What Happens When Your Timing Belt Breaks?

A timing belt is an engine's part that least comes up in auto conversations, and many people tend to ignore it. However, when it breaks, it can have serious repercussions on your car and cause detrimental damage to the engine.

But what's a Timing Belt?

A timing belt is an engine's component that facilitates synchronized rotation between the camshafts and the crankshaft. It controls the opening of the engine's cylinder valves during intake and exhaust stroke. Older cars utilized belts in the latter operations, and thus the name timing belt, however, modern cars use chains. Even so, breaking of a timing belt or chain can cause significant damage to your engine.

What are the Consequences of a Timing Belt Breaking?

The extent of damage that occurs when a timing belt breaks depends on an engine's configuration pattern. If a car is utilizing an interference engine, the damages are more detrimental. This is because apart from timing belts synchronizing rotation between the crankshaft and camshaft, it deters the piston and valves from colliding with each other inside the engine. So, if the timing belt breaks, the former and latter engine parts smash into each other leading to bent or broken valves, damaged engine blocks and cylinder heads, or dented pistons.

For non-interference engines, valves and pistons are housed in different compartments. So, if the timing belt breaks, the damages will not be as much as in the aforementioned engine configuration.

When should you have your Timing Belt Replaced?

The recommended duration required to replace a timing belt is after every 5 years or 60,000 miles. However, the duration varies between different types of timing belts. That's why you must always follow the manufacturer's directions. You may also talk to your local mechanic. More importantly, make sure the belt is properly timed after a replacement, because misaligned belts are more prone to breakages.

Timing Belt Replacements in Walnut Creek, CA

Timing belts are as important as any other component in your car. They should be regularly inspected and maintained. If you need timing belt replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle to Oakmont Auto Care today!