Belt up and pay it
I’ve been told the cam timing belt on my 2005 2.0-litre Subaru Liberty, which has done 100,000km, needs to be changed at the next service. I’ve also been told when that’s being done I also need to change the water pump because it’s a sealed unit and, if it’s not done, it could cause big trouble later on. I’ve been quoted about $400 for the water pump, is this correct?
BP, email It’s common practice to replace the water pump at the belt change, not just on Subarus, as the water pump is usually found to be leaking when they take off the front cover and belt etc. By replacing it when the engine is pulled down for the belt change you won’t have to do it again when the water pump finally fails. If you’re not sure, ask to see evidence the water pump needs replacing before the mechanic goes ahead and fits a new one. And $400 is about right if it has to be replaced. LIPS UNSEALED
After a recent 45,000km service on our 2010 2.0-litre Audi A4 at our Audi dealership we asked how much the next service would cost. We were told it would depend on whether the auto required servicing or not. It would be $800 for a standard service or $1600 if the auto also required servicing. Is it not fair to assume that servicing is all scheduled these days and a dealer would know if it’s required or not; and, given that most autos are sealed units, is it something that should be carried out? Also, does the price seem fair and reasonable? Tony Kyriazis, email It’s not part of the scheduled servicing. Auto gearboxes are generally ‘‘ sealed’’ for life but that doesn’t mean they can’t be serviced. The transmission fluid can still be drained and replaced as in any auto and, depending on the type of use they get, servicing can be a wise move. And $800 for a major service sounds about right; $800 extra for the transmission sounds like an oil change rather than a full service. The transmission fluid alone would cost about $500. However I’d question the dealer on the need for the service.
Fate sealed: Servicing a gearbox can be wise, depending on the car