What is the purpose of a timing belt?
The operation of your car’s engine is very much dependent on the timing belt. The purpose of the timing belt is to connect the two shafts in your car engine (the Camshaft and the Crankshaft). The timing belt also makes the two shafts turn at the right time at the same time. This ensures that other components such as the pistons and valves are all moving at the right time. The timing belt makes your engine components run in time; it controls your engine’s valves’ opening and closing to let gas through them. It is important for the valves to open at the right time so that they do not come in contact with the pistons.
Why is it important to fix a broken timing belt?
The timing belt is made from rubber and with time, it breaks. When your car’s timing belt breaks, it will be impossible to move your car because the engine will not start until the belt is replaced and the engine re-timed. It is important to fix your timing belt as soon as possible because it runs a lot of important components of your car such as the engine itself, the air conditioner, the alternator and power steering pump. In older models of some cars, the timing belt change interval is around 60,000 miles while in more advanced and latest cars, the time belt change interval is around 100,000 miles. To be sure of your vehicle’s timing belt change interval, check your car’s owner’s manual. Fixing your broken timing belt is important in many ways and some of the benefits are outlined below;
- You get to enjoy better acceleration and horsepower with your car.
- Your vehicle’s gas mileage is increased.
- Complete prevention of unexpected and expensive repairs in your vehicle.
What happens if the timing belt is broken?
The timing belt usually does not show any signs that it is going to break. Not making a timing belt replacement could cause a lot of things which include failure of your car engine, broken valves, piston damage, cylinder damage, camshaft and cylinder wall damage. If your timing belt is broken, you will find it hard to drive your car and the best thing to do is to do a change as quickly as possible. Failure to change the belt could cause serious harm to your car’s engine.
However, the level of damage is dependent on the kind of engine your car has. If your car engine is a non-interference engine, your engine may not get damaged severely as the engine configuration does not put the valves and piston in the same space. If your engine is, however, an interference engine, a broken timing belt could make the valves and piston come in contact with each other leading to more severe damages to your car engine. Once you timing belt has been replaced, you should also check or replace the timing belt tensioner, water pump, cam seals and front oil seals.