Everything You Need to Know About Your Timing Belt

The timing belt plays a crucial part in your car's engine that you may have never even heard of. If you have, you might not know how it works. Nevertheless, just like your tires and fluids, over time, they should get replaced. We will give you a complete rundown of your timing belt, how it works, and what symptoms look out for when it is overworn.


What Is a Timing Belt?

In summary, the timing belt regulates the movement of parts in the vehicle engine for precise timing and optimal performance. Metaphorically speaking, the system of parts operates like an analog clock with lots of gears — it can be pretty complex.


How Does a Timing Belt Work?

To be more precise, the timing belt connects the crankshaft and camshaft, and it synchronizes their movement and the engine's valves and pistons to prevent failure. The crankshaft converts power generated by the pistons' linear movement to turn the wheels. The camshaft then opens and closes the engine's valves to allow air and gas to circulate in and out of the machine. The timing belt also works to prevent the pistons and valves from colliding. The pistons and valves have to work hand in hand to keep the engine running smoothly. If it is off by one second, the engine will completely shut down. 


Symptoms of An Aging Timing Belt

As with all your other car parts, the timing belt will wear out over time, which is why manufacturers recommend replacement within a specific timeframe. If you are unsure what that is, refer to your owner's manual, considering it is an excellent place to find detailed information on your vehicle.


Here are the warning signs of an old timing belt to look out for:


  • Your engine won't start for you
  • You hear an unusual, ticking noise coming from under the hood
  • Your engine happens to slip or misfire
  • Your engine begins to have rough performance
  • You notice your vehicle is performing poorly. An example would be lower gas mileage than usual.


It's crucial to follow your manufacturer's recommendations to avoid fatal engine failure. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, schedule a timing belt replacement as soon as possible. Give us a call or come by Mazur's Total Automotive today.