The job of the timing belt is to synchronize the camshaft and crankshaft rotation and ensure that the valves in the combustion engine open and shut at the appropriate time. In some engines, it also prevents pistons from colliding with the valve walls. Given its work, the timing belt should have perfect calibration to keep everything in order. If it breaks down or gets out of alignment, you could destroy the engine or damage vital combustion parts that may be too costly to replace.
When the belt breaks down, your engine will stop working. However, your vehicle may run if the belt is worn out. Unfortunately, you will damage the engine in the process. Here is when to change the belt.
Timing belts can last up to about 100,000 miles. However, in most cases, you do not wait until you hit that mileage. Most technicians recommend that you have it changed every 60,000 to 80,000 miles. Check your owner's manual for the recommended intervals within which you should change your timing belt.
Here are some other signs that indicate the need to replace a timing belt:
• A ticking noise that comes from the engine: This is usually a warning sound from the motor, signaling that some connecting rods are not moving smoothly.
• Overheating and misfiring engine: Misfiring occurs when cylinders open and shut when they should not while overheating means that the engine has a problem with oiling the internal moving parts.
• Decreased power from the engine: Occurs when some cylinders are unable to open and shut.
• Problems starting your vehicle: This happens when the timing belt does not turn over to run the crankshaft and camshaft.
• Excessive vibration or shaking when the engine is running
• A rubbery smell as the engine runs due to friction from a misaligned timing belt
• Leaking oil: This mostly happens when a misaligned timing belt damages the cover, causing oil to leak from other parts.
• Rubbing or squealing noise as the engine runs with a misaligned timing belt
If you notice any of the above signs, please consider an immediate check by an auto technician. We invite you to our repair shop for professional timing belt replacements!