I decided to do a bit of research on behalf of the community into cambelt change prices and advice given by audi main dealers. This is not meant to be an audi dealer bashing exercise...i just want to highlight what you should look out for in the quote and any further pointers if you're facing cambelt work soon.
I managed to contact and get quotes from about 14 different dealers over the country, asking for a cambelt quote with breakdown of costs for a 1.8T TT 225ps Coupe, engine code BAM.
Labour rates per hour that i was quoted for a 3.5 year old TT are as follows (all EXCLUDING VAT)
Teesside Audi Â£59.5
Pentraeth Audi Â£76.8
Dundee Audi Â£63
Listers Worcester Â£89.5
John Fox - Nottingham Â£85
Hadwins (Grange over Sands) Â£61.2
Teesside audi specifically mentioned they have a labour rate that goes down after 3 yearsâ€¦and this is reflected in the list above.
The difference in "book" time (hours labour) quoted for a TT cambelt replacement across dealers is eye opening. Listed below is the hours quoted for cambelt replacement and also hours quoted for waterpump replacement with a total for both.
Teesside 4.0 + 0.7 = 4.7Hrs
Pentraeth 2.5 + 0.0 = 2.5Hrs
Dundee 2.5 + 0.5 = 3.0Hrs
Camberley 3.5 + 0.5 = 4.0Hrs
York 3.5 + 0.5 = 4.0Hrs
Preston 2.5 + 0.5 = 3.0Hrs
Listers- Worcs 2.5 + 0.5 = 3.0Hrs
John Fox 2.5 + 0.5 = 3.0Hrs
Hadwins 2.5 + 0.0 = 2.5Hrs
Warrington 2.5 + 0.5 = 3.5Hrs
Crewe 2.5 + 1.0 = 3.5Hrs
Chelmsford 2.7 + 0.8 = 3.5Hrs
Chester 2.5 + 0.0 = 2.5Hrs
Huddersfield 2.5 + 0.5 = 3.0Hrs
So only, Hadwins, Pentraeth, and Chester did the reasonable thing of waiving the labour cost of waterpump replacement since its only 4 bolts extra beyond a cambelt replacement
Individual parts prices were pretty much universal across all main dealers, however the quotes received from dealers have large total parts price variation due to the vagueness as to what actually must be replaced , rather than recommended to be replaced when doing a cambelt. I think most of us know that it is a bloody good idea to replace the waterpump while doing the cambelt...however what about the tensioner/hydraulic damper unit, what about the ribbed v-belt to the PAS etc? Some dealers included these automatically, some however did not and stated it would be on inspection of the parts themselves....this leads to a bloody nightmare when trying to compare like for like quotes!...as always be on your guard and insist for a detailed quote breakdown.
This to me seems a reasonable list of what really we should replace without question
Timing Belt (cambelt)
Ribbed belt - Because its cheap and the old one has got to come off anyway!
The tensioner pulley and the waterpump with its associated impeller are encompassed by the timing belt and therefore under mechanical stress, so it would seem sensible to replace these items along with the toothed timing belt itself. This only leaves the hydraulic damper tensioner unit itself...which does have an idler pulley wheel as part of the unit which touches the external surface of the belt. This is quite an expensive part, and at least one dealer said they had only ever seen one of these fail ever on ANY 1.8T lump...it would seem sensible to me to leave this part for assessment, and only if required to be replaced.
Some dealers quoted for 4 litres of coolant when doing waterpump, most were only quoting for 2 litres! Also there seems to be something going on with the waterpump price. ....50% quoted for a part that was Â£25.8 + VAT, the other 50% quoted for a part that was Â£47.91+VAT, quite a difference! One answer i could get was that the Â£25.8 pump is being suppressed and replaced by the Â£47.91 part, so dealers should only be using the Â£47.91 part..another dealer told me that the Â£25.8 unit is a reconditioned one, whereas the Â£47.91 is brand new! Quite what is going on here i can't quite establish, not one dealer has yet to be able to say if there is a technical difference between the 2 part numbers.
List of Part Numbers and most commonly quoted price (excl VAT)
Toothed Cambelt 06B 109 119 A Â£20.00
Tensioner Pulley 06B 109 243 D Â£38.20
Waterpump 06A 121 011 TX Â£25.80
Waterpump (New?) 06A 121 012 Â£47.91
Ribbed V-Belt 06A 260 849 E Â£21.00
Hydraulic Damper 06B 109 477 Â£64.31
Coolant (1 litre) G01 2A8 FM1 Â£5.67
Other quirks i had while i did this research....camberley audi refused to give me the part numbers involved...prices and description no problem!...i have no idea why!!!!!
West London audi , would not give me anything but a vague quote (circa Â£760) unless i gave them ALL my details which i was not prepared to do...so i've not included them in the list.
So finally .....who wins for the cheapest cambelt and waterpump swap on a 1.8T BAM engine. To compare i've used the hours, labour rates quoted for and used the more expensive waterpump cost, but gone with their recommendation as to whether they automatically include ribbed belt/hydraulic unit, how much coolant etc. All prices INCLUDE VAT
Teesside Audi Â£552.32
Pentraeth Audi Â£356.76
Dundee Audi Â£363.30
Listers Worcester Â£466.02
John Fox - Nottingham Â£417.42
Hadwins (Grange over Sands) Â£337.51
And so the Winner is HADWINS....(ta da!) â€¦which makes Camberly 96% more expensive than Hadwins! The only difference between these 2 is that Hadwins did not include the hydraulic/damper unit whereas Camberley didâ€¦even if you factor this in the difference is still 60%!
The thing that wins here is low labour rate, low book time etc. Most dealers correctly advised that BAM engine codes should be 80000 miles replacement , a handful said that 115000 miles is the recommendedâ€¦.but this is only true prior to MY01â€¦not the car asked to be quoted for.
If you've made it to here...well done...as always it pays to shop around!
Comments gentlemen please.............