Friday 13th September 2013
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Did you know a timing belt is the same as a cam belt? And a cam chain is the same as a timing chain or a gear chain? In the UK, we hear these components being called cam chain and cam belt.

The belt was first recognized in 1954 in a Devin Sports car; however, chains were commonplace during the 1970s, but they eventually fizzled out. Recently, there has been a shift from the cam belt back to the cam chain again. You may often have heard someone say 'I had to have my cam belt replaced', or 'My car needed a new cam belt', well these sayings are now on a road to becoming outdated. Today, most newer cars offer chains as standard.

Cam chain and belt car talk

Belts were introduced to cut costs; they are much cheaper. Generally, belts are quieter and less complicated. However, they can wear out quickly and as a result can be detrimental to the engine if they suddenly break.

Belts typically need changing approximately every 60,000 miles depending upon the make and model of the car. When a belt needs changing, usually other components also need to be changed. Sometimes this could be just the water pump, but on some high-octane car's idlers, gears, valves and other components may also need changing.

A cam chain is much stronger than a belt; it offers more durability and generally lasts the lifespan of the car. However, occasionally a cam chain needs changing; depending upon the car they have been known to stretch. Should they stretch, then the timing gears would also need to be changed.

Timing gears wear at the same rate as the cam chain; as a result this could be an extreme expense. However; since chains rarely stretch this should not put you off buying a car that has one. It is more than likely that a cam chain will never erode, shatter or stretch and they do often outlast the vehicle.

Should you specifically be looking to buy a car with a cam chain, then take a look at Honest John here. Here there are a huge variety of cars that can be sourced.