How can I tell if my vehicle uses a cambelt or a timing chain?

Ecotech Auto Services & Repairs, Portsmouth – How can I tell if my vehicle uses a cambelt or a timing chain?

Every vehicle is different, and this extends to what they use to regulate the engine. There are two options: a cambelt, (also called a timing belt), or a timing chain. Your owner’s manual will always tell you which component your engine uses, but what if you’ve lost yours? Here are the key differences between the two components, how to spot them and why its so important for you to know.

What is a cambelt?

A cambelt is often a thick, ribbed belt installed in a particular arrangement within your vehicle’s engine. It keeps the camshaft and crank timed as they should be.

What is a timing chain?

This is attached to the camshaft and contains numerous lobes which open and close to allow fuel and air into the combustion chamber at the right times. Much more like a bicycle chain than a traditional cambelt.

What are the main differences?

Clearly, both a cambelt and a timing chain serve the same function but there are several differences between them. While both will need replacing over a car’s lifespan, a timing chain has a much longer lifespan than a cambelt. This makes it much more popular than a cambelt, despite the fact that it requires lubrication to work correctly. The main difference, which is probably the most crucial, is that a timing chain offers a better indication of when it is about to break compared to a cambelt.

How do I know when it’s going to break?

With a cambelt, you’re unlikely to know it is worn until it breaks, potentially causing catastrophic engine damage. When a timing change stretches, it can cause your engine to run poorly or backfire. It will also rattle much more audibly than a cambelt. If you notice either of these things happening, its worth booking an appointment with a professional mechanic here at Ecotech Auto Services.

Bring your vehicle to Ecotech Auto Services for peace of mind

While there are some ways you can find out what component your vehicle uses without an owner’s manual, it is clearly difficult for you to do so. This is why we recommend bringing your vehicle in to our garage on Garth Road in Morden to allow a professional mechanic to investigate your vehicle and advise you on what component is involved in your engine and if anything needs to be done to repair it.

Your cambelt or timing chain is so important to the running of your engine that it is vital you know exactly what condition it is in. If you have concerns over your cambelt or timing chain, book an appointment with Ecotech Auto Services using our online booking tool today. Its quick and easy to use, and you’ll never have to pay anything until after all the work has been completed.

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