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Timing belts are the part of a car’s engine that synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft so that the engine’s cylinders fire at exactly the right time. A damaged or broken timing belt can cause big problems like piston damage, ruined cylinder head hardware, and engine valve damage. Timing belts will usually fail for one of two reasons: wear and tear due to age, or a faulty water pump. The timing belt is a rubber toothed belt, that can get brittle and crack over time, which can lead to it snapping. Since the timing belt runs through the water pump, it can also become damaged if the water pump malfunctions.

Your Car's Timing Belt and When to Replace It

Some newer cars come with a timing chain, which is different than a belt because it is made of metal, and is therefore much less likely to break or need replacement. You should check your vehicle’s owner manual to know if your vehicle has a timing belt or timing chain. Timing belts are difficult to inspect because they are sealed in a protective cover. Therefore, it is important that you know the warning signs of problems with your car’s timing belt, and when to have it checked out by a professional.

A faulty or broken timing belt can cause disastrous engine damage to your car. If you notice any of these signs of a problem with your car’s timing belt, it is time to have your vehicle inspected immediately by a certified auto mechanic. Even if you don’t notice any of these symptoms of a faulty timing belt, it is generally recommended that you change your car’s timing belt and water pump about once every 4 years.

If you are in the Tucson, Arizona area, give the auto experts at Accurate Service a call today at (520) 620-9129, or schedule an appointment online at your convenience.