C5 Service...How Much?

Booked my C5 in for a service today. The service was due at 90K but it has run on to 95K now. The chap said that an intermediate service would be fine
at the moment but I was concerned about getting the timing belt changed as there is a knocking noise from behind the front offside wheel at tickover, which I suspect is one of the pulleys on its way out. £180 for the service and £320 for the timing belt kit. I then enquired about having the clutch replaced as it is near the top end of its travel and I also tow a caravan several times during the year. I understand the clutches are a wee bit fragile on C5's and there is no history in the service manual of it ever being replaced. £480 the man says. Bloody 'ell is it gold plated? £980 to keep my car in a reasonable (I hope) mechanical condition? Thats 25% value of the car!!! Am I being ripped off or should I ditch it?
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Smudge Smith ( snipped-for-privacy@schrodingerscat.plus.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

Dealer? Back street? Cit Specialist? Where in the world are you?

<parp>
FFS, 95k it damn well SHOULD be on the original.

A GRAND!?! For cambelt AND clutch AND service? Sounds eminently reasonable to me, but then I use a very decent (but far from cheap) Cit Specialist in the SE.

Feel free to ditch it outside my house, with keys and signed V5 on the passenger seat. Ta.
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I live in Northants. Citroen specialist (Tony Brooks) recommended by colleague at work. FWIW, last car was a Cavalier. (Clutch cost £80 which I changed meself in half an hour)
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Smudge Smith ( snipped-for-privacy@schrodingerscat.plus.com) gurgled happily, sounding much like they were saying :

That's the exception to the clutch-change rule, though. Piece of piss to change a clutch on those.
Damn near *everything* else (including Vectras and later Cavaliers) a clutch change involves removing the gearbox at a minimum - and, on some (notably Mondeos) involves removing the entire front subframe, with special tools and precise adjustment required to refit...
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>with special tools and precise adjustment required to refit...
They must be the 'special tools' that Haynes say that you don't need...until you are in the middle of stripping something and Mr Haynes says that 'actually you could do with this special tool etc...or you can even make one yourself...but no notes/measurments on how to accomplish such a feat. Looks like the days of home mechanicking are long gone...and I always wanted to be a quantum mechanic too!
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Possible options: 1. Fix the car and pay through the nose and drive it for another 90K 2. Lose value by selling a car loaded with problems 3. Trade it in on a used car and inherit the previous owner's problems 4. Buy a new car and lose a bundle on depreciation the moment the car leaves the dealer's lot 5. Buy a new car and have payments for 6 years 6. Get another estimate from another mechanic.
It would seem that for a profession where you live; it is far more ulcerative to be an auto mechanic than a doctor. Although I am fortunate in that my mechanic has a day job and repairs CXs as a hobby. He drives an 88 CX Prestige as his daily driver instead of a BMW.
Gene

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fine
You don't say which engine, but I have just bought a cam belt kit for an HDI engine for £50. If it is an HDI, then the noise could well be the aux belt crankshaft pulley. They have a knack of falling to bits. Got one of those for £50 too from euro car parts. The clutches fitted normally last much more than 90k. But that depends on the driver as much as anything else.
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Final bill cost me £1280 cos it needed a new water pump and the pully on the crank/auxilliary belt was shot! This is a 4 year old car that has been dealer serviced (supposedly) at recommended intervals for the life of the car.
Now, my last car (306 XSi) never seen a dealer from the day I bought it. I changed the plugs, oils and filters myself, bought from halfords and I don't think that I spent as much as the above in the 10 years I owned it.
I knew I should have walked away when my Mrs decided it was "a nice colour."
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