When Should You Change Your Cambelt
The cambelt, often called the timing belt, is a rubber belt that controls the timing of the vehicle’s internal combustion engines. It’s a vital component that ensures the camshaft and crankshaft rotate simultaneously.
Like other components in your car, the cambelt will have to be changed out at some point in time. You will probably know it’s time as your car will not be performing properly. We are here to provide you with valuable information for signs that your cambelt must be replaced.
You will probably experience different loud noises when your car is running, usually when first started and the engine is cold. Different noises include squealing, grinding, rattling, hissing, chirping, or rumbling. Squealing is usually associated with a loose belt which can mean wearing and must be replaced. If the belt is relatively new and making noise, have it visually checked out by a mechanic for wear and tear and get the tension adjusted.
Your Car Won’t Start Or Has Starting Issues
If your car is not starting at all or having starting issues, it’s probably due to the cambelt. Without the belt, the camshaft cannot rotate after it turns. This can be checked by your mechanic by watching the camshaft while turning the crankshaft. If the camshaft does not turn, chances are, the belt is broken.
Take a closer look at the belt. If the belt is worn, it will look glazed or flossy on the underside. That means the rubber is getting hard and will not give you the flexibility it needs. Signs of cracking or fraying are even more obvious. If these signs are present, you need to replace the belt. Another way to check the belt is to press a fingernail or the tip of a screwdriver gently onto the belt. If the pressure does not leave any signs of marks, the belt has become too stiff.
The cambelt can be difficult to gain access to so a visual inspection should be done by a professional mechanic.
Perform Maintenance To Prevent Issues
You should have regular maintenance on your vehicle. When you take your car in for servicing, your mechanic will notice wear and tear to the cambelt. If your mechanic recommends replacing the belt, follow his advice as replacing the timing belt is a lot better than repairs. Repairing the timing belt is not a good idea unless you are just trying to get back home and will be quickly replaced. Replacing the belt will save you from a lot of problems as well as expenditures in the future. Be smart and just get it replaced.
A Broken Cambelt
If your cambelt does break, the damage done will be determined by the type of engine you have and how much damage was caused by the broken belt. An interference engine damaged by the belt breaking can cause serious valve damage and damage to other parts of the engine. A none interference engine, also known as a free-wheeling engine, will not suffer from as much damage but will cost a good deal of money to replace the cambelt once it’s broken. Also, the broken belt will lead to damage in other parts of the engine.
A change in your cambelt or timing belt should be taken seriously regarding maintenance to your car. If you don’t know about changes to the belt, you might be looking at replacing the entire engine. Read up in your manual to know the mileage of your car when the cambelt will require changing or better yet, give your mechanic a quick call or send an email with questions. They will let you know in a timely manner. I usually suggest making a call so you can get immediate answers.
Are you 100% sure your cambelt was changed at the correct time or mileage?
Are you even sure your cambelt was changed at all?
If you are purchasing a used car, does the previous owner have proof of a cambelt change at the correct time or mileage?
If you are not sure or you answered NO to any of these questions, we highly advise you to make an appointment to have the cambelt checked and possibly changed.
Keep in mind, cambelts are a critical part of your vehicle, and not replacing it at the manufacturer’s recommended time can result in serious damage to your cars engine. If you have absolutely no idea or have any questions, book an appointment with Lowton Motor Company Birchwood and we will provide recommendations. You can contact us by phone 01925 320468 or make a booking below. When in doubt, playing it safe and having a cambelt change might be the best option, better safe than sorry.