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Discussion Starter #1
Quick question - it doesn't seem to be obviously documented anywhere. What age/mileage should the aux belt be changed at? And how would I tell if it was on its last legs?
 

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Serpentine belts are pretty durable. I only replace mine if the belt shows cracking. Keeping them properly tensioned and making sure that tensioners are running freely/true will keep them serviceable for many years.
 

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WillNZ is on the money. If an auxiliary belt fails unexpectedly it will be inconvenient, particularly late at night on a wet motorway. But there won't be catastrophic engine damage as with a timing belt failure. In all likelihood you would be able to at least drive to somewhere safe.
Of course with a properly maintained car the belt along with other items that wear with age and use wouldn't get to that stage anyway.
I don't mean passing the mot test, I mean proper maintenance.

Roger.
 

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8V 2.0 hdi's have a habit of tangling aux belt around bottom pulley and then cam belt when they fail throwing the timing out or snapping cam belt
 

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I agree the timing belt can easily become a casualty of a failed auxiliary belt seen it many times on all sorts of cars its not that common but it can happen.

As for when to replace i just have a good look at it when im doing a service if its getting worn it gets replaced or if i hear it squeak a few times it gets replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks chaps. I ask because I either suspect a tensioner or the belt itself. I'd heard it has been known for them to take out the timing belt as well hence my caution. As i don't know exactly how old the belt is it's probably worth doing anyway. It's the 16v 136 RHR

The symptoms are - noticeable increase in vibration with aircon compressor running and flickering interior lights at idle (maybe the headlights as well but more difficult to tell). Also a belt-y noise from the area.
 
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