Timing Belt

Timing Belt Replacement

Some vehicles are equipped with timing belts, and others with timing chains.  If your vehicle is equipped with a timing chain, and the engine is routinely maintained, you may not ever have to attend to your timing components while you own the vehicle.  Now, if engine oil is routinely allowed to go below the proper levels, that’s a different story.  Oil starvation can cause internal damage that may result in the chain stretching (or teeth on the gears to break off), which can require extensive repairs to make right again.

Here's an excerpt from our May 2017 blog post, What's a Timing Belt, explaining the components and function of the Timing Belt:


Four-cycle internal combustion engines use a camshaft to open and close the intake and exhaust valves. This shaft has an egg-shaped cam for each valve that pushes open the intake and exhaust valves in the proper sequence.

The camshaft is timed or synchronized with the crankshaft (what the pistons are attached to). In completing the four cycles there are two revolutions of the crankshaft for every revolution of the camshaft. No matter how fast or slow the engine goes, this ratio stays the same. The timing belt governs that ratio. It has rounded "teeth" that engage with sprockets on both the crankshaft and the camshaft.

Just like every other rubber component in your car, the timing belt will begin to break down over time.  If it breaks, the pistons and valves will lose synchronization and catastrophic damage can result when they collide.


At Motor Works in Rockville, MD, we generally suggest replacing the outer drive belt(s) and water pump at the same time as the timing belt, since the water pump is driven by the timing belt and the outer belts have to come off anyhow to perform the service. It is usually in your best interest to replace these items together, as it represents the best use of your repair dollar. Since these components are critical to the life and operation of the engine, we strongly recommend using only original equipment when performing a Timing Belt Service.

Give us a call, or shoot over an appointment request here, and we can set up an evaluation for your vehicle today.

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