One of the biggest services you’ll ever have on your car is having the cambelt changed. However, many people don’t know or understand what the belt does, why it needs to be changed or even understand that it should only be done by a competent & confident mecahnic.
It’s an important part of the engine in your vehicle. I’m not going to explain how engine combustion works, however, I’ll explain exactly what the cambelt is for.
Your engine has a part inside called a camshaft, this opens and closes valves on your engine so that it can let petrol and air in while also releasing the burnt gasses to your exhaust. As you can imagine, this has to be extremely well timed to stop items like pistons, smashing into your valves. The timing is derived from your crank. The crank is the lower part of the engine, that is where turning starts.
Now your cam and crank have to be in perfect sync, otherwise pistons and valves will be set to collide which is bad news for your engine.
A cambelt is made from a synthetic rubber material and is subject to wear and tear from running around your engine and the intense heat it’s subject to. For that reason, they are known to snap when not changed at regular intervals.
If they’re not changed and they do snap, 99.9% of the time, you require a lot of engine work or possibly even a new engine. Please see picture below of an engine piston that has been damaged by a valve not moving at the correct time.
This is one of the most popular questions we get asked here at Childwall Garage. However, the answer is unbelievably open ended. It all depends on your car, the age of it and what the manufacturer recommends.
Most modern cars are recommended to have their belts changed at around 100,000 miles. However, some recommend it as low as 40,000 and as high as 160,000, it will all depend on the company that makes your car.
If you’re ever unsure, just give us a call, we can talk you through the recommendations.
Again, this boils down to similar information to above. Every car is made different and set out in a slightly different way. For example, some cars have 2 cams (you may have heard of double overhead cam). Other manufacturers also choose to have their cambelt run something else such as a water or oil pump, maybe even both.
So when formulating a price everything needs to be considered. The labour time on such a job ranges from anywhere between 3 hours and up to 10 and over. So if you’re looking at parts included too, there is probably a minimum expectancy of at least £350 such a job. However, if you consider a water pump, oil pump, water change and oil change then the price can go up considerably.
This question is much easier to answer. As the cambelt is a vital part of your engine, it’s important to pick a mechanic that is not only competent, but confident in their work. Any slight error in fitting, even the smallest amount, can result in the car needing a new engine.
We would recommend not picking a very small backstreet garage with 1 or 2 staff. Instead, trained technicians with plenty of time to do the work and a wealth of experience.
So, can we think of the best garage for a cambelt change? Yes, the only garage to consider is us at Childwall Fiveways Garage. We’re based at Childwall Fiveways roundabout and we’re just behind the old Natwest Bank. You can find our phone number on the site here and drop us a line, the team will en devour to get you a price for your job and booked in as soon as possible.
So if you need your cambelt changing, then please just call us now and get booked in. If you’re not sure when it was last changed then you 100% need to call us straight away before you run the risk of snapping the belt and ruining your engine.
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