If you’re wondering whether it’s time to replace the timing belt on your high-mileage car, good for you! The timing belt is a vital part of your vehicle’s engine, but it’s often neglected. And a broken timing belt can do real damage to an engine.
To help you understand how important it is to replace timing belt in Raleigh, NC, we’ve put together a little explanation of how it functions in your car.
Let’s start with a few basics:
What happens inside the engine?
You probably know your car’s engine works by creating tiny controlled explosions under the hood. The energy that’s produced in these explosions is what turns the wheels and propels your car forward.
These little explosions are initiated by several engine parts working together: the spark plugs, the valves, and the pistons. The pistons and valves move up and down to regulate the intake and compression of air, which is ignited by the spark plugs.
The camshaft sits above the valves in most engines (that’s an overhead cam) and controls the opening and closing of the valves. It’s a precisely timed process, and if it goes out of whack, the engine doesn’t fire correctly.
This is where the timing belt comes in. The timing belt connects the cam to the engine crankshaft and keeps everything in sync. So this simple belt, usually made out of rubber composite, is what keeps your car’s complex insides working.
What can go wrong with a timing belt?
A timing belt may lose some of its non-slip teeth from wear and tear. It can stretch out and become loose. Either of these will cause your car to run poorly. In the worst-case scenario, a timing belt can break. If this happens, your car will stop running immediately, and you’ll be stuck on the side of the road.
Depending on what type of engine your car has, a broken timing belt can do serious damage, including valves and pistons that are bent or broken, and in the unluckiest instances, a ruined cylinder head and block.
Not every car has a timing belt — check your owner’s manual to be sure. If it does, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for changing it out. It’s much easier to replace timing belt in Raleigh, NC than it is to replace an engine.