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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd November 2007 Thread Starter
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Can anyone out there give me their advise?

I have a 52 plate Scenic 1.9 DCI Dynamic +

About 3 weeks ago my aux drive belt snapped, I took it to a garage and they eventually changed the belt and tensioner.

They brought it back and I started it up, it then had this terrible knocking noise, because of this they took the car back. I investigated on this site and pointed out to them that it could be the clutch pulley on the alternator. Which they claim they did not know about. So they contacted a vehicle electricial, who confirmed this so they then changed the pulley. All of this came to just under 300.

Monday I had trouble starting the car and when I did the noise had returned, but this time as I accelerated out 1200 rpm it did not go away. I parked back up and called the RAC. The patrol man came and said it sounded mechanically as if something was out of time. He said to get the engine checked and do not start it up.

I called out another garage (as I had lost faith in the first) they contacted my wife to say that it looks like the cam belt had gone and that had caused damage to the engine. They contacted the first garage to see what they had done. the advise he gave us was that they should get them to pick it up and to sort it out.

1. What is my position on this? Should I see if they fix and I pay for parts not labour? As the second mechanic reackons it may have been something they did in the first place that has caused the damage.

2. Pay about 1300 to have a new engine and try to claim it back.

3. I am stuck with the bill with no comeback and a car I'd like to get rid of.

I've got a feeling this is going to get nasty as thay are all ready claiming it not there fault.

Should they have checked the cam/timing or is that not possible. I know from this site that when the Auxillary drive belt goes it can cause cam belt problems.

If there is anyone who can advise me on this I would appriciate it.

They been in touch they say they didnt check the cam belt for debris and that you don't need to as with 15 years experience they know what they are doing.

I'll have to see how much it will be, they should get back in a day or 2

Last edited by ottoman; 22nd November 2007 at 06:49 PM.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd November 2007
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I don't think you have much chance getting anything as you don't have any proof of anything. A friend had a very similar experience after the breakdown service had driven his laguna onto the truck (which they denied doing even when he saw them doing it) after a auxillary belt problem, which wrapped itself around the cambelt and seized it, and ended up costing him nearly 3 grand for new engine etc.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd November 2007
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Yep,parts of the broken auxillary belt invariably get wrapped around the bottom pulley and interfere with the cambelt.This can either cause the belt to jump some teeth(as I suspect happened in your case) or to break altogether.

I suspect the problem was there before the first garage replaced the broken auxillary belt,although they should have checked that all the debris was removed and that the cambelt hadn't been effected.

As Asterix says,you will have a job proving the first garage was at fault,and to be honest the engine damage isn't directly their fault.

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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd November 2007
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Originally Posted by ccmc View Post
Thanks for your replies.

They been in touch they say they didnt check the cam belt for debris and that you don't need to as with 15 years experience they know what they are doing.
With 15 years experience they should have known that if an aux. belt has deteriorated to such an extent then there was a very good chance that the cam belt had not been changed within the recommended mileage.

The Aux. belt has to be removed to change the cam belt and it is either neglect or extreme penny-pinching not to replace the Aux. belt at the same time as the cam belt. The fact that the Aux. belt had deteriorated should have alerted any self-respecting mechanic to at least query when the cam belt was last changed and for the customer to be advised accordingly.

They may have 15 years experience (of riding the range and rounding up cattle? ) but only five minutes on this site would give an indication that debris from a damaged Aux. belt can cause problems to the cam belt.

TBH I think any claim against the original garage will be an uphill struggle, but if you belong to the AA or RAC it might be an idea to have a word with them about an independant engineer's report. The problem is that, usually, a garage will deny all liability and leave you to prove otherwise, knowing that to take them to court would cost you far more than it would to repair the car.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 22nd November 2007
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HI CCMC - sounds like a tricky one - whilst the garage ought to have checked the timing belt it is possible there is no connection between the two events. On the other hand if the timing belt had failed at the same time as the auxilary belt (which is quite common) you would have been totally liable. It may be a case of trying to establish negligence which in law there needs to be a causal link betwen what someone did or failed to do. As a matter of interest what age is the car and how many miles are on the engine. Also when was it last serviced. In your case it may be prudent to seek legal advice on the matter
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