The cambelt condundrum

It’s term that is often bandied about by those in the know, but how many of us really understand what a cambelt is, and how vital it is to the safe and smooth running of our vehicles?

For those of us not blessed with a mechanical mindset, the idea of a crucial part of our motor breaking can fill us with confusion as to why this would happen – and dread at the cost of having to get it fixed by a professional.

So here’s what you need to know about cambelts:

What is a cambelt?

The cambelt is a rubber belt that makes the crankshaft (the bit that turns the up and down movement of the pistons, into horizontal rotational movement) and the camshaft (the bit that operates the intake and exhaust valves) rotate at the same time.

What happens when a cambelt fails?

With no cambelt things can go very wrong, very quickly. Parts of the engine will crash into each other as they move, potentially causing severe damage to your car.

How often should you change your cambelt?

There's no easy answer to this question. There are a number of different ways manufacturers respond to this question. Some give a timescale which can range from 4 to 6 years. Others give mileage, which can range from 40,000 to 100,000 miles. We have great experience in this field and we would advise a conservative approach, as a cambelt failure can cause serious damage to your car.

How can I tell if my cambelt needs changing?

Sadly, there is usually no sign that they cambelt is about to give up, as it is right in the middle of the engine. If you are lucky, you may hear a rattle or a slap, which can be an indicator of a problem – so please make sure you don’t ignore any unexplained rattles. It’s not like your brakes or your headlights, when you are going to immediately notice a difference in the way your car drives.

So if it goes wrong – how much does it cost to put right?

The bill for changing a cambelt can vary on the make of car. It can be a bit deceptive, as the part itself is not that expensive, but the process is quite involved as the engine block needs to be taken apart and then put back together.

So if you find yourself in the situation where you need to have some unexpected repairs that you haven’t budgeted for, but you need your vehicle to be back on the road asap, Swansway Group is here to help.

We offer a 6 months interest free offer, where you can spread your service work costs across 6 months at 0% finance if the work is between £80 - £3,000. And if your bill comes to £1,500 or more, you can spread the cost over 9 months.

With dedicated service centres for Audi in Preston and Blackburn, Honda in Bolton, VW in Oldham and VW Vans also in Preston, and our non-franchise centre at Bolton Motor Match - we can service any vehicle, and we are committed to keeping Lancashire business moving.

So don't let a cambelt conundrum slow you down!