What does a timing belt do?
The timing belt, or cambelt, is a vital engine component with a key role to play in keeping your motor running smoothly. It ensures the top and bottom halves of your engine rotate precisely in time with each other.
Essentially, this ribbed rubber belt with teeth synchronises the crankshaft and camshaft’s rotation. It controls the sequencing and timing of the opening and closing of the valves on the cylinders in your engine to provide the right combustion.
Camshafts, made up of the main journals, the lobes (or bulges) and the ends, control the valves in the cylinder head. A rocker head takes the spinning motion of an overhead camshaft and turns it into the movement that opens and closes the valves.
Timing chains essentially perform the same function as cambelts but may be slightly noisier. The chains generally last as long as the vehicle (and generally require less frequent replacing), although the plastic guides they run over may not.
How often should a timing belt need replacing?
There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach for how often to replace yours—a lot depends on your motor’s age and condition.
There’s also huge variation between manufacturers and different engines. So you might need a new belt after 4 years, or 6, or after driving 40,000 or 100,000 miles. Consult your car’s manual—most manufacturers’ recommendations are based on time passed or miles driven, depending on which elapses first.
However, we’d always suggest treating these recommendations as a maximum, and erring on the side of caution.
The law, vehicle regulations, and your MOT
The timing belt will not be examined at your car’s MOT, but the associated issues of running a car with a faulty timing belt can lead to severe engine damage, which can.
What causes a timing belt to stop working correctly?
Like most car parts, your timing belt will wear out eventually due to cracking, snapping or tearing. Timing belts are also unpredictable, with few warning signs of damage. (Although starting issues and noise may offer clues.) Driving your car infrequently, oil leaks and temperature changes, among other factors, can all play their part.
Symptoms of a malfunctioning timing belt
You hear unusual noises coming from the engine
If a grinding or squeaking noise is being emitted from your engine, it could be a malfunctioning timing belt.
The car won’t start
If your timing belt has broken, this can cause problems with your engine that lead to the vehicle not starting.
Audi AG is a German automobile manufacturer, established over 100 years ago in April 1910, and has been owned by the Volkswagen Group since the 1960s.
How popular is Audi in the United Kingdom?
This marque design and engineer luxury vehicles and distributes them worldwide. In the UK alone, there were over 1.7m Audi vehicles on the roads in the final quarter of 2018; a number that is continually growing year after year, and has more than doubled in the past decade.
Audi’s success can be attributed to its ability to move with the times, retaining its reputation as a prestige manufacturer and as part of the ‘big 3’ German marques responsible for high sales throughout the world market, alongside Mercedes and BMW.
Luxury executive vehicles for every type of driver
Audi’s current range features predominantly luxury executive and family cars of varying sizes: with compact to full-size saloons, coupés and sportback models, complemented by a growing range of SUV and sports car models.
Vorsprung durch Technik
The Audi brand is easily recognisable by their 4-ring logo—originally representing the four car companies to create Audi’s predecessor company, Auto Union—and their world famous slogan that ran for over 30 years, translated as ‘Being ahead through technology’. Despite no longer being used in their mainstream marketing, the meaning behind it still stands true of the brand today.
Audi: A sensation in rallying motorsport
Throughout the 1980s the Audi Quattro was famous for dominating rallying worldwide. The introduction of their four-wheel drive turbocharged model went on to win the World Rally Championships in both 1983 and 1984 and amassed a number of podium finishes and titles throughout the decade, all across the globe.
Audi’s reliability and reputation
Audi ranked 20th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. Audi’s reputation for creating reliable running vehicles has steadily improved over time to become a strong contender to some of the Asian brands that have continued to dominate in this area.
Recent Audi recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Audi models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
09/05/2019 – Audi A4 and A5 (2019)
The rigidity of the shock absorbent fork
09/05/2019 – Audi A4 (2019)
The Rigidity of the shock absorber fork
16/04/2019 – Audi Q5 (2018)
The brake master cylinder specifications
18/03/2019 – Audi A4, A5, A5 Cabrio, A6, A7, A8 (2014–16)
Fuel may escape from fuel rails
27/02/2019 – Audi A3 (2018)
The centre rear seat head restraint may not be to specification
27/02/2019 – Audi A8, Q7 and Q8 (2018)
The rigidity of the front shock absorbent fork
22/02/2019 – Audi A6, A7 (2014)
The auxiliary heater element in the air conditioner may fail
17/12/2018 – Audi A6 (2018)
Rear fixed glass lid bonding may no meet correct specification
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.