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.
Mercedes-Benz is a German global car manufacturer and a division of Daimler AG. They were established over 100 years ago in 1926 and have grown to be the biggest selling premium vehicle brand in the world.
How popular is Mercedes in the United Kingdom?
The number of Mercedes cars on the road in the UK continues to rise, reaching 1.9million by the final quarter of 2018. There are almost 5 times as many Mercedes cars on the road as there were in 1995, showing just how popular this marque has grown to be.
Helping these powerful statistics on their way, the Mercedes A-Class was announced as the 8th best selling car in the UK in 2018. The premium family hatchback is vying for position against the ever-popular VW Golf—the current leader in this class.
Premium executive models of every shape and size
Mercedes deliver hatchbacks, saloons, estates and coupés at every size from their A- to E-Class ranges, as well as executive SUVs, the V-Class MPV, and of course, a more than desirable selection of convertibles and roadsters.
With prices rising to well over £100k, Mercedes cars are a great contender as the executive car of choice.
Mercedes-Benz: Giants of Formula One
Mercedes has always been a keen player within the F1 championship, taking their first 2 titles back in 1954 and 1955. Through the 1990s they joined forces with McLaren as an engine provider and part owner, bringing titles for both Mika Häkkinen and Lewis Hamilton and a constructors championship in 1988.
Their current and outright domination of the sport began in 2014, as a team in their own right, it has featured 5 straight constructors titles, with Lewis Hamilton taking 4 world championships and Nico Rosberg taking the other in 2016.
Mercedes’s reliability and reputation
Mercedes ranked 26th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018 with an efficiency rating of 88%. You could be forgiven for expecting German efficiency to rank higher through the marques, however, most of the top 10 places were occupied by Japanese and Asian manufacturers.
Recent Mercedes recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Mercedes models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
25/05/2019 – Mercedes-Benz AMG GT and Mercedes-Benz CLS (2017–2018)
The riveting of the front seat belt housing covers may inadequate under low temperatures
18/05/2019 – Mercedes-Benz x-Class (2017–2019)
Defective operating manual can cause the roof load to be exceeded if a canopy is subsequently fitted
18/05/2019 – Mercedes-Benz Sprinter (2018)
Missing cover on the sliding door of the stowage space
12/05/2019 – Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2018)
The rear door spoiler may not be secured enough due to an adhesive bond
04/05/2019 – Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Mercedes-Benz GLC F-Cell (2017–2018)
The sleep mode functionality of the electronic parking brake within the stability program software may be defective
19/04/2019 – Mercedes-Benz V-Class (2019)
The passenger airbag cover on the instrument panel ins inadequate
19/04/2019 – Mercedes-Benz X-Class (2017–2018)
The foot space lamp on the driver’s side can become detached
13/04/2019 – Mercedes-Benz V-Class Marco Polo (2017–2018)
There is a possibility of red rust corrosion on metallic components of the roof frame reinforcement
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.