The cambelt, also known as timing belt, is a rubber toothed drive belt which is used to keep the top and bottom rotational parts of the engine moving in time with each other.
At the top of the engine
At the top of the engine is the Camshaft, its primary role is to open and close the valves in the cylinder head to allow the air/fuel mixture to be drawn in before combustion and to open the exhaust valves to allow the burnt mixture to be evacuated out through the exhaust pipe.
At the bottom of the engine
At the bottom of the engine is the Crankshaft, this is the main rotational part of the engine that connects to the pistons and ultimately drives the gearbox and in turn the wheel to make the vehicle move.
The timing belt is subjected to millions of revolutions during its life along with being saturated with heat from the engine. This all takes its toll on the rubber that the belt is made from and eventually leads to deterioration and ultimately failure when it breaks. If the belt breaks, the crankshaft will continue to rotate briefly but the camshaft will stop. This causes the pistons inside the engine to make contact with the valves causing serious internal engine damage. The cost to repair this damage can run into thousands and in some cases a replacement engine may be needed.
The short answer is, you probably won't. Cambelt failures occur quickly and with little to no warning. In fact, if you hear strange noises from the engine the chances are it is too late and the damage has already been done. This is why it is vitally important to replace your cambelt at the intervals recommended by Renault.
When the timing belt is replaced, it is vital to ensure that any additional recommended parts are replaced too. This can often include some of the pullies the belt runs on along with the tensioner too. In most cases, the auxiliary drive belt must also be replaced at the same time, this belt often drives the alternator along with the air conditioning compressor.
We are often asked to price match our timing belt replacements which we are more than happy to do. However, all to often the quote from outside of the Renault network is only for fitting the rubber timing belt and none of the other necessary components.
Failure to replace these additional components can cause the new timing belt to fail prematurely and is a false economy.
If you would like more information about your vehicle's cambelt, or would like us to replace the cambelt in your vehicle, please call our friendly service team on the following number: