What You Need to Know About Your Timing Belt

Belts play an important role in your car, controlling many mechanical operations. The timing belt is arguably the most important of all: It’s the belt responsible for keeping the crank and camshaft rotation synchronized. This in turn ensures that the valves open and close in time with the piston movements, keeping things running smoothly. If this synchronization were to fail, or if the belt were to suddenly snap, serious damage could occur within your engine.

When Are Repairs Necessary?

Your timing belt is housed inside of the engine itself, making it sometimes difficult to spot trouble. This makes preventative maintenance important, as the belt often won’t show any signs of trouble before it fails – and the failure can be catastrophic.

Each vehicle make/model will have its own guidelines for belt replacement. In general, timing belt replacement is required between 50,000 to 100,000 miles – your car’s owner’s manual should let you know when replacement is necessary. It will also specify whether your vehicle uses a belt or a metal chain.

Outside of the standard replacement guidelines, your timing belt may need to be replaced if it’s sustained damage. Fluid leaks and excessive tension from pulleys are two common causes of damage. If you’ve had an oil or coolant leak, or experienced any other trouble with your engine, it’s a good idea to have the timing belt or chain inspected and replaced if necessary.

Do Timing Belts Squeak?

Unlike the serpentine belt, which may squeal or squeak due to slipping in position, the timing belt is unlikely to become loose. This is because the belt itself has a notched or “toothed” edge holding it in place. However, other belts may need to be removed in order to reach the timing belt – so if you catch a squeaking noise after a timing belt replacement, it may be because the serpentine or accessory belt was not replaced properly. Bring your car back to Quanz Auto Body right away and we’ll check this for you, no matter who did the work!