The Importance Of Timing Belt Replacement
An automobile is an amazing creation of mechanics. All parts work together to allow the superbly crafted vehicle to operate. Problems with one particular component can have an immediate and serious effect on other areas of the automobile. The timing belt is a critical piece to the engine.
The timing belt keeps a control over the engine camshafts. The camshafts are what let in needed air to create the combustion necessary for the engine and also let out the exhaust. The timing belt makes certain that the cams will turn at the right time, and are calibrated to move in concert with the pistons.
People will argue about the importance of the timing belt and it boils down to whether or not an engine is an “interference” or “non-interference” model. The difference between these two is that the interference engine has little space between the valves and pistons. If the timing belt has a malfunction, it can set a piston flying into an open valve and do serious damage to the engine. The non-interference engine has a little more space between the valves and pistons but difficulties with the belt can still cause serious problems. Timing belt failure can cause the engine to stop without warning. The result will be repairs of vehicle in the thousands of dollars.
Besides the cost of repair issue, there’s a very practical daily reason for keeping the timing belt in good order. Given how it helps air intake and exhaust, a good timing belt can actually increase the horsepower and gas mileage of the automobile. It also improves acceleration and in cars that are built for performance, all of these things make driving that much more enjoyable. Replacement of the timing belt puts a new piece into a high-performance picture. There is better combustion and it can help when driving on open road for long distances.
Detecting trouble with the timing belt isn’t difficult. The belt is made of synthetic rubber and if it shows signs of fraying or discoloration then it should be examined for possible replacement. If oil leaks are noticed in the car, it may be coming from seals that surround the belt itself. Oil on the belt can cause the rubber to corrode. The timing belt is important enough that it should not be a DIY project. Depending on the model of car and the placement of the timing belt and engine hoist may be needed to safely do the replacement. A mistake can result in damage to the engine. It makes more sense that a trained auto mechanic should be given the task.
Timing belt should be looked at when the car has been driven over 60,000 miles, and a clear idea can be gained by reading the owner’s manual regarding the maintenance. If the owner has purchased the car used, being able to checking the maintenance history of the car will definitely help. Changing the belt at that time is a measure of safety for the engine and can prevent a sudden breakdown. A good idea to consider when replacing the timing belt is take a good look at all the sprockets and tensioners that are part of the timing belt system.Replacing these at the same time of the timing belt makes things more efficient. The water pump might also need to be looked at to determine if perhaps it may need a new one installed.
Improved performance and safety are the most important reasons for a timing belt replacement. Having a car suddenly stop for what appears to be no reason is an extremely traumatic experience. It is not one that a car owner would ever want to have repeated. The replacement of the timing belt may be a little bit expensive but given the alternative that cost is not excessive. Of course, when it comes to costs the damage done by a faulty timing belt can stress a person’s finances to the limit. This is especially true if the individual happens to own a high-performance car such as a Mercedes or BMW. People who own those types of automobiles should be scrutinized the maintenance all the time. Replacement parts for much of the engine are simply too expensive. On the other side, the intervals between timing belt replacements are considerable. It may be possible that the owner will only have to do one such replacement in all the years he or she owns the vehicle.