Timing Belt / Cambelt
When it comes to servicing your car, timing belt / cambelt replacement is essential and one of the most important serviceable parts of your car’s engine. The timing belt / cambelt has an extremely important job controlling the camshafts within the engine and allows it to run smoothly, if left unchanged and it breaks, the repair bill can be very expensive.
It is important to know the change interval of your timing belt / cambelt as if you exceed the manufacturers’ recommendation it can lead to a slipped or snapped belt. In many cases this requires a new engine or engine build costing hundreds if not thousands of pounds.
Your car’s timing belt / cambelt is a crucial component. It controls the order and frequency in which the engine’s valves open and close, as well as delivering power to the ancillary systems. Timing belts / cam belts can become damaged or snap if they’ve been operating for a while with incorrect tension.
What Is a Timing Belt / Cambelt:
When a timing / cambelt is fully operational the internal parts work within a few millimetres of each other, often while rotating at high speed, which demands a precise degree of synchronisation.
Many years ago, chains were employed to transmit motion between the engine crank and camshafts but these tended to be located within the engine, because a supply of oil was essential to reduce wear. From the 1970s, many car makers replaced their chains gradually, although some of them are now reverting, with toothed belts, called either camshaft or timing belts, which are lighter and quieter in operation. However, not only do they require routine replacement but they can also fail suddenly and without warning, unlike the old chain types, which would become noisy as they stretched and wore out. Some manufacturers have continued using timing chains that are intended to last the life of the engine, even though some types do not.
Typical causes of timing belt failure vary from old age to contamination by an adjacent oil or water leak. Bad fitting, such as either under or over-tightening a new belt, can cause it to fail prematurely, as can failure of neighbouring components.