What happens when timing belt breaks while driving?

what happens when timing belt breaks

What happens when timing belt breaks while driving?

The timing chain is one of the most important parts of a vehicle since it is mainly responsible for synchronizing the movement of the other parts of the engine so that the propeller works properly and the car can move. But what if the timing belt breaks on the go? Next, we give you the keys so that you know what the causes that can cause breakage are, how you can prevent it and, above all, what to do in case of the timing belt breaks, since it involves an of the most expensive repairs of any vehicle. Take note!

What happens when timing belt breaks?

Before seeing what happens if the timing belt breaks, it is important to know what it is and what function this fundamental mechanical part performs. Read more: Why car shakes when braking?

what happens when timing belt breaks

It is a basic part of any engine. Its impact is high since, if it fails, it can affect all the other elements that depend on it. The belt is located in the engine’s timing zone, hence its full name. Its main function is to ensure that the movement of valves, pistons and the engine water pump is synchronized. Thanks to it, the necessary harmony between the parts is achieved so that the engine or propeller works properly and, therefore, the vehicle as well.

What if the timing belt breaks?

Wear, lack of maintenance or a mechanical problem, among other causes, can cause the timing chain to suddenly break, even when the vehicle is running.

In cases where the belt unexpectedly breaks or cuts, the engine loses its timing. That is, the pistons repeatedly hit the valves, which can cause them to bend or break completely. Likewise, the pistons, given their continued shock, can also be seriously damaged.

Timing belt failure can be the prelude to premature death for many engines. For this reason, it is very important to always keep the car in good condition, carry out periodic inspections and detect if the timing belt shows abnormal symptoms in order to avoid a major disaster. Discover Outdoor outlet not working

Why is the timing belt broken?

Timing belt breakage can have various origins:

  • Belt wear: Like all elements of a vehicle, use and the passage of time can end up wearing the timing belt. For this reason, it is important to carry out periodic reviews and pay attention to the kilometers that your vehicle has traveled to anticipate and change the chain before it breaks. The lifetime of a timing belt will depend on the vehicle, the model and the manufacturer. Check the limits that have been set for this piece and anticipate changing them.
  • Driving and speed: The way you drive has a lot to do with caring for your car and its lifetime guarantee. In this case, city driving or driving at very high speeds can be other reasons that lead to the timing belt breaking.
  • Dirt and dust: Always driving in areas with dirt or dust is equally dangerous since these particles can accumulate in the engine and end up causing complications in the operation of the timing belt.

In short, a specific mechanical problem, lack of maintenance of the belt or wear due to its use can cause it to brake suddenly.

To prevent the timing belt from breaking while running, it is important to prevent this disaster. To do this, it is necessary to pay attention to the warranties and limits of each manufacturer, take your vehicle to periodic mechanical reviews and monitor your driving, among others. Next, we answer the most frequently asked questions that will allow you to prevent the problem.

When to change the timing belt?

There is no time limit or specific kilometers. The life of a timing belt depends on the type of engine and the characteristics of the vehicle it serves. However, as a general rule, it is estimated that the life of a belt ranges between 60,000 and 160,000 km, so the change of the part should be done every 5 or 7 years, approximately.

How to tell if the timing belt is worn?

There are some symptoms or indicators that will help you know if the part is worn and is more susceptible to breakage. In this sense, you should pay attention to whether the exhaust pipe expels smoke excessively, if the mileage of the vehicle is excessive and starts with difficulty or if the engine vibrates or the car shakes while driving. Also, if cracks, dry rubber, deformity in the belt teeth or lack of tension are observed, it is important to go to the mechanic to make the change beforehand.

Changing a broken timing belt is one of the most expensive mechanical breakdowns. If you do not want your car to be stopped in full gear or to add complications to the breakdown, keep your vehicle in good condition and anticipate the problem together with your mechanic.

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