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Discussion Starter #1
I know this is not technically "Miscellaneous Hoo-Ha" related, but since this can apply to all of us and so many people frequent this part of the forum, I thought I'd share here.

Because so many people purchase timing belt kits through aftermarket vendors, I thought I'd share my recent experience with getting my timing belt changed by a life-long trusted mechanic, and a timing belt kit that I bought from ECS Tuning.

I purchased the ultimate kit that came with the belts, water pump (with that metal impellar that everyone seems to be raving about), thermostat, tensioner, idler pulley, etc. I took the part to my mechanic to have the job completed.

$450 later after labor, $230 for the timing belt kit, and some other side projects that he completed, I had the timing belt project completed........................................ or so I thought.

On the way home from the mechanic, I kept hearing a really loud noise that made my car sound almost like a TDI (this is a 1.8t)... it was obnoxious sounding. Days later, I took the car back to my mechanic to double check the install.

After inspection, it turns out that ECS Tuning provided me with a bad water pump that was causing the belt to slide back and forth on the cam shaft pulley. I witnessed it first hand along side of my mechanic. That sliding back and forth was causing the loud sound.

SO HERE'S THE LESSEON WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM MY EXPERIENCE

If you are going to get your timing belt replaced by a mechanic, and you provide the parts from ECS or any other aftermarket vendor... you had better hope the parts aren't faulty.

Let the mechanic's shop purchase the parts because then (in my particular case) THE PARTS AND LABOR ARE COVERED UNDER WARRANTY FOR 2 YEARS/24,000 MILES.

But since I didn't do this the first time and took most people's advice about buying an aftermarket kit, I have to pay $800 more now for all new parts and labor since aftermarket parts are not covered by my mechanics shop (and most likely not by anyone else's shop either). In other words, it's not their fault that the parts I provided are sh*t.

The good news is I can at least return some of the items to ECS and recoup some of my $$ for the kit.

I hope this story helps someone save $$ in the future so that they don't have to be roughly $1500 in the hole for a timing belt change.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Volkswagen New Beetle 1.8T > Search > Timing Belt Kit > ES#2286 ECS Tuning Timing Belt Kit - Ultimate - 06B198479 V2

This is the kit I bought. When I called ECS, they told me that the water pump that comes with this kit is the "bottom of the line" in their line-up of water pumps. They offer other ones up to OEM.

As I said, they are willing to take the item back for a refund, however, I'm out the $450 for the original labor due to their faulty water pump. This isn't a ECS Tuning bashing thread, I like their products and service is great. This situation could happen to anyone with any vendor/mechanic.

I didn't take any pics of the water pump, but I did take a video of the sound before I took it back to the mechanic. You can hear the sound pretty good after 1:05

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1iu-OWNoxk

My mechanic believes that the water pump was not manufactured well. It's not lined up correctly so it's pulling and tugging back and forth against the rest of the pulley's. Hard to explain, but it's basically walking the belt off of everything else.
 

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That is definitely, a unfortunate situation; sometimes you cannot tell a part is bad.. until its installed. If you figure out the brand of the pump; let us know, maybe someone can avoid those pumps in the future.
 
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