Two Reasons a Timing Belt Fails

If a vehicle’s timing belt fails, it usually leave the driver stranded on the side of a road needing a tow.  A broken timing belt may also mean thousands of dollars in engine damage and repair bills!

Why do timing belts break?

There are two common causes for timing belt failure:

  1. Age / MilesThe timing belt is usually made from a rubber material with teeth on one side to control the gears, pulleys, and components in the engine. With the heat and friction inside the engine, the rubber material will become worn with age and miles.

    Rubber teeth may wear down and no longer be able to grip the gears. This often results in a slip of the timing belt and potential damage to the engine.

    The timing belt may also begin to crack under stress. As the material cracks, it’s at higher risk for snapping and breaking in the engine.

  1. Water Pump SeizureTiming belts run through the water pump, which means it’s at risk should something go wrong with the water pump. When the water pump seizes, the gears stop turning with a strong force that will almost always break the timing belt.

    Water pump seizure is often caused by a problem with the cooling system, ignoring coolant flushes, or missed maintenance for the cooling system.

How can you protect your vehicle and your family?

The best thing you can do for your vehicle is keep up with preventative maintenance! Coolant flushes are designed to keep the cooling system operating its best and catch problems early (before they cause a water pump seizure). Regular inspections may catch signs of wear and tear on the timing belt early.

Check your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule for the recommended mileage to replace the timing belt, usually between 60,000 and 100,000 miles, or call our technicians at (248) 668-1200. We’ll help you know when it’s time to replace the timing belt and help you keep up with the maintenance you need to save money and avoid extensive damage on the road. Request an appointment online.

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