Your engine is a complex symphony of rapidly moving parts:

  • Pistons
  • Rods
  • Valves
  • Pulleys
  • Camshafts
  • Crankshaft

All of these heavy, strong pieces are moving with great velocity inside your engine.

So, Your piston moves up and down, the valves move in and out, the connecting rods push and pull, and the crankshaft spins wildly at the center of it all. Consequently, This symphony plays itself out thousands of times every minute as you drive down the street.

There are two kinds of timing that take a seat at every engine event. The first is called cam timing, the second is ignition timing. Cam timing has more to do with all of the heavy stuff moving fast inside your engine. Remember the valves and pistons? Both of these are moving, and the piston is moving with the explosive oomph provided by the other cylinders in your engine.

Your engine has a timing belt or chain that does a lot more than take energy from the spinning crankshaft and use it to spin the camshaft or camshafts. Its job is to make sure the valves are out of the way when that piston comes flying toward the engine’s head. In some engines, the piston can actually impact a valve at the top of its movement. As a result, In these engines, called “interference” type engines, even a slight slip in cam timing can be catastrophic and result in a complete engine overhaul — thousand of dollars.



Engine Timing
Engine Timing

The most important thing is that the spark happens on time. If it doesn’t, you can end up with choppy idle, no power, or an engine that just won’t run.

You should never ignore engine timing problems, since if the timing is off, serious engine problems can be the result. So, If your car displays any of the symptoms of bad motor timing, consult a professional mechanic.