Your vehicle’s timing belt or timing chain is an integral part of any vehicle. It rotates your engine’s camshaft in sync to ensure that each of the cylinders is firing at the appropriate time. Sometimes this job is done by a system of gears instead; however, there needs to be a synchronization system of the crankshaft rotation that enables the engine valves to open and close at the right time.
Your vehicle’s timing belt is located under the timing belt cover at the front of the engine. This component’s construct comprises of high-quality rubber intertwined with nylon-reinforced chords on the inside to help extend its life. Your timing belt is subject to great forces inside your car’s motor and will need replacement from time to time. Your engine won’t be able to run without a fully functional timing belt.
Not all vehicles have a timing belt. Timing belts are popular in automobiles with small-displacement engines. Manufacturers will opt for a timing chain instead of a timing belt on engines with a large bore or stroke. The timing chain system replaces a runner belt with a metal chain. In general, a timing chain has a much longer lifespan than a timing belt; some are even known to last the entire lifespan of a vehicle. Depending on your vehicle, the manufacturer has a predetermined recommendation on when your timing belt needs replacing. If you are unsure, check your vehicle’s handbook or visit your local bay area car auto repair center and have a mechanic verify the information for you.
Symptoms of a Faulty Timing Belt
If your vehicle has a bad or faulty timing belt, it will often give off some signs. Once you experience one or more of these symptoms, it’s important to have a certified auto mechanic such as one from AAMCO Bay area inspect it and, if necessary, replace your timing belt.
Lack of Power and Engine Misfiring
When your engine misfires, it’s normally a problem with valve timing. A worn-out timing belt will affect your engine fire rate since it is attached to the pulleys that drive the crankshaft. Sometimes, the belt will slip on the camshaft drive causing the engine cylinder to open and close earlier than it should. The result is a misfire. If ignored, it could lead to catastrophic engine damage.
Engine Not Turning
In case your timing belt is broken inside, it won’t be possible for your engine to ignite or turn over. The moment you turn your key, you’ll hear the starter engage, but since your timing belt is what engages your crank and camshaft, it won’t turn over. Your vehicle will not be able to turn over, and the most appropriate thing would be to call a professional mechanic. In case the problem is due to a snapped timing belt, there’s a high chance it will result in the damage of other engine compartments—more often than not, this damage is serious.
Leaking Oil in Front of the Engine
Another sign of potential timing belt wear is leaking motor oil from the timing belt cover. Your timing belt cover is held in place with a series of bolts, that over time will become loose. Another issue that will cause the oil to leak is when the gasket between the engine timing cover and the engine block wears out if pinched or improperly installed. Leaking oil from your vehicle’s timing cover will result in overheating as well as premature timing belt wear.
What Are My Options?
It’s very difficult to diagnose timing belt issues without professional knowledge or experience. Therefore, it’s important to check your manufacturer’s handbook to determine its replacement interval or have your vehicle’s timing belt replaced by a certified or professional mechanic.
Do you suspect that your timing belt is worn out or failing? AAMCO Bay area is a leading car auto repair service specializing in Timing belt service and maintenance, Suspension service, Auto Tune-up service, Battery repair and maintenance, Transmission Repair and service, Vehicle Air Conditioning service and many more. Contact your nearest AAMCO Bay area location for a diagnosis or a free quote. Our technicians will work promptly to resolve your timing belt problem.