I'm in urgent need of some advice and guidance here. 2 days ago, while driving home to London after a day trip to Wales, I became aware of a muted belt squeaking noise from my well built, reliable, good looking, 2005 Golf SE TDI (105) 1896 which I have owned and loved for 6 years. The noise didn't get worse and I figured I'd get home and deal with it in the morning.
About a mile from home I suddenly heard a brief flap-flapping noise, the battery light flashed and the engine died. I'm not a car person, but when I looked at the engine I could see the alternator pulley no longer had its belt. Next morning I had the car towed to my garage who confirmed that the alternator pulley shaft had sheared causing the belt to either break or fall off. OK, I suppose after 80K miles alternators can fail. However, the next call from the garage was much, much worse. Apparently, some part of the failed alternator belt had somehow wedged itself into the timing chain which looks like it has caused catastrophic engine damage requiring an engine rebuild!
Question (1) What are the chances of this happening?! Has anyone heard of this before?
Question (2) My car is nearing the end of its life. I'm told it had - before this happened - a trade-in value of approximately £4K. What is my best strategy? To sell the car for scrap? To pay to have the engine re-built? Or to drop another engine into her?
Any offers? Advice & guidance will be gratefully received. Many thanks.
AFAIK, Timing chains are usually behind a sealed case, to keep oil flowing round the joints, whereas the alternator pulley is belt driven and has no need for oil, so should be out in the open, with the water pump and crankshaft pulley on the same belt.
I don't honestly know if this is how the 1.9PD engines work, but all the other cars with timing chains i've worked on were like this.
Ask the garage to show you proof of the damage, or take a knowledgeable friend with you to give it a look over too, if there is no damage, get it out of there.