I have a detailed question on cambelt change that I suspect only a Citroen trained person with access to official data can answer. Opinions are of little use - I need an proper answer please!
The car is a 2006 Xsara Picasso with 1.6 petrol 16 valve. Therefore 12 years old but only 67,000 gentle miles, mostly longer runs. The official belt change interval seems to be 75,000 so it is about time.
HOWEVER, I asked at a Citroen dealer about belt prices, tensioner kit options etc. I was told that if a new Citroen belt (Part no C816H6) is fitted then the CRANKSHAFT pinion (the toothed wheel behind the crankshaft pulley for the aux belt and that the cambelt engages with) must also be changed to a new part C9674617680 (£58 + VAT) and after consulting the workshop I was told this was 100% imperative - BUT NO REAL REASON GIVEN WHY. No-one else I speak to has heard of this but it is certainly on the Citroen computer system when you look up the parts list - also a revised timing belt replacement procedure is mandated - but I have no idea what this is.
Now, this job is pretty standard - lock the crankshaft and the camshafts and the tension is taken care of automatically when the new belt is fitted. In this respect it is much easier than the old 8 valve engine. According to Haynes Manual the cambelt even has white lines on it to align with marks on the camshaft wheels etc
So WHY is it advised or ORDERED that a new CRANKSHAFT pinion wheel be fitted. It was suggested I could fit a non-Citroen belt (as many or most people do) and (OBVIOUSLY??) the old pinion wheel would be OK - it has been OK for the last 12 years and there are no noises or other problems.
Is this Citroen cambelt C816H6 somehow a new design and incompatible with the original pinion wheel??? If so why does it suit the existing camshaft wheels and water pump?
I'm looking for a definitive and logical answer please. Citroen wouldn't allow access to workshop manual material (of course).