Schaeffler REPXPERT set for first live ‘Tea-Break Training’ sessions

• INA Water Pump module to launch new online training programme
• Advice on new/upcoming technology and best practice
• Each module to last around 20 minutes with three time and date options

Schaeffler’s REPXPERT technical training team has announced a new programme of ‘Tea-Break Training’, designed to appeal to as many people as possible by offering information in bite-size chunks at three different starting times.

“Each module should take around 20 minutes, including time for a quick Q&A,” said Senior REPXPERT and Schaeffler Technical Manager, Alistair Mason. “The idea is that technicians can learn something extremely useful during the time it normally takes to make a brew and take a quick break from the workshop.”

One topic will be presented three times over two days, ensuring that as many people as possible can partake. As each live module will only be available on those two days, Schaeffler is recommending that anybody interested should sign up as soon as possible to guarantee their place. Attendance has been limited to ensure a quality connection and allow time for all attendees to ask questions.

Launching the programme is ‘What’s Hot in Cooling’, which will take place on Tuesday 12th January at 12:30 and on Wednesday 13th January at 12:30 and 18:30. Schaeffler Technical Manager, Alistair Mason, will be offering an insight into water pumps, including material and sealing technology, plus how to diagnose common cooling system problems, installation tips and workshop best practice. This will be the first in a series of three modules on the cooling system, with two more featuring in upcoming Tea-Break Training sessions.

Register for the Tea-Break Training sessions at

Information on Schaeffler products and systems, fitting instructions, labour times and much more can be found on the REPXPERT workshop portal at or by using the REPXPERT app, which is available free for all iOS and Android devices from the relevant app store.

One box repair solutions

Schaeffler has revealed its new-to-range developments, which includes the latest LuK, INA and FAG references for Ford and Volkswagen Audi Group models. Three new part numbers cover kits for LuK clutch, INA timing chain and FAG wheel bearings for various models and engine specifications. 

A new LuK RepSet Pro, a complete one-box solution for hydraulic clutch systems, contains both a clutch kit and concentric slave cylinder (CSC). The new kit is fitted to Ford Galaxy, S-Max and Mondeo (2014-onwards) models with both 2.0 TDCi and 2.0 TDCi Bi-Turbo engines. The original equipment manufacturer always recommends replacing the CSC or slave cylinder when installing a new clutch, to avoid consequential damage and complaints in the hydraulic system. 

The INA range now features a new complete timing chain kit repair solution for Volkswagen Audi Group applications fitted with 1.4 TSi and 1.6 (2008-2016) engines. These include the Audi A1 and A3; SEAT Alhambra, Altea, Altea XL, Córdoba, Ibiza and Leon; ŠKODA Octavia II, Rapid and Yeti, as well as the VW Beetle, CC, Golf V/VI, Passat, Polo, Scirocco, Sharan, Tiguan and Touran. Each INA Timing Chain Kit contains all of the necessary OE parts for a professional service, including chain, gears, phasers and gasket. 

FAG announces the arrival of a new Gen.3 wheel bearing kit, suitable for all Audi A4 models from MY2015. These wheel bearings are the very latest complete bolt-on ‘hub units’ with a twin flange, often featuring magnetic encoder rings and cabling for safety systems. In addition to the bearing, four mounting bolts and a hub bolt are provided in the box. 

Product information, fitting instructions, labour times and more can be found on the REPXPERT garage portal:, on the REPXPERT app, or by calling the hotline on 01432 264 264. 

Belting down emissions

Belt drives have contributed greatly to manufacturer goals of increasing efficiency and reliability, while lowering emissions; Rob Marshall looks at the claims made but also the opportunities they present to you. 

While some technicians may look upon them as being unnecessarily over-complicated, significant advances in belt- drive technology have led to an upsurge in durability, while permitting manufacturers to optimise under-bonnet space, reduce CO2 emissions and improve their fuel economy ratings. 


Today’s auxiliary belts drive a number of increasingly powerful components and their construction must permit them to transfer larger forces. Engine downsizing and Stop-Start have presented their own challenges to belt system designers, too. Increased service intervals have dictated not only physical design changes in the Front End Auxiliary Drive (FEAD) system but also complex advances within the belt’s make-up. 

Yet, auxiliary drives are not maintenance-free, even if some official service intervals omit their inclusion. Euro Car Parts, for example, highlights that many repairers neglect the system, meaning that they miss-out on a ‘relatively straightforward, but lucrative, revenue stream.’ This includes the simple task of checking the belt for excessive oscillation at idle speeds, to inspecting the belt more closely with the engine switched off. 

INA recommends that, unless there is a stated recommended belt/tensioner change interval, a good realistic standard is to check the belt and its driven components at 60,000 miles and change them at 90,000 miles. Dayco’s ‘check and change’ rule agrees that it is best practice to replace all of the drive system components together. This includes the belt, tensioners and any overrunning alternator pulleys/decouplers. 


One size definitely does not fit all. The coating applied to the reverse of
the belt that powers the friction wheel of this Prince engine water pump is critical to its performance and longevity. Replacement Dayco belts that are correct for this application are defined by the code ‘DT.’

The toothed ‘timing’ belt became necessary mainly when overhead camshafts replaced overhead valve designs, one reason for which was that the distance between the crankshaft and camshaft sprockets had increased. The earliest most popular applications were not entirely successful, as red-faced car manufacturers decreased the in-service replacement interval, when the belt did not last as long as they had stated originally. While some manufacturers reverted back to chains, this was not entirely successful either and some models switched to replaceable belts again. 

Today’s timing belt may look very similar
to those fitted to Fiats and Vauxhalls of the
1960s but many material changes have
been made internally, including to the cord, jacket and tooth profiles. Dayco asserts that it manufactures all OE fitment High Tenacity Teflon (HT) timing belts and that the aftermarket trade is becoming familiar with them. The development arose mainly to increase running life but the hidden advantage is its ability to reduce friction, which holds a further emissions advantage for the carmaker. As with all belt types, change an HT belt with a like-for-like replacement. The company also reports that its HK belt range, introduced initially in 2017, brings the latest technological developments from the OE into the aftermarket as a means of upgrading older engines. 


As with dry timing belts, BiO types tend not to snap but their teeth can strip, the remnants from which travel around the engine and can cause further damage. Here, some are nestled within the 1.8-litre TDCI’s oil pump, which has had to be dismantled to fish them out. When servicing a car with BiO belts, check if any deposits that are drained out during an oil change are not fibrous belt teeth.

A recent phenomenon on downsized GDI engines, in particular, is the Belt in Oil (BiO) type that, as the name implies, runs inside the engine and is exposed to the engine oil. Pioneered by Dayco and introduced as a production first by the Ford Motor Company on the 1.8-litre ‘Lynx’ TDCI, to run the primary drive it replaced the earlier engines’ heavier and more costly Duplex chain, tensioner and cogs arrangement. Unlike the old chain drive, the belt requires periodic replacement and we have heard of customers instructing garages to convert their newer engines back to the older and less efficient chain design. 

However, the BiO system has been critical in assisting manufacturers to attain mandatory emissions targets. Ford rolled-out BiO systems on its all-new 1.0-litre ‘Fox’ Ecoboost engine and PSA, Honda and the Volkswagen Group followed suit. Early press reports claimed that Ford stated its BiO belts in the Fox engine would last for the lifetime of the car but this depends on the definition of ‘lifetime’. Neglect will reduce the quoted lifespan in the real world, as will skipped lubricant changes and incorrect oil being used, which manufacturers tend not to envisage. Unsurprisingly, history seems to be repeating itself, where manufacturer claims seem to be a little short of the mark in the real world and so it has become necessary to offer replacement BiO kits to the aftermarket. Gates comments that many engines are approaching their expected lifecycle limits and that BiO belt replacement is emerging as a workshop opportunity as owners wish to extend the lifespan of their cars. The company has announced its intentions to expand its BiO catalogue throughout this year for both timing and oil pump belt drives, focussing mainly on Ford and Volkswagen Group models. 


To reduce emissions further, car manufacturers work with their supplier partners to engineer ever-more ingenious systems, all of which require real-world checks and maintenance. The on-demand water pump, fitted to various Prince-engined petrol MINIs, BMWs and PSA brands for example, circulates coolant only once the engine reaches predetermined temperatures. As the pump is powered by a friction wheel that is driven permanently by the reverse side of an auxiliary belt, a special fabric must be used. An alternative belt may fit physically but its longevity would be compromised if a like-for-like replacement is not used. This is why quality suppliers will insist on vehicle-specific belts, while encouraging garages to resist adopting a ‘that’ll do’ approach. 


Many downsized engines possess BiO oil pump drives. Do not neglect to replace these when installing a BiO timing belt or rebuilding the engine.

Another example is combined starter/alternators that depend on a belt drive. Dayco reported that, to develop a belt that could tolerate the increased stresses on it during the starting phase would have dictated that it had to be double the width, which was not feasible. It said that developing a belt of a conventional width was, therefore, ‘extremely difficult to achieve’ and highlights that fitting a replacement conventional belt that lacks the necessary OE quality of the original would not be a fit-for-purpose repair. 

Your chance to grab a FREE INA stud fitting tool

Schaeffler is giving Autotechnician readers the opportunity to get hold of one of 20 INA stud fitting tools, an essential accessory for technicians carrying out timing belt system replacements on VAG 1.9/2.0 TDi engines (1998-onwards). 

The tool was created after INA engineers became aware of premature failures of the timing belt tensioner stud on the popular range of diesel engines used in many Audi, Seat, Skoda and Volkswagen models. The combination of a steel stud and alloy head can create issues unless great care is taken during stud removal and installation. 

VAG recommends replacing the stud – either a M8 fine thread or a stepped M8 to M10 stud – during the toothed belt service change interval, which INA includes in its timing belt kits; however, technicians must be extremely careful when removing the stud and should check for any aluminium deposits which may have been pulled out during the process. 

The stud hole should then be checked for possible thread damage or contaminants, such as loctite or liquid metal-type materials, as coming into contact with either can render the stud thread unusable – a professional thread repair would then be needed. 

The new tool can be used for the majority of applications; however, on rare occasions, a technician may come across a stud at the first service interval change which is slightly longer than the tool. In this instance, the tool should be used as a guide, setting the new stud to the same length as the original. 


When installing a new stud, it is important that it is tightened to the correct torque settings according to the VM specifications (usually around 15Nm), always using a calibrated torque wrench. Once torqued correctly, the mounting thread must sit either flush or just below the surface of the cylinder head. Failure to insert the stud to the correct depth will result in the stud being subjected to ‘cyclic stress’, meaning the irregular firing pulses of the engine will vibrate through the stud and cause it to become loose or snap off. 

To ensure the stud has been correctly installed, technicians should place the tool over the stud to check if any of the thread sticks out – if it does, the stud is not fitted correctly. 

The tool has a 10mm counter bore at one end to allow it to be used with both the M8 plain stud and the alternative M8 to M10 stepped stud. 

Once the stud has been installed to the correct depth, the tensioner nut should have torque applied, along with the supplementary turn in degrees. The turn is usually 45 degrees, but best practice is to always check the VM’s specifications and that the stud is stretching, not just turning in the head, as this can damage the thread. 

If the thread does need repairing, the stud tool should be used in conjunction with the square nylon block to ensure it is aligned perfectly straight. If the stud is installed at an angle, it will simply amplify the effects of cyclic stress and cause premature failure. 


The new tool complements Schaeffler’s best practice campaign, urging technicians to follow its 4T guidelines during every INA kit install. The REPXPERT team says the following will prevent fitting errors that can lead to premature belt failure: 


For your chance to win one of 20 INA stud fitting tools, just drop us an email with your name, business name and contact telephone number to quoting REF: INA02 before the deadline of Monday 25th February. 

Tackle timing belt changes

You may love them or hate them, but timing belt changes are not getting any easier. We can probably all admit to having got it wrong at least once and being presented with the obligatory blown up latex glove labelled ‘bag of compression’. Here are some hints and tips from INA, the largest belt component supplier in Europe, useful to avoid costly mistakes.


The engine should be at room temperature when setting the belt tension. When the engine gets hotter it expands, so setting the belt tension of a cold belt on a hot engine will mean it is loose when it is cold and not as tight as the vehicle manufacturer’s process specifies when hot. A cold engine is what we call in the trade a datum, a constant that we should all stick to. It sounds easy, but getting the engine at room temperature before you set the belt tension can be tricky, especially if it’s a quick job and the customer has driven 10 miles to get to you. So, make sure you get a tea break or lunchtime in the process or better still, get it on the ramp the night before.
Always change all the pulleys and tensioners. INA tensioner sets and kits are original equipment components and include all the bits you need to change the timing belt. You have to remove most of the Front End Auxiliary Drive (FEAD) components to do the job, plus they have done the same mileage as the timing belt and can do as much damage as the belt if they fail, so why not change them at the same time?
Some garages believe that vehicle manufacturers dream up a complicated process to deter independent garages from doing the work. It is certainly working but they don’t do it for that reason. VMs will start from the position, “I need X tension to make sure the belt doesn’t fall off until the scheduled belt  change,” they will then develop a process that gets them there as quickly and as accurately as possible, repeatedly. Remember, they must do the same as you on a moving production line and are doing it hundreds of times a day. Admittedly, you have a car hiding all the bits you need to get to, but think of it like this, if it will be OK if you miss a few bits out of the process don’t you think the VM would have done it like that?
This time, thinking about if it actually tells you how to replace all the pulleys and tensioner. Rover KV6 is a good example for this – if you follow the OE instructions with a new tensioner, it comes loose and you bend valves. Another good example is the Vauxhall Corsa 1.7 CDTi, where it says retract the tensioner from the belt and lock it and after fitting the new belt just let it go, but if you have the new tensioner in your hand, which way do you turn it? If you have not got enough information call our technical hotline.
For the same reasons in Step 2, VMs will develop an accurate timing process and tools that produce repeatable engine or fuel pump timing in a production environment, to give maximum performance and minimum emissions every single time. If that involves some expensive special tools then that is what is required and a bottle of Tippex just won’t give the same results!
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 20.11.53
Timing belts and tensioners that use friction washers to damp out vibrations don’t like oil or water, leaving a leaking oil seal or a leaking water pump is not doing your customer any favours as you are risking total engine failure. A £2 seal and a few minutes work would be doing your customer a favour.
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 20.12.09
STEP 6: FIP pulley banana slots
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 20.12.21
One of the most common mistakes, usually due to lack of timing pins or tools, is to not lock the cams and loosen the cam pulleys, instead using the ‘universal timing tool’ Tippex to guess the valve timing. Unfortunately, when it comes to tensioning the belt, not having loose pulleys means you will have a loose side of the belt and a tight side of the belt. The tensioner is usually on the slack side so setting the belt tension in this condition will result in an over-tensioned belt.
With the camshafts locked and the pulleys loose you have an even tension all around the belt, which is how the VM intended you to tension the belt. The same can apply to fuel injection pumps – when pinned, the pulleys can be slackened on banana slots allowing some free movement of the belt.
Relates to Step 3, but some tensioners are not marked and weirdly, you turn it one way and the pointer goes in the opposite direction, just to confuse you. Read the instructions carefully and if you are not sure, or it’s not clear, ask.
Screen Shot 2017-07-05 at 20.13.18
Torque wrenches and torque values are vital pieces of kit when it comes to replacing timing and auxiliary belts and their associated tensioners and guide pulleys etc. With belt loads increasing and space reducing, some of these components are expected to perform harder than ever before. Not using a torque wrench can prove fatal to an engine if the bolt breaks.
Always turn the engine over by hand after the process to make sure it turns OK. If possible, it’s also a good idea to leave the belt cover off so you can see whether the belt sits nicely on the pulleys when running before rebuilding it fully.
REPEXPERT Technical Hotline: 01432 264 264