If you are a new car owner, you must be wondering what a timing belt is and what functions it plays in a car. You have come to the right place. A timing belt is a toothed belt that controls the rotation of the engine crankshaft and camshaft as well as the way the engine valves open and close to allow gasoline and air in and out. Fundamentally, it coordinates the functions of an engine making fuel burn in the combustion chamber or it ensures that all the internal moving parts are in tandem.
When should you replace the timing belt?
Considering that it has such a crucial job, it is important to replace it regularly. Oftentimes, there is no sign that the belt is wearing out. Most of the time, the timing belt just breaks. This is the reason why most car manufacturers recommend that you replace it after covering 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Check your owner's manual to know what is recommended for your particular model.
It will be cheaper to be proactive and replace the belt as a preventative measure instead of waiting until it breaks. Actually, it can be twice as expensive to replace it after it breaks. This is because, when the timing belt breaks, the engine might get seriously damaged. If the engine is the non-interference type, it will stall if the belt breaks, but more damage may be restricted. Therefore, it is prudent to anticipate problems and address them before they happen when it comes to taking care of your vehicle.
Besides money, there are other reasons why the belt needs to be replaced. Another reason is that after some time, it stretches. When this happens, you will experience problems such as Check Engine light coming on, slow pick-up, and lack of power. In some vehicles, when a timing belt stretches, you will hear dull rating noise emanating from the timing belt area. Other reasons are leaking oil, overheating, decreased engine power, vibrating or shaking, difficulty starting the vehicle.
Do all cars have a timing belt?
No, they do not all have a timing belt. Most modern vehicles have a timing chain. It seldom needs replacement and it requires no maintenance. To find out which belt your car has, ask your mechanic during your oil change or inspection.
If you need timing belt replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle to our auto repair shop today.