The timing belt is a rubber belt found in the engine compartment behind the drive belts. Its duty is to keep the crankshaft rotating in sync with the camshaft(s), making sure the proper timing and operation of the engine valves and the other components are observed. Timing belts do fail or brake and this would require a complete replacement. Below are steps to go about the replacement
- Remove components needed to gain access to the engine timing cover.
- Take off the engine timing cover, check the timing belt and pulleys for required parts.
- Take out and replace the timing belt, water pump, pulleys, and tensioners.
- Reinstall the timing cover and replace removed parts.
- Start the engine and check for normal engine operation and engine timing, and any cooling system leaks.
During replacement of a timing belt, also make provision to replace the water pump, tensioner, and pulleys because suppose the pulleys and tensioners fail after only changing the belt, it can lead to valve or piston damage and create expensive repairs thus to ensure the engine runs properly, It is therefore imperative to replace the whole set.
Following the maintenance routine provided by the manufacturer and replace the timing belt as recommended by them too. 60% of cars have their water pumps driven by the timing belt. The labor cost of changing the water pump is significantly greater than the cost of the pump. So it is cost effective replacing the water pump while replacing the timing belt. Replacement of the timing belt pulleys and tensioners is recommended. The tensioner applies pressure to the timing belt keeping it tight and firm, while the pulleys maintain the timing belt in line. These parts are sealed units that contain bearings however, because they cannot be lubricated on a regular basis, this bearings wear out over time and may seize, causing the timing belt to pull off causing major internal engine damage.
Symptoms to show Timing Belt replacement?
- Abnormal squeaking from the timing cover section.
- If the timing belt gets broken, the car will not start
Ignoring replacing a timing belt as a part of a routine maintenance, may lead to major engine break down the road. Hence do not wait for the timing belt to break, it should be serviced regularly.