What Happens When Your Timing Belt Breaks?

A timing belt is an engine component that synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and the camshaft. When it breaks, you will need to have your vehicle towed. So unlike other components in your engine that may break down but allow you to continue driving, the timing belt spells a lot of trouble. But what actually happens when the timing belt breaks?

Damage Caused by a Broken Timing Belt

When the timing belt breaks, the camshaft stops turning. However, the crankshaft continues to spin, meaning the pistons continue to rise and fall. This continuous motion will instantly damage the pistons, valves, and cylinder heads, giving you no allowance to move a few yards. Unfortunately, by the time the snap happens, the damage is already done.

How to Prevent Timing Belt Breaks

To prevent this from happening to you, here are some helpful tips:

  • Purchase a quality mechanic if you don't already have one.
  • If your car has more than 75,000 miles on it, have it checked.
  • Have a professional inspect the car from top to bottom and everything in between to make sure that nothing major that is affected by this part is damaged.

When to Replace Your Timing Belt

A broken timing belt spells instant damage, but you don't have to wait till it happens. Keep an eye on the following signs.

  • Decreased engine power
  • The car vibrates and shakes while driving
  • A ticking noise emerging from the engine
  • The "Check Engine" light turns on
  • The engine overheats
  • A squealing noise emerging from the engine

In other cars, you may observe oil leaking from the engine. While they are not conclusive signs that you need to change your timing belt, they draw your attention to the engine. You can have an expert check your engine just to be sure. Alternatively, you may choose to conduct a scheduled change. Typically, about 75,000 miles (120,700.8 km), you may need to consider a change of your timing belt. So if you need timing belt replacement, we invite you to bring your vehicle into Dalton Automotive Inc today!

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