Does Your Vehicle’s Timing Belt Need Replacement?

Your vehicle's timing belt is a very important part since it helps keep the crankshaft and camshaft in sequence. This helps the engine run since the exhaust and intake valves can be opened at the correct moment. The timing belt also helps operate the oil pump and water pump in some vehicles, which makes it even more important. That's why it's important to know the signs and symptoms of a bad timing belt. 

Service Engine Light

You may notice that the service engine light has turned on and you are not sure why. You should take your vehicle to a mechanic or auto parts store to read the code and identify what is wrong. A bad timing belt can trigger an error code. For example, code P0016 means that the camshaft and crankshaft are not in the right position. 

Odd Sounds

A problem with your timing belt can also lead to weird sounds coming from underneath the hood. You may hear a knocking or rattling sound because the timing belt is loose and repeatedly hitting the cover. This is due to the timing belt stretching way more than the recommended amount, which means that it should be replaced with a new one. A bad timing belt can cause a ticking sound as well. 

Poor Vehicle Performance

That stretched timing belt is also going to result in poor vehicle performance. When the valves of the engine are unable to open and close at the proper time, your vehicle will start to lose power. You may notice that this is happening when driving and the car doesn't seem to accelerate as fast as it used to in the past. 

No Start With Cranking

A bad timing belt can also lead to issues when starting up your vehicle. The engine may crank like it normally does, but the vehicle never starts. This is due to the crankshaft and camshaft not rotating together, which causes the engine to continue to crank. 

Exhaust Problems

When the engine can't work efficiently due to a bad timing belt, it's going to work harder than it should and use more gasoline as a result. You may notice this with your car producing more exhaust than usual or that the exhaust fumes are thicker. Take a quick look at the timing belt to see if it's in good condition. If it is looking good, take your vehicle to a mechanic to figure out what else could be causing the problem.

For more information about auto parts, talk to a mechanic.