How to Tell if Your Timing Belt is Failing

The timing belt of your car is responsible for the efficient performance of each cylinder. It syncs the crankshaft and camshaft so each part will fire at the right moment. Still, not all cars have a timing belt. This is usually found on models with large displacement engines.

Timing belts need to be in good condition at all times. If a timing belt breaks, it will damage the engine. It will lead to broken valves, destroyed cylinders, and a ruined piston. So before this happens, make sure that you watch out for these tell-tale signs of timing belt problems:

The engine won’t start

Since the timing belt holds the cam and crankshaft, the engine won’t turn over when you try to ignite it. At first, the engine will labor and will seem to engage. In the end, it will not start no matter how many times you try to crank it up.

A failing timing belt is just one of the possible reasons why an engine won’t turn over. Let an auto expert take a look on your vehicle to confirm your suspicion. If the timing belt indeed broke, you’ll need a replacement to hit the road again.

Oil leaks in front of the motor

Many possible failures can cause oil leaks in your car. When it’s left sitting, it will affect the timing belt. It will also make the engine overheat, which will cause premature wear and tear on the belt.

Even if your timing belt is intact, it’s best to fix oil leaks to experience the best performance on your engine.

The engine misfires

When the timing belt breaks, the performance of your vehicle will be compromised. If the belt happens to slip away from its position, it may cause a cylinder to fire at the wrong moment. Also, one of the cylinders may close too soon.

In this case, you’ll need a replacement belt to fix the issue. Using a broken timing belt will cause irreparable damages on the engine.

The oil pressure decreases

Take note that the timing belt is responsible for spinning the gear of the camshaft. When it skips or slips away, the camshaft may shatter to pieces. These pieces will fall into the oil pan. When this happens, the oil pressure at the bottom of the engine will decrease.

If you let this condition linger, your engine will soon fail entirely. The only way to fix this is to rebuild or replace the motor.

The engine emits smoke

You’ll know that’s something off your vehicle when smoke starts to billow from the hood. During winter, it can be tricky to tell if it’s smoke or steam coming from the tailpipe. If you think that it’s too much vapor for your car to emit, it’s best to take a quick check on your timing belt.

Final words  

Your car’s timing belt plays a vital role in the performance of each part. You have to ensure that it’s always in good condition.