Do I need to replace the cam belt in my car?

I do low annual mileage - about 5000. Volkswagen tells me that I should now spend about £400 on a new cam belt and associated hardware for my Touran. I know that a breaking cam belt wreaks horrible engine damage, but how likely is this in my case?

Asked on 9 February 2021 by N Perl

Answered by Dan Powell
Over time, the belt will become worn and stretched. The belt plays a vital part in the operation of the engine, controlling the opening and closing of the engine’s valves by turning the camshaft and crankshaft. If it fails, it'll cause catastrophic damage to the engine. As a general rule, I recommend changing the belt, pulley and water pump every 50,000 - 60,000 miles or five years (whichever comes first). Most complaints we hear occur after this mileage/timeframe.
Tags: cam belts
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