Car encyclopedia

Timing Belt Replacement

The rubber timing belt connects the camshaft to the crankshaft of the engine. This rubber belt wears and deteriorates over time, requiring replacement.

 

Why Should It Be Serviced?

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 these symptoms:

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

When Should It Be Serviced?

  • The timing belt should be replaced at scheduled intervals, which vary among car manufacturers, but are usually every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Having it serviced at these intervals will help reduce the chance of any related drivability concerns.

How It's Done

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. 

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