What Happens When Your Timing Belt Breaks?

You really don't want your vehicle's timing belt to break. A damaged timing belt can cause expensive engine damage. To avoid this, replace the timing belt at the appropriate mileage intervals. Let's delve deeper into timing belts.

Timing Belt Specifications

Rubber timing belts have ridges which fit into the camshaft's teeth which then controls the crankshaft and valves. These piston-connected parts turn the camshaft, which opens and closes the valves via the crankshaft and pistons.

Why Is It Called a Timing Belt?

The timing belt regulates the valve and piston timing. They will collide if they do not open and close when it is their turn in the revolution. A car engine turns at thousands of revolutions per minute, and if the timing is even slightly off, a massive internal collision occurs.

Timing Belt Failure

When a timing belt fails, you will first hear a lot of noise before your engine completely shuts down, leaving you stranded. Even if you're driving fast on the highway, your car will literally come to a halt. Worst of all? You won't be able to start the engine again because it is beyond repair.

The camshaft first stops moving, and all timing is lost. The pistons then collide with the valves, damaging both. Depending on how hard the pistons and valves collide, the cylinder walls may be decimated. The broken timing belt effectively destroys this section of the engine.

As you might expect, repairing this isn't cheap. Depending on the extent of the timing belt damage, you may require a partial engine replacement. Many people avoid replacing their timing belts because it can be expensive, but it will cost much more if the belt fails, so don't fall into this trap.

When Should I Replace My Timing Belt?

Check your owner's manual for your vehicle's make and model's suggestion. Don't exceed your car's mileage limit. Getting a timing belt replacement is a lot cheaper than repairs.


If your vehicle needs a timing belt replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Auto Pro in Reading, PA today!

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