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.
DS is the premium automobile marque of the Groupe PSA.
First announced in 2009 by Citroën as its premium sub-brand; it was suggested to be an abbreviation of different spirit or distinctive series. However, in French, the name is considered a play on words, as the translation of déesse becomes goddess in English.
How popular is DS in the United Kingdom?
As a newcomer to the UK market in its own right, there were around 35k DS cars on the roads in the UK by the end of 2018. Whether those figures will continue to rise at the same rate shown since their introduction in 2015, only time will tell.
Looking to provide a standalone marque to initially compete with brands such as Volkswagen and Audi, PSA decided that neither Citroën nor Peugeot would be able to carry the brand strength that would be able to make a serious threat in the market with an elevated price-point at the level of quality and luxury they set out to achieve.
DS: Establishing a new range of upmarket models
To compete with the likes of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, DS introduced a range of hatchbacks, saloons and SUVs but it’s undoubtedly their supermini city car that is proving the most popular.
The DS3, sold as a 3-door hatchback or a convertible, is available in countless customisation options and also as the subcompact luxury crossover SUV DS3 Crossback. The DS3 was voted Car of the Year by Top Gear Magazine, and first place supermini four times in a row in the JD Power Satisfaction UK Survey.
DS: Don’t be fooled into thinking they’re just a one trick pony
At the other end of the range you’ll find the DS7 Crossback. Here’s a large SUV designed to compete directly with the Audi Q5, the BMW X3 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC; that’s quite a jump for a car that’s built by Citroën.
The models that you’ll find between the DS3 and the DS7 are created with the same style for the market in mind. The DS4, a mixture of hatchback and SUV, and the DS5, a bigger hatchback priced and pitched against the Audi A4, the BMW 3 Series and the Mercedes C-Class saloons.
DS’s reliability and reputation
DS didn’t feature in the 30 car brands of the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018, however, Citroën came in at 25th place so it stands to reason that their premium vehicles should score higher. Not necessarily so. Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz and Land Rover were propping up the wrong end of the survey, and given that the most reliable brands are all Asian manufacturers (with Suzuki, Lexus, Toyota, Kia and Mitsubishi taking the top spots) perhaps it’s simply a case of the rest of the world are having to play catch-up?
Recent DS recalls and reliability issues
Currently there is no information available regarding recall information for DS vehicles as sourced from gov.co.uk data.