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What Does a Timing Belt Do?

Unless you have worked on cars, you are probably not aware of what the timing belt does for your car. You may have heard of it, and you may have had one replaced at one time, but you probably don’t know much more except that it is an expensive repair. Instead of just handing over money to the mechanic, it is a good idea to learn what the timing belt does and why it is so expensive to fix.

Timing Belt Function

A timing belt is made out of rubber. Most cars have a timing belt although there are some that may have timing gears or a timing chain. The belt has a smooth side and a side that includes teeth. The teeth of the belt work to turn the camshaft in time with the crankshaft. The camshaft controls the opening and closing of the valves in the car. The crankshaft helps to turn the pistons. It is important that these things move in proper unison for the car to run correctly.

What happens when the Timing Belt Fails?

Timing belts can fail in many different ways. Because they are typically made of rubber, they can deteriorate over time. If some of the teeth of the belt are damaged or broken or if the belt breaks completely, the engine can be damaged. The crankshaft and camshaft will not be moving as they should and the valves of the car could be stuck open.

There are many ways to prevent a timing belt failure. While there could be warning signs that there are problems with the belt, but that is not always the case. It is better to have the timing belt inspected as part of the regular maintenance of the vehicle. Timing belts will typically start to show signs of wear and damage after about 60,000 miles.

Replacing a timing belt can easily cost over $500. Most of that cost is the labor involved. It takes time to remove the old belt and to put the new. There are some that think this is the type of repair they can do on their own. That is not always the best idea.

To get the job done right, contact a professional at Lorentz Automotive today to find out if your timing belt needs replacement.

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Timing Belt