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What are Timing Belts and Chains and why they are Important?

What are Timing Belts and Chains and why they are Important?

When buying a used car everyone asks how many miles does it get, how old are the tires and has the timing belt or timing chain been replaced? So what is this illusive timing belt and timing chain and why is it so important to know if your vehicle has had one replaced?

The timing belt is the ribbed belt that is inside your engine. It is placed in a specific configuration by the manufacturer. It purpose is to keep the crank and camshafts timed properly. This is so the top half and the bottom half of the motor remain in sync and work properly.

Agape Auto Timing Belt timing chain

Now not all vehicles havea timing belt but instead they use a timing chain. A timing chain has the same functionality as a timing belt except that it tends to be more durable. The manufacturers suggest that timing chains are replaced mileage intervals. Although more rugged timing chains do have a downfall they are heavier and if they do fail it tends to be catastrophic for the surrounding engine components.

Agape Auto timing chain failureSo now that the difference between timing belts and chains is clear why is it so important to get them checked and replaced before the belt or chain breaks? The best answer to this is you will prevent internal engine damage and catastrophic failure. When a vehicle is out of timing many components can touch each other that shouldn’t. For instance, if a vehicle isn’t kept in precise timing then the valves could possibly collide with the pistons causing breakage, cylinder scoring, and gouging. When metal gets trapped in a cylinder it becomes the preverbal “bull in a china shop” it destroys everything! Now instead of just a timing belt or timing chain you need a new motor: talk about dollar signs!

TAgape Auto timing belt failurehe general rule of thumb to replace a timing belt is 60,000-100,000 miles. For timing chains it is suggested to replace them between 40,000-100,000 miles.  So be cautious, take your vehicle to a trained technician and have your timing belt or timing chain checked. If it needs to be replaced don’t wait and hope you will be ok. The repair might be expensive but a whole new motor can really break the piggy bank!  Keep your engine going strong! #agapeautomd #enginemaintenance Agape Auto Sign