So, Timing belts are a very simple part that can cause big problems if not taken care of.
Remember: Timing belt neglect isn’t an option… it’s an essential part of properly maintaining your vehicle.
Depending on the year, make and model of your vehicle, there’s a pretty good chance you have a timing belt. The belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft pulleys. It effectively sets the mechanical heartbeat of the engine by operating the valves in extremely precise relation to the position of the crankshaft. Timing belts keep your engine ticking and need to be changed before they break.
This isn’t a part that will give a warning in the form of a wear indicator, check engine light or alarming noise before it fails. If your timing belt does fail, the only sound you’ll hear is your engine instantly shutting down and stopping your drive dead in its tracks. The inside of your engine has countless moving parts that spin, slide or reciprocate at thousands of revolutions per minute. All of these parts operate within an extremely close proximity to one another.
That said, timing belt neglect has the very real potential of destroying your vehicle’s engine.
If you’ve determined that your vehicle has a timing belt, be sure to have it changed ahead of its recommended service interval- which tends to be 100,000 kilometres or less. Check with your owner’s manual to be sure- or consult your dealership or favorite mechanic.
If a timing belt is not changed on time it could wind up snapping and destroying your engine. Of course, preventing such nightmares from happening is simple- just stick to your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. Consequently, This will give you peace of mind and longer engine life.
Note that your particular vehicle may not have a timing belt at all.
So, Do all cars have a timing belt?
The answer is no, many modern cars have a timing chain instead. A timing chain is a maintenance-free unit and rarely need replacement. So, How do you know if a engine has a timing chain or belt? First, you can check your maintenance schedule or call your dealer.
Timing Belt Neglect-Conclusion
Finally, Is it difficult to replace a timing belt as a DIY project?
If you have the tools and the skills, it’s not that difficult. The hard part is usually the removal of the harmonic balancer (main engine pulley) as the bolt holding it is very tight and sometimes you might need a special puller to take the pulley out. Another difficult task is to set the timing properly and adjust the belt tension when the new belt is installed. For this you might need the factory service manual.
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