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.
The Toyota Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational automotive manufacturer, established in 1937, over 80 years ago.
How popular is Toyota in the United Kingdom?
Toyota was the first manufacturer to produce more than 10million vehicles a year, and it has continued to do so since 2012.
There are currently 1.7million on the roads in the UK—a number that has shown consistent growth since their introduction to the UK market.
High-quality motoring—right across the board
Toyota’s current range features luxury saloons, hatchbacks and SUVs, all of which are receiving the steady design upgrade from what were once sensible and steady looking vehicles, into sleeker looking executive sports lines, capable of turning heads at every junction.
Toyota: Market leaders in all-electric and hybrid motoring
Worldwide, Toyota is the market leader in hybrid electric vehicle sales. It’s introduction of the Prius in 1997, the first commercially mass-produced vehicle of its kind, set them on their way as leaders in the field. The UK is no exception, as there are over 80k Prius models on our roads.
There’s more to Toyota than good economy and sensible motoring
As much as the modern market leans towards family SUV motoring and super efficient hybrid fuel economy, don’t be fooled into thinking Toyota is stuck into a single groove.
For those who want more excitement than economy from their driving experience, Toyota makes a selection of cars with much more clout than their sensible city options.
Grab a Toyota GR Supra and you’ll be propelled from 0–62mph in 4.3 seconds using every ounce of its 335bhp. If you want a car that was built for fun and have a spare £52k to lose, then why not put one on your shopping list? As with other Toyota models, it offers great value for the amount of car you’ll be getting.
Toyota’s reliability and reputation
Toyota ranked 3rd place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. They were only just pipped at the post, and by less than 1% for the top spot, by Suzuki; 2nd place went to their very own luxury division, Lexus.
Recent Toyota recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Toyota models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
12/05/2019 – Toyota Yaris (2014–2017)
The wire harnesses of the side airbag sensors could crack and the wires may corrode
04/05/2019 – Toyota RAV4 and Toyota Corolla (2018–2019)
The emergency calling system may not be correctly installed
12/01/2019 – Toyota ProAce (2016–2018)
The tightening torque of the threaded connection between the ball joint and knuckle may decrease… and 2 other issues
23/11/2018 – Toyota Aygo (2005–2014)
The glass on the rear door is not properly glued
23/11/2018 – Toyota Yaris, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Picnic and Toyota Avensis (2001–2006)
The ammonium nitrate propellant used in the airbag inflator may degrade over time due to heat cycles
23/11/2018 – Toyota Corolla/Verso and Toyota Avensis (2001–2006)
The airbag control module for the supplemental restraint system has been assembled with application-specific integrated circuits that are susceptible to internal shorting
17/11/2018 – Toyota Auris HV and Toyota Prius/Plus (2010–2014)
Due to a software error in the ECU, the vehicle may not enter in a fail-safe driving mode
16/11/2018 – Toyota GT86 (2012–2013)
Due to a production error of the valve sprint, performance load may exceed the valve spring’s fatigue strength and may fracture
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.