A cambelt, also known as a timing belt, may seem like an insignificant part but it is a crucial component of your engines running equipment.
The cambelt is usually made up of rubber and synthetic mix to increase its durability. It has grooves (teeth) on one side which help to enhance the grip on the heads of different shafts within the engine. Without these grooves, the cambelt could slide off at any time.
The timing belt synchronises the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft to keep it timed. In essence, it keeps the bottom half of the engine (pistons and crankcase) in sync with the top half (valves and cylinder head).
The cambelt is a consumable car part, which means it will need replacing. The material wears over time which makes it more susceptible to breaking. It also becomes more brittle and may become cracked or frayed as a result. The cambelt is also susceptible to stretching which can affect the timing and put it out of sync.
So how do you know when to change your cambelt? Unfortunately, with so many variables, there is no one size fits all when it comes to changing the timing belt.
Most manufacturers suggest either a time or mileage-based change, whichever comes first. However, even the mileage or time suggested can vary massively between both manufacturers and types of engine. It is not unheard of for mileage change recommendations to vary from 40,000 to 100,000-miles or from four to six years.
You should be able to find information regarding your car’s specific cambelt change schedule detailed in your car’s handbook. The figure stated should be treated as an absolute max.
Quickly arrange for your existing car to be seen by our manufacturer-trained technicians.
It can be quite difficult to detect the signs indicating your cambelt need changing, which is one of the reasons you should not ignore manufacturer guidelines or advice from a mechanic.
A few signs you may notice include:
As mentioned above, there are often very few cues that your cambelt is failing, and so it may break before you even realise anything is wrong. That’s why it is a good idea to make a visual check of your cambelt from time-to-time. The majority of garages will do this when your car is in for its service, which is just one of the reasons you shouldn’t ignore your service schedule.
It is quite easy to have a look at the timing belt yourself and assess it for wear, once you know the common signs of cambelt wear:
While the cambelt may seem like an insignificant part, it is connected to vital and expensive engine components. This means if it does fail, it can damage more expensive components and result in significant and costly repairs.
It is also worth noting that while the cambelt itself is relatively cheap to replace, fitting can be a complex process, so labour is likely to make up a large proportion of the final bill from your garage. Luckily here at Stoneacre, you can spread the cost of your repairs with our Stoneacre repair payment plan.
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