Most car owners in San Diego CA don’t know too much about timing belts, but they are essential to any car. They can even result in thousands of dollars in damage when they break. The owner’s manual includes timing belt replacements in routine service maintenance, but most car owners forget to do it because they don’t really understand what it even does.
What Does a Timing Belt Do?
Your engine is powered by moving cylinders that generate energy. As the pistons ride up and down in the cylinder, an intake valve at the top of the cylinder will open, drawing in air and fuel. When the pistons reach the top again, the fuel and air ratio will be compressed. The spark plug will fire at this point, igniting the fuel and pushing the piston down in the power stroke. As the piston returns to the final part of the cycle, an exhaust valve will open at the top of the cylinder, allowing the exhaust to be released. This entire process is coordinated by the timing belt which opens and closes the cylinder at the right moment.
Interference VS. Non-Interference Engines
Older vehicle models didn’t have timing belts. Instead, manufacturers used to use chains, which were less prone to breaking. This cost-saving measure has resulted in another component that can fail. Engine designs can be either interference or non-interference. In a non-interference engine, when the timing belt breaks, the engine will just stop running. While this can be dangerous, it will not damage the engine.
However, interference engines can become damaged when the timing belt breaks because the valves will actually make contact with the pistons, resulting in thousands of dollars of needed repairs.
Are There Any Warning Signs to Timing Belt Failure?
Unfortunately, there are no definite signs of timing belt problems. There are no weird sounds or smells to tip you off. A qualified auto mechanic in San Diego may be able to inspect certain cars to see if there are any issues with the timing belt. However, for many vehicles, the belt is covered and unable to easily see. Even if the timing belt moves one inch, it can cause significant damage to the engine. This does not leave much room for error.
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is here to help prevent expensive repairs while keeping you and your passengers safe in the process. Come to a local auto repair shop in San Diego to have your car checked out today.
Auto Maintenance San Diego
Automobile Repair Shop San Diego is a family-owned and operated repair shop that has provided quality auto maintenance in San Diego for years. We offer you hassle-free estimates and repairs in San Diego starting with a precise assessment of your vehicle’s current issues. We will tow your vehicle for FREE to our shop, organize a rental car, and work directly with the insurance company to streamline the repair process. We will even pay up to $500 of your deductible. Contact us today at (619) 330-0862 to see how we can help.