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Peugeot 208 Timing Belt Replacement Cost

  • 9 min read
A silver car parked on the side of a street.

Featured image: Vauxford, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Quick answer: between £404.99 and £411.99 depending on whether you have a petrol or a diesel Peugeot 208. You may need to pay more for a detailed inspection of the engine if your petrol cambelt has degraded significantly.

Every car that’s on the road with a timing belt rather than a chain will need the timing belt to be replaced at some point.

Timing belts are well-engineered, strong pieces of vulcanised rubber, but they wear out and stretch over time, and if your timing belt was to snap while the engine was running, the consequences are catastrophic – and often the engine is unsalvageable.

A timing belt replacement is a significant cost, and one that many car owners shy away from due to perception of how expensive it is. However, it is a crucial part of ownership and maintenance and something you should do for your Peugeot 208 if you want it to last a long time.

© M 93 / Wikimedia Commons

In this article we’re going to go through the details of how much you can expect to pay for the replacement of the timing belt on the Peugeot 208.

Which engine do you have?

Generally the cost to replace a timing belt on a petrol or diesel 208 is similar – the exception (which we discuss below) is if you have a PureTech engine where the belt runs in oil.

Occasionally these will warrant an additional inspection of the engine to check whether the belt has deteriorated and caused additional damage.

A warning about the wet timing belt on the first generation PureTech 1.0/1.2L engines

One thing you need to watch out for if you own a petrol 208 is whether your car has been fitted with the PureTech 1.0L/1.2L petrol engine – sometimes also called the VTi engine.

The timing belt in these vehicles runs in an oil bath and over time, if the correct, Peugeot-specified oil is not used, the belt will begin to break up.

You may get a warning before the engine dies – as you may be seeing strange warnings such as “engine oil pressure fault” or an engine light or something, or you may just find the belt snaps.

© M 93 / Wikimedia Commons

What you must also do if you have one of these engines is go to a garage that understands the damage it can cause when these belts crumble, so that they inspect the sump and the innards of the engine to ensure there aren’t bits of the old belt blocking up the oil channels in the engine.  

This doesn’t apply to the 1.6L THP engine fitted to the Peugeot 208 GTi as this engine is chain-driven.

Cost to replace a Peugeot 208 Cambelt

We’re working on the assumption that garages will charge around £50 per hour in labour, plus VAT. Some garages may charge more or less – but £50 is a good average across the country.

A competent mechanic should be able to replace the cambelt and water pump on any model of 208 within 5 or 6 hours, providing the parts are easily available (which they generally are at most motor factors, these are popular cars and your mechanic shouldn’t really be waiting too long for stock.)

The cost will change based on petrol or diesel cars, so we’ve broken it down between the two below.

Additionally we’ve also costed for replacement of the water pump, which you should always do when replacing the timing belt.

We’re basing all of these costs on getting this work done at an independent local garage – you of course will pay more at the Peugeot dealer.

Vauxford, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Petrol Peugeot 208 Timing Belt Replacement Cost

Example Car: 2018 Peugeot 208 1.2L PureTech 

Cost for parts (Dayco timing belt, water pump, tensioner and idler): £111.99 (Euro Car Parts)

Labour cost: 6 hours at £50 per hour: £300 (+VAT)

Note: a mechanic may charge you an extra two hour’s labour  (£100 + VAT) to do an inspection of the engine if they feel the timing belt has deteriorated enough to warrant it.

Total cost: £411.99 + VAT

Diesel Peugeot 208 Timing Belt Replacement Cost

Example Car: 2015 Peugeot 208 1.6L e-HDi

Cost for parts (INA timing belt, water pump, tensioner and idler): £104.99 (Euro Car Parts)

Labour cost: 6 hours at £50 per hour: £300 (+VAT)

Total cost: £404.99 + VAT

Why does the timing belt need replacing?

The timing belt is responsible for keeping the engine in time – that is, making sure that when the engine rotates, the valves and pistons don’t hit each other.

Over time, like any other component, the timing belt can wear and stretch. Think about it – if you’re revving your engine at 4k rpm, the timing belt is also spinning, and while they are strong pieces of equipment made of vulcanised rubber, they can wear.

Additionally rubber perishes over time – and timing belts are no exception to this. If your belt snaps, your engine cannot stay in time, the valves and pistons will smash into each other and will likely be bent and damaged beyond repair.

Additionally if the belt stretches, this can cause the engine to go slightly out of time which may also cause damage.

On most cars, and particularly on the Peugeot 208, it’s just as much work to check the timing belt as it is to replace it.

Because of the destruction that can be caused when a timing belt fails, it’s one of those components you replace before it ever gets to the point at which it can fail – it doesn’t matter if theoretically the belt could go another 100k, it gets replaced at the recommended intervals. 

How often should the Peugeot 208 timing belt be replaced?

Peugeot have said specifically that for diesel-engined 208s, the change interval is ten years or 110,000 miles, and for petrol 208s with the PureTech 1.0L/1.2L engines, the change interval is six years or 64,000 miles.

I personally feel the petrol change interval is about right, but the diesel interval is too long – again, going back to the damage that a snapped timing belt can do to your engine.

I personally replaced the timing belt in my (diesel) 208 at seven years and 70,000 miles – which isn’t early enough that it’s a waste of money, but is late enough that it was worth doing for peace of mind.

The old belt probably would have been fine up to the stated interval, but I would personally rather spend the few hundred pounds on getting the belt done now, than risk spending a few thousand pounds on sourcing and fitting a reconditioned engine.

How do I know if my timing belt is worn?

Simply put, you don’t, really. You can ask a garage to dismantle your car and inspect the timing belt, but as we’ve mentioned previously, this is almost as much work as just getting the belt replaced.

A timing belt kit is around £100 and it just makes sense to replace it when the manufacturer tells you to rather than worry about checking whether it’s worn and whether it can last a few more years – simply because you’re saving money to have it replaced, rather than have it checked, have the garage tell you it’s fine and then spend nearly as much money in a few years getting the belt replaced.

With the kind of mileage most cars in the UK do before they’re scrapped, most owners (unless they keep their cars above 150k miles, which most don’t) will only ever have to replace the timing belt in their cars once – so it makes sense to do it when the manufacturer says to rather than try and squeeze as much life out of it as possible.

There is an exception to the 1.0L/1.2 PureTech engines, on which you can actually see the timing belt if you remove the oil filler cap. Given the propensity of these belts to break up, you should have the belt inspected every 20k miles and replaced if your mechanic feels necessary.

Should I always replace the water pump along with the timing belt?

Absolutely you should – I’m not aware of any garage that would replace the belt and not replace the pump as well (unless the pump had been replaced recently for some reason).

This again goes back to efficiency and economy – on the Peugeot 208 the timing belt has to come off for you to replace the water pump anyway, so if you’re doing the belt, you may as well do the water pump, and if you’re doing the water pump it doesn’t make sense to put an old belt back onto the car.

A failed water pump will cause an engine to overheat because it cannot circulate enough coolant around the engine to keep the engine at optimal temperature – and the hotter the engine gets, the more chance of serious damage such as damage to the cylinders and pistons.

If you’re experiencing other problems with your Peugeot 208, we have a set of comprehensive guides listed below.

About the author

Marcus Brown is editor-in-chief of The FatMech and is a mechanic with ten years' experience based in London, UK. Having worked for major dealerships for many years, Marcus now works for a local independent garage and has experience working on nearly every make and model of car. Marcus also has a passion for writing and teaching, which is where the idea for The FatMech came from. In his spare time, Marcus enjoys playing golf, doing home renovations and gardening. He lives just outside London with his wife and son.

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