I just had my timing belt changed, now the engine is blown.

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Hi All;
I have a 2001 VW 1.9L TDI Golf and in late May I had my timing belt changed. I had a VW Dealer review the car and remove the head and they confirm the engine is finished and the problem is most certainly the timing. The garage that changed the timing belt was trying to tell me the bottom of the engine is what the problem was and I am looking for advice on what info I should gather, how to approach this garage and if there are any organizations I could turn to.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks.
 

Ford_Dude

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Did the timing belt break ? is that why you replaced it ? Did it run correctly before you had the belt replaced ? I am not one to point fingers at other shops, but there are quite a few details omitted here.

Ford_Dude
 

kdauto

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Well, you'll have to be specific here. What blew first and how? Did the belt break and the valves bend? Was the frt crank sprocket broken off or did the crank shear off completely, or just strip? Was the frt crank sprocket bolt replaced,was it charged on the R.O.? The frt sprocket bolts MUST be changed on the TDi's and care must be given to the engine mount bolts as the can break the block also. I don't think very many shops should tackle VW work anymore without special knowledge and tooling. The TDi's must be timed with a scantool that very few places have.
 

csaxon

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Ripped and Pissed, you drove a normal running car into a service location to have your timing belt changed and they screwed it up and trashed your engine. I guess that's what you're saying. You'll need your service request form from the service provider listing the service done and hopefully an indication that the car was checked after the service was completed and everything checked out ok. Also a receipt.

How soon after the belt change did you notice a problem? It should have been immediately.
 
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Hi All;
Thank you all very much for replying as you can probably tell I am not very mechanically inclined. Back in May I brought the car in as I had a problem with the turbo and the service provider told me I was due for a timing belt change. He changed it and all seemed fine until Aug. 22nd, it felt for one quick second like their was a small power surge and then the car stalled. A bunch of people I spoke with sayed first and foremost that it sounds like the timing slipped. The service provider who reviewed the car (same as the one who changed the timing) did not remove the head or anything was the only one telling me that it was the bottom end that broke. He says the best he could figure the screen in the oil pan got plugged and starved the engine of oil mucking up the bottom end, perhaps a bearing and blowing a rod. Knowing that just in March the oil pan and the screen were changed and not trusting of this garage anymore I had it brought to a VW dealer who has removed the head and has told me that the problem most certainly has originated in the top end. The timing belt itself is not broken and the VW dealer was unable to check the timing markings because the valve heads were preventing them from cranking over the engine to get the piston to #1 position. The valves are bent, broken, pistons smashed, block gauged from the valves, one valve completely missing making worry about the turbo as well? When the car was brought to the service provider there was only 2 litres of oil in it but the VW dealer tells me there are no signs of reduced oil wear in the block and is 99.9999% positive that it was indeed the belt that slipped or was mistimed but again because they could not check the markings he cannot say 100% proven that this is what happened. I am looking for direction on where I can get help to approach this service provider, do I have an argument, what should I ask, etc. etc. I live an hour and 20 minutes from work and I have been hitchhiking to work because I cannot afford to fix this car or buy another as I have dumped $5900.00 into this car since March.
Any help is very much appreciated.
Thanks,
 

kdauto

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Ripped and Pissed said:
Hi All;
Thank you all very much for replying as you can probably tell I am not very mechanically inclined. Back in May I brought the car in as I had a problem with the turbo and the service provider told me I was due for a timing belt change. He changed it and all seemed fine until Aug. 22nd, it felt for one quick second like their was a small power surge and then the car stalled. A bunch of people I spoke with sayed first and foremost that it sounds like the timing slipped. The service provider who reviewed the car (same as the one who changed the timing) did not remove the head or anything was the only one telling me that it was the bottom end that broke. He says the best he could figure the screen in the oil pan got plugged and starved the engine of oil mucking up the bottom end, perhaps a bearing and blowing a rod. Knowing that just in March the oil pan and the screen were changed and not trusting of this garage anymore I had it brought to a VW dealer who has removed the head and has told me that the problem most certainly has originated in the top end. The timing belt itself is not broken and the VW dealer was unable to check the timing markings because the valve heads were preventing them from cranking over the engine to get the piston to #1 position. The valves are bent, broken, pistons smashed, block gauged from the valves, one valve completely missing making worry about the turbo as well? When the car was brought to the service provider there was only 2 litres of oil in it but the VW dealer tells me there are no signs of reduced oil wear in the block and is 99.9999% positive that it was indeed the belt that slipped or was mistimed but again because they could not check the markings he cannot say 100% proven that this is what happened. I am looking for direction on where I can get help to approach this service provider, do I have an argument, what should I ask, etc. etc. I live an hour and 20 minutes from work and I have been hitchhiking to work because I cannot afford to fix this car or buy another as I have dumped $5900.00 into this car since March.
Any help is very much appreciated.
Thanks,
Ok, good thing #1, the VW dealer looked at it. They know how these things work, MANY do not. The only way for a belt to "slip" on these would be incorrect tightening of the cam sprocket. That would be very easy to check and they would have noticed immediately. The only other way for it to slip on these is a loose timing belt(incorrect tension). The tension should have been checked before disassembly and is easy to check since the belt wasn't broken right? Now, did you ask the dealer for an "autopsy" of the engine to find the root cause of the breakdown? The cam could have seized due to incorrect oil being used and the result would be the same. How are the engine bearings, premature wear? What kind oil engine oil was used in this car since you purchased it and before? These engines are nice but they require special spec oil for them. You can't just go to any Walmart and use anything on them. Some get trashed real quickly due to incorrect oil.
The way to go about it is ask the VW dealer to determine the root cause and give it in writing. Don't scream that you're taking the other shop to court, the dealer will likely just back away from the job. Naturally, investigation fees are your problem. If the root cause is what the other shop did, send them a registered letter with an explanation stating you're claiming xxx$$ for the damage or you'll take them to court(probably small claims). A lawyer will cost you but they'll know the laws and procedures for your location(they vary). You will need to build a solid case against the other shop before anything else. Since the problem occurred quite a while ago, I'd send a registered letter to the shop stating what happened and that the vehicle is getting checked out. You can state that you suspect the t-belt job is the cause, and ask what they wish to do about it.
 

jjm

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When the timing belt was replaced, was anything else replaced along with it, like tensioner, ilders, water pump, and so forth? If only the belt was replaced, it's possible something in the timing belt system could've failed resulting in engine damage.

What was the mileage when the timing belt was replaced?

Joe

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