Those of you who own a 3.0 dV6 Vel Satis with the 3-litre Isuzu-sourced diesel engine, should be planning to get the cambelt (timing chain) replaced as your Velsatis approaches 10 years in age or 120,000 miles. Those of you who can afford to do so may be in a position to pay for this major job sooner and if you’re someone who has done this, we commend you.
It’s true that many Renault main dealers or franchise network dealers/garages will quote Vel Satis 3.0 dV6 owners figures of between £800 and £1,750 for cambelt replacement. The kit itself, with the tensioners and other components, isn’t cheap on its own, at about £200 for a ‘pattern part’ kit and £300-500 for an official Renault kit.
So Renault Vel Satis owners in the North West of the UK and in nearby North Wales may be particularly interested to know that the VSOC founder-manager Oliver and his father David have both had the cambelt in their 3.0 dV6 Initiale Vel Sati replaced, several months before they technically needed to do so if going by their Renault service booklet intervals.
‘Good for them!’, you might be thinking. But the gem is, it only cost them in the region of £600 (each) to get the cambelt in their 3-litre Renault Vel Satis cars replaced. And no, it wasn’t at some back-street garage with no experience of this type of engine whatsoever. It was actually at a Saab specialist, the relevance being that Saab used a 3.0 diesel engine in some of their 9-5 models, which is very similar indeed to the 3.0 engine in the Renault Vel Satis. Vauxhall also used a very similar ‘lump’. We provided the SaabTec team with a print-out from Renault’s own technical manual, giving them the instructions on how to do it, involving the removal of the driveshaft, etc.
The garage? SaabTec, independent Saab specialists in Glossop, Derbyshire. Glossop is fairly convenient as it is very close to Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire and would only take 60-90 minutes for Vel Satis owners in North, West and South Yorkshire and Liverpool to reach. David and Oliver would like to extend a big ‘Thank you!’ to Richard and his mechanics at SaabTec and we hope some more Renault Vel Satis owners will make use of their new-found Vel Satis cambelt replacement expertise! It may even be worth the trip ‘up north’ for many of you Vel Satis owners in the South…