Cambelt and auxiliary belt replacement

Although a few use a chain-drive system, by far the vast majority of cars and light commercial vehicles are fitted with a cambelt. This is a vital component that synchronises the rotation of the engine's crankshaft and camshaft(s). In addition, vehicles have an auxiliary belt that usually drives things such as the alternator, power steering pump and air-conditioning pump.

These belts are extremely strong, but obviously need to be. Usually, they are constructed from steel-reinforced rubber. The drive systems always incorporate a tensioning device to keep the belts correctly tight, and on many vehicles, the cambelt also powers the water pump, and sometimes other engine parts, such as the oil pump.

In view of their construction, these belts need to be changed at regular intervals, although this differs by the manufacturer and engine type. It is vital to ensure this is done on time. In the majority of cases, a timing belt breaking will cause massive internal engine damage, in many cases making the engine uneconomical to repair. An auxiliary belt failing will not necessarily cause immediate damage, but will stop power steering and other vital functions from operating. If, as is sometimes the case, the belt powers the water pump, then failure will rapidly lead to the engine over-heating, potentially resulting in serious (and costly) damage.

It is important to note that replacement is not simply a matter of mileage, but also age. Rubber (natural or synthetic) deteriorates with time, and cambelts run under extremes of temperature and are stressed simply by the load they run under. It is essential to stick rigidly and without fail to manufacturers recommendations for cambelt replacement. Further, if you have bought a used car, unless the service history specifically shows the cambelt change having been carried out at the correct time or mileage, then please have it changed without delay. A replacement may be a cost, but it will be way less than scrapping a vehicle or needing a new engine.

We have the experience and equipment to replace cambelts and auxiliary drive belts at a cost far lower than the majority of main agents. Please don't wait until it's too late!

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