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.
Mitsubishi Motors Corporation is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer.
It is part of the Renault–Nissan–Mitsubishi Alliance but has had connections with many other vehicle manufacturers throughout its history—as shareholders, part owners, and suppliers of parts and components.
How popular is Mitsubishi in the United Kingdom?
Mitsubishi celebrated 100 years of automotive manufacturing in 2017 and has created a solid position for itself in the UK market with around 350k vehicles on the roads today.
Making a mark in an SUV orientated market
The selection of Mitsubishi models does feature the Mirage hatchback and the L200 pickup, but the rest of the range is predominantly SUVs. Even the Mirage has strong SUV overtones.
And why not? They’re sturdy, versatile and roomy enough for families of all sizes, and the Outlander PHEV is perfect for company car drivers with its low fuel bills and plenty of interior space.
Outlander PHEV: The world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV
In 2013 Mitsubishi introduced the world’s first plug-in hybrid SUV. As a company that continues to make significant breakthroughs in driving technology, their work with renewable fuel types is establishing them as a leader in ecological systems.
The Mitsubishi Shogun: the beginnings of the SUV generation
The roots of the Shogun can be traced as far back as 1934 with a prototype for the Japanese Government, but it wasn’t until the Tokyo Motor Show in 1973 that Mitsubishi presented their first commercial prototype.
The Shogun was launched in 1982, and along with other 4x4 originals: predominantly by Land Rover, Jeep and the Toyota Land Cruiser, it helped boost the popularity of rugged go-anywhere motoring into the mainstream.
Mitsubishi’s reliability and reputation
Mitsubishi ranked joint 4th out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. This wasn’t a great surprise, as the Japanese and Asian brands stormed most of the top 10 places in this field, showing them to be well ahead in making the most reliable vehicles in the market.
Recent Mitsubishi recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Mitsubishi models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
18/11/2018 – Mitsubishi ASX (2011–2012) Mitsubishi Outlander (2008–2012)
The flange area of the engine’s multi-belt auto tensioner may crack under high-load driving conditions
17/11/2018 – Mitsubishi Outlander (2006–2012)
Due to temperature and humidity, the adhesive material between the sunroof glass and outer frame may weaken.
09/11/2018 – Mitsubishi ASX (2018) Mitsubishi Outlander, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross (2017–2018)
The software in the active stability control system may be faulty
06/10/2018 – Mitsubishi Outlander/PHEV (2015–2016)
The door lock mechanism in the door latch might not operate properly in high temperatures
06/10/2018 – Mitsubishi Outlander/PHEV (2015–2016)
The engine control relay unit or valve lift control relay can heat up abnormally
28/03/2018 – Mitsubishi ASX (2011–2018)
The weld between the rear muffler and the tailpipe may crack
17/08/2018 – Mitsubishi ASX (2010–2014)
The front deck is not waterproof and water can drop onto the wiper link
03/08/2018 – Mitsubishi ASX, Mitsubishi Outlander/PHEV (2013–2016)
The parking brake lever shaft might become stuck due to corrosion
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.