Timing Belt Symptoms and Replacement Cost
What is a Timing Belt and Why Should I Replace It?
The rubber timing belt connects the camshaft to the crankshaft of the engine. It helps the crankshaft drive the camshaft.
A worn belt may affect engine performance, a broken timing belt will stop the engine from running and may cause severe internal engine damage, so it's important to have it serviced. If you don't, you may experience one or more of the symptoms below.
- 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
- It is crucial that the timing belt is 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
How is a Timing Belt Replaced?
To replace the timing belt, the technician will remove the drive/fan belts (these should be inspected and replaced as necessary), pulleys, crankshaft pulley, and timing covers. He or she will also inspect components inside the timing cover and, if necessary, replace oil seals, tensioners, and idler pulleys. On certain engines, a water pump replacement and/or valve adjustment should be done at the same time as the timing belt service.