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Timing Belt Failure

The timing belt plays an important role in the mechanics of your vehicle and if it fails it can cause a great extent of damage throughout your vehicle.

Its function is to keep the camshafts and crankshaft in sync with each other to ensure that the valves in the engine’s cylinder heads open and close at the correct time, enabling the engine to run smoothly.

Your engine will be either an ‘interference’ engine or a ‘non-interference’ engine and depending on which engine you have, a timing belt failure will affect it in different ways.

If you have an interference engine the space between the valves and pistons is very small. This makes a significant difference as a failed timing belt in an interference engine could cause a piston to hit an open valve and bend it.

The valves are crucial as these are what take in the fuel-air mixture for combustion and then vent out the exhaust air created by these explosions and this is what enables your engine to work efficiently. Once the valves are damaged it is more than likely that your car will have engine failure.

Consequently, this will cause the engine to come to a sudden stop and you will no longer be able to get your vehicle running again, leaving you stranded.

This does not mean that a non-interference engine will not be damaged if the same problem was to occur, you would still experience damage to vital components in your vehicle and in the same way as with an interference engine, the vehicle will come to a halt.

If your timing belt fails, you will be left with damage throughout your engine, however you can decrease your chances of this happening simply by maintaining the belt just as you would with your vehicle having its regular service.

The recommended time to replace the belt varies with different vehicles so you should check in the vehicle’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation. You should be able to tell when the timing belt was last replaced via paperwork or a record of the mileage to show when the work was carried out.

Alternatively, if you don’t have this information and are unsure as to whether it does or doesn’t need replacing, call Prestige Vehicle Repairs to arrange for one of our experienced technicians to have a look, as it is often possible to judge the condition of the belt just by its appearance.

Call 01708 868864 to book your car in and ensure that your car is in prime working condition.

We hope to see you soon.

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