When should a cam belt be changed?
Manufacturers tend to recommend changing your timing belt after a set number of miles or years. For the most accurate information we recommend that your check your vehicle’s manual for specific manufacturer guidance. However, as a general rule, a cambelt usually needs to be replaced after 40,000 – 100,000 miles or every four to five years.
How do I know if my timing belt needs changing?
Your cambelt may sometimes need replacing earlier than you expect, for this reason it’s important to be able to spot the signs of a faulty or failing timing belt, which can be tricky as this part is an internal engine component.
Odd sounds from your engine are usually a sign that something isn’t quite right. With a faulty cambelt your engine may make a rubbing sound, rattling sound, or you may notice clicking and ticking noises. If your cambelt has broken, then your car may not start at all due to loss of power.
Problems with your engine’s timing may also cause a rough sounding engine or lead to problems with poor engine performance, such as hard stalling when the balance is disrupted between your crankshaft and camshaft.
Other signs to look out for are an overheating engine, smoke from your tailpipe, leaking oil, or less efficient fuel usage.
What will happen if I don't replace a faulty cambelt?
Choosing not to replace your faulty cambelt is very risky. Over time your timing belt will wear out, eventually losing grip or even slipping. This interrupts the timing of the engine, meaning your vehicle’s pistons and valves are likely to hit the cylinder head, damaging the engine. This is likely to result in an expensive repair bill and could even lead to engine failure.