What is a cambelt?

A cambelt is a crucial internal part of your vehicle’s engine. It is responsible for regulating the timing of the internal combustion within your vehicle’s engine.
The timing and succession must be in sync with one another to allow the valves to the cylinders to open and close, thus creating the rotation and synchronization of the crankshaft and camshaft.
The camshaft is responsible for allowing fuel and air in and out of the valves and into the engine.
The crankshaft is responsible for moving the pistons up and down in sync with one another.
Both the camshaft and crankshaft must be in sync with one another, if they are not, the engine and/or parts could get damaged.

Why do we need to replace a cambelt?

If your cambelt does not get replaced when required, it can cause major damage to the engine should it snap and could result in your vehicle needing an engine replacement.
Cambelt replacements are usually based on either kilometers or age, whichever comes first. The frequency of a cambelt replacement is dependent on the make, and model, of your vehicle and the manufacturers specifications, so it’s best to check with your vehicle’s service book.
When replacing the cambelt on your vehicle, it is highly recommended to replace the water pumps, tensioners, auto tensioners, idlers, balance shaft belts, and oil seals at the same time. These parts are crucial components of the cambelt and wear out over time. Note, not all vehicles require these to be replaced, only vehicles with these components.

Why do Cambelts fail?

There are multiple reasons why cambelts may fail but the most common reason is the deterioration of the auxiliary belt, when this happens it may cause the belt to jump or completely come off. Other causes may include the deterioration of the cambelt itself or issues with other vital components surrounding the cambelt such as the water pump.

What happens if my cambelt fails?

When your vehicle is getting its regular servicing done, it is a good idea to ask for the cambelt to be checked.

If your cambelt snaps whilst you’re driving this can be extremely dangerous, as it may cause your engine to stop working, and affect the safety, and performance, of your steering and ability to brake.
It may cause the internal components such as the pistons to cause significant damage to the engine.

How much does it cost to replace a cambelt?

This is a tricky question as it is dependent on the make and model of the vehicle, if the cambelt has snapped, and if there has been any damage done to the engine.
If you get your cambelt replaced before it snaps it will be significantly less that if it snaps. When the cambelt is not in sync this has a flow on effect to when and what sequence the pistons work, if the pistons aren’t working properly, they can damage the valves. If the valves are damaged this cost to repair them increases significantly. If the surrounding parts such as the water pump are damaged this again, increases the cost.
It is also important to note that if you are purchasing a second hand vehicle, check when the last cambelt replacement was. If there is no record of this, either get a pre-purchase inspection or walk away from the vehicle.

Please Contact Us

Helensville Mechanical Services

09 420 8177

90 Mill Road, Helensville 0800