What is the timing belt?

The timing belt is a rubber belt that runs through the engine in your vehicle. The belt is smooth on one side with rubber teeth on the other. These teeth engage with gears on a pulley system to move through the engine and precisely control the motion of components in the engine.

What does it do?

Timing belts ensure that all activities in the engine happen in sync. In interference engines, this is extremely important. Pistons and valves open and close to let in air and fuel in the combustion engine. But these components are so tightly arranged in the engine that they must open and close in precise alignment.

If both open at the same time, the pistons may break the valves in the engine. Timing belts control both of these functions so that they can happen simultaneously without damaging each other or the other components in the engine.

Why do I need to replace the belt?

Most timing belts are made from a rubber material. When it is subject to the high heat and friction within the engine, it becomes worn over time. The timing belt is at greater risk for breaking with age.

What happens if I don’t replace the timing belt?

In the best case, a broken belt means a car that won’t run. In the worst case, it means thousands of dollars in engine damage! Interference engines are at high risk for engine damage due to timing belt failure because the pistons and valves will likely be damaged. Sometimes the entire engine needs to be replaced.

How do I know when to replace the belt?

Recommended maintenance schedules offer the mileage when timing belts should be replaced based on the expected lifespan of the belt. Depending on driving conditions and your vehicle, we recommend replacing the timing belt between 60,000 and 100,000 miles or sooner.

If you have more questions about timing belts, call our team at 920.757.5543 or request an appointment online.