Timing belt neglect-What can happen

Timing belt neglect – Don’t neglect yours or you could destroy your vehicle’s engine from the inside out.

Not to cause any undue alarm, but your vehicle could have a ticking time-bomb lying in wait underneath its hood.

Timing belts are a very simple part that can cause big problems if not taken care of.

Timing belt
Timing belt

Depending on the year, make and model of your vehicle, there’s a pretty good chance you have a timing belt. The belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft pulleys, which effectively sets the mechanical heartbeat of the engine by operating the valves in extremely precise relation to the position of the crankshaft. Timing belts keep your engine ticking and need to be changed before they break. This isn’t a part that will give any sort of warning in the form of a wear indicator, check engine light or alarming noise before it fails. If your timing belt does fail, the only sound you’ll hear is your engine instantly shutting down and stopping your drive dead in its tracks.

The inside of your engine has countless moving parts that spin, slide or reciprocate at thousands of revolutions per minute. All of these parts operate within an extremely close proximity to one another.

That said, timing belt neglect has the very real potential of destroying your vehicle’s engine.

When a neglected timing belt fails and snaps, the camshaft(s) and valves will stop moving- some of them in the open position. This means that the pistons may contact valves, breaking them off inside the engine. Some engines simply cease to work and don’t wind up with internal damage- though most do.


If you’ve determined that your vehicle has a timing belt, be sure to have it changed ahead of its recommended service interval- which tends to be 100,000 kilometres or less. Check with your owner’s manual to be sure- or consult your dealership or favorite mechanic. If a timing belt is not changed on time  it could wind up snapping and destroying your engine.

Timing belt
Timing belt


Of course, preventing such nightmares from happening is simple- just stick to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. This will give you peace of mind and longer engine life, as well as ensuring your warranty in good standing.

Note that your particular vehicle may not have a timing belt at all.

Another possibility is a timing chain. A timing chain does the same job as a timing belt. Most of the time it is considered maintenance free as long as owners stay on top of their oil changes.

If you’ve recently bought a used car and are unsure of the condition of its timing belt, or you’ve owned a newer model and want to be safe, talk to a mechanic. The cost of changing this relatively simple part is inexpensive compared to the possible cost of replacing an engine.

Timing belt neglect

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply