Cambelts and Timing Chains

What is a cambelt? (Also known as timing belt)

The engines in most modern cars are equipped with a rubber toothed belt, the purpose of this is to run the camshaft which in turn opens & closes the exhaust & inlet valves in perfect timing with the piston position. This belt has varying replacement intervals which are manufacturer defined (usually 60,000 miles or a maximum of 5 years). This is usually replaced as a kit including all tensioners, rollers & pulleys. We also recommend the water pump and antifreeze is replaced at the same time to prevent future pump failures and duplicating labour costs.

The cost of timing belt replacement varies depending on the vehicle but this will always be a cheaper option than repair following belt failure. If the belt teeth strip, it jumps or snaps, then it will lose timing between the valves and the pistons causing contact between the two, resulting in damage, usually bent valves. This repair is only economically viable as long as the car is not too old.

Hopefully, you’ll reach us in time to change your cambelt before it snaps but if not, don’t worry. We can deal with that too. We have access to the necessary specialist tools and experienced mechanics to repair your engine back to full working order.

Not sure when your cambelt is due?

No problem, just get in touch and we can check when it needs replacing by consulting the manufacturer’s guidelines on mileage and age.

Our advice

If in any doubt, our advice is to have a new cambelt fitted. It could save you a lot of money in the long run. Repair costs in the event of failure can be hundreds, sometimes running in to the thousands of pounds.

If your vehicle doesn’t have a cambelt then it will have a timing chain…

Why should I replace my timing chain?

Over time, wear on internal working parts of your engine will spell the need for replacement. One of the internal working parts that wear is the timing chain and timing sprockets. The timing chain and sprockets are the connecting line between the crankshaft and the camshaft. As the crankshaft turns, via the timing chain, it drives the camshaft that operates the engine’s valves via the lifters, push rods and rocker arm assemblies; the timing of the valves opening and closing at precise intervals is crucial for proper engine operation. As the timing chain and sprockets wear, this precise timing of the valves gradually changes, eventually to a point where replacement is necessary.

Telltale signs of worn out timing chains are:

Whilst failure of a timing chain is rare, it does happen so be sure to safeguard yourself against considerable repair costs. We’ll advise you on when you need to think about having it replaced.