Traveling Valves

Poor Vehicle Hygiene

If the timing belt breaks while driving in an interference engine, a type of four-stroke internal combustion piston engine, the valves travel to an area where an open piston may travel. The damage is less severe in a non-interference engine, where the pistons do not travel into an area where the valves open. In both cases, the engine will stall leaving you stranded. If you don’t know the type of engine in your vehicle, call Cary Car Care in Cary, NC at 919-380-0040 or visit their shop at 234 E. Johnson Street, Cary, NC 27513.

The camshaft stops turning, leaving the valves in the open position. The crankshaft continues to turn, and the internal forces will cause the pistons to move up and down hitting the open pistons. Broken or bent valves, damaged pitons, and maybe a damaged cylinder head. The vehicle becomes non-operational.

The timing belt is a toothed belt connecting the crankshaft to the camshaft. A synchronization takes place between the camshaft and crankshaft position to help the valves open and close at the proper time in relation to the pistons. In some engines, the timing belt can drive a water pump, balance shaft, intermediate shaft, injection pump, and oil pump. Did you know the balance shaft, intermediate shaft, and the injection pump must be synchronized with the crankshaft?

The professionals at Cary Car Care will set you up for vehicle success and put your mind at ease. Depending on the year of the vehicle will determine the approach to the timing belt or timing chain. Many older vehicles have timing belts which require a high level of skill to replace. The belt needs to be precisely timed to keep the firing in order and the vehicle functioning at optimal levels.

A key component of the timing belt is the timing belt tensioner. A timing belt needs to be under specific condition to function properly and the tensioner is the component that oversees the correct amount of tension being placed on the timing belt. When repairing or replacing a timing belt, the technician must set the correct timing. If the timing is not set properly the crankshaft, camshaft, and other components will not align and the vehicle will lose power, misfire, vibrate, and see the check engine light illuminating.

What’s the difference between a timing belt and timing chain? A timing belt will wear out over time and needs to be replaced at a certain mile milestone. A timing chain can last the life of the engine and doesn’t need to be replaced unless a problem occurs with the timing chain. Most newer vehicles have timing chains.

Cary Car Care in Cary, NC knows these timing belt facts and can perform a vital inspection of your timing belt to avoid this toothed belt from failing when you’re driving. If you suspect a timing belt is at risk of failure contact Cary Car Care at 919-380-0040 or visit their shop at 234 E. Johnson Street, Cary, NC 27513.

Written by Cary Car Care