Most manufacturers use Car Timing/Cam Belt in the design of their engines. This enables the cam shafts in the top of the engine to be aligned and synchronised with the crankshaft in the bottom of the engine. This then allows the values and pistons to move in harmony with each other.
These toothed belts are predominantly made of rubber and have a limited life. They are affected by mileage wear and tear, as well as age due to perishing and deteriation.
Each manufacturer has their own time frames around when the timing belt is replaced. Ranging from 60,000 miles or 6 years, to 10 years or 150,000 miles.
Because of the infrequency of belt replacement needs, they are often be over looked and may not be replaced when they are due.
So what happens when a belt brakes – the pistons collide with the values in the cylinder head, generally causing the values to bend or brake. The stress of the impact can also cause damage to cylinder heads, cam shafts, valve guides and rockers. Also in extreme cases pistons can also be damaged.
Other factors that cause car timing cam-belt failure is frost and ice. With some engine designs the Cambelt drives the water pump, if the water in the pump is frozen the belt teeth get stripped off when the engine is started. It is always best to make sure the coolant in your vehicle is strong enough to stop that happening.
The consequences of Car Timing/Cam Belt failure are often severe, and result in very high repair bills. This can mean your vehicle can be of the road for extensive periods. Any vehicle owner that has had this experience will know what I am referring to. As a general rule I would recommend that you find out if your vehicle has a cam or timing belt, if you cannot find any evidence of it being changed then have it replaced as a matter of urgency.
So you can have care free motoring.
Please call if you have any concerns, or if you want specific advice about your vehicle.Back to blog
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Excellent service as always
I have used First Stop for several years now and have always found them to be helpful, personable and efficient. It matters enormously with cars to trust your supplier and I would warmly recommend Kevin and his team.Which Trusted Traders - May 2019
Just had my MOT done after getting text reminder, very useful. After moving to the area 2 years ago needed to find a new garage. So glad we found 1st Stop. We take 3 cars here for MOT /Service/ mechanical problems. Always polite, helpful, knowledgeable and keep you informed . Helped my daughter with her first car and the numerous worries that came with it. Talked to her in a way she could relate to and not patronising. They always check before starting on any work and estimates given are normally spot on. Would recommend to anyone who wants to be treated with respect and honestyWhich Trusted Traders - April 2019
Simply the Best!
Annual MOT and service today carried out with the usual courtesy and efficiency. I, and my family have been using First Stop for some years now. It is wonderful to have such a good garage nearby. On many occasions I have had to phone up about an unusual noise or something else not quite right with the car. They have always managed to look at the car that day and very often fix it straight away. First class service, thank you 1st Stop.Which Trusted Traders - March 2019
I’ve been using First Stop for at least 20 years. They service and repair my car, my wife’s car and my son’s car. They are considerably cheaper than a main dealer and offer the personal service I expect from a locally owned and managed business. I have no hesitation in recommending them.Which Trusted Traders - February 2019
Have used 1st Stop for over 20 years. Always found Kevin the owner and his staff to be very friendly and efficient. Would recommend them to anyone who requires their vehicle to be serviced or have repair work carried out. Much better to use a local company that you can trust rather than using a main dealer who always over charges for any workWhich Trusted Traders - January 2019
I was recommended 1st Stop by a friend and now understand why they have such a great reputation. I bought a BMW that needed quite a bit of work doing. 1st Stop were fantastic! Not only did they fit parts that they sourced but also those sourced by myself. At all points along the way, Kevin would advise on the options open to me before the decision was taken as to the best way forward. He was really helpful as well as his team of mechanics. I will definitely use 1st Stop again and recommend to anyone that asks me. The car now has a full MOT and is running well. read lessWhich Trusted Traders - December 2018
Honest Garage, complete Gentleman owner.
This Garage quite simply does what all car owners dream about, only the work that needs to be done and at a reasonable price. If you ever go to an M.O.T Centre and feel like you are up in Court for something that you did not commit, then go to this garage, the Judge and the Jury are 100% on your side. Can't praise them enough. From the Qashqai and Transit owner Gary.... Cheers Kevin & CoWhich Trusted Traders - September 2018
A refreshing change!
Having become disillusioned with other local garages/dealerships charging over the odds, carrying out unauthorised work, and ALWAYS finding things that ‘needed’ to be done (when they clearly didn’t), I decided to look for an alternative independent garage when my BMW’s MOT and service became due. Came across 1st Stop Cars online, and was impressed with the reviews. Called in last week and was given a convenient appointment and a fair quote on the spot. Thankfully the car sailed through the MOT, although there was an issue with one of the locking wheel bolts which turned into ‘one of those jobs’! Kevin called to report and gave a range of options. Despite this problem taking a good deal of extra time to resolve, the work was completed very skilfully on the same day, and at no additional charge. In my experience it’s rare to go to a garage and pay only what was originally quoted, but that is exactly what happened today. Really impressed with the service received and the skill of the technicians who worked on the car. Wouldn’t hesitate to recommend and will certainly be returning. Many thanks to Kevin and all the team at 1st Stop.Which Trusted Traders - March 2018
Was very nervous about using a new garage after my trusted mechanic of 20 years moved away! Was delighted that my car passed the MOT first time and was so impressed with their friendly yet professional manner. I now have my car booked in with them for other work as I feel confident that I have found a trustworthy garage. Such a relief, thank you!Which Trusted Traders - Anna 2017
I have been a customer of 1st Stop Cars for more than 10 years and I wouldn't go anywhere else. I have my car serviced, MOT, tyres changed and everything else needed here because I feel they have always been honest about what work needs to be done, cost and time. I have found them efficient and professional every time, usually my car being ready in just a few hours. Fantastic service.Which Trusted Traders - Arthur December 2017
I was in desperate need of an mot and found 1st stop cars online and in future won't be using anyone else!! Being a female in my 30's I'm always a little worried about being ripped off with garages but I was blown away by the honesty and professional morals of this garage. My car failed it's first MOT and I was quoted for repairs, I went ahead and booked my car in and was so pleased to be informed my original quote was lowered as I didn't need my rear brake pads changing as first thought. I would recommend this garage as they have proven they deserve their 5 stars if not more, well done 1st stop cars and thanks for getting me back on the road asap.Which Trusted Traders - 2017
Nearly had a collision this morning, needed to change all four discs and pads as they have worn. 1st Stop provided excellent quote, with same day repair with courtesy car. was texted within 3 hours of dropping the car that it was done. Done 65 miles on motorway all sweet. will definitely use again.
5 star service.
Trust my Garage review 100% rating
Mot and Service on my car. Your text MOT reminder has proved invaluable this year in making sure I was booked prior to it running out. In addition you offered clear advice as to what was needed to be done on my car and what was advisable but not essential, this helps to plan ahead as to work required on my car throughout the year.Caroline Andrews - Leigh on Sea August 2016
Have been using 1st Stop for years and they only charge for work that is required and advise before undertaking any work. Will definitely use again.
Overall rating 100%
Kevin and team offer a first class service are always helpful and welcoming. They explain your problems in easy to understand layman's terms are extremely professional in there manner and handling. They have dealt with all my families motoring needs over the last 16 years and as self employed tradesman have moved heaven and earth to get my car back on the road as quickly as possible. I will continue to use 1st Stop Cars and would recommend very highly. 5 star service.John Pizzey - Rochford July 2016
Excellent service, carried out on time, quality of work first rate. Would recommend to family and friends.
Overall rating 100%
These guys were a great help to a damsel in distress they had me on my way again in minutes and the car was fixed while at work ready and waiting for when I finished the next day and at a good price, cant ask for better service and nice guys.
Overall rating 100%
I wanted to thank you for the help that you have provided over the past three years in managing my family's car maintenance requirements.
Your service has been excellent to date and has provided both my Wife and I with the confidence to transfer all of our ongoing car maintenance requirements to you from now on.
You offer an honest and straightforward service and that is what you deliver every time.
The cars are always serviced and ready on time with a courtesy car provided if required. Care is clearly taken to keep the car clean inside and out and you take the time to explain the procedure involved, outline the costs and finally to review the bill and ensure all is understood. The staff are always cheerful and committed.
I appreciate the assistance that has been given and would not hesitate to recommend you to my friends and colleagues without hesitation.
Thanks for all you have done to date.Terry Jobson - Utility Management Rayleigh June 2016
Kevin and everyone at 1st Stop, thank you so much for making my first visit to a garage so pleasant and easy. your customer service has been spot on from the very first phone call and it is so refreshing!
I will be recommending you to anyone and everyone.
Kevin has been our mechanic for many years and has always given us a good honest deal when it comes to emergencies and repairs, plus all the servicing on my last 4 vehicles . We trust him implicitly.
I recently filled up my van with petrol instead of diesel, I phoned Kevin immediately. He sent out a tow truck and a loan car to the petrol station where I was stranded. He got their in time so I was able to make my next appointment without being late! The van was taken away, the petrol drained, the injectors cleaned and was ready by the following afternoon.
I have known him now for over 15 years and wouldn't hesitate to recommend him or his team.
I would just like to thank you for your fantastic service. I left my MOT until last minute and if you hadn't have rung me, I probably wouldn't have realised it was due.
The service throughout the day was great, you kept me updated about how it was going and the cost was so good. I will always recommend you, and continue to use you. by far the best garage I have come across so professional, friendly and reliable.
Having had the rear of my exhaust spilt whilst driving, I was fortunate enough to be in the vicinity of a local garage who removed the back of my exhaust which by this point was now trailing on the ground! They advised me that the car could be driven to my preferred garage for repair so I contacted 1st Stop. As always they were always extremely helpful, he had the replacement part ordered and the following day gave me a courtesy car to use whilst they fitted the new part.
Having used 1st Stops services previously, I was in no doubt that my car would be sorted efficiently and I was not disappointed. If you are looking for honest and reliable service then I would not hesitate to recommend Kevin to you.
Further to a recent service of my vehicle, I thought I'd write to express my thanks to1st Stop Cars and especially you for your professional touch to the business.
My previous experience with garages is somewhat disjointed, expecting 'less than the best' assuming the additional 'something else' to be added to the long list of things that need to be done; not true with 1st stop.
Not only was the job done swiftly, I also had the advantage of a complimentary car whilst the 'old Merc' was being tenderly being looked after. I have no hesitation in recommending 1st Stop to my friends and family, knowing that they'll be looked after too.
I recently had a loud noise coming from the back of my Mini. I immediately telephoned and you advise me to bring the car to your workshop to find the fault.
Within just a few minutes one of your mechanics had identified that the exhaust had separated from the rear section. The mechanic was able to show me this damage.
1st Stop Cars produced a quotation for the work immediately which I found to be reasonable. this all begun at 4pm and by 9am the next day the car was fixed and ready for collection.
This was an outstanding level of customer service, which was undertaken quickly and without fuss. I would have no hesitation in recommending 1st Stop cars to family, friends or valued clients
I would like to thank you personally for the excellent service provided whilst work was undertaken on my Mercedes.
when the vehicle was inspected as part of the end of lease inspection it was advised that the vehicle was handed back in perfect order, this highlights the high standard of work provided by Kevin and his team.
In al times dealing with you and you company I have been handled courteously and professionally. you have kept me informed of the repairs, the costs involved and the time it will take.
I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to both clients of ours as well as friends and family.
I wanted to write to thank you for the outstanding service I've received over the last few months. I had a reliable and trustworthy mechanic when I lived in Kent, and I was concerned when I moved to Essex, I'd have to return to Kent to get the service I'm used to...not so!
After meeting you and hearing all the great bespoke services you provide your customers, I had every faith that I would have a service I could rely on. your wok ethic of service and communication has been exemplary. I use my car for my job, and without it I can't work. You've accommodated around my schedule and budget, and kept me informed by phone, email and text.
You fitted me in for an MOT at a time that suited me, and even topped my car with oil after I'd complained about it making a strange noise.
I had also been trying to get to your garage to have my windscreen wipers replaced, and you kindly offered to replace them before our morning meeting. You don't get this kind of service with other garages and I truly appreciate you going above and beyond the call of duty to help me. Good timing too, as the weather has been appalling today and the wipers are amazing!
Thank you so much for your kind assistance, my car and any subsequent cars I own are yours now forever to care for.
I have no hesitation in recommending you now or in the future to any friends family and colleagues. Thanks again for a fantastic service.
Once again thank you for your prompt service on one of our vans. The van was having trouble with the gear box. It was taken to your workshop, repairs were carried out efficiently and at a reasonable cost, which allowed us to pick our van up later that day causing us minimal inconvenience. Again brilliant service and courtesy from your staff. Thank you! I would not hesitate to use your services again or recommend your company to other clients in the future.Alan Hawes Gainsborough Electrical - Southend
I just wanted to write and thank you firstly for the work you carried out when MOT'ing my car and secondly when you rescued my brother in law!
when I brought my car into your garage I felt really comfortable in the surroundings and perfectly at ease. The service I received was fantastic and extremely speedy.
With regard to my brother-in-law, he was absolutely over the moon as being able to come straight to you, be given an extremely nice courtesy car, great advice and extremely good value for money repairs.
We are both singing your praises very highly to anyone prepared to listen. Thank you so much we will both be regulars in the future
We wanted to thank you for your FANTASTIC service today.
You collected our car, provided us with a courtesy vehicle and then kept us fully up to date with the progress you were making with our service and MOT. We cant tell you how surprised we were to receive a call so early in the afternoon telling us that is was ready to collect.
When we did come to collect our car it was sitting safely in your car park having been washed so it looked new.
No surprises, no unnecessary parts, no unpalatable bill when it came to pay. You're right you are the 'The Garage you can recommend to a friend' and that's precisely what we will be doing.
How refreshing to use a business that really does deliver top quality service.
Well done to you and your great team.