A timing belt is what keeps your engine's cam and crankshaft turning together in sync, hence the name timing belt, as it keeps these components in time. A lot of drivers probably don't know what a timing belt is, which is okay. But it is a part of your vehicle that does need to be changed after a period, so you should know the warning signs that point towards it being time.
Is it time to change my timing belt?
There are a few ways to answering the question above. A general rule to follow is to change your timing belt every 60,000 - 100,000 miles. This can differ from each manufacturer's instructions. To check yours, please refer to your owner's manual.
But what if you don't know the last time it was changed, though? If that's the case, you're going to need symptoms to look out for that can give you a general idea of whether or not your belt has aged a bit too much.
One thing you can keep an eye (or nose) out for is heavy exhaust fumes. It so happens that an aging timing belt can cause your engine to produce excess fumes. This would result in an increase of smoke, darker smoke, and fumes coming out of your exhaust pipe.
As for another symptom you can watch out for, let's discuss a trait you'd be able to hear. A malfunctioning timing belt can be very, very loud. If yours is too worn down it can cause screeching or even a droning whir sound with the start of your car, and as you accelerate as well. These sounds are not normal sounds a vehicle should be making, so listen close the next time you start yours.
The last couple of signs deal with your engine refusing to work. An engine that sounds like it wants to turn but won't no matter what you try can point to your timing belt needing a change. And if your car is stopping out of nowhere in the middle of a drive, then the timing belt could be the reason.
If you believe your vehicle is due for a timing belt replacement, we invite you into our local auto repair shop today!