Signs of a Worn Timing Belt

The timing belt plays an essential role in your engine. It helps your car run smoothly and efficiently while keeping wear and tear to a minimum. Read on to learn more about what this rubbery component can do.


Belts and hoses are some of the inexpensive parts of a motor engine. However, they are complex to get to and replace. Furthermore, if they fail or break, you can be met with extensive engine damage. The timing belt synchronizes the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft so that the valves open and close at the appropriate times. Otherwise, the pistons might strike the valves. The ribbed teeth on the belt help with the consistent timing. When the rubber wears off on the belt, it can affect the timing. It can end up being a disaster for your engine and your wallet. 

You may notice the following characteristics on a worn timing belt:

  • Stripped belt
  • Loose and unraveled belt fibers
  • Cracks and breaks in belt
  • Wrong belt tension— too tight or loose

Besides physical wear and tear, you may notice a high-pitched yelp coming from under the hood. The belt may also feel overly stiff or overly flimsy. Last but not least, you will experience trouble with your engine. You may feel slow starts and sluggish acceleration. 


Most auto manufacturers recommend that you swap the belt after 100,000 miles, give or take. It depends on the quality of the belt. Some automakers nowadays have swapped from rubber timing belts to metallic timing chains. Those, of course, can last the entire life of the car. 


If you require a timing belt inspection or replacement soon, please call or visit the professionals at Cosmo’s Service Center. Don’t let a broken timing belt leave you and your loved ones stranded.