Timing Belt Replacement


The timing belt is an internal engine component, located in the front of the engine under a timing cover, that rotates the engine’s cam and crankshaft simultaneously to ensure each cylinder fires at the applicable time. It is typically manufactured of the highest quality rubber with nylon reinforced cords that help to extend the life of the belt. The belt, however, is repeatedly exposed to stresses inside the motor and will eventually require replacement.

Your vehicle owner’s guide will state at what point the manufacturer recommends replacing the belt, however, the symptoms below should serve as an alert that your timing belt is under duress.

Ticking Noise
The timing belt is attached to a succession of pulleys to the engine’s cam and crank shaft. The crankshaft gives power to the engine’s connection rods which are attached to pistons inside the combustion chamber. The camshaft drives the cylinder head valves and rocker arm assembly, which transfers fuel into the combustion chamber and expels burnt gasses out of the exhaust chamber.

If the timing belt has begun to wear, it may create a ticking sound emanating from inside the engine. This could also indicate low oil pressure or not enough lubricant within the engine.

Engine Misfires or Won’t Turn Over
A worn timing belt may impede the engine’s fire frequency. Sometimes the belt will slip on the camshaft drive causing one cylinder to open or close at the incorrect time, causing a misfire. If this occurs, it is imperative that the belt be replaced immediately to avoid severe engine damage. Moreover, if your vehicle is having difficulty turning over or igniting, it is possible that the timing belt has broken inside of your engine.

While starting your vehicle you may hear the starter attempt to engage the engine but since the timing belt runs the crank and camshaft, it is unable to turn over. It is more common for the timing belt to break while the engine is running.

To avoid any internal engine compartment damage, it is strongly recommended that you seek the advice of a trained professional sooner rather than later.

Oil Leak
Oil leaking from the timing belt cover is an indication the timing belt has expired. Oil may also leak if the gasket, located between the engine block and timing belt cover, is worn out or cracked. Leaking oil from the timing belt cover is often attributed to the engine overheating and premature wear of the timing belt.

It’s difficult to predict exactly when a timing belt will wear out and problems are commonly identified after it has already broken. Checking your vehicle owner’s manual may help give a better indication of when to replace your timing belt or consult with any of our friendly and knowledgeable Sun Devil Auto Service Advisors. We’ll help to preserve the life of your vehicle by getting ahead of the complications associated with a worn timing belt. With 20 locations throughout the Valley, there’s a Sun Devil Auto near you!

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