Timing belt, an often overlooked component of the car, synchronizes the top half of the engine, which includes the cylinder head and valves with the bottom half (crankcase, pistons). The models manufactured after 90s have a metal timing chain instead of belt, if you want to buy car from the 90s or early years from an online car auction, or already own one, it will probably have a belt. The component wears out over time, which means you need to replace it, to ensure optimal performance of the car and avoid last-minute emergency. In this blog post, we list five common signs that indicate that timing belt is either broken or worn out. Read on.

Ticking Noise Comes from Engine

The timing belt is fastened to the crankshaft and camshaft of the engine. When it begins to wear out, you might hear a ticking sound coming out from the hood. The similar sound could indicate low oil pressure or if the engine does not get proper lubrication. Instead of a DIY inspection, ask a mechanic to find out the root cause of the problem.

Engine Backfires

A worn out or damaged timing belt impact the fire rate of the engine. The belt could slip on the camshaft drive and cause one cylinder to function in less than the timed interval. If ignored for some time, the slippage could severely damage the engine. Consult a mechanic immediately to replace the timing belt and avert a situation of backfire.

Oil Leakage

If the belt is worn out, it could lead to motor oil leakage from the cover of the timing belt. The nuts and bolts that secure the cover may get loose after a few years. The oil leakage from timing belt could cause overheating of the engine, and might lead to premature wear of the belt. You may check with the manufacturer of the vehicle or a service center to find out the replacement interval of the timing belt, and get it changed, when required.

Exhaust Problems

Is the tailpipe in the car expelling more smoke than usual? If yes, the problem could be related to the timing belt. There are two holes at the top of each cylinder that release exhaust and take in air. The movement of these holes is in synchronization with the motion of cylinder and rotation of camshaft. A damaged or worn out timing belt could interfere with the synchronized operation, and cause release of excessive smoke from tailpipe.

Vehicle Doesn’t Start

When the timing belt in the car is not working, you might find it difficult to start the vehicle. If the engine starts after several tries, there could be many factors responsible for the problem and a worn out or broken timing belt is one of them.

Final Words

A worn out timing belt could damage the pistons, valves or water pump, if not replaced at the right time. Manufacturers recommend car owners to replace the timing belt every 60,000 miles or after five years. If you are buying a used car from salvage car auction in Georgia or any other state, make sure to check the timing belt, and replace it on noticing the signs of damage. While replacing the belt for preventive reasons may cost around $500 to $900, replacing a broken belt could cost approximately $2,000 if it damages other parts in the engine. When you purchase a vehicle from SalvageBid, we try to provide comprehensive information on the website, so that you have an idea of the condition of the car and are able to prepare an approximate repair budget before placing the bid. If you want to learn more about how to place the bid or have other questions related to the process, feel free to call us at +1 (360) 347-1300 or visit the website.