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.
Jeep is a brand of American automobiles, established over 70 years ago in 1943, and has been owned by the Italian-American corporation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles since 1987.
How popular is Jeep in the United Kingdom?
Jeep’s current range consists solely of SUV and off-road vehicles, but there’s plenty available for every eventuality. Whether you need a car for an out-and-out adventure or a luxury family vehicle, Jeep has something for just about anyone.
There were 83k Jeep vehicles on the UK roads by the end of 2018, a number that could show signs of growth with the marque’s plans to introduce more small and large SUVs and fully electric models to the range.
Crossing streams or navigating the school run—you can do it all in a Jeep
With a 5-year warranty and a selection of body styles and sizes, Jeep has SUVs and 4x4s that traverse the full range. With a starting price of under £20k for the compact Renegade, all the way up the ranks to the £90k Grand Cherokee Trackhawk, Jeep will get you where you’re going, however you choose to do it.
Be part of the Jeep family at Camp Jeep
For Jeep owners across Europe, and in some of the most stunning and challenging locations available, Camp Jeep gives their drivers an event of their own to celebrate the bond between the brand and its fans. With a packed programme of off-road test-driving, and theory and practical courses held by the Jeep Academy, the camp is backed up with additional social activities including hot air balloon flights, concerts and family fun and games to provide the perfect atmosphere.
You don’t get that kind of inclusion from any of the typical mainstream brands.
Jeep’s reliability and reputation
Jeep ranked 29th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. With a fairly low score of 82.7% (but not as low as Land Rover’s 76.5%), it’s somewhat of a surprise for a car that is designed to go anywhere and handle whatever you can throw at it.
Recent Jeep recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Jeep models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
04/03/2019 – Jeep Wrangler (2018)
The welds on the front track bar bracket may not be located correctly on the seam.
03/02/2019 – Jeep Compass & Jeep Cherokee (2018)
Incorrect coating of the brake pistons can result in the formation of gas in the hydraulic system.
12/10/2018 – Jeep Compass (2017–2018)
A faulty rear seat-back locking mechanism could lead to the seat back folding forward unexpectedly in the event of rapid deceleration.
12/10/2018 – Jeep Liberty (2003–2007)
Corrosion on the rear transverse control arms may cause them to break.
06/10/2018 – Jeep Compass (2016–2017)
The electrical connections for the daytime running lamps are inadequate and the lights may be disabled by the driver.
06/10/2018 – Jeep Compass (2018)
Due to inadequate welding, the front transverse control arm may break.
16/06/2018 – Jeep Liberty, Jeep Cherokee (2011–2013)
There is an internal fault in the control module for the occupant restraint controller.
03/02/2018 – Jeep Compass (2017)
The securing nuts on the front passenger airbag may be loose.
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.