What Is a Timing Belt

Were you aware that a broken timing belt signifies terrible news for a vehicle’s engine? Many people don’t know that a broken timing belt is potentially hazardous for a car. Additionally, some might not know precisely what a timing belt is. This simple and often overlooked vehicle component serves an incredibly valuable purpose. 

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Your engine relies on a timing belt to keep it in sync and ensures that your engine continues to operate as it should to keep you safe while you travel. That’s why it’s incredibly important to replace your timing belt at a reputable repair shop like Dave’s Auto Repair when it’s no longer achieving its purpose for your car’s engine. 

In our article, we will help you learn how to determine if you need to replace your timing belt by telling you what it is and the signs you need to look out for on your vehicle. 

What Exactly Is A Timing Belt?

Before we look at when you should replace your vehicle’s timing belt, we thought it best to first explain it. The easiest way you can determine what a timing belt is is to think of it as if it is a bike chain that is used for your vehicle. 

Your timing belt is a rubber belt with hard teeth similar to a bike chain. These hard teeth interlock with the cogwheels of your vehicle’s camshafts and crankshaft. Since the timing belt interlocks with your camshafts and crankshaft, it synchronizes their movement. Interestingly, your timing belt doesn’t only keep your engine in sync but can also at times power the oil pump, injection pump, and water pump. 

Additionally, by synchronizing your crankshaft and camshaft, your timing belt ensures your engine exhaust and intake valves open and close with your pistons. When your timing belt is not working as it should, it will not allow your crankshaft and camshafts to operate in unison, and this will cause your vehicle to not drive correctly. 

For example, when your timing belt isn’t working, the intake valves could open before they should, and this will cause too much fuel and air to flow into your engine’s combustion chamber. Often this results in poor combustion, which leads to power loss. Moreover, if your engine components are out of sync, they could disastrously collide and damage one another. Usually, this leads to costly repairs.

When Should You Replace Your Timing Belt? 

Now that you know what exactly a timing belt is and its importance to your vehicle, we can discuss when you should replace it. Generally, it’s recommended that you replace your timing belt at the intervals your manufacturer advises, which is usually every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. 

You will need to consult a vehicle repair expert or your owner’s manual to determine exactly when to replace your timing belt if you don’t want to use this generalization. 

What Can Happen If You Don’t Replace Your Timing Belt

Since your engine’s timing belt is made out of rubber, it will naturally wear down over time which will cause it to eventually break. As we mentioned earlier, your engine will stop operating as it should, or the components will be out of sync, which usually leads to engine damage. Yet what exactly will happen if you don’t replace your timing belt after it breaks? 

Essentially, suppose you keep operating your vehicle with a broken timing belt. In that case, you will likely experience total engine failure, piston and cylinder wall damage, broken or bent valves, or cylinder head and camshaft damage. 

If you don’t want this to occur, you need to replace your timing belt according to your manufacturer or auto service experts’ schedule. Trust us, taking your vehicle in for a service to replace your timing belt can save you thousands of dollars. 

The Signs You Need To Keep An Eye Out For That Tell You It’s Time To Replace Your Timing Belt

Unfortunately, there are usually no warning signs right before your timing belt breaks. Yet, your vehicle could be displaying indicators that it may be time to consider replacing your timing belt. 

  • Overheating.
  • Your vehicle is leaking oil. 
  • The check engine light is on. 
  • You’re experiencing decreased engine power. 
  • Your vehicle is vibrating or shaking. 
  • You are experiencing issues starting your car. 
  • There are ticking noises coming from your engine. 
  • You can hear rubbing or squealing noises from your belts. 

Get Your Timing Belt Repaired Or Replaced At Daves Auto Repair 

Replacing your vehicle’s timing belt is often a labor-intensive and intricate process that is better left to the professionals. At Dave’s Auto Repair, we know that you might not want to replace your timing belt before it breaks because it’s often a costly and timely affair. Yet, choosing to replace your timing belt before it breaks is vital to ensuring your engine doesn’t become damaged, saving you money in the long run. 

If you aren’t sure if your timing belt needs to be replaced, you can visit us at Dave’s Auto Repair. We have a team of automotive repair experts ready and waiting to examine your vehicle and help you determine if your timing belt needs to be replaced. When you’re ready to speak with us, you can call us at (941) 371-5981 or visit us at 4547 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota, Florida.

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