Timing Belt Replacement
Driven by the crankshaft, the timing belt keeps internal engine components in sync by causing valves to open and close at the proper time.
In order to maintain the mechanical integrity the engine needs to operate, engine components must be in precise synchronization. If the timing belt is loose or improperly adjusted, it may “jump time” (skipping a tooth or more, usually on the cam gear). This results in a loss of synchronization and engine performance.
There are 2 types of engines you will hear about when the discussion of broken timing belts arise, “Interference” and “Non-Interference”. These terms refer to the relationship between the pistons and valves when the camshaft and crankshaft are out of synchronization.
In some cases, when the timing belt fails, the engine will simply stop running; replacing the belt will fix the problem.
Some engines cannot tolerate any deviation in precise valve control (e.g. a loose belt, skipped tooth, belt separation, or breakage). In these engines, timing belt failure can have disastrous consequences. These belt-related problems can cause major engine damage, such as damaged pistons and bent valves. The Check Engine Light may illuminate with a fault stored in the computer relating to timing deviation. In extreme cases, the timing belt may be audibly loose and noisy prior to failure; however, a worn belt can fail without warning. Timing belt replacement and maintenance intervaks must be followed diligently.