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 Do you know what a timing belt is and what happens if this part is broken? Long story short, if it breaks, your car might cease working immediately. Thus, it’s advisable that car owners learn the bad timing belt symptoms and get it serviced anytime they suspect a defective one!  

In today’s post, Driverevolve will discuss what a timing belt is, the most common signs of a defective one, and its replacement cost.

What Is A Timing Belt On A Car? 

Timing belts, often known as cambelts, are timing links for motors having wider boreholes and cycles. They play an essential part in how inner ignition motors perform.

The fittings regulate fuel consumption and exhaust gasses of the air-fuel combination and press the gaskets down as the gasoline combusts in the combustor.
Timing belts help with the ignition process. – Mechanic Nerang 

They synchronize camshaft and crankshaft motion; as both shafts work harmoniously, the gaskets and fittings will work at full capacity. 

When Should You Change Your Timing Belt? 

Timing belts are solid and reliable but cannot last forever due to persistent pressure and operation in high-temperature contexts. However, many drivers overlook the importance of replacing these belts on a routine schedule.

The exact time will vary depending on the automaker and model of every car, so read your car’s manual for detailed guidance.

There may be no apparent signs of timing belt going bad in many situations. Frequently, it simply shatters. As a result, preventative measures and early detection are the most effective strategies for these belts.

What Happens If Your Timing Belt Fails? 

A few motor parts might fail without sparking severe damage; you can head to a service center and get that component changed without issue. However, this is not true of a timing belt.

Once the timing belt shatters, your crankshaft rotates at 1000 RPM while your camshaft stops spinning. Consequently, the pistons will keep pounding on their cylinders, potentially striking the valves.
A failing timing belt will interrupt the operation of the whole machine. – Student Lesson 

Once the timing belt shatters, your crankshaft rotates at 1000 RPM while your camshaft stops spinning. Consequently, the pistons will keep pounding on their cylinders, potentially striking the valves.

When this takes place, the pistons will break the cylinders, gaskets, and cylinder tips. The impairment is almost immediate since everything occurs so fast.

5 Common Bad Timing Belt Symptoms You Should Know 

A Tick-tock Sound From The Motor

If you notice a tick-tock sound from your vehicle’s motor, it might suggest a broken timing belt. The timing belts in your cars are connected to the motor’s crankshaft and camshaft via winches.

The crankshaft drives the motor's linking rails which work closely with pistons within the combustor. On the flip side, the camshaft controls the piston fittings and rocker arm setup, which directs gasoline into the combustor.
A broken timing belt creates a tick-tock sound within your motor compartment. – Car Parts

 The crankshaft drives the motor’s linking rails which work closely with pistons within the combustor. On the flip side, the camshaft controls the piston fittings and rocker arm setup, which directs gasoline into the combustor.

The exhaust fumes are afterward ejected via the tailpipe. Once your vehicle’s timing belt degrades, you might hear a clock noise within the engine. This may also be an obvious sign of reduced oil pressure.

Your Car’s Engine Won’t Turn Over

Your motor won’t be capable of igniting or turning over effectively if your timing belts are faulty. As you start the car, you might notice the engine start working. However, as the timing belt operates the crank and shaft, the ignition will fail.

You won't be capable of driving your vehicle if your timing belt breaks. The timing belt usually breaks while the automobile is moving. This might severely damage other parts, such as the rocker's arms, pushing rods, and gaskets.
Your engine won’t be able to turn over. – AutoInfluence  

And since the timing belt usually breaks while the automobile is moving, this might severely damage other parts, such as the rocker’s arms, pushing rods, and gaskets.

An Oil Leak Near The Engine

Oil leaking is another symptom that your timing belts might have been in poor condition. If you see oil near the motor or notice your car leaking oil when parked, you may have a spill, usually coming from the timing belt wrap.

Although your timing belt wrap is held in place by a set of fasteners and screws, it will likely become loosened over time.
An oil leak in the engine compartment is also a sign of a bad timing belt. – Exotic Auto Services

Although your timing belt wrap is held in place by a set of fasteners and screws, it will likely become loosened over time. And since it’s in direct contact with the fuel line, a loose belt wrap inevitably causes leakage.

An oil spill can also occur if the piston around the motor compartment and the timing wrap goes bad or cracks. This can result in your motor’s excessive heat and many other costly maintenances.

Emission Issues

If your vehicle’s emission releases much more fumes than usual, it might be due to a timing belt problem. This may cause your motor to struggle more than it should in an effort to perform under pressure, resulting in pricey fixes. Because of this additional effort, your vehicle will emit more fumes.

Your Revs’ Strange Behaviors

If your rotations per minute gauge have begun to behave strangely, it might indicate a problem with the timing belts. Whether the belt possesses a broken tooth or has entirely shattered, it might significantly impact your vehicle’s RPM gauge.

Timing Belt Replacement Cost: How Much Does It Take?

Compared to other parts’ bills (for example, the heater core replacement cost), the expense to replace a timing belt is far more expensive. 

Since your timing belt isn’t easily accessible on many cars, some dismantling and reinstallation are required to access this belt. Furthermore, people tend to ignore the problem at early stages; thus, they usually wait until the issue is severe and affects other components, ìnlicting extra expenses.

Indeed, when your timing belt falls flat, the fittings cannot open and close at the proper times. They will attack other components, requiring costly fixes that will charge around $2,000 if the vents, water pumps, and pistons are all broken.
Dealing with the consequences of a bad timing belt might be highly pricey. – MTA Queensland 

Indeed, when your timing belt falls flat, the fittings cannot open and close at the proper times. They will attack other components, requiring costly fixes that will charge around $2,000 if the vents, water pumps, and pistons are all broken. 

If your pistons are unaffected, anticipate spending between $500 and $1,000 in service and component fees. In the best-case scenario, if your timing belt is the only thing that needs to be replaced, the whole thing would cost between $300 and $500 (comparable to the tie rod end replacement cost). 

Most automakers advise changing the timing belts after 70,000 to 90,000 miles. 

Wrapping Up 

The 5 bad timing belt symptoms above will save you big bucks and prevent inflicting further damage. You might think the timing belt isn’t a critical component; it works with crucial engine parts that can instantly shut down the whole mechanism. And most of the time, as the early signs of a defective one aren’t clear, it’s best to have your timing belt checked routinely.

For more content like this, refer to our Fun Autopart section.   

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