21. What is a Timing Belt1

What is a Timing Belt – How to Replace It

Read Time:7 Minute, 41 Second

Timing belts, also known as cambelts, are crucial for keeping internal combustion engines running in automobiles. Your vehicle’s pistons and valves will function properly if the timing belt does its job of synchronizing crankshaft and camshaft rotation. This is significant because your car’s valves control how much fuel/air mixture is injected into the combustion chamber, how much exhaust gas is released, and how much pressure your pistons are under.

What is A Timing Belt

To keep all the internal moving parts of an engine in sync, think of a timing belt as the bike chain for your car. The water pump, oil pump, and injection pump are occasionally powered by it as well.

The camshafts and crankshaft’s cogwheels engage with the timing belt’s hard teeth on a rubber belt. The crankshaft and camshaft motions are synchronized by it. By doing this, the engine’s intake and exhaust valves are guaranteed to open and close in sync with the pistons. The car won’t run right if the crankshaft and camshafts aren’t working together as they should.

Inadequate combustion and power loss may result from intake valves opening too early, which could result in an excessive flow of fuel-air mixture into the engine’s combustion chamber. A power loss will result from the combustion chamber losing pressure if the exhaust valves open too early. If the engine’s parts are badly out of sync, they could collide and harm one another, requiring expensive repairs.

What A Timing Belt Is Made Of

Timing belts today are made of rubber, synthetic rubbers like neoprene, polyurethane, or highly saturated nitrile, and reinforcing cords with high tensile strengths made of Kevlar, polyester, or fiberglass. The belt will be reinforced along its entire length to lessen its propensity to stretch out over time. Timing belts have teeth that are cut into one of the sides that are trapezoidal or curvilinear. These teeth are uniquely sized and shaped to fit correctly with the pulleys on the crankshaft and the camshaft.

For lubrication and protection, oil will flow over timing chains in engines. Oil can damage rubber, so engines with rubber timing belts will typically be constructed in a “dry” setup, where oil or coolant does not interact with the belt.

Cost Of A Timing Belt

Your car’s valves won’t be properly synced up when a timing or cam belt is malfunctioning, which increases the risk of piston damage. If several parts are harmed as a result of a bad timing belt, you could end up paying up to $2,000 for this. Tyler and Longview drivers should be prepared to spend upwards of $1,000 for a new timing belt in addition to labor costs if they are able to bring their vehicle into a service center and have not sustained further damage. The timing belt on your car should typically be changed every 60,000 to 100,000 miles.

Timing Belt Vs. Timing Chain

You might have a timing chain rather than a timing belt depending on the model of your car. Although a timing chain is made of metal rather than rubber, it performs the same function as a belt. Timing belts gained popularity after their introduction in the 1960s due to their lighter weight and quieter operation.

Modern cars have switched back to using timing chains because of advancements in design and long lifespan. You might be able to go longer between timing chain replacements if your car has a timing chain rather than a timing belt. Remember to always double-check by consulting your owner’s manual or giving us a call.

Read More:

Signs Your Car Needs A New Timing Belt

Under your hood, whether you have a rubber belt or a timing chain, issues with either component are simple to identify. Look over the following warning signs, and if you suspect your car is exhibiting any of them, make an appointment for service at the nearby Marshall service center in Longview, operated by Peters Chevrolet Buick Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat. Here are problems with a timing belt you can look out for:

  • The engine misfires
  • Ticking noise coming from the engine
  • Oil leaks from the front of the motor
  • The engine acts up between 2000 – 4000 RPM
  • More smoke and fumes than normal
  • The engine won’t turn over

Get More Car Maintenance Tips From Peters Chevrolet Buick Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat

Contact Peters Chevrolet Buick Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Fiat if you have any further inquiries about your vehicle’s timing belt or believe you may have a damaged one. Our helpful staff members will be able to assist you and even set up a time for you to come in for service. Check out our available parts if you need new auto parts or accessories for your vehicle, such as the RAMBox Cargo Management System. You can also check to see if certain parts are protected by your Chevy, Chrysler, Jeep, RAM, or Dodge warranty.

When Should The Timing Belt Be Changed?

The mileage intervals your vehicle’s manufacturer advises for timing belt replacement are crucial. Although every manufacturer is unique, it should typically be changed every 60,000–100,000 miles. The owner’s manual for your car will list the suggested interval for your particular vehicle.

The timing belt will deteriorate over time and eventually break because it is made of rubber. When it malfunctions, the engine will either stop working or its parts will be out of sync, harming the engine.

If you don’t change the timing belt when it needs to be, you risk having an entirely failed engine, broken or bent valves, damaged cylinder heads or camshafts, damaged pistons, and damaged cylinder walls. If something isn’t broken, don’t fix it is not a safe approach in this circumstance.’ To avoid spending thousands of dollars on engine repair or replacement, replace the timing belt in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.

What Is A Bad Timing Belt Caused Problems?

In the majority of modern engines, the pistons and valves share the same space in the cylinder during various phases of the combustion cycle. They’re referred to as interference engines. This may seem like a bad idea because it could result in a collision between the two parts, but it is actually done to increase efficiency and power because the cylinder’s smaller volume enables higher compression.

Modern interference engines cannot withstand a broken timing belt without suffering significant damage, unlike older vehicles with non-interference engines. Modern engines require their pistons and valves to share the same space in the cylinder, so if the timing belt snaps, the camshaft won’t open the valves in the correct order, which could lead to a collision between the pistons and the valves, seriously damaging the engine.

If this occurs, the cost of the engine repair is frequently high or even impossible, forcing the owner to either replace the engine or buy a completely new car.

21. What is a Timing Belt2

Do I Need To Change Additional Parts At The Same Time?

The tensioner pulley, idler pulleys, and crankshaft and camshaft pulleys are all components of the timing system in the majority of vehicles that use a timing belt. Checking the condition of your crankshaft and camshaft pulleys for wear is prudent when replacing your timing belt. The cost of the tensioner pulley and any idler pulleys in the system should be replaced as well because they will be relatively inexpensive compared to the overall cost and labor of the repair.

It is a good idea to replace the water pump as well when replacing the timing belt because it is driven by the timing belt in many engines. All of these parts can often be found in what’s referred to as a “timing belt kit” which will contain the belt, all necessary pulleys and tensioners that operate the belt, and many times the water pump as well.

Timing belt replacement is a difficult project, so if you do decide to attempt it by yourself, be sure to seek advice from professionals and consult shop manuals before you begin. In order for the engine to run correctly, the crankshaft and camshaft pulley positions must be kept very precisely in place.

AutoZone can assist you whether you need Reliable Advice on choosing the appropriate parts for the job or specialized tools to complete your car repair. If you need assistance, supplies, or tools to successfully replace your timing belt, visit online or in-store.

It can be a labor-intensive task to replace a timing belt, so if you need assistance, look for one of the Preferred Shops on our list in your neighborhood!


A timing belt is a strong, rubbery strap that synchronizes the crankshaft and camshaft motion of an engine.

The crankshaft is the component that transforms the motion of the pistons inside the cylinders into the rotational motion that is transferred to the transmission and ultimately to the wheels that move the vehicle. As the crankshaft rotates, it opens and closes the valves that allow the air and fuel mixture to enter the cylinders, and this process must occur in sync with the movement of the crankshaft.

Average Rating

5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

8. What to Do When Your Car Overheats1 Previous post What to Do When Your Car Overheats – Causes & Reasons
22. Timing Belt vs Serpentine Belt1 Next post Timing Belt vs Serpentine Belt – Are They The Same