Belts and Hoses
It is imperative that cambelts and tensioners are changed at least within the vehicles recommended intervals. If a cambelt fails, i.e. snaps or shreds, this can lead to major internal engine damage at considerable expense.
Most vehicles are recommended to be changed between 40 to 100,000 miles or 4 to 10 years whichever comes sooner. Typical labour time for replacement of cambelts and tensioners is 1 to 3 hours.
I would always advise that a cambelt be changed if the vehicle history is unknown as this gives piece of mind.
How Cambelts Work
A vehicle's engine requires constant lubrication, cooling and exact timing. Your cambelt (also known as timing belt) controls the timing of your vehicle's engine.
The cambelt coordinates the movement of the crankshaft and controls the timing between the engine valves and pistons which allows fuel to move in and gas to move out of the engine in an efficient and timely manner. Without the cambelt, the pistols move freely and separate the engine valves so a simple 'miss-time' can lead to a collision of these parts.
Your car’s belts and hoses are essential to the cooling, air conditioning and charging systems, and the engine. The timing belt keeps the crankshaft and camshaft mechanically synchronized to maintain engine timing. Whether serpentine, V-belt or fan belt (the belts on the outside of the engine), they all transmit power from the front of the engine to accessories that need to be driven, such as the air conditioning, the charging system and fans. Radiator and heater hoses carry coolant to and from the engine, radiator and heater core.
Symptoms of concern
• Squeaking noise from under the hood during start-up or operation
• Coolant leaks
• Dashboard light will illuminate
• A/C System may fail
• Engine overheating
• Smell of burnt rubber