A timing belt or cam belt is a toothed belt, generally made of rubber and webbing. It’s there to synchronise the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft(s), ensuring the efficient and smooth running of an engine. Each make, model and engine type has a recommended replacement interval. It’s important to change the timing belt kit at the recommended intervals, here’s why:
The timing belt has to work quite hard as it runs over a tensioner and toothed pulleys to keep the engines valves opening and closing at the proper times. Over time the rubber and webbing of the belt can perish or stretch. In worst case scenarios the belt can snap, which often causes expensive internal damage to the engine.
Tensioners and idlers can also deteriorate over time as the bearings wear. This can cause a belt to ‘jump’, meaning the timing is not running in synchronicity. This can result in poor running or possible piston and valve damage.
We always recommend replacing the whole timing belt, tensioner kit and sometimes the water pump, rather than just the belt. This is also because manufacturers will not warranty a belt changed on its own. So if the idlers are worn and cause any damage, there is no comeback. Not a great scenario!
Everyone knows the difference between a quality and budget tyre. So because timing belts are made from similar materials the quality can differ in the same way.
Gates are one of the market leaders in original equipment timing belt kits which is why we fit them. You can find out more about them here
It’s not easy to check timing belts either because they are hidden under a cover. A visual inspection may not be enough anyway. This is where the recommended replacement intervals come in. These intervals differ from make, model and engine.
However, not all vehicles have timing belts, some have timing chains and these have a much longer replacement interval.
You can usually find information about your vehicles recommended replacement intervals in the owners handbook. If not, contact us here with your vehicle details and we’ll look it up for you.