Your car has various belts under the hood that perform different functions, such as running the cooling system and air conditioning fans. The most important belt in any vehicle is typically the timing belt. This keep's the engine's camshaft and crankshaft turning at the correct rate. In turn, the camshaft opens and closes valves for the intake and the exhaust. This is all done with precise timing to allow the engine to run efficiently. That's why it's called the "timing belt."
What Happens When the Timing Belt Wears Out or Breaks?
Since the timing belt is composed of lightweight rubber materials, it is prone to get worn out over time. It can begin to slip on the gears its controlling or the material itself can begin to crack or fray. It could even snap completely without warning. This is especially careful to monitor here in Colorado because we have such extreme changes in weather throughout the year. Cold winters and warm summers will have very different effects on the belts, hoses, seals and gaskets in your vehicle.
How Often Should I Replace My Timing Belt?
The old rule of thumb used to be that the timing belt should be replaced about every 60,000 miles. In newer cars with more advanced technology and materials, that interval might be as high as 100,000 miles. The best thing you can do is to consult your owner's manual to see what your manufacturer recommends. You can also have your timing belt checked with any maintenance service visit, and a knowledgeable mechanic will be able to tell you when it's time to get it replaced.
Signs of a Failing Timing Belt
There are a few signs you can look for to know that your timing belt may be due for replacement:
• Ticking noise coming from engine compartment as you drive
• Engine is not turning over when you try to start it
• Oil leaks coming from the front of the motor
• Engine is misfiring
• Check engine light is on
• Visual inspection of timing belt shows wear or fraying
Colorado Springs Timing Belt Repair
If you notice any of these issues, you will want to get your timing belt looked at as soon as possible. In Colorado Springs, you can bring your vehicle to LightHouse Automotive for a thorough inspection, diagnosis and repairs. Whether it's your timing belt or something else, we'll fix the problem before it leads to more significant damage. For instance, if you ignore a bad timing belt and it ultimately snaps, it can really do a lot of damage to your engine and other components under the hood. That is not a chance most car owners are willing to take!
For any questions about timing belts or help with any automotive repairs or maintenance services you need, call LightHouse Automotive today at (719) 465-0302 or schedule your service appointment online.