Auto Repair > Timing Belt
San Carlos Timing Belt Repair & Service:
TIMING BELT EXPLAINED:
All vehicles with an internal combustion engine, meaning most engine types besides electric, are equipped with a timing belt. The purpose of this belt is to time the engine so valves, pistons and other internal parts move in unison. Failure to replace a worn timing belt can result in a stranded vehicle or, worse, a damaged engine. The owner's manual maintenance schedule is the source of timing belt replacement intervals, typically every 60,000 to 90,000 miles. Below is a picture of worn/cracking timing belt (Fig A). The picture next to it shows a timing belt aligned and timing the engine properly (Fig B). In Figure B, we see one of the more common failures starting to occur. The timing belt has cracks on the other side, as well. These cracks in the timing belt usually occur where the teeth extend from the timing belt. The teeth on a vehicles timing belt have been known to shred off the belt at these cracks causing serious damage to the motor.
When a timing belt breaks it can cause internal engine damage. Think "exploratory surgery" to find the damage a broken timing belt has caused. The picture below shows what happens when a timing belt breaks from age or excessive mileage. To access the valve and piston the engine had to be removed and separated. A broken belt will typically bend valves and in some cases even drive a valve through the piston (Fig c.) & (Fig d.)
Preventing Timing Belt Failure:
At A+ Japanese Auto Repair we highly stress preventative maintenance over costly repairs. Our clients are always made aware of the intervals the factory recommends. Please contact us today or stop by if you are unaware of your timing belt interval. If a timing belt is changed as recommended, there is no reason for any of the above to happen. Please note: When it comes to timing belts not all timing belts are created equally! A timing belt is typically rubber with high strength fibers running through the timing belt. Usually, these timing belt fibers are Kevlar. On some of the belts we have also seen fiberglass used as the timing belt tensioner fibers. The timing belt is mainly composed of rubber. Rubber degrades with higher temperatures, and with contact to engine oil and other petroleum products. So, keep in mind the life expectancy of a timing belt is lowered in vehicles that run hot or have engine oil leaks in the timing cavity. Newer or more expensive belts are made of temperature resistant materials such as "highly saturated nitrile". These types of belts are becoming more available and A+ Japanese Auto Repair makes sure to give you all options when it comes to replacement of your timing belt.