Timing Belt Replacement in New Berlin

Save money on timing belt service

Timing belts and chains require service so seldom it can be easy to forget to do it. Unfortunately, waiting too long for timing belt or timing chain service can result in a car that won’t run or worse, a destroyed engine.

New Berlin Auto Repair can service your car’s timing belt or chain to ensure that you stay on the road and stay free from unexpected engine failure.

What does my timing belt do?

A timing belt is a toothed belt running from your engine’s camshaft to the crankshaft. The timing belt’s job is to keep those two shafts running in sync. There are three moving parts in your engine’s cylinders: the intake valve, the exhaust valve, and the cylinder. Your timing belt is what coordinates these three parts so each is doing their job at the right time.

When should I change my timing belt?

Every manufacturer will have a different recommendation for when you should change the timing belt in your vehicle. Timing belts are made from tough, nylon-reinforced rubber. This means that they often last for quite a while, between 50,000 and 100,000 miles in many cases.

Newer cars often have timing chains in lieu of a belt. These chains are able to last much longer, sometimes even for the lifetime of the car. The downside of a timing chain is if it does fail, the damage can be much greater than a belt.

Signs of a worn or damaged timing belt

You’ll likely have some advanced warning of a potential timing belt failure if you know what to look for. Signs of trouble include:

  1. Clicking noises coming from the engine.
  2. An engine that runs rough or misfires
  3. Your car won’t start
  4. Squealing sounds

Potential damage caused by a broken timing belt

A broken timing belt is never a good thing. The extent of the damage caused by a timing belt break varies depending on whether you have an interference type engine or a non-interference engine.

Interference engines

In an interference engine, the open valves occupy the same space in the cylinder as the piston at the top of its stroke. If a timing belt breaks on this type of engine the results can be catastrophic. Often the piston will slam into the open valves and crush them. It is possible but unlikely that no damage can occur. In most instances, a snapped timing belt on an interference engine will force you to choose between costly engine repairs or a new car.

Non-interference engines

Non-interference engines are much more forgiving. In these engines, if a timing belt snaps the piston and valves do not occupy the same space and engine damage is unlikely. A broken timing belt on a non-interference engine can be replaced and in theory the engine will be back up and running as usual.

Timing belt replacement service at New Berlin Auto Service

The timing belt or chain in your car is typically encased in a protective housing. This helps to protect the belt from damage, but it also makes it very difficult to check on your own. Ravenswood Auto in New Berlin can diagnose your timing belt if you suspect it may be nearing the end of its life or you are nearing the manufacturer’s recommendation for replacement.