Timing Belt Service

Timing Belt Service

A timing belt (sometimes called a cam belt) controls engine valve timing in an internal combustion engine. The timing belt is one of the few engine belts that has not been replaced by the serpentine belt; while the serpentine belt took over many jobs and thus made obsolete most other engine belts, the timing belt remains a vital and independent engine belt.

The timing belt is connected to the crankshaft on one end, and the camshaft on the other. The camshaft, in turn, controls the engine valves’ opening and closing. In some makes and models, the timing belt may also control the water pump and/or oil pump.

The timing belt is most commonly used, but in the past a timing chain was more common. A timing chain performs the same role and some cars still use a chain. The names strictly denote what materials the belts are made out of: a timing chain is a metal link chain, whereas a timing belt is made of a rubber composite.

Most cars use a timing belt because they are quieter and allow more flexibility in the placement of the crankshaft and camshaft, which overall allows more design flexibility for the car as a whole. Timing chains are still used in some models because they are more durable.

It is imperative to replace your timing belt at the manufacturer’s recommendation. Depending on the manufacturer, the distance or time between replacements will vary, but on average you want to replace the timing belt every 100,000 miles. If you do not replace the timing belt, the result could be catastrophic engine failure.




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3880 Wilson Ave
San Diego, CA 92104
Telephone: (619) 758-98301