Signs It’s Time to Get a New Timing Belt

August 25, 2021

Do you know the signs that it’s time to change your timing belt? Be honest: do you know what a timing belt is and what it does? If you’re like most drivers, it’s just another part that can potentially break and lead to a new round of car repairs.

Your timing belt plays an important supporting role to your engine. The timing belt is made of rubber and wraps around wheels and gears. When it functions properly, this piece of super-durable rubber ensures that all the pistons and valves in your engine move in sync. The timing belt regulates the rotations of the crankshaft and camshaft.

Your timing belt usually wears out somewhere between 60,000 and 100,000 miles—but if you bought a pre-owned vehicle, you might not know when the timing belt was last replaced. Here’s how to tell it’s time to get a new one, before disaster strikes:

  • Worn edges: Pop the hood of your car and look at the timing belt itself. What does it look like? Does the rubber look new, sturdy and strong, or does it have clear wear and tear? If the edges of your timing belt look like they’re worn down, it’s probably time to bring your vehicle in to the shop for timing belt replacement.
  • Cracks: As you’re looking at the timing belt, keep an eye out for cracks in the rubber. This indicates that there’s not just wear and tear, but your engine is running on borrowed time. If the cracks wear all the way through, your timing belt can break and your engine will be unable to run properly.
  • Loss of material: The timing belt can also lose material. If it seems to be missing “teeth,” that’s a sure sign that it’s time for a new timing belt.
  • Slipping: When your engine gets between 2,000 and 4,000 RPM, notice if it’s acting strangely. If you notice issues with the engine’s performance, it may be that the timing belt is slipping. This may be due to missing teeth. You might also notice slipping when you’re trying to accelerate.
  • Problems with starting and running: Since the timing belt is responsible for coordinating precise turns of the crankshaft and camshaft, problems with the belt will make everything seem off kilter. If you’ve noticed that you’re having trouble starting the engine and keeping it running, take your car in for an inspection.
  • Exhaust issues: If you’ve noticed that your vehicle is sending out a lot more exhaust than normal, it could be due to the timing belt. When there are problems with the belt, the engine has trouble running. The engine will compete with its own components, leading to inefficient combustion and a lot more smoke coming out the backside. If you notice this problem, take your car to your mechanic as soon as possible.

The importance of your timing belt can’t be overstated—so if you’ve noticed any of the problems above, bring your car to AAA Sandoval Transmissions for a timing belt replacement.

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