Most car, truck and SUV owners rarely, if ever, think of their timing belts. Despite its easily disregarded presence, this belt plays a major role in your auto’s operation. When this part needs replacement, you must do so. Otherwise, you face the possibility of it breaking, shutting down your vehicle.
How Your Timing Belt Works
Your timing belt synchronizes your engine’s functioning, controlling camshaft and crankshaft rotation. It also opens and closes valves of your engine, to enable air and gas flow. Without this rubber belt, your vehicle’s fuel would not ignite, valves would not open and close with the right timing and the car would not operate.
In fact, if your belt breaks, valves fall out of sync. These delicate parts hit the pistons and your engine suffers damage.
When must I change this belt?
In the past, vehicle owners had to replace these belts every 60,000 miles. But with improving technology, manufacturers now recommend doing so every 100,000 miles. Without your car, truck or SUV’s belt, your vehicle loses power. You also lose fuel economy and the engine malfunctions, causing misfiring and vibration.
Older vehicles once made a loud screeching noise when the belt or timing chain failed. Now, you cannot rely on sound to indicate you need a part replacement. Today’s belts only make a mild sound when they loosen or crack, unlike those timing chains of the past.
Your auto service technician will also tell you when you need to replace your belt, such as when you need other mechanical maintenance or repair. When servicing the water pump, the belt must come out to do so, in most vehicles. Usually, this leads to replacing this vital part, as reinstalling a used one is a bad idea. Simply taking the belt out leads to stretching it and you can save money by replacing it while having other parts serviced.
When a Belt Breaks
When these belts break, the engine stops. Without this vital part, the camshaft and crankshaft no longer connect. But how much your broken belt affects your vehicle depends on the type of engine, whether it is an interference or non-interference model.
Small vehicles often have interference engines, as these gain more compression and provide greater power. In these engines, valves extend more into the cylinder. When the belt breaks and the engine timing falls out of sync, upward-moving pistons can still strike a valve stuck in an open position. This crashing effect breaks the valves and damages pistons, even sometimes causing the pistons to break through oil pans and ruin the engine, altogether.
Obviously, a ruined engine is far more costly than a belt showing signs of wear. So when your auto service technician tells you it is time to replace this part, you should pay attention. It is not like changing oil, which you can delay from time to time based on loose recommendations for timing of this replacement. When your timing belt looks ready for replacement, you have a small window of time in which to do so before you suffer major breakdown and high cost.
Even with a non-interference engine, you cannot ignore your belt’s life span. If it breaks, you still will pay much more for repairs.
Timing Belt Replacements and Other Car, Truck and SUV Service in Yadkinville, NC
Only a qualified repair shop can check and replace your car, truck or SUV’s belt. Yadkinville Automotive in Yadkin County, North Carolina provides this service, as well as other car repair, truck repair and SUV repair. If your timing belt has any cracks, stretching or worn teeth, your friendly, ASE-certified technician at Yadkinville Automotive recommends you have this part replaced. For routine maintenance and engine repair, schedule your appointment in Yadkinville, NC by calling +1 336-679-8622 today.