13203 SW Canyon Road, Suite C, Beaverton Oregon 97005

Timing belt service at MotorCar Doctors Auto Repair

Timing Belt Replacement

Serpentine belts, fan belts, and timing belts are essential to the overall health of your automobile. Timing belts function like chains that keep all the internal moving parts of an engine in sync, and they keep the engine running smoothly. These belts can also power injector pumps, oil pumps, and water pumps.

In the event your car’s timing belt breaks or fails, the valves might not open at the right time, resulting in misalignment. Timing belts also help prevent pistons and valves from colliding by ensuring the engine’s camshaft and crankshaft rotate in harmony. Additionally, misfires, loss of performance, and more can occur if the air and fuel mixture aren’t ignited at the right time.

The belt in your vehicle can break or wear out, making it irreparably damaged. Wear and tear make it lose, making it unusable. As a result, a timing belt tensioner is used to ensure the belt remains tight.

Changing your belts as soon as they wear out will reduce the chance of unexpected breakdowns. Adding to the misery, timing belt problems often result in bent valves.

There are also a number of different vehicle models where a timing chain may be used instead of a timing belt. Timing chains are similar to belts, except they are made of metal instead of rubber. You may be able to go a little longer without replacing the timing chain if your car has a chain instead of a belt. Ensure you examine your owner’s manual before repairing or replacing your engine damage to avoid spending thousands of dollars.

 What are the symptoms of a faulty timing belt?

Manufacturers typically recommend a timing belt replacement interval, but there are signs that indicate an issue might exist. In the event you experience any of the below symptoms, schedule a car service and have a certified mechanic check the timing belt and replace it if required.

  • The engine of the car is sluggish and less powerful than before.
  • There are sounds like ticking, squealing, and knocking.
  • An unexpected leak of oil in your engine.
  • A sudden sensation of vibration or shaking.
  • The vehicle fails to start or run cool.
  • The belt tension is no longer maintained.
  • There has been a loss of power in the engine.
  • A warning light appears on the dashboard for the check engine.

What are the symptoms of a faulty timing chain?

  • Uncontrollable engine shaking or uneven idle because of misfires
  • A rattling or scraping sound is coming from the front of the engine.
  • Gas mileage is noticeably low.

Can a broken timing belt ruin my engine?

There are two types of engines: interference and non-interference. A broken timing belt can ruin an interference engine easily. As pistons and valves alternately occupy the same space, the timing belt keeps them apart. The engine stops turning when it lacks a timing belt, but not all at once. This is caused by the lighter camshaft shutting down first and leaving some valves open. As a result of the heavier crankshaft, the pistons are pushed against the valves open on the camshaft, making the crankshaft take longer to stop. The valves take the brunt of the damage, but other parts of the system may also sustain some damage.

The pistons and valves occupy separate spaces in a non-interference engine, so a broken timing belt is unlikely to cause damage to either. Replacing the timing belt should remedy the problem.

Nevertheless, keep in mind that, even if you have a non-interference engine, you should still follow the vehicle’s recommended timing belt replacement schedule. Although a timing belt failure is not a cause for major concern in terms of engine damage, it can still cause your car to stall and leave you stranded on the road.

How often should I replace my timing belt?

Suppose your timing belt breaks or wears out as a result of the engine being overworked. In that case, catastrophic engine damage can result, so it’s important to have it checked approximately every five years or after 60,000 to 100,000 miles and replaced as per the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

While your vehicle is being serviced, we also recommend replacing the water pump. A timing belt removal makes replacing the water pump easy, as it typically has a similar lifespan. By doing so, you can save money on labor costs.

Timing belts are essential to the proper operation of your engine. In light of the importance of the timing belt and the immense force it operates under, it is imperative to replace the timing belt on a regular basis as prescribed in your vehicle’s instruction manual. A badly maintained or misaligned timing belt can result in a catastrophic engine failure, which can cost thousands of dollars.

If you are worried that your timing belt has failed, we have a team of certified mechanics who will be able to inspect, diagnose, and repair any issues to ensure your vehicle is safe for your family. Schedule an appointment now!

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