There are 2 issues I am aware of with the alternator belt.
1) Towards the end of my first 6000 I was checking the oil and noticed that the belt was beginning to shred! It looks at first take as though the rimmed pulley has stripped about 20% of the width of the belt along its entire length and the remains had vanished! I am at least happy that we caught this in time and no significant damage was done.
I am not the only one to see this
and I now keep a spare belt in
the boot (part number PQS000300) and a 10mm spanner to remove the
tensioner, SMC in
To change the pulley remove the tensioner
just below the alternator - one 10 mm bolt and loosen all of the 10mm
bolts holding the alternator on. Re fit the belt (make a sketch
now of which way it meanders round the pulleys and stuff it in your
glovebox!) and refit the tensioner and then tighten up the
alternator. It is a bit of a fiddle but takes about 5-10 mintes.
I suspect this is not a one off as I have read of at least 2 others with the same problem and these things can have a nasty habit of being more deep seated and/or commonplace given that the engine units are supposed to be run in on the bench prior to installation these days. At least the it (it also drives the aircon compressor, power steering etc) is very accessible for the mechanics given the space between the front of the engine and the rear of the radiator.
A possible sign of failure are witness marks
on the front of the engine block bhind the belt where the movement of
the belt has allowed it to rub on the block. This is my car - note the
witness marks (arrowed)
2) The air conditioning compressor has been known to fail. One solution is to replace it and the good news is that the valve is accessible, but the bad news is the cost and avaiability. RHD cars usepart no. JGE 000020 priced at £266.10 plus vat and LHD cars use JGE 000040 priced at £256.43 plus vat.
As it can take a while to get parts and one owner (reverie158) has got a third party to replace just the bearing which failed, the dealer which did this for him and should know more is WH Brand
The compressor can fail quite dramatically
with visible smoke and
sparks so you shouldn’t miss it if you get this problem!