Cam belt worries
Posted On March 31, 2015
The engines cam belt drives and regulates the cam shaft, which in turn moves the inlet and exhaust valves in your engine. If the cam belt snaps during operation of the engine, many of the moving parts in and around the combustion chamber can sustain serious damage leading to costly repairs. This is one of the reasons buying a second hand car with only partial or no service history is a risky business. Cam belts usually need changing at around 60,000 miles but the cars service schedule should indicate the correct time for your specific vehicle.
If your vehicle has a higher mileage than this and you don’t know whether the belt has been changed it’s a good idea to swap it as a matter of course. This can be quite costly as it requires a lot of work, though the belt itself isn’t that pricey. However, potentially having to repair or replace all 16 valves in your engine will undoubtedly cost more. Some cars feature a timing chain instead of a rubber belt and these should theoretically never break, though some can eventually stretch and throw out the timing.