course.

In contrast these modern wet belts you can barely see anything (a peek in the oil filler hole) AND when they degrade they fuck up the oil system AND they degrade before the manufacturer's specified limits Sad Human nature though: no one's thinking I'll do a belt change early.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 13:14 - 11 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Freddyfruitbat wrote:
So have you had the belt changed for that price, or have they just diagnosed that actually your current one's OK after all?


Oh, the belt was fucked. They always are.

Belt change, oil & filter change, clean out debris. Probably £1,000~£1,500 of work and parts at dealer rates, tab picked up by Peugeot with very little argument... if you have all your paperwork and service history. Have to keep banging that drum!
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A100man
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PostPosted: 13:49 - 11 Jun 2024    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
A100man wrote:
Just geting up to speed with this.. so..

Is a wet belt a lot more ball-ache to change than a normal (dry) one?


Depends on the engine bay layout but with either you'd probably expect to jack up the engine and remove an engine mount as most are transverse mounting these days. Then on to removing ancillary bric-a-brac just to get at the belt cover. Wet belt adds the extra step of dropping the oil and most likely the oil pan too.

tl;dr extra time + mandatory oil and filter change.

The real problem with wet belts is twofold: out of sight out of mind and secondary damage.

My old Skoda, for example, has an external "dry" belt. Dealer says 60,000 miles but most people reckon 80,000 ~ 100,000 is perfectly fine. BUT you can easily pull back a cover and visually inspect the belt condition AND if the belt is starting to degrade any flakes of belt don't end up inside the engine (not that dry belts tend to degrade like that). Cost of a belt change is bearable and it's not a big deal if you put off the work for a bit... within reason of course.

In contrast these modern wet belts you can barely see anything (a peek in the oil filler hole) AND when they degrade they fuck up the oil system AND they degrade before the manufacturer's specified limits Sad Human nature though: no one's thinking I'll do a belt change early.

I did once do the belt and water pump on an Alfa T-spark - took me about 5 x the book time and had to buy cam locks etc.. a lot of that was dismantling seized fastenings etc..
..nervous turning the key for the first time I don't mind admitting.
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