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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Scenic RX4 2.0 16v petrol 2003 model. I saw in the service manual that the timing belt (cam belt) should be changed at 36,000 miles or every 4 years. I was coming up to 40k miles, and my wife does many very short journeys (which I understand wears it out quicker?). I live in France, though my Scenic is UK model. I went to get some quotes for Timing belt, fan belt, water pump - which apparently should all be done at the same time. They varied between £450 and £600.

To my surprise the french garages told me that the the timing belt interval was 72,000 miles or 5 years! The car is 7 years old, and I was nervous, so I had it done anyway, but I asked the mechanic to show me the old cam belt so I could check how worn out it looked..... Frankly, it didn't look worn at all. He looked at it and agreed saying he thought the 72,000 miles was the correct interval.

So, do Renault fit UK Right Hand Drive Scenics with special weak/thin timing belts? or is there perhaps some kind of scam between Renault UK and their dealers to boost their income, by reducing service intervals....?

Hope this helps someone. I would be interested if any one knows what's really going on here? Personally, I certainly won't be changing my timing belt again until is done another 72,000 miles...
 

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I certainly won't be changing my timing belt again until is done another 72,000 miles...
....or 5 years, which ever is sooner ;)

As far as I was aware the general rule was 72k or 5 years, pretty much across many marques of car. Obviously I tend to find out the exact requirements but I mainly base my assumptions on these two figures and it's what I have read on here time and time again regarding a great many Renaults :)
 

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Apart from what either car makers or belt makers recommend my experience tells me to change belts at either 60K or every 4 years. This may be shy of the recommendations but I believe it's better to be safe than sorry.:)
 

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I have seen belts fail well within the guidelines - that's why I'm cautious. I also believe this has happened to a few members of the forum.

Also I get the feeling an engine never runs quite the same after a head rebuild after belt failure.:)
 

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The correct time to change the belt is one start-up before it snaps.

But since none of us have crystal balls (no pun intended...), there has to be some kind of time & mileage limit (same as for the oil & filter, or any other fluids you care to mention).

Its a false economy to try to extend any item beyond its 'safe' life, and since nothing on a car operates in isolation, one failure usually has some consequential loss.

Put yourself in the position of a prospective buyer of your car, would you expect them to accept your belief that 'these items don't need changing as often as the manufacturer recommends' or would they just walk away, in the belief that you were a skinflint for failing to maintain your car correctly?

I got my van's cambelt changed in December; it was 5 year's old and had only covered 42,000 miles - was I a fool? Maybe I could've got another few miles out of it before I needed to source a replacement engine. the beauty is, I'll never know the pleasure to be had from kicking myself...:d

You make your bed, don't complain about a few thorns.

HTH

Paul
 

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I remember an old joiner who always spent his Saturday mornings cleaning and maintaining his tools - it was a ritual an no-one was allowed to interrupt him. His view as that if he didn't keep his tools in good nick he couldn't make a wage.

In many ways a car is no different especially if you are dependent on it for work or other essential journeys.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreciate the points you're making, and it makes good sense to be cautious when the consequences of a broken belt are a lot more expensive.

However, my point was : According to the Garages I spoke to in France, Renault themselves (in France) are saying you don't need to replace the belt until 72,000 miles. But in the manual issued with the UK imported model, it says 36,000 miles.

Add to that the fact the 7-8 year old timing belt that came out of my car after 40,000 miles of short trips looked as good as new.... and thats why I think it can't be right.

I'd hate to lead anyone to take a risk and lose out, but I wanted to add my experience to the body of knowledge on this subject.
 

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I have seen a few timing belts that have failed and they also look as good as new (apart from the break.)

I would prefer to use the guidelines than my eyesight but of course its your choice.
 

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You just can't judge the condition of a timing belt by looking at it. I have seen what appeared to be perfectly good belts loose a few teeth with disasterous results.

All rubber and plastic products deteriorate with age especially if they are subjected to large changes in temperature. And considering a belts temperature can change from as low as the coldest winter conditions to over 100 degrees C in a matter of minutes doesn't help either.

Personally I have never seen a Renault service book say the timing belt should be changed when the car has reached 36K but I have seen service schedules say that the belt should be changed at a 36K service interval when appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have seen a few timing belts that have failed and they also look as good as new (apart from the break.)

I would prefer to use the guidelines than my eyesight but of course its your choice.
I take your point. But the fact remains that the Renault guideline in France for precisely the same car would appear to be 72,000 not 36,000, and its a french car.... thats my point. So, thats why I suspect that someone, somewhere along the line, is trying to pull a fast one in the UK.
The apparent excellent condition of the old belt is just a point of supporting evidence.
 

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It may be worth asking if any other members with a similar model can check their service or drivers handbook to see if the recommended change is at 36K. Could be a misprint or something gone awry during interpretation.

Can any members help??:)
 

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However, my point was : According to the Garages I spoke to in France, Renault themselves (in France) are saying you don't need to replace the belt until 72,000 miles. But in the manual issued with the UK imported model, it says 36,000 miles.
Just a thought here, but could someone be misinterpreting miles for kilometres?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No its not that - I have the Renault service book in front of me and this is what it says :

" Parts (to be replaced every....)

Timing Belt - 60,000 km (36,000 miles) or 4 years"

However, I just looked inside the front cover of the service manual and it has the dealer's stamp of a Garage in Cyprus. So, whilst I bought the car second hand in England, I guess it may have originally been a 'grey' import from Cyprus? So perhaps UK scenics do indeed have 72,000 miles interval, same as the french ones, and its just the cypriots that see it differently.

At any rate, it seems my assumptions about the origin my car were incorrect, so I'm sorry for wasting peoples time...
 

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Ah-ha - the plot thickens.

It's not unusual for car manufacturers to reduce component change and service intervals if they are being exported to harsh climates. It may originally have been designated for the North Africa - Middle East region.

Many thanks for the clarification and update.:)
 

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When re-setting my van's service computer, I can vary the mileage aspect of the service interval based upon the type of use/conditions that the vehicle is subjected to.

A similar principle to the Cypriot aspect of your car.

Paul
 
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