Car Care Tips

Tips to keep your car on the road.

Maintenance August 29, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About Timing Belts

Today we will cover timing belts and why they are a vital part of your engine.
In this video service manager, Larry Childers explains what a timing belt is.


Timing belts function to keep all internal moving parts of an engine working together in time. The timing belt has hard teeth that interlock with the cog wheels of the crankshaft and the two camshafts, much like a chain on a bicycle.

As you drive, the belt rotates the two camshafts which open and close valves. This allows fuel-air mixture to enter and leave the engine combustion chamber. While the fuel-air mixture is in the combustion chamber, a piston drives upward to compress the gas. A spark ignites the gas and pushes the piston back down, which drives the car.

This is where the timing belt comes in. The timing belt makes sure the intake and exhaust valves open and close in time with the piston going up and down by driving the cogs of both camshafts at the same time of the crankshaft.

If the crankshaft and camshafts are not operating in unison, the car can’t run correctly and potentially causes serious damage. If the intake valves open too early, there may not be enough fuel-air mixture flowing into the combustion chamber. If the exhaust valves open too early, the combustion chamber loses pressure and causes a loss in power. If the engine components are very out of time, they can potentially collide and damage each other, leading to a costly repair.

This is why it’s important to replace your timing belt at the mileage intervals your vehicle manufacturer recommends. Every manufacturer is different, but typically they are replaced between 70,000 and 100,000 miles. Because the timing belt is rubber, it eventually wears down and breaks. When it breaks, the engine components run out of sync. If the engine components are damaged, replacing them requires intensive and expensive engine repair.

Replacing the timing belt before it breaks will prevent this potential engine damage and save money. If you’re unsure about when your timing belt needs to be replaced, stop by Virginia Tire & Auto today. Our expert technicians and service will examine your vehicle and can replace the timing belt with quality service at an affordable price.

Click here to get an appointment today.

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