When it comes to your vehicle’s timing belt, the best thing you can do is follow the manufacturer’s recommend maintenance schedule. Waiting too long puts you at increased risk for the timing belt breaking, which can lead to thousands of dollars in engine damage!
Age is the most common reason your timing belt needs to be replaced. Warning signs leading up to belt failure include:
- Wear and tear.
Just like your tires, the belts in your vehicle can wear down with use. Material loss means the belt cannot grip as it should. If too worn, the rubber teeth may slip or lose grip completely.
The belt is kept at the appropriate tension with a tensioner or pulley. If this is misaligned, tension and heat can lead to failure.
Rubber breaks down in the heat of the engine. Cracking in the material is a sign of deteriorating rubber. This leaves the material at increased risk for breaking and the timing belt should be replaced right away.
- Shiny appearance.
When the belt appears shiny and glossy, called glazing, it is an indication that the belt is too stiff, not flexible as it should be.
Again, as with tires, water that cannot be dispersed away from the belt and pulleys causes the belt to float above the layer of water. This can create a loss of power.
If material collects in the cross sections of the timing belt, it can prevent the belt from gripping as needed. You may notice noise and vibration.
With normal wear and tear, missing material can also change the length of the belt. This can be adjusted by the tensioner or replaced if the belt is too far gone.
These warning signs apply to all of the belts in your vehicle. The timing belt can be tricky to spot due to its location in the engine. Have a certified technician inspect your vehicle regularly and follow the recommended maintenance schedule for timing belt replacement.
To schedule your next inspection, request an appointment at our Colorado Springs auto repair shop.