A timing belt, which is also known as a timing belt or cambelt, is a toothed belt which keeps the top half of the engine (the cylinder head and valves) aligned and synchronised with the crankshaft and pistons in the bottom of the engine. This then allows the values and pistons to move in harmony with each other.
The tension of the timing belt is critical. If it’s too loose, it could slip a tooth and damage the engine but if it is too tight, it will place excessive strain on the associated engine components.
When a timing belt is faulty and comes apart, the pistons in the engine will collide with the valves in the cylinder head, generally causing the valves to bend or brake. The stress of the impact can also cause damage to cylinder heads, cam shafts, valve guides and rockers. Also, in extreme cases, pistons can be subject to damage which is often expensive to repair.
BELT SERVICE INTERVALS?
The lifespan of a timing belt is affected by mileage, wear and tear, and essentially deteriorates with age. Vehicle manufacturers will tend to specify when the belt should be replaced. This ranges from 60,000 miles or six years, to 10 years or 150,000 miles.
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