Many drivers may ignore certain parts of their car, like the timing belt, yet it can severely ruin your vehicle if broken. Some components may only cause minor damages and others major. Minor damages may allow you to drive to a mechanic, but in serious cases like a broken timing belt, it shuts down your vehicle instantly.
What is a Timing Belt?
A timing belt is a rubber-like chain with hard teeth that synchronizes the crankshaft and camshaft movements in the engine. It ensures the engine's intake and exhaust valves open and closes within the pistons in time to allow air and gasoline in and out. This enables fuel ignition in the combustion chamber.
Unsynchronized crankshaft and camshaft movements cause improper vehicle functioning and damage the engine.
What Happens When a Timing Belt Breaks?
Depending on your engine type, two scenarios occur when a timing belt breaks. The valves and pistons are separately housed if your vehicle is a non-interference engine. So when the timing belt breaks, they are not damaged severely. Therefore, you can bring your car to the auto repair shop for replacements.
However, if your vehicle is an interference engine, the timing belt prevents the pistons and valves from crashing into each other. When it breaks, you will first hear a lot of noise. The crankshaft continues to spin, but the camshaft stops. The pistons keep rising and falling, and the components crash into each other since there is no synchronization.
After a few seconds, your vehicle instantly stops. This leaves the pistons severely damaged and sometimes the cylinder or the whole block. To prevent such damages, change the timing belt as recommended.
How Often Should the Timing Belt be Replaced?
You can check the manufacturer's manual for guidance, but experts recommend replacement every 60,000 to 100,000 miles. Always check your odometer to keep track of mileage. Also, keep checking the condition of your timing belt.
Changing your timing belt as recommended can save you from significant losses in the future. Still, have regular vehicle maintenance, and if you need timing belt replacement, bring your car to City Garage today.