A timing belt, or chain, keeps the engine internals moving in harmony with each other. Think of the engine like a clock; regardless of how fast the engine is spinning the timing belt/chain keeps the engines assembly from rotating too fast or too slow in relation to itself. The timing belt/chain is very important to the engine as it keeps it from destroying itself.
A timing belt, is made of kevlar, and rubber with high tensile fibers. Newer, or more expensive timing belts are made from HSN (Highly Saturated Nitrile).
Timing belts are usually quieter, however, they are more susceptible to contamination from oil or water leaks and require regular service intervals. Timing chains are metal and don’t have service intervals, but they are vulnerable to stretching.
Timing belts are meant to be serviced. Changing a timing belt out is easier than a timing chain because timing chains are not designed to be serviced. The downside to a timing chain is the expense given it does fail. The upside is that failure with a timing chain is not very often.
The symptoms your vehicle might have if a timing belt or timing chain needs servicing include: check engine light (for timing problems) or misfires that are not electrically caused. The rhythm and harmony of your engine depends so heavily on the proper timing.It is NEVER recommended to put off the aforementioned symptoms as you risk the chance of sever damage to your vehicle’s engine.
We recommend you have your timing belt changed at the factory intervals, and have your vehicles check engine lights checked at reputable service center.
Author: Colby Gregg – Freeman Master Technician
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