Wondering if it’s about time to replace your timing belt? There will be some obvious signs (the dreaded smoke-coming-out-of-the-engine scenario) and some more subtle ones.
Here are five of the main things you need to look out for when it comes to timing-belt maintenance and replacement. Remember, prevention is always better than a cure.
1. Engine Won’t Start
If your engine won’t turn over, I’m sure you’re going to realise something’s not quite right, but will you know what that something is? It could very well be a worn-out timing belt! You’ll be able to hear the starter motor when you turn the ignition on, but the engine won’t turn over. Unfortunately, your engine may already be damaged at this stage if it is the timing belt causing this issue.
2. Ticking Noise Coming from Engine
Even though it’s a timing belt, it shouldn’t be ticking! If you notice a ticking or clicking sound coming from your engine, there’s a high chance that the source is a malfunctioning timing belt. Another noise that can point to this diagnosis is a high-pitching screech or whirring when you start your engine, when you’re accelerating, or when you’re idling. These noises are nothing to be idle about, though, and you should get your car to a mechanic to prevent significant engine damage. You may also notice some engine vibration (not the good vibes type), which can also indicate you need to visit the mechanic.
3. Engine Misfires or Runs Rough
Is your engine running rough? The rough days can be over soon, if you change your timing belt (though there are other things that could cause this, so head to your local garage). Misfiring can result from your engine’s timing being jeopardised; the worn or loose timing belt slips, resulting in the cylinders opening and closing prematurely. You may feel like your engine is running erratically, and it may stop running at all. Misfiring is a serious problem that should be addressed straight away.
4. Engine Hesitates Between 2000 and 4000 rpm
If your engine plays up when it reaches 2000 to 4000 rpm, it could be an indication that your timing belt is loose or is breaking down from old age. You may notice a rattle, or an unusual sound when your vehicle’s revving. The belt may also slip when you accelerate at high rpms – this is also an indication that some of the belt teeth may be missing.
5. Engine Exhaust Fumes or Smoke
If you’re noticing unusually heavy exhaust fumes, your timing belt could be the culprit. This is due to your engine being overworked as a result of a worn timing belt. This extra effort means that more exhaust is released. A large amount of excess exhaust is a strong sign that you need to replace your timing belt as soon as possible.
Is your engine showing one of more of these five symptoms? Even if it isn’t caused by your timing belt, don’t push your luck any longer. Hand your keys over to the mechanic or see your local auto parts retailer and save yourself some serious costs that will ensue if you let the problem get out of hand.
Social Links: https://www.facebook.com/sparesbox/