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Is it Important to Change My Timing Belt?

Posted in Bigbox Service Tips

Published Sat 18 Feb 2023

Is it Important to Change My Timing Belt?

One of the most crucial elements to your vehicle’s engine is the timing belt and yet it is one of the parts we think of least. Why is this? Well, unlike oils and filters, we don’t need to replace our car’s timing belt for every service. If this is the case, then is the timing belt even that important?

Yes, and here’s why.

What is the timing belt?

This essential part which can go by another name of cam belt, controls the timing of the engine. What this means is that it maintains the opening and closing of the engine’s valves by rotating the camshaft and the crankshaft at the right speed. 

Difference between a Timing Belt and a Timing Chain

Some cars aren’t fitted with a timing belt but instead, use a timing chain. This does the same thing however there are some small differences in their effectiveness and maintenance. The timing chain is made of metal whilst the timing belt is made of rubber. Therefore, in terms of wear, a timing belt will wear out faster, however, a timing chain does need to be lubricated. Another small difference is that chains are typically louder than a belt, although there are types of timing chains known as silent chains that can be used to overcome this problem.   

What happens when it breaks?

If you forget to have your timing belt replaced at the time/mileage recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer, then it will likely show signs of wear and tear, if not breaking altogether. If this happens then all the parts of your car’s engine will be out of sync. What does this mean? Its means your car can suffer catastrophic internal damage caused by the valves and pistons banging into each other and the vehicle will become immobile. Not only will you have a hefty engine repair bill but you will also have to fork out for the car to be towed. 

We recommend becoming familiar with what your vehicle uses, a timing belt or a timing chain. Then read your manufacturer’s scheduled service book to find out when you should have your timing belt changed or timing chain lubricated. When it’s time for your next service or for your timing belt to be changed, book in your vehicle with us here at BigBox Service & Tyres. Our team of professional service technicians will make sure that not only is your car in tip-top shape but that your timing belt or chain is in working order.

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