My Astra has done 60k on the original cam belt, so it's time I changed it.
Apart from the cam belt, what else should be changed at the same time? Pre-tensioner and water pump?
The guy at Vauxhall Parts dept. who I was speaking to on the phone this morning said I shouldn't really have to change the pre-tensioner or water pump, but it depends on the wear of these two components.
What do you guys reckon? Would you change them anyway or are they bullet-proof?
I'd def change any idler/tensioner wheels, especially so if they're plastic and have the merest hint of saying GF50 on them!!!!!
Check the waterpump. It needs to show NO wobble/play and spin smoothly with a little resistence. I'd deffo change it if it looks original.
I can understand if you're working to a tight budget but the timing belt & it's components are pretty feeble really. And don't forget, if one part breaks, you've probably got a wrecked engine on yer hands!
Oh, and while you're there, wack a new thermostat in, it's behind the rear belt cover IIRC and can only be done while everythings off.
Is it best to get all the parts from Vauxhall or does it not matter?
I'm just asking because Vauxhall's Service Dept have quoted me £122.40 for changing the belt and they want another £100 if anything else ie. rollers/tensioners need to be changed, so I was going to buy the parts from them and get a local garage to fit them for me.
Well, some may disagree but I have pretty much ALWAYS used non-gen parts from my parts man, an independant place. I personally wouldn't take it to Vaux for all this - they charge the earth.
Go to a different parts place and ask for a Cambelt kit. These come with the belt and tensioner/idler etc, but NOT the waterpump or 'stat. Any garage worth it's salt will be able to do this job quickly and properly. You'll end up paying half compared to the rip-off Vaux quote.
Yeah, exactly. I think that Halfords bits would be ok but it's a bit of a struggle getting the right bit at my local branch.
Cheaper still are Motor Factors. You know the sort of place, a small shop, privately run etc. Don't be put off by this - my parts place is run by THE most knowledgeable bloke, he ALWAYS has my bit's on stock and is only too happy to help. Dirt cheap too, although I am trade.
Most of the belt's I've fitted in the last 7ish years have been 'Gates' belts. I've had no problems.
Well, I do it cos they're dirt cheap and u can't get to em unless the belts off. If the gauge goes 1/4 to halfway up, it should be ok. When they fail, the engine generally always runs in the blue (not good).
Think they're only about £6 or £7.
Actually, some manufacturers recomend they should be changed every few years.
Ahh right. Mine sort of sits between just above the blue line and the first white line, haven't really left it so that it gets to a point where the fan kicks in. Is this normal behaviour on mine or suspect do you reckon?