Timing belts started to replace chains in vehicles back in the 70s and 80s as auto manufacturers looked into ways to produce vehicles that were less expensive and lighter all around. Lighter weight vehicles increased mileage, which is never a bad thing for consumers. But many drivers in Philadelphia still have a lot of questions about timing belts and timing belt replacement. Learning a bit about the timing belt, what they do, and when they should be replaced can help your vehicle run well, and allow you to avoid a breakdown that will end up costing you a lot of money. Remember that not all cars have timing belts, but if you have one, you’ll want to know about it.
The Timing Belt’s Job
The timing belt keeps the crank and camshaft turning at the right rate. The crankshaft moves pistons up and down for compression and exhaust cycles. Depending on the type of car you have, the belt can also run the oil and water pumps, as well as the injection pump. The camshaft controls the valves that have to open and close for intake and exhaust. These valves have to open at the right time to get fuel into the chamber. They then have to close to allow compression to occur. If that timing cycle is off even a little bit, fuel might not come in as needed or could escape too quickly. The power’s engine can be lost without the right cycling.
Timing Belt Replacement
The timing belt is important on vehicles that have one, and if your vehicle has it you might wonder when you need to replace it. The old rule of thumb was to replace the timing belt every 60,000 miles or so, depending on your vehicle’s style. But technology has improved over the years and some manufacturers say you can wait as far as 100,000 miles. You will want to check into the recommendations for your vehicle. Faulty timing belts can cause a loss of power and fuel economy, and you could feel a vibration. Noise can happen as well, but it’s not the most common indicator.
When The Belt Breaks
In the easiest situations, when the timing belt breaks, your engine stops. There’s no connection between vital parts. In harder situations, valves and rods can push through the engine, crash oil pans, and do other damage. In these cases, the engine is ruined. You never know what’s going to happen when the belt breaks, so it’s best to have timing belt replacement before that occurs.
The Professionals at Schafer’s Auto Center are here to help you with your Philadelphia timing belt replacement. We can also help you figure out whether or not you need the replacement at this time. Call SAC at 215-755-1270 to make an appointment. We’re here to answer your questions! Our shop is located at 1924 S Columbus Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19148. We want to ensure that you have a vehicle that works at its best level at all times.