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I own a 2004 Mazda 3 diesel, bought from a Mazda dealer as an ex-demonstrator. During its warranty period it was serviced by the same dealer, and for its 72,000 mile service in July 2008 I asked if the cambelt should be changed. I was told that this was not necessary as the engine has a timing chain, not a belt. Recently at 95,000 miles the engine broke down and the repair garage (not the Mazda dealer) tell me that the cambelt had broken and the engine does not have a timing chain. On checking the service invoice and documentation they serviced according to a specification that refers to a timing chain. Could it be that the earlier Mazda 3s were cambelt? If so, I feel that the dealer should have known which type of engine it was servicing. The bill for rebuilding the engine is estimated at £1,200 and I think the Mazda dealer should make a contribution, but he hasn't replied to me so far. What do you think?
Mazda 3 petrol engines are chain cam. Mazda 3 diesels are belt cam. The garage you bought the car from gave you wrong information, under contract, and is therefore liable for repairing the damage it has directly caused. Speak to the dealer principal, appraise him if this, and tell him if he does not fully repair your car free of charge, except for a fair deduction of £400 for replacing the timing belt, then you will have the work done by another Mazda dealer and will sue him for the full cost via the small claims track of the county court. There is no doubt that he is directly liable. You bought the car from him. You have had the car serviced by him throughout. And when you asked about the necessity of a timing belt change as part of a service you were paying for, some idiot in his employ gave you the wrong information.
Answered by Honest John on

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