What is the function of the timing belt.

What is the function of the timing belt.

What is the function of the toothed belt?The timing belt is the most critical element for controlling engines. The engine is driven by the crankshaft and controls the camshafts, whose cams in turn open and close the valves. The valves supply the combustion chamber with the air/fuel mixture, the combustion of which drives the pistons. As the pistons move up and down in the engine, the valves must be precisely controlled. Otherwise they can collide with the piston in the combustion chamber.

For your engine to work, the valves have to be actuated at exactly the right moment. This is the task of an intact timing belt. If it does not happen, it can come to expensive engine damages.

How often the timing belt has to be changed?

Since the timing belt is subjected to enormous forces, it wears out over time. This wear must be prevented. A specialist workshop will observe the change intervals when servicing your vehicle and replace the timing belt in good time before anything worse can happen.

The replacement interval depends on the mileage of your engine. It is set by the vehicle manufacturer. Each manufacturer specifies the replacement interval in the use and maintenance booklet based on the vehicle's mileage or years of use. In general, the timing belt, together with the belt tensioner, the idler pulley and the water pump, if present in the control system, must be checked for 100.000 to 180.000 kilometers. This corresponds to an average mileage of five to six years.

The workshop must provide information about premature wear

The maintenance intervals are usually specified in the vehicle operating manual. It is advisable, however, to check the condition of the belt every 30 minutes.000 km, i.E. During the annual maintenance. Of course, the mechanic must also check the correct functioning of the timing belt during every maintenance operation. If the workshop detects premature belt wear in the process, it must inform the customer in order to prevent greater damage.

It is the duty of your garage to advise when maintenance should be carried out and, above all, if it considers it necessary to intervene before the mileage indicated by the vehicle manufacturer. Of course, this applies not only to authorized workshops, but also to the independent workshop you trust.

What can break on a timing belt?

If the tension of the timing belt is too high or too low, this can lead to premature wear. Abrasion marks on the outside of the timing belt indicate an alignment error in the drive. The cause is often an incorrectly installed water pump: The timing belt then runs along the side of the water pump gearwheel. It grinds against them and loses width, tension and thus strength. First fine cracks form. At some point, the belt will break altogether.

Changes in tension put an enormous strain on a timing belt: the worn material is deposited in the gaps between the teeth and increasingly impairs the function of the belt.

What damage can be caused by a worn timing belt??

A broken belt leads to misalignment between the camshaft and crankshaft. This can damage the entire engine:

– The valves hit the piston crown and destroy the piston. – The valves and the valve head can break off completely. – The camshaft can be destroyed. – The rocker and oscillating levers of the valve control system can be damaged. – The cylinder head usually requires extensive repair or needs to be completely replaced.

In most cases, a replacement engine has to be used after such damage because the original engine is so damaged by the timing belt tear that it is no longer worth repairing.

How to notice that the timing belt is worn out?

Damage to the timing belt causes strange noises. The belt whistles. The engine becomes very loud. If grinding noises occur while driving, this is a sign of red alert.

If the tension of the timing belt is too high, you will hear a whistling or howling sound; if the tension is too low, you will sometimes hear a banging sound because the belt vibrates too much and runs into other components in the process.

The basic rule for any "unhealthy" noise from the engine is: don't drive any further and take it to the workshop.


The timing belt is one of the most important wearing parts of your four-stroke engine. It must be replaced at the intervals specified by the manufacturer, and possibly even earlier if the first signs of damage or material weaknesses become apparent. Therefore, it should be replaced every 30.The timing belt must be inspected by a specialist workshop at intervals of at least. During the regular maintenance of your vehicle, the mechanic will also examine the timing belt and related components and advise you accordingly.

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