What does the timing belt do?
Pistons and valves in your vehicle’s engine are always doing a game of hop and jump to ensure that your car works efficiently, and this game has to be timely so that the compnonents don’t clash with one another. Think of the timing belt as traffic police, which works to ensure that the pistons and the valves hop and jump at their own convenient time.
Timing belts are like bicycle chains which link the bike’s pedal to the wheels and bring motion to the vehicle. They are commonly used in automotive engines, and the synchronizing of that movement between the pistons and the camshaft is what makes the belt a “timing belt”.
What are timing belts made of?
Timing belts are high strength rubbers made from voluminous polyethylene with high bending properties to resist both low and high temperatures. To prevent shearing off, the belt is also filled with glass fibers.
What if a timing belt fails?
Timing belts are a critical component to the car’s engine and should they fail, then the engine will stop immediately. Cautastrophic damage can occur and may result in needing major engines repairs.
How long do they last?
Well, they don’t last forever. The lifespan of a timing belt is based on the engine’s configuration and the specifications of the vehicle. Generally, all of us at My Garage Auto have seen them last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 miles. As the mileage of the car increases, the timing belt also beings to degrade and wears out over time. Newer vehicles will state in the user manual the approximate mileage that you should get the timing belt serviced or replaced. On average, replacing a timing belt is one of the more expensive auto repair jobs, but being sure to have it routinely checked and serviced will prevent it from failing altogether and possibly causing even more engine damage.
What happens if the timing belt fails?
Unlike some other car parts, the timing belt isn’t the easiest to predict when it comes to determing whether it is ready to fail. However, when it does, your car will stop running. That si why we recommended you routinely check the timing belt and if there are any signs of premature wear, replace it immediately!
How we replace your timing belt
While the steps below might seem easy, they are a time consuming process that we do with ultimate precision and expertise:
1. First, we align the timing marks properly, and easily put the new belts on the pulleys, without forcing them into place.
Next, we’ll slowly loosen the bolt and ensure they are leaning against the belt but, not striking it.
2. To ensure that the slacks sit properly on the pulley, we’ll then rotate the crankshaft twice.
3. After that, we reinstall all the parts that were removed, including the belt cover.
4. Last, we’ll reconnect the car battery and start the engine to gauge the time taken to start.
Timing belts will wear out based on the average speed of your car (the faster you drive, such as a lot of high speed freeway driving, the faster your timing belt will wear) Always go for regular inspections of your timing belt to check whether it is functioning effectively and isn’t showing heavy signs of fraying or wear
Final piece of advice
The timing belt is a very sensitive part of the car. The best way to care for it is by following your user manual and getting advice from My Garage Auto on whether it is time for a replacement.