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A damaged timing belt can tear while the engine is running, causing engine damage. Therefore the precautionary timing belt change is essential according to the maintenance schedule of your vehicle's manufacturer.
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Replace the timing belt in a timely manner - Avoid consequential damage
The timing belt also called the cam belt, is a small but decisive component on your car. It drives the camshafts of a motor and ensures the simultaneous actuation of the intake and exhaust valves. In the case of the four-stroke engine, the valves have to open and close precisely at the preset control times. If the control of the camshafts off-cycle, the pistons of the cylinders can collide with the valve covers. The consequence is often a capital engine damage.
Toothed belts have a long service life and are rarely replaced during an automobile's life. If, however, a timing belt change is unavoidable, the workshop visit should not be delayed. If the service interval is neglected, the consequences for the motor can be severe. In an extreme case, the engine is destroyed by asynchronous camshafts in such a way that one does not get around a cost-intensive replacement engine.
Timing belt change interval
In modern cars, the timing belt change is generally due after 50,000 - 125,000 miles. In the meantime, some manufacturers have also added exchange recommendation after years, since wear and tear are not only caused by the operation, but also by the ageing processes of the material. If this is not stated in your service booklet, you can also inquire at the workshop for a possible subsequent manufacturer recommendation. If there is no such manufacturer recommendation, a timing belt change should be carried out no later than after six years. Visible damage and cracks in the material are another indication that it is time for a new belt. Therefore, be sure to check the condition and the tension of the timing belt regularly with your Canklow Service Station experts at any time.
What is the cost of changing the timing belt?
The cost of a timing belt change depends on a number of factors. Depending on the vehicle, the material costs, as well as the work required for a belt change, varies considerably. Also, a timing belt change is rarely used and should be utilised after a long-running time to exchange other components and units connected to the timing belt. This includes the water pump since the play of the timing belt is adapted to the water pump. In the case of a belt change, belt tensioners, as well as the tensioning and deflection pulleys, are also replaced.
The cost of spare parts for a toothed belt set, including all necessary components, depends on the vehicle model and in most cases, it is between 200 and 350 Euro. On top of that, there are the costs for the working hours, which can be quite different depending on the accessibility of the parts. Responsible service personnel is aware of the importance of the toothed belt change and takes particular care. To achieve precise control times, the crankshaft and camshaft must be precisely adjusted during toothed belt changing. The toothed belt must rest with exactly the right tension on the belt drive. Too much play leads to slip, increases wear, and impairs precise power transmission. Too high tension can damage the structure of the toothed belt in such a way that it is thrown off the toothed belt wheels at high speeds. Your specialist workshop guarantees the correct installation of the new toothed belt.
Can I change the timing belt myself?
The toothed belt change is not quite cheap, but should not be done as a DIY job. Laymen, as well as more experienced hobby-mechanics, should have the timing belt changed by a specialist workshop, which has the know-how, the necessary experience and the right tools to do the job properly. The risk of making mistakes during assembly of this component which is so important for the operation of the motor is simply too high. The improper handling of the belt with unsuitable tools can cause microfine cracks in the fabric composite of a timing belt, which rapidly increase during the driving operation. An incorrect tension can lead to premature wear - in the unfavourable case this is acknowledged with the tearing of the belt and consequently a capital engine damage. The long-term greatest savings potential and the best safety are the regular inspections and timely replacement of the toothed belt by a specialist workshop.
What is the difference between timing belts and V-belts?
Timing belts and V-belts are often confused. Both of them fulfil different tasks. The timing belt transmits the rotational momentum from the crankshaft to the camshaft via the tension of a plurality of deflection pulleys (also called pulleys). The timing belt is equipped with the specified toothing to ensure precise opening and closing of the valves and thus the correct supply of the combustion chamber with the air-fuel mixture. Depending on the angular position of the crankshaft, the valves always assume a particular position. The crankshaft and camshafts are therefore firmly coupled. Also, the timing belt also drives the water pump or steering pump in some vehicles. Therefore, large motors are partially equipped with several toothed belts.
The V-belt drives the other auxiliary units in order to avoid complex encircling of the toothed belt drive. Which extra units are powered by the timing belt and which are driven by the V-belt depends on the design of a motor.
Advantages and disadvantages of timing belt and control chain
Timing belts are made of synthetic rubber and have a tensile cord of glass cord, aramid or carbon. Modern timing belts have long service intervals and a quiet running. Timing belts are maintenance-free and speed-resistant. Since engine oil would permanently damage the fabric mix of a toothed belt, they are installed outside the engine. When refilling engine oil and working on other engine components, make sure that the timing belt does not come into contact with oil.
Steering chains are sturdy and protected in the engine block, but run at higher speeds as a timing belt. Although control chains designed as duplex chains have a long service life, the chain tensioners wear out earlier. Due to the wear and tear, there is a gradual lengthening of the chain over the years, which requires a continuous adjustment of the control times. Control chains are also difficult to access due to the integration in the engine block. For these reasons, for most of the passenger cars, timing belts are used to control the camshafts.
Timing belt service - Rotherham - Canklow Service Station