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What Does the Timing Belt Do and How Do I Know There’s a Problem?

Timing Belt

We hear it all the time at Ponder Auto Repair in Johnson City: what does the timing belt do and how do I know there’s a problem? At some point, the rubber timing belt in your vehicle will deteriorate and snap in two or sometimes the belt’s teeth break off. If this happens, your engine won’t work. This can be an expensive tow and repair. We can check your timing belt and replace it before it breaks.

What does the timing belt do?

The timing belt rotates the engine’s cam and crankshaft so that each cylinder fires at the right time. It is located in the front of the engine and your engine needs the timing belt to run.

Your car’s manufacturer offers a recommendation on when you should replace the timing belt. We can also take a look at it for you, but let us know if you see any of the warning signs of a worn out or broken timing belt.

How to Identify when the timing belt has a problem?

A Your Mechanic article explains the common signs include a ticking noise in the engine, the engine won’t start, a misfiring engine, or oil leaking in the front of the motor.

Ticking noise in the engine

The timing belt pulley system goes to the engine’s crank and cam shaft. The crankshaft powers the engine’s connecting rods which attach to pistons inside the combustion chamber. The camshaft controls the cylinder head valves and rocker arm assembly, which puts fuel into the combustion chamber and expels the burnt gasses out of the exhaust manifold. If your timing belt is starting to wear out, it can make a ticking noise inside the motor.

Engine won’t turn over

If you have a broken timing belt, your engine won’t start. When you try to start the engine, the motor will engage but it won’t turn over. If your timing belt breaks, there may be internal engine damage as well as damage to the cylinder head hardware (pushrods, rocker arms, and valves), damage to crank bearings or the oil pump inside the oil pan.

The misfiring of the engine

Even a worn out timing belt can affect the engine’s firing. An engine misfiring can be caused when the belt slips on the camshaft drive and causes one cylinder to open or close earlier than it’s supposed to.

Oil leaking in front of the motor

Often the engine leaks oil from the timing belt cover which is secured by nuts and bolts that can come loose over time. Also, oil will leak when the gasket between the engine block and timing cover wears out, is cracked or wasn’t installed right and is pinched. Oil leaking from the timing belt cover causes the engine to overheat and wear out the timing belt.

You should not ignore a scheduled timing belt replacement. If your timing belt breaks, your engine will likely need to be replaced. So bring your car, truck, or SUV to Ponder Auto Care to get your timing belt checked or replaced.

We know a proper car maintenance schedule requires belt replacement before they break. If your car or truck needs other maintenance, we can check the timing belt at the same time. If you don’t know when the scheduled maintenance on your timing belt is due, we can tell you. So if you wonder what does the timing belt do and how do I know there’s a problem, schedule an appointment with Ponder Auto Repair in Johnson City and our experienced ASE-certified technicians can check and replace your timing belt so you don’t have to worry.

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