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.
Dacia is a Romanian automobile manufacturer, established over 50 years ago in 1966, and has been a subsidiary of the French car manufacturer Renault since 1999.
Dacia is Romania’s top company by revenue and the largest exporter, constituting 7.3% of the country’s total exports in 2014.
How popular is Dacia in the United Kingdom?
Dacia offers great value budget motoring—but don’t think just because they’re cheap they’re not worth the money. The Sandero hatchback is Britain’s cheapest new car and has been receiving high praise from many of the critics and car reviewers throughout the country.
There are currently 137k Dacia vehicles on the roads in the UK, but that number is showing steady, solid growth year by year. Having only been introduced into the UK market in 2013, and with the popularity growing through their more than affordable yet reliable cars, it’s looking like they’re only heading from strength to strength.
Superb value city cars, MPVs and SUVs
With a neat but tidy range featuring the Logan estate, the Sandero hatchback, the Duster SUV and the Lodgy MPV, Dacia looks to be aiming primarily towards budget conscious family drivers.
Yet with the provision of new technologies, the model platforms and the support of Renault behind them, they’re in a great position to offer not only the low prices they’re renowned for but with real substance to back them up.
Dacia: Don’t let the UK numbers fool you
Despite being a relative newcomer to the UK market, Dacia has been manufacturing and selling cars around the world for a lot longer than they have here. The global success of this Romanian marque stands at over 4.5m units sold worldwide since the Renault supported relaunch in 2004. It became the fastest growing retail brand in Europe in 2017, with sales of the Sandero rising by 16%, and selling almost 200k units.
Dacia’s reliability and reputation
Dacia ranked 13th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018, and for a budget car marque that isn’t something to be taken lightly. When you consider they ranked higher than some of the industry giants: Fiat, BMW, VW, Audi, Volvo—even Porsche and Mercedes-Benz—this is a marque that is making waves as the new kid on the block.
Recent Dacia recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Dacia models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
26/03/2019 – Dacia Logan (2017–2018)
The lower steering column mounting bracket
04/01/2019 – Dacia Logan and Sandero (2018)
Driver’s airbag may not deploy correctly
04/01/2019 – Dacia Logan and Sandero (2013–2015)
Risk of fuel leak
04/04/2019 – Dacia Duster (2016–2017)
Trailer lighting may fail
20/03/2019 – Dacia Logan (2017)
Front wheel hubs may crack
19/09/2017 – Dacia Duster (2017)
Incorrect wiring in horn system can cause one or more safety faults
20/12/2016 – Dacia Logan and Sandero (2012)
Driver’s airbag may not deploy
23/02/2016 – Dacia Logan and Sandero (2015)
Steering may fail
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.