Auto Systems and Repair: Timing Belt

Symptoms of Wear or Failure

Broken belt

  • Engine will stop running and internal engine damage can occur

Worn or loose belt

  • Belt may "jump time" (skipping a tooth or more, usually on the cam gear). This results in a loss of synchronization and engine performance.
  • Trouble codes from the camshaft or crankshaft sensors, causing Check Engine Light to illuminate
  • Slapping or scraping noises from engine

Related Repair Advice

  • It is crucial that the timing belt be replaced at or before the interval recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Failure to do so can result in a broken timing belt, which can turn off your engine and leave you stranded. It could also lead to severe engine damage.
  • Timing belts are used in lieu of timing chains in many engines. Since they are made out of rubber, they have a limited lifespan.
  • It is often recommended that you replace items like the water pump, front engine seals, drive belts, idlers, and tensioner along with the timing belt