The timing belt or chain is an essential component for the operation of modern engines. Timing belts are subject to considerable forces, which cause them to wear out. How are belts made and what are they for? How often should it be replaced? Read on!
Unlike the metal chain, the timing belt is made of rubber. This material, in combination with other materials, provides a certain flexibility. There is also no risk that the elements will stretch.
And what is the inside of this car responsible for? The job of the belt is to transmit energy from the crankshaft to the timing drive and all its moving parts, for example camshaft gears. Check out the strongest timing belts and find out why you should replace them regularly!
How are timing belts made?
There are 4 main components to the construction of each rod. This is:
- Synthetic rubber back
- Fiberglass cable
- Gear of various forms of synthetic rubber
- An additional layer that strengthens the gear surface
Each timing belt is made the same way and has these 4 components. They have a direct impact on its properties.
What does a timing belt do?
It’s hard to talk about the blade itself without considering the parts that work with it. What elements make the timing belt do its job? First of all, for the operation of the belt you will need:
- Guide roller
The rubber rear runs along the path of the tensioner and roller. Therefore it must be slippery enough so as not to cause unnecessary friction.
On the other hand, the reinforced teeth are between the gear elements, for example to an injection pump or camshaft. Therefore, they must be very strong so as not to break under the influence of work.
How to use the timing belt correctly?
When driving a car, the driver has little influence on the operation of the belt. It is mounted on the wheel, tensioner and roller, so that its position does not change. It’s also hard to break. Therefore, the most important thing is the assembly itself.
What to do with this component before attaching it to the timing gear? Do not bend the timing belt more than the manufacturer recommends. When you take an item out of its packaging, do not try to put it back in. Proper belt tension is also important and has an impact on its service life.
What are the bad signs on the timing belt?
It’s hard to judge whether an item has been damaged or not before you see how it is. By itself, it does not provide any major symptoms.
One exception is noise emanating from under the timing cover, which could indicate damage to the timing belt, tensioner, or rollers themselves. However, you should never guess that something is wrong. It is best to look at the rope. It should really be replaced if:
- Has visible blisters on the surface
- It’s so loose
- Is it delamination or the gear are worn
When to replace the timing belt?
To prevent the timing belt from breaking, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for periodic replacement. It would also be a good idea to shorten the interval a bit, which you can read about in the manual. A mileage of 93,000 miles (150,000 kilometers) should indicate that the old timing belt should be replaced.
Also remember that even a car that is not used very often may require a belt replacement. Rubber loses its properties over time. Therefore, even if you do not achieve the assumed mileage, and the belt is more than 5 years old, you should still replace it.
What should be replaced along with the timing belt?
Most often, time-driving service includes not only the installation of a new belt. Other components don’t necessarily wear out with it. However, it is recommended that, together with the belt, it is worth replacing such parts as:
- Guide roller
- Water pump
Of course, it is not always necessary to replace these elements with new ones. This has to be decided by a mechanic. If you know the mechanism and you can unequivocally assess the condition of the part, make up your own mind.
What are the consequences of a damaged timing belt?
While the loss of continuity of the V-belt is not much of a concern, a broken timing belt can be fatal. Valve opening times vary due to loss of drive on the camshaft sprocket. As a result, the piston collides with the valve. Such failure has serious consequences.
You need to regenerate the heads, and sometimes even replace the pistons. Therefore, these engine are suitable for major overhauls, which can cost up to thousands of dollars.
Timing belt replacement yourself or at a workshop?
You can replace the timing drive yourself. A lot depends on the space in the room and the model you have. You will need some socket wrenches, as well as a timing wrench. For engines with a longitudinal position, you usually do not need to remove any additional parts other than the radiator fan.
In transverse engines, it is necessary to remove the wheel and disassemble the wheel arch. The most difficult task awaits the owner of a car whose timing drive is located on the side of the gearbox.
Is it necessary to replace the timing belt regularly? Yes of course. Even if it shows no signs of wear, but is more than 5 years old, you need to think about replacing it.
How much does it cost to replace the timing belt? Prices can fluctuate significantly. Usually timing belt replacement costs range from $500 – $1000. However, even a slightly larger expense won’t let you down. The service charge compared to a massive engine overhaul is not much, right?