Volkswagen Up! free timing belt check, made easy

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Our expert insights into free timing belt check

What is included in a timing belt check?

A timing belt check will involve a thorough inspection of the timing belt and its related components. These checks are particularly important to carry out on belts that are over 4 or 5 years old - because the timing belt is made of rubber, it will wear down over time and eventually break.

How do I know if my timing belt needs replacing?

Some common signs that your timing belt may need replacing are:

  • Engine is making a ticking noise

  • Engine struggles or fails to turn over

  • Rough engine idle

  • Engine misfires frequently

  • Drop in oil pressure or an oil leak

Daniel, from LondonDaniel, from London

Hey Fixter, how long do timing belts last?

The lifespan of your timing belt is specific to your car and engine configuration, but is usually between 60,000 and 100,000 miles or 7 to 10 years.

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How Fixter works

Simply book online and we'll handle the rest

How fixter works

How Fixter works

55 secs
First accordion item imageBook now, pay later

Upfront, fair pricing, with free collection & return and no hidden costs. Our in-house experts will then choose the ideal garage to work on your car.

Accordion item 2 imageWe drive your car to the best garage

A fully-insured Fixter driver will pick up your car, whenever and wherever works for you. (If you’d prefer to drive your car to the garage yourself, that’s not a problem!).

Accordion item 3 imageWe return your car the same day

Our in-house experts will keep you updated, and your card is only charged once all work has been satisfactorily completed and approved by our team. Your driver will then drop the car back when it’s convenient for you.

Our reviews

Takes a lot of stress away

I would definitely recommend this company: knowing someone was keeping an eye on everything to make sure I wasn't being overcharged for parts and labour takes a lot of stress out of having the work done. I felt really well looked after. Thank you Fixter.

Kathleen Hodge, West Yorkshire

Excellent service

Excellent service. On time to pick up my car & drop it back. Full service cost £179, main dealer quoted me £700-lots different!

Muhammad, Birmingham

Total game-changer!

Just had my MOT done through Fixter for the first time. It took about 5 minutes of my time in total to book, hand over the key, and get it back when the car was returned. So I was able to carry on looking after my 2 year old. Total game-changer!

Oliver Woodford, London

No need to drive to a garage

Can't get more convenient than someone turning up, taking the car from the house for its MOT and returning it a few hours later. No having to drive to a garage (often miles from anywhere or in the middle of an industrial estate) or hanging around waiting.

Darren, Pontefract

I literally cannot fault them

This is the 3rd time I have used Fixter and I recommend to everyone. It makes getting an MOT super easy for me. Everyone I speak to on the phone is incredibly helpful and polite, and they seem to be the most cost effective. I literally cannot fault them.

Julia M, Bristol

Want to learn more about Volkswagen Up! free timing belt check?

What is included in a timing belt check?

A timing belt check will involve a thorough inspection of the timing belt and its related components. These checks are particularly important to carry out on belts that are over 4 or 5 years old - because the timing belt is made of rubber, it will wear down over time and eventually break. When it breaks, the engine might stop running completely, or the components will be out of sync, causing serious damage to the engine.

Failing to replace the timing belt at the recommended time could result in engine failure, broken valves, cylinder head or camshaft damage, and cylinder wall damage, all of which are bad news for your wallet!


Volkswagen (often shortened to VW) is a German automobile manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, a Nazi labour union.

Volkswagen is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen Group, who in turn is majority owned by Porsche. They own and operate a vast number of cars under other brand names—at the time of writing, they have 342 subsidiary companies.

Possibly its most well-known model of the current generation, the VW Golf, was the 2nd best selling car of 2018, behind the Ford Fiesta, which consistently takes the top spot year after year.

The Golf’s 64k registrations in 2018 added to the vast tally of 3.4million Volkswagen cars on the road today.

High quality, highly rated, appropriately priced cars

VW cars achieve consistently strong reviews and are highly respected by critics and drivers alike. They are renowned for investing more money into research and development than almost any other marque and distributing their wealth of motoring knowledge across the many partner brands under the VW Group umbrella.

The Volkswagen Beetle: The ‘people’s car’

A classic of its time, originally named the Volkswagen Type 1, it soon became nicknamed the Beetle due to its unique shape, and subsequently the bug. The unique looking car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche for Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap and simple mass-produced car to travel around his country’s new road network.

The new model Beetle, originally launched to celebrate the original classic in 1997, and with an updated successor in 2011, was designed around the VW Jetta platform sharing much of its build with the Jetta and Golf. VW announced in 2018 that the Beetle would finally be removed from production in July 2019.

What does a timing belt do?

The timing belt, or cambelt, is a vital engine component with a key role to play in keeping your motor running smoothly. It ensures the top and bottom halves of your engine rotate precisely in time with each other. Essentially, this ribbed rubber belt with teeth synchronises the crankshaft and camshaft's rotation. It controls the sequencing and timing of the opening and closing of the valves on the cylinders in your engine to provide the right combustion.

Camshafts, made up of the main journals, the lobes (or bulges) and the ends, control the valves in the cylinder head. A rocker head takes the spinning motion of an overhead camshaft and turns it into the movement that opens and closes the valves.

Timing chains essentially perform the same function as cambelts but may be slightly noisier. The chains generally last as long as the vehicle (and generally require less frequent replacing), although the plastic guides they run over may not.

What causes the timing belt to break?

The main reasons a timing belt may break are its age and usage, or a failing water pump. Old age causes the materials to lose functionality, and overuse will wear a timing belt's teeth and tension. Contamination over time, from oil, water or other debris, can encourage deterioration. A failed water pump will seize the operation of the gears with such a force it can cause the timing belt to snap.

How do I know if my timing belt needs replacing?

Some common signs that your timing belt may need replacing are:

  • Engine is making a ticking noise

  • Engine struggles or fails to turn over

  • Rough engine idle

  • Engine misfires frequently

  • Drop in oil pressure or an oil leak

How long do timing belts last?

The lifespan of your timing belt is specific to your car and engine configuration, but is usually between 60,000 and 100,000 miles or 7 to 10 years. Because timing belts are made of rubber, they wear down over time and can eventually break. It’s therefore crucial that you have yours regularly checked for tears, splitting and general signs of wear to avoid the inconvenience (and expense!) of your belt snapping.

Is it expensive to replace a timing belt?

At between £200 and £500, it may seem like an expensive replacement cost. However, if you compare the cost to replacing your engine, which a worn or snapped timing belt can lead to, it seems like better value.

What happens when the timing belt breaks while driving?

The short answer is: It will damage your engine.

The long answer is: The camshaft stops turning, leaving some engine valves open. The heavier crankshaft continues rotating, causing pistons to crash into the open engine valves, bending or breaking them and possibly the cylinders. Damaged pistons and cylinders require the engine to be repaired or even replaced.

Will a broken timing belt badly damage my engine?

It depends on your engine type. There are 2 types of engine concerning this issue: an interference engine and a non-interference engine.

If your car has an interference engine then serious damage is highly likely. A non-interference engine is far less likely to suffer engine damage when the timing belt breaks.

Do you need to replace the water pump with a timing belt?

Your water pump has the same estimated lifespan as your timing belt. Although it's not imperative, it's highly recommended that both components are changed at the same time. Their operations are dependent on each other, and when replacing a timing belt, you have to remove the water pump to access it. There is no good reason not to replace one without replacing the other.

Does a new timing belt improve performance?

No. It can only restore the correct function, and timing, of your engine. It will improve your engine reliability, that's for sure, and you might sense your engine performing better if the old timing belt had become worn or loose. An incorrectly tensioned belt can lead to differences in your engine's timing. However, fitting a new belt won't improve your engine performance, only return it to its correct operation.

Can you drive with a broken timing belt?

No. Once your timing belt breaks, your engine will immediately stop running and turn off. Depending on which type of engine system your car operates with, will determine the amount of damage. Your engine won't start again, either way.

How long does it take to replace a timing belt and water pump?

Depending on your car and your mechanic, it can take anywhere between 3 and 6 hours to replace your timing belt and water pump. Given that you must remove the water pump to access the timing belt, and they both have the same lifespan, it's highly recommended to replace both at once. If you chose to replace both separately, you could end up paying almost double due to hourly labour rates.

Common questions about booking at Fixter

Common questions about booking at Fixter

Who is going to drive my car?

All of our drivers are fully insured and your vehicle is always protected.

We put our drivers through rigorous vetting and training before they are able to drive your vehicle. All of our drivers must have at least 3 years of driving experience, hold a clean driver's licence, be over the age of 21, capable of driving both manual and automatic vehicles and pass a criminal background check.

Your vehicle will be assigned to a driver who is responsible for collecting it from your home, delivering it to the garage and returning your vehicle once all work is completed.

Sometimes we might coordinate with a garage for them to send their own driver to collect your vehicle. In this instance, you are protected as you would be if it was a Fixter driver. 

What garage will my car go to?

One of our in-house mechanics will factor in the make and model of your car, as well as the work that needs doing. They will then allocate your booking to the most appropriate Fixter garage in your area, and we’ll email you to confirm.

Here’s why only 1 in 20 garages pass our selection criteria:

  • We only choose garages registered as a Limited Company, with a minimum of 3 years of trading.

  • We assess each garage's various established affiliations (e.g. Bosch / Unipart / Garage).

  • We perform an online audit: Fixter only selects garages with at least a 4 star customer rating.

  • We make sure to visit each garage in person. Our in-house mechanics evaluate the quality of equipment, staff qualifications, capacity, and technical capabilities of selected servicing centres. Fixter only works with garages which strictly use manufacturer-equivalent parts.

  • After all requirements are fulfilled, we negotiate preferential terms with each selected (including parts, labour, oil, and MOT test rates), so we can pass it along to our customers.

What parts will be used?

All parts used in repairs and services carried out by Fixter are either manufacturer parts or equivalent. This guarantees that only the best quality parts are used in your vehicle. We offer a 12-month warranty, meaning that should anything should go wrong with the parts or labour we’ll take care of it, free of charge. 

How and when do I pay?

We take your card details when you book online, but nothing is charged to your card until all the work has been approved by our in-house experts, and satisfactorily completed.

No extra work will be carried out without your consent. If additional work is required, one of our in-house experts will call you to walk through any diagnostic reports, recommendations or additional quotes from the mechanic working on your car. We check every quote to make sure the work is required and has been fairly priced.

Note: If you need to update your payment details to pay for your booking, the team will send you a secure link to add the new card details.

How does the money back guarantee work?

If your car fails its MOT at one of our garages, but you believe that your car should have passed, you'll have the option to take your car to another garage to do a new MOT test. If your vehicle passes the MOT at another garage, we’ll refund you for the original MOT test that you carried out with us. Collection and delivery fees are non-refundable.

How does the Fixter 12-month warranty work?

All Fixter bookings are covered by a 12-month warranty on parts and labour.

If there’s a problem (with either parts or labour) up to 12 months after your booking date, we’ll sort it out for you, completely free of charge.

Just email or call our team on 0330 808 9527 and we’ll take care of it.

Note: this doesn't apply to an air con regas as leaks can occur at any time.

Can I cancel my booking?

We understand that things change.

If you need to cancel or change your booking, please let us know asap. Our agents spend time finding you a top-rated garage, which is then booked to take care of your vehicle. In many cases, parts are ordered in advance. As a result, we operate a 72-hour cancellation policy. If you have a confirmed booking with us and need to cancel within 72 hours of the appointment, a cancellation fee of £20 may be applied.

We want to avoid that so our agents will work with you to try and find a new appointment instead. To discuss changing or cancelling a booking, please email or phone on 0330 808 9527.

Our team works Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

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