Motor vehicles are marvels of engineering – their sophisticated components work together to get us from A to B! Sadly, when even one part fails, the whole of a vehicle can falter – meaning it really does pay to keep in touch with your local service centre. For example, do you know when to change a timing belt?
One of the components that many of us tend to forget is the timing belt. This rubbery band keeps our motors running – when it fails, it can cause big problems. Knowing what to look for when it comes time to change your belt can save you a whole world of hassle.
Here, we’ll explain what timing belts are and how to know when a change is needed.
Timing belts, also known as cam belts, are circular pieces of kevlar or polyurethane that are smooth on the outside, with grooves on the inside.
The belt ensures that the camshaft and crankshaft in your car’s engine are both working simultaneously, hence the name.
The timing belt also manages the timing and sequence of the valves to the cylinders in the engine. More specifically, the belt controls when the valves open and close.
Inside your car, the camshaft controls the valves that let fuel and air in and out of the engine. On the other side, the crankshaft is there to move pistons up and down.
For the engine to work properly and safely, the camshaft and the crankshaft must be perfectly synchronised. That is where the timing belt comes in.
It’s easy to see why many of us forget about this crucial piece of kit – after all, it’s not something we cast eyes on when taking to the road! But, it’s essential to keep components such as this in mind.
If your engine’s crankshaft and camshaft are not in sync, then your engine can easily get damaged.
If the timing belt breaks while you’re driving, the engine could seize up. A seized engine will affect the steering and brakes, potentially making them fail.
That is why it is vital to check your timing belt before any serious issues occur! A timing belt failure almost guarantees causing expensive damage to the engine. Avoid having these issues, and get your timing belt checked before it breaks! But, how do you know when to change a timing belt?
It’s typically recommended to have the timing belt on your vehicle replaced at least once during its lifetime. Of course, the longer you keep your vehicle, the more likely you will need to replace the timing belt more than once.
However, there is no particular guidance to tell you when you will have to replace the cam belt on your car, and unfortunately, they don’t tend to cause much issue until they fail completely.
Each vehicle is different, and timing-wise it depends on the make and model of your vehicle, how much you drive it, etc.
Your car’s manufacturer will be able to give you an idea about when the timing belt should be replaced. They will usually suggest that it will be time for an upgrade after a certain number of years or miles. You should be able to find this information in your vehicle’s handbook.
If you’re particularly worried, you can keep an eye out for some signs that a timing belt is getting tired or damaged.
For example, if you hear a rubbing sound from the engine, it could be your timing belt. If you hear any unusual noise coming from your engine, then always switch off your car and have it checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
If your timing belt is broken altogether, your car won’t actually start as the camshaft won’t turn with the crankshaft. Therefore, it may simply be a box you tick if you ever find your car struggling to power up.
Working with a garage you can trust is more than common sense. Choosing a competent professional mechanic won’t just give you peace of mind, it can help keep costs down too!
We understand exactly what it’s like to have to deal with strange behaviour from a vehicle while on the move. Not everyone has the expertise to fix up their cars right away, of course – which is why we provide on-demand support to any motorists who head our way. Your timing belt isn’t something we expect you to know tons about – but it’s always a good idea to ask our team to give it a once over just in case. For example, you may find we spot an issue during your MOT.
Hearing odd noises coming from your four-wheeled friend can be worrying. Some people may even ignore the problem and hope it goes away on its own. Don’t risk further trouble!
Instead, take your car to your local service centre, and have an expert check your timing belt for wear and tear. They should be able to tell you whether or not the timing belt will need replacing, and if not, how long approximately until it will need it.
Our team has more than a few years behind us to know what to look for in timing belt wear, tear and outright failures. If you have any cause for concern, don’t be afraid to reach out to our team to give your vehicle the once or twice-over.
For reliability, expertise, top-notch service, and affordable rates, there is no better garage for you than Auto Inspire in local Chesterfield. With years of experience, you can count on our team to know our way around a timing belt or two! Just get in touch with us on 01246555995 or email us at [email protected], and let’s book an appointment for your timing belt today! Alternatively, we specialise in thorough MOT servicing, too!