A cambelt, also known as the timing belt plays a vital role in keeping your Jaguar, Land Rover, Range Rover or MINI on the road.
If it breaks, it can have catastrophic effects, both in terms of the damage to your cars engine and your wallet.
For additional information on Cambelt Replacement
What is a cambelt?
The cambelt, also known as the timing belt, is one of the most crucial bits of kit in the engine.
It’s basically a rubber belt with teeth on it which synchronises the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft.
What does a cambelt do?
In a nutshell, it regulates the way your engine works.
Its primary role is to control the timing and the opening and closing of the valves to the cylinders, in time to ensure correct combustion inside the engine.
Like most bits of kit, it will eventually wear out. If it cracks, tears or snaps, it will cause expensive engine damage. With older cars this usually means they won’t be worth repairing.
How often should you change a cambelt?
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ rule when it comes to how frequently a cambelt should be changed, as a lot depends on the car.
Most manufacturers suggest either a time or mileage-based change, depending on which comes first.
There’s a lot of variation between both manufacturers and engines when it comes to when a change is due. This could range from 60,000 miles up to 105,000 miles, and from seven years up to ten years.
What happens when the Cambelt goes?
There are two types of engine timing configurations: interference, and non-interference.
An interference type engine means that the valve’s stroke and piston’s stroke take up the same space in the cylinder, so the timing belt essentially keeps them from smashing into each other, since they do it at different times. If the timing belt snaps, they run into each other, causing bent valves (most common), cylinder head or camshaft damage, and possibly piston and cylinder wall damage.
In a non-interference engine, the pistons and valves don’t occupy the same space, so if the timing belt snaps, no valve or cylinder damage occurs
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