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Warning Signs of an Aging Timing Belt

Significance of Timing Belt

The internal engine of a vehicle comprises many connecting parts that function to deliver power to different systems, and the timing belt is one of them. It is a thin, notched cord made of rubber material that connects the camshaft to the crankshaft, rotating them synchronously and timing the opening and closing of engine valves. This ensures that the pistons fire properly and regularly. In the absence of the linking and timing function of a timing belt, the vehicle won't operate and might result in damage to other parts of the system.

What Causes a Timing Belt to Fail?

The main culprits of timing belt failure are stress, heat, and the absence of proper maintenance. Timing belts work continuously under stress and in a high heat environment. As a result, they tend to wear off with time and occasionally snap unexpectedly, resulting in expensive repair or replacement. Performing proper timing belt maintenance can prevent the need for costly engine repair and should be performed between 70,000-110,000 miles or every 4-5 years. Most owner's manuals also contain information about the estimated time for timing belt repair.

How To Indicate a Damaged Timing Belt?

Like other engine components, a defective timing belt gives off signs and symptoms that signify underlying damage. Recognizing these indications can prevent the timing belt breakage and any further harm to the engine components.

Misfiring engine

Without a properly functioning timing belt, the cylinders won't open and close coherently, resulting in an engine misfire.

Unusual noises

These include ticking, clicking, squealing, or grinding noises generated due to a worn timing belt when the car is running or accelerating.

Difficulty in starting the engine

If the car doesn't start at all, it designates a broken timing belt. When the timing belt breaks while driving, severe damage to the engine is often anticipated.

Oil leaks

Visible oil spots under the car are signs of a broken timing belt cover, which causes the leakage of motor oil.

Excessive exhaust

A failing timing belt causes the engine to work extra hard, resulting in poor fuel efficiency and increased exhaust fumes.

Keep an eye for these indications of a failing timing belt to perform the necessary repairs in time and avoid costly repairs. Visit our expert auto mechanics to get scheduled timing belt maintenance.

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