Compare garages' labour rates, distance, availability or reviews & and ratings to find the best one for your visual inspection. Then, select a date and time and complete your booking. Once the garage has diagnosed your problem, they will then provide a transparent quote for your cambelt replacement.
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A cambelt, also known as a timing belt, regulates the combustion process by synchronising your crankshaft and camshaft. In turn, these open and close the cylinder valves. This means that a cambelt problem can be disastrous for your engine.
Your car can’t work properly without this toothed belt. Your engine parts will smash together more than 100 times a minute which would cause irreversible damage.
That’s why you need to look after it properly and book a timing belt replacement when your car needs one.
You should book a visual inspection for your cambelt if you notice any of the following warning signs:
Any of these warning signs could indicate a serious problem with your cambelt. To avoid endagering yourself, your passengers and other drivers, you should book an inspection to find out what's wrong as soon as possible.
There are several reasons why you might need to book a timing belt replacemet, but the main cause is old age. Every timing belt has a distinct lifespan and it is likely to snap when it reaches this mileage.
Other reasons that you might need to book a cambelt change include:
While these problems can be caused naturally, an ineffective cambelt change can also lead to extra problems and expense. That’s why you should always choose a reputable garage for your replacement.
We have helped over 9 million drivers compare and save on their MOT, servicing and repair costs at local garages. In fact, when you compare garages near you through our online comparison site, you can save up to 70% when you choose one of the lower-cost options!
As the UK’s leading garage comparison site, we’re dedicated to helping drivers save money on their car maintenance. Here are just some of the ways we keep you in control of your timing belt replacement:
Honest Reviews & Ratings. See what like-minded drivers have to say about every garage on our comparison site to help inform your decision. Always unfiltered and unedited for transparency.
Transparent Prices. Garages on our comparison site always set and update their own prices, so there are no nasty surprises at the end of your appointment. This price won’t change unless you agree to extra repairs directly with the garage.
24/7 Online Booking. When you need a cambelt change, you want to book it as soon as possible. You don’t want to wait around for the garage to open so you can call up and get it sorted - and with BookMyGarage, you don’t have to. We allow you to make your appointment day or night, even when the garage is closed.
Easy 3-Step Booking Process. There’s no upfront registration and no faff. You just provide your vehicle’s details, choose the best deal and provide a suitable date and time for your appointment. That gives you more time to do the things you care about.
Enter your reg and postcode to compare labour rates from automatic gearbox specialists near you and book a visual inspection in seconds. After the inspection, your chosen garage will provide a no-obligation estimate for the repair work. You always pay this bill to the garage directly and only ever after they've completed all the work.
After you book your visual inspection, we send you a confirmation email with a summary of your booking. We also inform the garage and they may also be in touch to confirm the appointment or to ask for extra details.
You can change or cancel your booking for free until the day of your appointment.
The average UK cambelt change cost is £350. However, the make and model of vehicle you own does affect this price. For example, a Mercedes or Jaguar cambelt change costs more than a replacement for a Ford, VW or Vauxhall.
In fact, a cambelt change can cost as much as £1,200 on a luxury car.
A cambelt change takes between 3-6 hours. The belt is buried deep within the engine and so isn’t very accessible for the mechanic. This means that the price of your timing belt replacement is mainly made up of labour costs.
A timing belt usually lasts between 40,000 and 100,000 miles or 4-6 years. Each manufacturer recommends a different interval for a replacement, so you should check your vehicle handbook or manufacturer forums to find out yours.
During a car service, a mechanic will also advise you on your timing belt replacement intervals. If it is coming to the end of its lifespan, they will suggest a cambelt change as soon as possible.
No, your warranty won't always cover the cost of a cambelt change as most new car warranties only last 3 years or 60,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. These have usually expired by the time you need to think about a timing belt replacement.
An extended car warranty may cover your cambelt replacement, but you should check the terms and conditions before making a claim.
If your timing belt breaks while you're driving, your car will grind to a sudden halt. A combustion engine can't function properly without a timing belt, so you can cause very serious and expensive damage if you don't stop.
Potential damage includes warped cylinder heads and other broken parts. In some extreme circumstances, this can leave you needing a full engine replacement - a repair that can cost thousands of pounds.
You don't need to replace the water pump and cambelt together - but you can save yourself time and money if you do so. They are both very expensive repairs on their own, because they are so difficult to access. However, if a technician is already replacing your cambelt, it won't take them much longer to replace the water pump as well. That's why it's worthwhile replacing both at the same time.
Plus, they both have similar lifespans, so replacing them at the same time can benefit your car's performance.
You can check the condition of your cambelt by opening the bonnet and looking at the belt. You should find this at the side of your engine. It may be underneath a plastic cover so you may need to lift this up to get a proper look.
When you check your timing belt, look for the following:
If your cambelt is showing any of the above, you should book a visual inspection as soon as possible. These indicate that it is coming to the end of its life and may fail soon.
Some vehicles use a timing chain to regulate the combustion process rather than a cambelt. This looks like a metal bicycle chain and requires lubricant to work. It is much more durable than a timing belt, lasting more than 200,000 miles if looked after well. However, you should book regular oil and filter changes and a timing chain service after 125,000 miles to keep it in good condition.
You can consult your vehicle handbook to find out whether your vehicle uses a timing chain or timing belt. Failing that, you can check your engine bay for a plastic cover on the right- or left-hand side of your engine. If you see this plastic cover, your car uses a timing belt. If not, it uses a timing chain.
If your oil pressure falls too low, you may need to book a timing chain replacement. Common warning signs of this are:
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