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The Symptoms of a Failing Timing Belt

Timing Belt

The timing belt plays a vital role in your vehicle. It synchronizes the crankshaft’s rotation with the engine valves, allowing them to open and close at the correct times during the air intake and exhaust stroke. A damaged timing belt can bring the engine to its complete failure, that’s why it’s important to determine the problem on time and fix it. Let’s look at some most common symptoms of timing belt failure.

Ticking or clicking noises in the engine

You will start to hear a ticking or clicking sound in the engine if your timing belt wears out. Because the belt is attached through a series of pulleys to the engine’s cam and crankshaft, and the timing belt regulates those complex systems, if something is wrong with the belt or crankshaft, this sound indicates trouble. This sound can also mean low oil pressure, which in turn can affect the timing belt. There is a tensioner that keeps the belt taut, and the engine oil pressurizes that tensioner. If the tensioner has no oil pressure, the belt will become loose and possibly disengage from the pulleys or break. Additionally, if the camshafts don’t have enough to operate correctly, they will lock up, which can cause the timing belt to break.

Engine runs rough or misfires

A worn-out belt will affect the engine’s timing and can cause it to misfire. If the belt is worn or loose, it will slip and cause cylinders to open and close earlier than they should. If the timing belt is damaged, your engine will run rough, or not run at all. Engine misfiring is one of the main signs of the issue to be checked as soon as possible to prevent your engine from severe damages.

The engine won’t start

There are a lot of reasons your car won’t start, and a broken timing belt is one of the expensive ones. If your vehicle is not starting, there is a chance to diagnose the timing belt as well, because if you ignore this problem, you may have other serious issues with your engine which can cost you a lot. The easiest way to determine the timing belt problem is when it breaks while driving.

Squealing sounds

During accelerating, decelerating and braking, or just idling you may have noticed the squealing sound. There are a few possible causes for such noises to be coming from your car, and all of them might mean repairs. If it’s a worn out timing belt, take your car to a mechanic right away.


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