Timing Belts and Chains

At Universal Motors our fully equipped workshop in Thomastown, provides timing belt and timing chain repairs and replacement for all makes and models. All our car repairs come with a minimum 12 month/20000km warranty.

What Do You Know of Belts and Chains?

Basic things you need to know about your car’s timing belt or chain.

Some vehicles have timing belts, some have timing chains – both serve to time the engine’s combustion.

The timing belt or chain rotates the engine’s cam and crankshaft in sync so the cylinders fire at the right time. It controls the action of the pistons and valves inside the engine cylinders to ensure the valves open in synchronized time with the pistons. The combustion process of a modern four stroke engine has four “strokes” or steps: intake, compression, combustion, and exhaust. Throughout an engine’s four-stroke process, the camshaft rotates once and the crankshaft rotates twice. The rotational relationship between the camshaft and crankshaft is called “mechanical timing.” It’s what controls the combustion cycle –pistons and valves moving in sync within the engine cylinders. The valves have to open at a precise time in conjunction with the pistons, and if they don’t, the engine won’t work properly, if at all. If this timing is off, the engine will run unreliably, or might not run at all.

Timing chains are generally more durable and a well serviced car can see a timing chain last the life of the engine. However, if you skip a service here and there or are late with your servicing, timing chain life can be shortened.

Timing belts and chains control the timing of the engine’s valves so that they open and close in sync with the engine’s pistons to inject fuel and air mixtures and remove exhaust gases. Your car may have one of two types of engines: interference and non-interference. The engine can be badly damaged and require costly repairs If a timing belt snaps or slips on an interference engine. The engine will cost less to repair if a timing belt snaps on a non-interference engine.

If you are replacing your timing belt, we recommend replacing all associated parts of the timing belt including:

  • Water pump (where applicable)
  • Idler pullies
  • Hydraulic tensioners
  • Tensioner pullies
  • Oil seals in the timing belt area.

Timing belt failure can be due to the following common symptoms:

  • Old age
  • Oil Contamination
  • Poor fitting such as either under or over tightening a replacement belt,
  • Seized pulleys or water pump bearings
  • Hydraulic tensioner failure