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.
Vauxhall Motors Ltd. is a British car brand owned by German manufacturer Opel. Initially founded in 1857, but didn’t begin to build cars until 1903, the brand is officially over 160 years old.
How popular is Vauxhall in the United Kingdom?
Their popularity can be easily quantified by the 3.9million Vauxhall cars on the road in the UK today.
Vauxhall: A car for every need
By their own admission, Vauxhall has a car for the school run, a trip to the shops, a cross-country holiday, being the face of your business or delivering a van-load of goods. With such a wide range of vehicles, they’ve got every avenue covered.
A forward-thinking company with traditional values
Throughout their extensive history in the automotive industry, Vauxhall has featured predominantly in all areas. It produced the first sports car, also the first car to achieve over 100mph, it has launched award-winning models and consistently introduced pioneering technology.
Their core brand values claim to be:
- Ingenious—offering brilliant mobility
- Progressive—as forward-thinking and innovative
- Approachable—being authentic and simple
The UK’s 3rd best selling car of 2018: The Vauxhall Corsa
Competing with Ford Fiesta and VW Golf for the top-selling car in the UK, the Vauxhall Corsa has become a household favourite—and why not? Their supermini hatchback is stylish, nippy and economical to run. Neatly finished inside and out with a host of modern technology and features, you’re getting plenty of car for your money and all backed with Vauxhall’s reputation for building cars that go the distance.
Vauxhall’s reliability and reputation
Vauxhall ranked joint 11th place with Mazda out of the 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. Their reliability efficiency score of 94.6% wasn’t too big a jump from top of the tree marque Suzuki, who scored only 3% more at 97.7%.
Recent Vauxhall recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Vauxhall models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
30/12/2016 – Vauxhall Meriva (2009–2011)
It is possible that the steel cable for attaching the seatbelt tensioner on the outer side of the seat may suffer fatigue
11/11/2016 – Vauxhall Adam (2014–2015)
Cracks in the steering box’s rack and pinion may lead to breakage and to steering failure
26/03/2016 – Vauxhall Zafira (2005–2014)
The resistor of the heater fan motor may not perform as intended
13/05/2016 – Vauxhall Vivaro (2013–2014)
An incorrectly installed passenger airbag module may increase the risk of injury in the event of an accident
13/05/2016 – Vauxhall Movano (2015)
An oil hose may be incorrectly crimped
06/05/2016 – Vauxhall Mokka (2015–2016)
Water ingress in the electronic brake control module control unit may cause a short-circuit
13/11/2015 – Vauxhall Mokka (2015)
A faulty steering column torque sensor can lead to a loss of steering assistance
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.