What's A Timing Belt?

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It is  flat, rubber belt with teeth. It connects the camshaft and crankshaft inside the engine much like a bicycle chain connects the front and rear sprocket. But more importantly it synchronizes the rotation of the valves and pistons to occur at the correct times. Timing belts have replaced chains in many cars today and help make the sophisticated engines we find under the hood  possible. Want to check when your car is due for a belt change? Click on the link below.  



Important Timing Belt Facts and Service Information
If your vehicles engine is a 4 or 6 cylinder chances are it has one. Some import V-8’s have them too! You can check your owners manual scheduled maintenance section. Timing belts need to be changed at a scheduled service interval. They range anywhere from 60,000 miles up to 105,000 depending on the vehicle year, make, model and engine type. Timing belts should also be changed BASED ON TIME. Honda for example recommends changing some of their belts after 72 months regardless of mileage. Remember you cannot safely judge a belts condition for replacement by looking at it. Always consider the length of service and mileage on the vehicle.


What happens When A Timing Belt Breaks?
Your vehicle comes to an immediate stop. But there is more. The GOOD NEWS is you will need to be towed to a repair shop to replace the belt. The BAD NEWS is your engine may have suffered major internal damage. This can result in more than just timing belt replacement. You may need a new engine!!!






Change The Water Pump Too!
If your timing belt drives the water pump (AND CHANCES ARE IT DOES), change that also. Otherwise a water pump failure can break the timing belt.  Which defeats why you change the timing belt as maintenance in the first place.

Don't Let This Happen To You! 
In the picture below you can see the relationship of the pistons to the valves. The free running engine will not cause engine damage IN MOST CASES if the timing belt breaks. The picture on the right shows the valve striking the piston which can happen when the timing belt breaks in an interference engine. The timing belt service just escalated into major engine repairs.


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