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.
Lexus is the luxury division of the Japanese automotive manufacturer Toyota.
The Lexus brand was launched in 1989, is marketed in more than 70 countries worldwide, and has become Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars.
How popular is Lexus in the United Kingdom?
For such a high-flying global leader, Lexus has a seemingly modest 156k cars on the road in the UK today.
Luxury executive vehicles for the discerning driver
In the UK, the Lexus brand focuses heavily on the NX and RX SUV models, it’s the fastest growing market for family cars after all; but each of the hatchbacks, saloons and coupés in its range come with the same high-level of luxury and sophistication for their £25–£76k price tags.
Lexus design and technology
Lexus was born to present itself as a luxury brand, something Toyota wasn’t in a position to market to their typical customer given their existing brand perception. To achieve a true luxury standard, they have targeted both vehicle development as well as their lavish presentation.
Each vehicle has to achieve 500 specific must have standards known as ‘Lexus Musts’, all of which are to attain the high-end presentation and performance of a ‘true’ luxury marque.
Although they might not all be ‘Lexus Musts’ you can expect to find criteria such as leather seat stitching, smart key entry, remote touch control systems, surround sound and reduced cabin noise that utilises acoustic glass, in your Lexus vehicle. And the driving technology is just as impressive: Lexus introduced continuously variable transmissions, regenerative brakes, hybrid and electric fuel options, as well as vehicle stability and integrated dynamic handling management systems.
Lexus’ reliability and reputation
Lexus ranked 2nd place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. Their high standards and typical Japanese reliability set them above every marque except Suzuki, and they only missed out on the top spot by 0.2%.
Recent Lexus recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Lexus models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
04/05/2019 – Lexus ES and Lexus UX (2018–2019)
The emergency calling system may not be correctly installed
18/03/2019 – Lexus LS 500h (2017–2018)
Due to an incorrect tyre to the wheel assembly process, the sidewall reinforcement layer may become damaged
23/11/2018 – Lexus SC 430 (2001–2006)
The ammonium nitrate propellant used in the airbag inflator may degrade over time due to heat cycles
02/11/2018 – Lexus IS350, Lexus GS450h and Lexus GS350 (2005–2014)
A crack in the fuel pulsation damper may lead to a fuel leak
21/09/2018 – Lexus LC500h (2016–2018)
The vehicles’ electronic control unit has been improperly programmed
04/03/2018 – Lexus RCF (2014–2017)
The pulsation damper in one of the high-pressure fuel pumps could be defective
18/02/2018 – Lexus RX450h and Lexus NX300h (2015)
There could be a fault with the pressure sensors for the airbag system
03/02/2018 – Lexus CT200h (2016–2017)
The tank may develop a leak as a result of defective welding
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.