Warning Signs of an Aging Timing Belt

As is evident from its name, a timing belt connects and times the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft. These two shafts are important components of the engine, and their timely rotation ensures well-timed firing of pistons and the opening/closing of the intake and exhaust valves in the engine. The timing belt is a long, notched rubber belt that runs along with the engine and is vital for efficient and smooth vehicle functions on the road.

Since the timing belt is a dynamic component that interlocks and runs the crankshaft and camshafts, it tends to wear down due to long-term functioning and pressure. Regular maintenance and timely replacement of the timing belt are essential to avoid costly engine repairs. Without proper maintenance, the timing belt failure or slippage can occur unexpectedly, resulting in extreme damage to multiple engine components. The best resource to predict the correct time of timing belt replacement is a vehicle's owner's manual. It is generally recommended to replace the timing belt between 70,000-100,000 miles or every 5-8 years.

To predict the best time for timing replacement, the owner should keep an eye on the signs indicating timing belt damage. If the timing belt breaks, the car would come to a halt abruptly and won't start again but recognizing the following signs and taking prompt actions can prevent the ultimate timing belt failure.

Your check engine light is on.

A failing timing belt can cause flashing check engine light.

You cannot start the vehicle.

A bad timing belt won't allow the engine motor to ignite properly, and as a result, the vehicle won't turn over.

Unusual noises coming from the engine.

A ticking or whirring sound can be the reason for a failed timing belt.

Your engine's pistons are misfiring.

Engine misfiring occurs due to poor timing of the valves' opening and closing, resulting in a slip and pistons misfiring.

You are noticing excessive exhaust smoke.

Increased smoke is an indicator of a malfunctioning timing belt and reduced fuel efficiency.

There is oil leakage beneath the vehicle.

Motor oil can leak through the cracked timing belt and results in visible oil spots under the vehicle.

If you encounter any of these signs, getting scheduled maintenance at our reliable auto repair shop can prevent timing belt breakage and expensive engine repairs.

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