Cam belt who-har

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by firebird123, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. firebird123

    firebird123 Funster

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    I am 67 years old, and I have been driving since I was 17, I
    have owned and driven a variety of vehicles, of various ages and
    condition, also company vehicles, in all that time I have
    never had a drive belt snap, nor have I ever heard of anyone,
    friend or otherwise, had one break, so what is the big who - har
    about replacing them before anything nasty happens ?

    On the other hand in all my driving experience with said
    vehicles, I have had a "Turbo" pack up, and that was expensive !
    But I don't hear anyone saying get your Turbo checked ? (can it
    be checked, and would you have a new one fitted just in case ?
    How far do yo go and where do you stop ?

    It is all obvious for peace of mind, like thinking "Well it
    passed its MOT and it has had a thorough (?) service , so
    everything must be alright" ?
     
  2. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Think lots of others are also going to come along and share their experiences and woes :Eeek:

    Had one go on my new car at 17000 miles, not funny :(

    I've also driven for many many years and had it go just the once. My friend at work had hers fail prematurely on her Audi A3 and cost her £1000's to repair :crying:

    It sound like you've been lucky so far. Also I'd say that when we drove cars in our earlier years, they had such things as push rods and overhead rocker arms and therefore not subjected to a cam belt of any kind to have to worry about. Also how do you know the company vehicles you drove hadn't had their belts changed as part of their service schedule, you'd have simply picked them up and drove. Later cars came with timing chains that ended up rattling as they got older :)

    As for turbos, they are a science all to themselves and nearly always failed due to the lack of lubrication and the high speeds that they operate at. Drive an early turbo at high speeds, pull up and immediately switch off, then there's no oil supply and a turbo spinning at over 100,000 rpm and turning what oil it has into caramelised gunk. Lots of designs and modifications have reduced this as turbo technology became better over the years :)

    It's like Russian roulette and take your chances with it all I guess, but it can be an expensive mistake, especially on a beloved motorhome :crying:

    image.jpg
     
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  3. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I had this really bizarre situation back in the mid 90's, probably in the height of the cam belt hype

    Took a V6 Omega to Vauxhall for a 36000 mile service, at about 2 years old, got a phone mid service to say it needed a cam belt fitting

    Why? said I, having never paid for one and thinking they were normally much higher mileage jobs, because it says so in the Vauxhall service schedule

    Oh well you had better fit one then say I

    Oh we haven't got one sir, we will need to order one

    OK not very good, but if that is the case I will pick my car up today and rebook the work

    if you do that sir anything happens to the cam belt and it will not be covered by warranty

    FFS, anyway they lent me a new Omega and kept mine for another week to do the job

    Picked up and took it off to work, broke down within 50 miles, a cam belt tensioner seized and broke

    They ended up writing off the car after deliberating for over a month, I got top money off another new one

    So, moral is, if not bust don't try to fix it maybe :D

    (y)
     
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  4. DavidG58

    DavidG58 Funster

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    I now try to buy cars with timing chains, never heard of one of them breaking yet.......
     
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  5. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    I've had one go on a mk 3 Cortina and a Citroen BX , luckily both went when only going slow so no damage to valves on either occasion.
     
  6. Peter & Elaine

    Peter & Elaine Funster

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    I have had
    One broke on a cortina all valves bent
    One where water pump seized on a astra no damage
    You take your chance
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Had one break on a works Ford Escort diesel engined van.

    Wrecked the top end of the engine.. no idea of repair cost but I did hear .... " jesssssssssusssss that much" coming from the office..
     
  8. chatteris

    chatteris Funster

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    I worked for an engineering company around 1996 they had a vw van and it was due a big service and cambelt change at 100,000 miles,they put off having it done and it snapped at about 105,000 and it cost around £5000 for a new engine, I have just had my s max done at 89000 interval is supposed to be 100,000 but it had to go in for a water hose change so got it done while it was in,water pump changed as well as it is driven off cambelt.
    Timing chains can also snap and sometimes chain guides are plastic and wear out leaving chains very loose.
     
  9. schojac

    schojac Read Only Funster

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    £250 every 5 years against £3000 rebuild ; "no brainer"
     
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  10. DP_JAY

    DP_JAY Funster Life Member

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    Never had one go myself, but then it's the first thing I do when I buy a car, unless it's got proof of being done.
    Know plenty of people who have though. Google "timing belt snapped", plenty of sorry tales there.
     
  11. matamoros

    matamoros Funster

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    Timing belts also deteriorate with age and should be changed as per handbook/service schedule. My daughter had one go on her 2004 Clio three years ago and it has still not done the mileage for a replacement but I think the book says 4 years.
     
  12. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    I had one break on a 7 year old escort 1.8D van that only had 26,000 miles on the clock, so far has cost me £700 in parts and repairs and still not sorted.
     
  13. chatteris

    chatteris Funster

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    did it break the cam bearing housing, it did on a sierra diesel engine my mate had to rebuild
     
  14. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    You sir are my bestest friend forever.I am more than very happy for you to continue with your school of thought
    I make 10 x more profit repairing the damaged engines than I do from preventing the damage in the first place Carry on camping;)
    Geo
    Purely for your peace of mind NO amount of servicing will or can prevent a cam belt failure, they are always sudden and catastrophic with the very rare exception of non contact engines.
    Only periodic changes of belts and pulley can achieve this.
    The MoT contributes nothing to engine condition or reliability.
    7 out of 10 failures its not the belt that fails, usually a pulley or tensioner followed by water pump bearing failure, none of which can be assessed visually
    very often the presence of any noise is just to late:eek:
     
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  15. mike mcglynn

    mike mcglynn Funster Life Member

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    Hi, I had the timing belt go on my motorhome whilst in France 2 years ago cost me over£8000 to put right which as you may think was expensive, however I had the cambelt full kit changed less than 1200 miles previous to my France trip that made things a little hard to swallow as the french fiat mechanic said Mister there is one bolt missing from the assembly which would have caused the problem so next time round I will be having it changed by someone who knows what they are doing .So you pays your money and makes your choice .
     
  16. mpdcymru

    mpdcymru Funster

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    I had one go on a Hyundai sonata a few years ago when I was towing a caravan in France. caravan Club Red Pennant were excellent - got the car van and us back to UK. Luckily for me, the Hyundai had a "safe" or "non-contact" engine as Geo describes it and the bill was "only" a couple of hundred quid.

    Lesson learned - rubber cam belts alwways changed at recommended intervals or, where second-hand vehicle is involved if the mileage is anywhere near that recommended interval and there is no receipt available to prove the work.
     
  17. ivorantony

    ivorantony Funster

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    I have just retired from the motor trade after 50 years and have lost count of the many motors effectively written off because of timing/ cam belt breakage,
    The modern Diesel engine has mm clearance from valves to Pistons tops and even
    A slack belt let alone a broken one will cause considerable damage.
    Over the years I have seen broken camshaft/ camshaft carrier all 16 valves so compressed by the impact that has rendered the head as scrap,
    And on the bottom of the engine, holes in piston/ bent conrods/ bent crankshaft ,
    Basically anyone who neglects mileage/time/ condition of a timing belt is living in a fools paradise,
    Additionally an oil/ fuel leak or antifreeze leak onto a timing belt will reduce its lifespan to the extent that the belt could fail immediately ,
    As said before you pays your money or take a choice!
     
  18. Geo

    Geo Trader - Funster

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    Somebody left the door open Bloody draughty in ere:D iCgyD4X.jpg
     
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  19. DuxDeluxe

    DuxDeluxe Funster Life Member

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    So, not worth bothering to change the timing belt, then........:whistle:


    Had one let go on a Vectra about 15 years ago. Lease company changed the car........
     
  20. PP Bear

    PP Bear Funster Life Member

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    Blimey Geo, scary picture that says it all :Eeek:
     
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