What Happens When a Timing Belt Snaps?

Your vehicle's timing belt is important to the overall operation of the engine. It ensures the correct timing of the crankshaft and camshaft so that the engine valves open and close at the proper times. Over time, timing belts begin to wear out and can fray or tear. This is why they need to be replaced at certain intervals, typically around every 60,000 miles or so. When a timing belt breaks, it can cause damage to surrounding components and end up costing you more money on repairs. 

If you're unsure how often your vehicle's timing belt should be replaced, refer to your vehicle's owner's manual for this information. It is so important to replace your timing belt on time, even if you don't see damage on the outside of the belt. The inside of the belt could be dry, making it more likely to snap unexpectedly. Not only will a snapped belt leave you stranded, but it can bend valves, cause piston damage, and ruin cylinder heads. 

The level of damage that a timing belt snapping can cause depends on the type of engine that your vehicle has. However, damage is likely to occur whether you have an interference engine or non-interference engine. This is why it is so important to ensure that you stay on top of your vehicle's timing belt maintenance and have it replaced according to manufacturer recommendations. 

If the timing belt snaps, there is nothing to stop the pistons and cylinders from colliding. This throws the rods off, and they start to poke holes in the engine block. Eventually, the engine will essentially break in half, and there’s no way to repair it. This is complete engine failure, and will require a new engine. Of course, this is something that no vehicle owner wants to deal with.

Here at Community Auto, we are here to help when you find yourself due for a timing belt replacement. We will ensure that your timing belt is replaced before it breaks and that you help avoid costly engine repair. If you are due for a timing belt replacement in Ft. Collins, CO, give us call or stop by our shop today! 

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