A timing belt is one of those things that’s critical to replace, according to the auto manufacturer’s schedule.
Timing belt replacement is most often, between every 75,000 and 100,000 miles. Check your owner’s manual for, the exact schedule for your vehicle.
Replacing your timing belt is not one of those things, you can just put off indefinitely.
Eventually, the timing belt, will break, causing you thousands of dollars in engine damage. So, it’s simply, not worth the risk.
Timing Belt, What Does It Do
It transfers the rotation of the crankshaft to the camshaft. The rotating camshaft activates the valves. Consequently, providing air and fuel to the cylinders. Also, expelling combustion gases to the exhaust system.
The belt looks similar to a serpentine belt in appearance. In contrast, they typically have square teeth on the inside surface.
Usually constructed of rubber reinforced with nylon. Also, often overlooked during routine maintenance.
Symptoms Of A Bad Or Failing Timing Belt:
- Rough Engine Idling.
- Engine Misfires.
- Smoke From The Engine.
- Oil Pressure Decline.
- Pistons Or Valves That Are Broken.
If It Fails, The Engine Will Stop And The Vehicle Will, Coast To A Stop
The lucky motorist, will only have the inconvenience of being; stranded on the side of the road. On the other hand, the engine might suffer severe; if not catastrophic, damage to its internal components. However, this potential disaster can be avoided; easily and relatively inexpensively, by replacing it.
So, the valves and pistons are constantly moving up and down, at very high speeds. When the pistons are down, the valves are open. When the pistons are up, the valves are closed. Furthermore, some engines, don’t allow clearance between; a valve at its lowest point and a piston at its highest.
Consequently, the timing belt, is the critical link to ensure that these components, don’t collide.
If Collision Does Occur, You Could Damage:
- Cylinder head
- Cylinder walls
- Connecting rods
Subsequently, this can be an expensive repair.
Other Engines Rely On A Timing Chain Rather Than A Belt
So, refer to your owner’s manual or take your vehicle to a repair facility, if you are unsure. The owner’s manual maintenance schedule, is a source of replacement intervals; typically every 60,000 to 90,000 miles.
Unless you have a lot of auto repair experience; a timing belt replacement, is not an easy DIY job and should be handled by a professional.
Belt replacement usually requires, the removal of the engine drive belt that operates the:
- Water Pump
- Power Steering Pump
- Air Conditioner
NOTE: It’s often recommended to replace the water pump; at the same time while in there since it’s in, the same area. It may cost a bit more for a new water pump but; you’ll save a lot of money on labor costs, if you were to do it later on.
Finally, if you don’t know if your vehicle has a timing belt or a chain; you can check your owner’s manual.
Thank You !