What Is a Timing Belt & When Should You Replace It?

Your car's timing belt is a sturdy rubber strap with rigid notches on its inner surface. It is responsible for synchronizing the movement of your crankshaft and camshaft, so the valves open and close at the right time during the intake and exhaust phases.

When a car's timing belt breaks, the engine stops working. While the crankshaft keeps turning, the camshaft stops rotating. The pistons continue to rise and fall and may collide with the valves. A snapped timing belt can cause serious, or in some cases, permanent damage to the engine. If you drive with a damaged timing belt, your car can break down and you may have to get it towed to the nearest car repair shop.

The number one cause of timing belt damage is routine wear and tear. It is made of rubber and can stretch when exposed to heat. If your engine overheats, the timing belt can develop cracks. Timing belt damage can also be caused by misalignment, an unstable drive mechanism (often caused by an overly vibrating drive belt), damaged or worn-out pulleys, foreign objects in the timing pulley or drive, and a belt that's not tensioned properly.

Some vehicles come equipped with timing belts, while others use timing chains. Timing chains tend to be more rugged, noisier, and longer-lasting than timing belts. Typically, a timing chain requires less frequent maintenance than a timing belt. Because timing chains are made of metal instead of rubber (and are hence more durable), they can go longer than timing belts before needing to be replaced.

If you are looking for Timing Belt Replacement Near You in Santa Rosa then reach out to the experts at GreenTech Automotive.

When to Replace the Timing Belt?

If your timing belt breaks, the engine may either shut down or its component can become misaligned, leading to engine damage. A good rule of thumb is to replace your timing belt every 60k-120k miles. Check your user manual to find the manufacturer’s recommended timing belt replacement interval. Timely timing belt replacement can help prevent costly problems and headaches down the road.

Signs it's Time to Replace Your Timing Belt

Some common signs your timing belt is broken and needs to be replaced immediately include-overheating, engine power loss, weird squealing or rubbing noises coming from the belts, vibrations, starting problems, oil leaks, ticking noise coming from the engine, and check engine light coming on.

Like every other car component, the timing belt deteriorates with time and will eventually need to be replaced. Regular timing belt maintenance can help reduce wear and tear on your timing belt and ensure that it lasts longer.

Whether your car needs an oil change or your timing belt is acting up, GreenTech Automotive can help. Our mechanics have years of experience servicing different types of cars. To schedule car maintenance, call (707) 545-7076.