What is a cam-belt and when does it need to be replaced?
Often overlooked, the cam-belt is probably the most important maintenance item on your car. Similar to an auxiliary belt, the cam-belt is a ribbed belt that is vital allow your engine to start and run properly. It’s also called the cam timing belt because its job is to keep the cam-shafts in time with the crank-shaft. Once the ignition timing has been set or programmed, it doesn’t usually need to be adjusted on modern cars. Learn more about timing-belts here.
If the cam-belt isn’t changed according to the service schedule, it can stretch/snap causing permanent engine damage. When fitting, even a single degree of discrepancy can cause the same level of engine damage, so it’s best left to skilled mechanics.
Cam-belts are often overlooked because of the expertise required to replace ad the fact that they are usually hidden under a protective cover. On some engines, they can be a labour intensive job so people prefer to sell the car rather than pay the expense. It’s therefore vital to check whether the cam-belt has been replaced on a used car to avoid costly future bills.
Some engines use timing chains which theoretically don’t need to be replaced like cam-belts. Although some manufacturers do have faults which can lead to a similar problem as cam-belts.
Get in touch and we can advise on the cam/timing belt service interval for your car. If you need advice about your cam-belt, call us on 0208 941 1200.