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What is a timing belt?

Most vehicles today are using timing belts, which is a flat rubber belt with teeth. These belts replace the older means of valve timing, which was drive gears or timing chains. The timing belt synchronizes valve timing with the crankshaft / piston movement inside your engine. Timing belts are lighter, quieter, more efficient and more economical than the timing chains that were more common on older vehicles. Like any other part on your engine, the timing belt eventually wears out. Vehicle manufactures usually recommend timing belt replacement every 60,000-90,000 miles. It is very important to replace the belt before it breaks as it may cause major engine damage if the belt fails. A broken belt can result in an open valve being struck by a moving piston. This can damage valves, pistons, cylinder heads, and cylinder walls. In addition to the inconvenience and the cost of a tow you may need a new engine.

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