Timing Belt Failure Symptoms – Check Your Owners Manual

timing belt
timing belt

Timing belt failure symptoms-What should you look for?

Actually, I don’t have an answer for that. I don’t know any signs that would be 100% correct.

Because you can not see it you would only be guessing. The only way is to do a visual inspection.

Timing belt failure symptoms-Always check your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Timing belts used to be a relatively ignored maintenance item by many drivers.

As the repair bills added up and the word spread, We are getting better.

Timing belt failure symptoms-What happens if the timing belt snaps?

When talking about timing belts it’s important to know about interference engines.

An interference engine is one where the pistons and valves share space in the cylinder but not at the same time (the vast majority of engines on the road today are interference engines).

The benefit of this type of engine is efficiency, however if the belt or chain breaks in an interference engine the valves and pistons will collide.

The pistons generally hit the valves which will bend or snap them or else the valves will punch a hole in the top of the pistons.

The repair bill could easily run into the thousands. If the belt breaks in a non-interference engine they won’t collide as they do not ever share the same space.

Replacing your vehicle’s Timing Belt or Cam Belt as it’s also known, can sometimes be a costly exercise depending on what type of vehicle you have.

The labour costs of removing the existing belt and installing a new one, add to the cost, and sometimes other mechanical parts that are starting to fatigue are spotted and recommended to be replaced at the same

When all of these costs add up your bank balance can take a bit of a battering.

Generally a Timing Belt replacement when installed by a mechanic on average can take anywhere from 2 to 6 hours with the total cost somewhere in between $250 and $850.

Now I know you are thinking, “no way am I going to spend that on my vehicle”, but a Timing Belt failure can cause your vehicle major engine damage, which will be a lot more expensive than replacing the belt when you should have.
Not only that a Timing Belt failure could also cause you to have an accident and no one wants to see that happen.
Vehicle manufacturers will generally list in their manuals at what Intervals a Timing Belt should be replaced.

A general rule of thumb is somewhere in the range of every 80000kms to 100000kms, but each manufacturer may differ slightly.

Timing belt failure symptoms
Timing belt failure symptoms
Like any drive belt in any Industry, belts do wear when used regularly. A Timing Belt will rarely just snap or break in half. It will normally stretch over time and with use and that leads us to the number one reason to a Timing Belt failure, “Incorrect Tension”. This incorrect tension can lead to other problems like excessive tooth wear, tooth shear and belt noise just to name a few. The correct timing belt tension is just as important when installing a new belt as well.

Other causes of Timing Belt failure-Timing belt failure symptoms

  • Foreign Body in Drive
  • Belt crimped due to improper handling
  • Seizure of driven component
  • Worn Pulleys
  • High and Low Temperature
  • Oil Leaks
  • Belt Misalignment
As listed above, pulley and tension issues are some of the main causes for Timing Belt failure so why not replace these parts at the same time as the belt. Timing Belt Kits are the perfect solution as they have all these accessory parts included such as, Idler Pulleys, Tensioners, Belts, Seals and other items, so you can replace the complete timing drive and not have to worry about having issues in the future prematurely.

Some Timing Belt Kits also include parts such as Hydraulic Tensioners and Water Pumps.

Timing Belt Kit
Timing Belt Kit

So while replacing your Timing Belt does sound a little daunting, it definitely is a proactive way of saving yourself dollars in the future.

Thank You !!