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.
Kia Motors Corporation (widely known as Kia Motors) is South Korea’s second-largest automobile manufacturer, behind their parent company, the Hyundai Motor Company.
They were initially established in December 1944, over 70 years ago, as a steel tubing and bicycle parts manufacturer who started building cars in the 1970s.
Coming from a background of building cars under licence for the likes of Fiat, Mazda and Peugeot, it wasn’t until the 1980s when Kia started to produce vehicles under their own brand name, and only more recently were they to become minority owned by Hyundai, who currently holds a 33.88% stake in the company, in 2015.
How popular is Kia in the United Kingdom?
From the mid-1990s, the amount of Kia cars on UK roads has seen a steady increase to the current number of around 800k today.
Given their reliability, value for money and market-leading 7-year, 100k mile warranty, Kia is a marque that is heading for further popularity, greater sales and added respect.
Superb value for money
With an extensive range of models to choose from, Kia cars offer excellent value. From their city car Picanto starting at under £10k, through to their luxury spec SUV Sorento at £30k, Kia cars compete with more established mainstream brands, offering not only strong price-points but with advanced levels of technology and the extended benefits you’d expect from a car of a higher price.
Kia Sportage: The 10th best selling car in the UK
Given the rise in growth of the Korean car brand, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to see its best selling model sneak into the top 10 best selling cars of 2018. This great value and practical SUV is ideal for family motoring; not only is it rugged and good looking, but it’s also backed with Kia’s impressive reliability and extensive warranty.
Kia’s reliability and reputation
Kia ranked joint 4th out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. When buying a new car, reliability should be a key consideration, and with such an impressive set of statistics to back this brand, Kia is setting standards that the better-known marques will have to work hard to match.
Recent Kia recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Kia models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
25/05/2019 – Kia Niro (2016–2018)
The main relay with the power relay assembly may have inadequate connections between contacts
05/03/2019 – Kia Stinger (2017–2018)
There is a rough edge in the left fender body panel
14/12/2018 – Kia Soul (2013–2014)
The connection between the steering rod and the steering bod may come loose
10/08/2018 – Kia Niro (2017)
Oil might leak on the power electrode inside the hydraulic clutch actuator
11/05/2018 – Kia Rio (2017)
The cable length of the rear door lock assemblies may be incorrect
23/03/2018 – Kia Sorento (2011)
A faulty fuel line may lead to fuel loss in the engine compartment
30/03/2016 – Kia Sorento (2015–2016)
The brake light of a trailer attached to the vehicle is not activated when slowing down through cruise control, due to a software problem
15/04/2016 – Kia Soul (2014–2015)
A fault with the steering gear box could lead to the driver not being able to steer the vehicle properly
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.