The timing belt is an important part of the engine function, because it is responsible for helping the crankshaft drive the camshaft. The camshaft is then able to open and close the valves in a carefully timed fashion; Thus the name “timing belt.”
When examining the timing belt, you should be looking for cracks, shredding, fraying, or looseness. If there is any oil leaking nearby, that could drastically reduce its longevity in the motor. If any of these conditions are found, it is time to change it.
In addition, even if you do not notice visible wear, the timing belt must be changed according to manufacturer recommendations. If you do not, you may come to seriously regret it down the road.
If your engine is a non-interference engine and the timing belt breaks, it will be a big hassle in that you will have to be towed in order to get it repaired. But, the good news, in this case, is that the extent of the damage will likely be only the belt itself.
If, on the other hand, you have an interference engine and your timing belt breaks, you are in serious trouble. This is because the timing belt keeps the pistons from hitting the valves when they open. The timing on this is precise.
When the timing belt is in place, these two parts are able to work in harmony. But if the timing belt breaks, the pistons can slam into the valves, necessitating an engine rebuild.
If you are not able to change the timing belt yourself or do not know when to change it, consult your local Utah auto repair shop or your owner’s manual and stay on top of the manufacturer recommended changes of this all-important engine part.