Changing the cam belt

If a cam belt breaks – depending on the age of the car – at worst it may be beyond economic repair

If a cam belt breaks – depending on the age of the car – at worst it may be beyond economic repair

What does a cam belt do?

The cam belt is a toothed belt that revolves around the camshafts and crankshafts of the engine several thousands of times a minute – It is needed to synchronise the camshaft and crankshaft so the valves and pistons will move at a determined rate to each other.

Find out when the cambelt needs changing

All car manufacturers have recommendations for the time and mileage intervals for the cambelt renewal. If for instance your car is eight years old but has only covered 16,000 miles – and the manufacturer’s interval is 10-years or 100,000 miles – do not try to eke out the belt’s life further – because the belt deteriorates with the passing of time – as well as with mileage.

What happens if the cam belt breaks?

When the cambelt breaks the engine valves and pistons will crash into one another and cause severe damage to the engine – This can easily result in the need for a replacement engine and depending on age may make the car a write off.

When you change your car

If you buy a used car you need to establish when the cam belt is due to be replaced – if you were in any doubt when it was last renewed, then you should get professional advice.

Remember in most cases when a cambelt fails – the result is severe damage to many components in the engine – requiring a significant rebuild or even the need for a replacement engine.

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