What You Must Know About Cambelt Replacement
If your car is over 4 years old or has done more than 50,000 miles, you are probably due for a cambelt replacement. The cambelt, also called the timing belt, is a critical engine component. A failure of the belt almost always results in serious engine damage that could easily set you back by thousands of pounds. Unlike most other failures, warning signs are rare.
One moment you are cruising on the highway and before you know it, you are stuck on the road with a car that must be towed to a garage.
Cambelt Is A Critical Component
Your car engine has many fast-moving parts like pistons, camshaft, crankshaft, valves and fuel injectors. The functioning of the engine is very precise and for it to work, each one of those components must move and operate precisely. In most modern petrol or diesel vehicles, this synchronisation is achieved by the cambelt.
The cambelt is a thick rubber belt with horizontal teeth on one side. It mechanically co-ordinates all engine components and ensures that everything is timed perfectly. It accurately synchronizes the movement of the valves and other components with the movement of the pistons.
Timing belts are designed to last long, but being a rubber component, it wears out, gets weaker with age and eventually breaks.
Cambelt Failure Can Cause Serious Engine Damage
When the cambelt breaks, the synchronisation between the engine components is lost and they move in an uncontrolled fashion. As a result, parts can collide or break causing severe engine damage. This is especially true in an interference engine, which is the choice for many modern cars due to its superior efficiency.
In an interference engine, the range of movement of the valves and the pistons within the cylinder overlap. Timing is very critical to prevent them from colliding. When the cambelt fails, the usual outcome is bent or broken valves as a result of collision with the piston. If you have a high-end car like the Audi or Volkswagen, you could be looking at a repair bill in excess of £2,000.
When To Replace The Cambelt
Cambelt failures usually come without warning and considering that repairs are costly, it makes sense to replace it in time. That said, replacing the cambelt involves opening the engine and is a lot of work even for a skilled mechanic. Checking or replacing it too soon is unnecessary unless you are having problems.
The recommended interval for cambelt replacement both in years and mileage is given in your vehicle’s owner/service manual. This is the optimum interval to change the cambelt and minimises the chances of a failure. If your cambelt is due for replacement, get it replaced without delay at a specialist garage.
The Importance Of Using A Specialist Garage
When you get the cambelt replaced at the dealer or a specialist garage like Volksmaster, you get a two-year warranty against mechanical failures from the dealer. In case of a failure, both the cambelt and any consequential engine damage are covered by the dealer.
One of our Volksmaster garages, in Oldham or Bury, is the best option if you live in or around Manchester because we are a lot cheaper than the dealer and we don’t make any quality compromises. Going for cheaper options could prove costly if the replacement belt fails. The dealer will not accept responsibility if you get the job done at a non-approved garage or if the replacement does not meet their specifications.
Check whether the cambelt of your car is due for replacement. If you have bought a used car, check when the belt was last changed. If you live in or around Manchester and your car needs a cambelt change, call us or use the contact form below to make an appointment.