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.
The Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automaker, founded by Henry Ford in 1903.
One of the most long-standing giants of the motoring industry with an estimated asset wealth of around $256 billion, Ford became a popular household name throughout the UK in the 1960s with the introduction of the Ford Transit, the Ford Escort and the Ford Capri.
How popular is Ford in the United Kingdom?
With the Ford Fiesta consistently winning accolades as the best selling car in the UK, it’s no surprise to hear that in 2018 there were approximately 5.5million Ford cars on the roads by the end of the year.
With a proven track record for good value and sensible, practical driving, along with a dealership just around every corner, Ford has developed a method of sustaining great sales by giving drivers just what they need.
Popular well-priced cars with a sturdy reputation
There’s a Ford car for practically every sensible driver. Actually, there are a few Ford cars for the more daring driver too. Take a look at the history of RS and Cosworth models, both making an impact in the world of rally driving and touring car racing.
While they’re better known for providing family transport that includes the Ka, the Fiesta and the Focus, Ford also produces the lavishly equipped Edge SUV, and also the S-Max and Galaxy people carriers too.
And for something quite a lot less mainstream, Ford deliver some muscle
From a very traditional and mainstream marque, it’s refreshing to see that they still deliver a great big slice of larger than life America—and the latest model Ford Mustang is no exception. If a Mondeo or a Focus isn’t really your thing, and even the RS models aren’t sporty enough, then the new Mustang’s brawny delivery of sleek lines powered by its 5-litre V8 engine could be just the thing. Failing that, the Ford GT supercar with its twin-turbo V6 won’t fail to turn heads. All £420k of it.
Ford’s reliability and reputation
Ford ranked 18th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. What appears to be a middle of the road result for a middle of the road manufacturer, could be seen as a sensible achievement from the American marque, as most of the best performing brands are Japanese and Asian car manufacturers.
Recent Ford recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Ford models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
01/04/2019 – Ford Mondeo and Ford S-Max (2010–2014)
Overheating of the engine cylinder head may cause it to crack
06/03/2019 – Ford Focus (2018)
Bolts fixing front suspension may not be tightened to correct torque
22/02/2019 – Ford Focus, Ford C-Max, Ford Kuga, Ford Galaxy, Ford S-Max, Ford Mondeo and Ford Transit Connect (2016–2018)
Clutch pressure plate fracture
12/02/2019 – Ford Focus Estate (2018–2019)
The rear doors may open inadvertently
08/02/2019 – Ford Transit and Ford Transit Custom (2017)
Incorrectly torqued left-hand seatbelt
21/12/2018 – Ford GT (2016–2018)
The rear wing valve block may leak oil
21/12/2018 – Ford Focus (2018)
A brake pedal hinge bolt does not meet specification
19/12/2018 – Ford Mondeo (2017)
The roof opening panel glass is not correctly bonded
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.