Bear with me, a bit of a saga this....
So I have a 99 2.5 tdi short wheel base t4, bought in 2008 with 40 000 on the clock. Changed the cambelt as soon as I got it.
A few weeks ago, as I got to 119 000 I decided to get it changed, as every 80 000 is recommended, so took it to the garage that regularly does my MOT.
So I go and pick it up after the work has been done , and find it sluggish, so much so it won't get up the hill to my house. I call up the garage, and they come out- they had forgotten to re connect the turbo hoses. They reconnect them and I go on my way...slightly perturbed
2 weeks later, a clattering starts to come from the engine. Fearing the worst I pull over and get Green Flag out to come and pick me up. The garage that does the recovery ( a different one) opens up the engine and finds the cam belt tensioner has failed, leaving the cam belt loose . As I was on my way to Leeds (the other end of the country) I have no choice but to hire another vehicle from them to continue my journey. Whilst I'm away I get the van delivered to my original garage to sort out the problem. They do the following ;
Check Fuel Suppy: No fuel
2 Gallen Fuel £14.00
No Fuel Supply
Remove Diesel Stop solenoid And test, Working OK
Timing Belt Slack: Fault Tensoner Broken.
Replace timing belt kit
Vehicle Still Not Starting: Suspect Alarm Fault:
Bypass Alarm System. Still Not Starting
Transported Vehicle to diesel Specialist: £60.00
Fault found Injecton Pump Timing Tensoner Damage Due to Main Cambelt Failure
Diesel Specialist does the following;
Replace Injection Pump Belt and Tensoners. £180.00
Vehicle Starts and Drives
So when I get back from up country, I go and pick up the vehicle- they say that the fault lies in the faulty Tensioner, and they will recoup the cost of the repair from suppier, as well as the cost of my hire vehicle for a week.
Four days later, as I am towing up a main road, there is a thunk, a fluttering sound, then the engine dies. Luckily I can just coast it into a layby, and I call Green Flag again....
The recovery garage (same one as previously) open it up again, and find the following-
No 1 valve broken
A hole in the piston
and they suspect a damaged crankshaft.
They recommend getting another engine to put in it.
Slightly more than miffed (but reasonable) I call the original garage again, and point out that I have had 80 000 miles trouble free driving out of that engine til they changed the cam belt.
They deny culpability, saying
2.5tdi's a re notoriously unreliable
They are already out of pocket , and have decided not to try and recoup from the parts manufacturer, leaving me out of pocket for the car hire also.
They do not know if a compression test was done on the engine by the Diesel experts
They feel the problem is a co incidence, and not their fault.
After some persuasion they send the diesel expert's report, which confirms that no compression test was done....
Which leaves me looking at a hefty bill for a new engine.
So, saga finished, it leaves me with a couple of questions you could help me with-
If there had been any problem with a cam belt wouldn't a garage automatically do a compression test? What reason would they have for not doing one?
Could it be that the dropped valve is a complete co-incidence?
I feel that they are culpable, but I don't know how to force them to deal with it - is there any professional body I could go to? Obviously they know there is only so long I can go without a vehicle,but neither can I afford a new engine in one go!
Any advice/ similar experiences much appreciated