What’s a Cambelt?


The most important maintenance item in your vehicle is the engine’s Cambelt (also known as a Timing Belt). A Cambelt is often ribbed and is placed in the car’s engine to keep the camshaft and crank timed as it should be. For proper timing, the belt is placed in a very particular arrangement along one side of your engine. For the record, the Cambelt is designed to keep the bottom half of the engine (pistons and crankcase) in sync with the top half (valves and cylinder head). It is an essential item.

Replacing the Cambelt is vital since it does not last a lifetime. It is a car part which if not replaced after prolonged use – as per your manufacturer’s recommendations – could cost you a lot of money in engine repairs. Regardless of the Cambelt being expensive, it is essential to have it installed. To avoid any nasty surprises in your engines car, have your car’s Cambelt checked annually at the very least.

Overtime the Cambelt will stretch, which can accelerate wear of the belt and cause the belt to fail without warning. In some instances, when the engine is idle, a rattling noise can be heard coming from the Cambelt area. This would indicate wear on the Cambelt’s tensioner and/or the idler pullies, which in turn will also cause damage to the belt, another factor which can cause premature failure of the belt.

If a Cambelt does snap, it can damage your car’s engine. The Cambelt is connected to the camshaft and the crankshaft, so if the belt snaps the turning momentum of the crankshaft that the pistons are attached to will hit the valves in the cylinder head and seriously damage your engine. Put another way, if the timing belt fails to properly function, the valves and pistons in your car will begin to collide repeatedly, more than a hundred times a minute, smashing into one another, causing irreversible damage to the engine. This is why it’s so important to have the Cambelt checked annually at the very least.

New directives from the DVSA state that any diesel vehicle which has not had its Cambelt changed in line with the manufacturer’s recommendations should not undergo an emissions test, as the test requires the engine to be put under a heavy load, to enable an emissions reading to be obtained correctly. More information can be found on gov.uk/getting-an-mot

So how much does it cost to replace a Cambelt?

This obviously depends on where you go to get the work carried out. However at Mr Clutch Autocentres, we are eager to help you evade vast repair bills caused by a Cambelt failure.

We therefore operate a Fixed Price Cambelt Schedule which is based on your car’s engine size and the number of cams. Most vehicles will commonly have a twin cam, however, we are happy to inspect your vehicle to determine the number of cams, as well as advise on your manufacturer’s recommended Cambelt change intervals too. On most Cambelts it is also recommended to have a new water pump fitted too, which is an additional cost. You can find out more about our Cambelt replacement service, and enquire online, by visiting mrclutch.com/cambelts

To find your local branch to get booked in, or for more advice, please visit mrclutch.com/branches