How will I know when to replace my Cambelt or Timing Chain

Different makes and models of cars come with either a Timing Chain or a Cam/Timing Belt. The main difference is the Timing Chain can last anywhere from 120 000km to 200 000km and is made of metal. While the Cambelt is made of rubber and can only last between 60 000km and 160 000km.

Your Cambelt and Timing Chain could possibly be one of the most important items when it comes to the maintenance of your vehicle. They are designed to keep the top half of your engine which houses the Valves and Cylinder head moving with the bottom containing the Pistons and Crankcase.

If Either break while your engine is turning it will cause the Valves and Pistons to collide with each other. More than 100 times per minute. This type of damage can only be repaired with either an engine overhaul or an engine replacement. These costs can add up fairly quickly and could easily cost more than what the car is worth.

The Cambelt has ribs or teeth along the inside of the belt with a smooth outside surface.

On older cars it was rare to find a Cambelt cover to protect the belt from outside contaminants such as dust, water, and oil. Over time if dust settled on the belt or water/oil dripped onto it, it would cause the belt to age faster and evidently break sooner. For this reason, Cambelts now have a cover to protect them. However, this cover does not prevent the belt from stretching over time which could also cause the belt to break.

Cambelts can fail without warning, however, if you are lucky, you might hear a rattling sound coming from your engine. This rattling could mean that the Tensioner’s or Idler pulley’s that the Cambelt runs on are busy failing. But because there is no guarantee this will happen. Manufacturers have set time intervals depending on the make and model of the car where they recommend when the Cambelt needs is to be changed. Not even the manufacturers are able to predict when a Cambelt might break.

Autoworks strongly recommends that these intervals are followed to avoid unnecessary expenses to you. If you are unsure when your cambelt needs to be changed, send us your VIN number and we will assist you.

The Timing Chain has teeth and is similar to a Bicycle Chain

Timing Chains are by far simpler than a Cambelt, however, they do share some similarities. They are the same in the way they operate and in the way they stretch. Because Chains are made of metal, they are not susceptible to dust, water or oil meaning they last longer. However, because they still stretch, they do have a lifespan.

Chains do not have a set replacement interval like the Cambelt as they can also wear down depending on how the car gets driven. The harder you drive your car, the quicker your timing chain will start to fail. However, unlike the Cambelt, Timing Chains normally warn you in advance when they are about to break. They give off a rattling sound that can be heard when you start your car in the morning. And as the chain continues to stretch it can even be heard as you drive.

Autoworks recommends that as soon as you hear that first rattle do not hesitate to give us a call. We will book your car in for an assessment and advise you of the outcome and the way forward.

Autoworks believes in keeping your car in optimum running condition and always strives to do what’s best for you! Click below and we will contact you back.

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