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Cam Belt Question?
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# 1
Col.Mastard
Old 19-06-2007, 10:31 AM
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Question Cam Belt Question?

When should a Cam Belt be changed on a Car? :confused:

Many Thanks
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# 2
Hermione54
Old 19-06-2007, 11:37 AM
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Depends on the make and model, but the handbook should tell you. Always err on the side of caution; if in doubt, change it, along with pulleys etc.
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# 3
Col.Mastard
Old 19-06-2007, 12:19 PM
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Question

My car is a Freelander (52) I got it in April 2006, never changed it myself in that time.

Does anyone know how much they cost?
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# 4
mr_accountant
Old 19-06-2007, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Mac View Post
Handbooks aren't used anymore. They should check it on every service and do it if required.

The dealer will not take the cambelt cover off and visually and physically check it, what they may do is look to see if the via the recommended interval it is due for a change -not the same thing.
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# 5
mr_accountant
Old 19-06-2007, 12:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col.Mastard View Post
My car is a Freelander (52) I got it in April 2006, never changed it myself in that time.

Does anyone know how much they cost?
have you posted your query on http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/forum/threads.htm?f=2 someone will know for sure.

i think i will be expensive if it needs changing ie itro £500
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# 6
anewman
Old 19-06-2007, 1:29 PM
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It's normally an expensive job as it's time consuming. I'm looking at getting a timing chain done (the equivalent to a cam belt on my engine) and quotes range from £160 to £200 - but parts and gaskets etc come to around £30 so I am considering trying it myself with some help from a haynes manual.

The damage caused by not changing the belt can cost a whole lot more than the cost to change it, possibly sometimes making the car not economically viable to repair meaning a new car is needed.
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# 7
moonrakerz
Old 19-06-2007, 1:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anewman View Post
It's normally an expensive job as it's time consuming. I'm looking at getting a timing chain done (the equivalent to a cam belt on my engine) and quotes range from 160 to 200 - but parts and gaskets etc come to around 30 so I am considering trying it myself with some help from a haynes manual.

The damage caused by not changing the belt can cost a whole lot more than the cost to change it, possibly sometimes making the car not economically viable to repair meaning a new car is needed.
A timing chain shouldn't need changing ! What are they doing for the money ?

A quote from Honest John's website from someone with a Cam chain fitted car:-

"The cam chain was a grey area at the dealers in fact the first 6 or 7 invoices presented for service itemised a charge for checking the cam belt, I became weary at pointing out it had a chain not a belt when getting this taken off the bill. One service receptionist inisted blind it had a belt and that it had been checked Ahem.,"
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# 8
cajef
Old 19-06-2007, 1:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anewman View Post
The damage caused by not changing the belt can cost a whole lot more than the cost to change it, possibly sometimes making the car not economically viable to repair meaning a new car is needed.
Does depend on the make of car, if there is clearance between the valves and pistons then usually no damage is done, if there is none then bent valves, damaged pistons and head can be an costly job, especially on the more expensive makes.

At least with a timing chain there is a lot more leeway and warning before the chain needs changing compared to a belt, you can get away with a loose chain for several months before it gives up the ghost, I had a Saab which rattled for ages before I got round to changing the chain and tensioner, whereas a belt only needs to slip a tooth and you have problems.
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# 9
MrsTinks
Old 19-06-2007, 1:55 PM
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Ok timing CHAINS do not tend to snap like a timing belt... you'll know when it's nearing it's time for a change as it'll get noisy because the chain is worn and getting loose and thus rattling because it isn't snug... this doesn't happen over night and as a rule they last a LOT longer than timing belts...
Timing BELTS... For my car (MX-5 mk1) the recommendation is every 60,000 miles. However the mk1 has a non-interference engine which means if I snap a cam belt it won't cause the pistons and valves to collide and thus practically render my engine irrepairable... (It can be dangerous though if say you're over taking on the motorway as you loose all power and your powersteering goes too... try handling that beggar with no power steering and no engine at all... not fun even when you're being towed let alone if you are on the motorway or overtaking say a lorry on a road... So don't take the fact it's a non-interference engine as a green card to not get it changed!)
However check manufacturers recommendations for how often your cam belt should be changed and if it's near that time and you're not sure if it's been done then better safe than sorry... What's £500 compared to a full engine rebuild or replacement in an interference engine

edited to add... I've just realised just how blooming sad I am... I'm a 27 year old blonde girl and I feel I know FAR too much about cars and engines... Wasted youth me thinks... Have to add this doesn't stop me pulling the "I'm a woman and a blonde and I know nothing about cars..." card if I need to hihi

Last edited by MrsTinks; 19-06-2007 at 2:04 PM.
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# 10
anewman
Old 19-06-2007, 2:25 PM
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My car has 110k miles on the clock and there is a distinct rattling at the bottom left hand side of the engine where the timing chain is. Due to the age and mileage my guess is it's the timing chain. The rattle isn't too bad so I can live with it but think it's telling me it needs changing My timing belt is designed without a tensioner too which may contribute to the wear I'd guess.

Timing chains don't usually snap but I have been reliably informed they can wear through the timing chain cover if left in service worn.

Last edited by anewman; 19-06-2007 at 2:27 PM.
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# 11
plane_boy2000
Old 19-06-2007, 9:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Mac View Post
That's not what VW said to me in March
VW may be a slightly different case as they have suffered a spate of failures before the recomended change. They fitted poor quality tensioners for a while which were failing, and in turn causing the belt to wear and snap. For some VW models the handbook states 60K changes, but VW are advising that they be changed at 40K for certain engines manufactured between certain dates.
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# 12
dnc1781
Old 19-06-2007, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Col.Mastard View Post
When should a Cam Belt be changed on a 52 Freelander? :confused:
http://www.usedcarexpert.co.uk/cars.aspx?numModel=255
Freelander 1997-2003
- states:

"....the cam belt must be changed every 72k miles on petrol engines and every 48k on diesel engines."

"Changing the belt will cost 200.

It will cost 700 - 1000 to have the engine repaired if the belt fails."
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# 13
Crabman
Old 19-06-2007, 10:38 PM
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Thread added to the Motoring Board A-Z, keep the info coming peeps
I'm a Board Guide on the Savings & Investments, ISAs & Tax-free Savings, Public Transport & Cycling, Motoring and Parking Fines, Tickets & Parking Boards which means I'm a volunteer to help the boards run smoothly & I can move & merge posts there. Board Guides are not moderators & don't read every post. If you spot a contentious or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com

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# 14
iluvmylexus
Old 20-06-2007, 7:22 PM
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most cars need the belt changed at the 60k mark ford focus is either 90 or 100k i would always change the tensioners and pulley while doing the belt (i have seen the damage when the pulley hasnt been changed) the belt itself is probably only a tenner but it is a big job to do and probably not done if you dont have the experience as the timing marks have to be exactly right


any doubts chnge it right away
speed is good
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# 15
Little Miss Saver
Old 20-06-2007, 7:59 PM
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The mechanic at the garage I take my car to said it should be changed every 3 years or 50,000 miles which ever comes first. Don't know if that's a general rule of thumb or specific to my car (Rover 200)

I brought my car 18 months ago and hadn't a clue when the cambelt was last changed, so I had it changed in January when I had it serviced and I was charged 160 (service & cambelt change). I was told it would cost over 600 to repair the damage if it snapped.

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# 16
Viz
Old 21-06-2007, 7:43 AM
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My petrol Ford Focus is due its first cam belt change now at 91k miles. I think Ford wanted 270 ish when I got a quote.
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Its not big and its not clever.
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# 17
Stephen Leak
Old 21-06-2007, 9:42 AM
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For my Mk.2 Mondeo's Zetec-E engine, it is every 5 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes sooner.

The old Ford CVH engine's metal pulleys and tensioners used to eat cambelts, so they were replaced with plastic ones on the Zetec. Now, whilst the belt lasts longer, the plastic wheels become brittle with age and the heat from the engine. The results of these failing are every bit as catastrophic as the belt failing.

Also, very early Mk.2's had a potential problem of the cambelt actually hitting the top of the cambelt cover when the engine was started from cold. This was fixed by introducing a slightly higher cambelt cover.
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# 18
LandyAndy
Old 22-06-2007, 3:05 PM
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If you're having work done that involves removing the belt, eg head gasket, get it changed anyway as the parts cost is minimal compared with the labour you are going to pay anyway. A decent garage will probably recommend this.
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# 19
misfire
Old 23-06-2007, 12:12 AM
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I had my cam belt done on my citroen ax - car had 74,000 miles on it - when my mechanic changed it he said it was nearly worn through and good job i got it changed!! it cost just shy of 200 pound (car had only cost me 300) but it needed doing.

My husbands R reg vectra (were talking about 4 years ago this happened) the cam belt snapped (although had been changed when it should) and did no end of damage to the car over 1,000 worth if i remember rightly.... i do remember the AA man doing that 'sucking in noise that means its gonna cost you a lot of money'- we got it repaired then Part ex it on a new car... we still had finance on it at the time so the whole thing was really costly. We had the car regulalry serviced at a proper garage and the belt changed i think it was just one of those things.
Doing better but still need to step up a gear.

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