The AA Blog: Vauxhall Wet Belt – PSA Engines – The truth

Categories:BIO, PSA wet belt, wet belt, wet timing belt

Do we have another problem where people are putting the wrong oil in their engines or is it a bad design by PSA?

Wet Timing Belt – what is it?

Unlike traditional timing belts that run dry, the PSA wet belt operates within an oil bath for lubrication and cooling. Typically a wet belt will need to be changed if the vehicle covers less than 10,000k miles a year.

The first wet belt system was introduced in 2008 which was hidden inside the European-market 1.8L Ford diesel engine. Ford even use them in the 1.0L EcoBoost engines which have a funny name called eco boom engines.

Oil issue?

The quality of oil determines the life of a wet belt. If oil changes are neglected, the degraded oil will not be able to protect the belt. Oils contain buffers and anti-oxidation additives that prevent the aging process.

Neglecting regular oil changes allows contaminants to build up in the oil, which can degrade the belt material and using oil with the wrong viscosity might not directly affect the belt, but it could impact oil flow and lubrication, potentially contributing to wear.

If you fail to follow the manufacture oil service intervals, your timing belt will eventually fail.

Why wet belts?

The wet belt, otherwise known as the Belt In Oil (BIO) was introduced by Dayco in 2007. Dayco, the company that pioneered the wet belt system innovation on behalf of vehicle manufacturers such as Ford, VW, Vauxhall and PSA is highlighting the importance of regular maintenance in line with the vehicle manufacturers scheduled service intervals, to ensure the ongoing reliability of these engines.

Just some benefits of the wet belt system:

Warning signs of a bad wet belt

If you get a “Oil Pressure Low – STOP” warning on your dashboard, this is the first warning sign that you need to get your car looked at. Here at Alderley Auto we are vauxhall specialists and we can help you diagnose the problem quickly and cost-effectively.

Is wet belt a bad design?

It seems that wet timing belts are not in the interest of the end consumer, these are for the benefit of the manufacturers who can charge a premium, manufacturers who has to meet certain emission and fuel efficiency.

The wet belt system itself is a step back from dry belts and timing chains not only do they cost more but more importantly, the engine head could potentially be starved of oil and seize if bits and pieces of the belt choke the sump strainer. But is this still a lack of maintenance?

Just like any belt or chain, if regular servicing isn’t being done then eventually it will fail.

Welt belt don’t seem to be very reliable going by the information available.

So is it a bad design or the lack of people not regularly checking oil levels and servicing? Well, we will leave it with you to make your own opinion.