Engine Timing Belt – What Can Happen If You Neglect It

Timing Belts - Why Should You Replace Your Engine Timing Belt
Timing Belts - Why Should You Replace Your Engine Timing Belt

Neglecting your engine timing belt; could destroy your engine from the inside out.

As a result, Your vehicle could have a ticking time bomb underneath its hood.

So, the timing belt is a very simple part; that can cause big problems if not taken care of.

Depending on the year; make and model of your vehicle; there’s a pretty good chance you have a engine timing belt. The engine timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft pulleys.

Your engine timing belt keeps your engine ticking; and needs to be changed before they break. It effectively sets the mechanical heartbeat of the engine; by operating the valves in extremely precise relation; to the position of the crankshaft. 

Worn Engine Timing Belt
Worn Engine Timing Belt

Consequently, This isn’t a part that will give a warning in the form of a wear indicator; check engine light or alarming noise before it fails. Finally, If your timing belt does fail; the only sound you’ll hear is your engine instantly shutting down.

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.

So, Neglecting The Engine Timing Belt Has The Potential; Of Destroying Your Vehicle’s Engine.

Timing belt neglect can cause the timing belt to fail and snap, consequently; the camshaft(s) and valves will stop moving. 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.
Timing Belt Neglect
Timing Belt Neglect
If you’ve determined that your vehicle has a timing belt; be sure to have it changed ahead of its recommended service interval. Check with your owner’s manual to be sure or consult your dealership for more information.

If a timing belt is not changed on time; it could wind up snapping and destroying your engine. Of course, preventing such nightmares from happening is simple; just stick to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

Note; That Your Particular Vehicle May Not Have A Timing Belt At All

So, Do all cars have a timing belt?

The answer is no; many modern cars have a timing chain instead.

Timing Chain Setup
Timing Chain Setup

A timing chain is a maintenance free unit; and rarely need replacement. So, How do you know if a engine has a timing chain or belt? First, you can check your maintenance schedule or call your dealer.


Finally, Is it difficult to replace a timing belt as a DIY project?

If you have the tools and the skills; it’s not that difficult. But, The hard part is usually the removal of the harmonic balancer as the bolt holding it is very tight. And, sometimes you might need a special puller to take the pulley out. Another difficult task is to set the timing properly; and adjust the belt tension when the new belt is installed. For this you might need the factory service manual.

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