Driver Tips

What happens if the timing belt breaks? Maintenance guide and precautions

Parts that are important for the proper functioning of a car engine include the timing belt. The belt, which works synchronously with the crankshaft, camshaft and other components, is very important for the engine to perform its function. If the timing belt breaks, it causes serious problems. In this article, we will give information about the maintenance of the timing belt and what should be done to prevent it from breaking.


The component that controls valve timing in automobile engines is called “timing belt”. It ensures reliable synchronization between crankshaft and camshaft. Thanks to the synchronized operation process mentioned here, the pistons in the engine move in harmony with the valves. The timing belt works by interlocking gears and gear wheels. The belt wraps around the teeth, preventing it from turning. The crankshaft is located at one end and the camshaft is located at the other end. The rotational movement of the engine is transmitted through the timing belt.

The timing belt is a very important part. Correctly adjusts the engine’s valve timing. Thanks to valve timing, valves open and close depending on the up and down movements of the pistons. Correct valve timing ensures engine performance, fuel efficiency and emissions control. The timing belt performs this synchronization and the engine runs efficiently.

The timing belt must be under correct tension. If it is too loose or tight, valve timing will be affected. This situation negatively affects engine performance. To prevent all situations, the timing belt must be checked regularly, adjusted and replaced.


If the timing belt breaks, many negative situations occur in the vehicle. Here are some of the results:

  1. Engine Failure: If the timing belt breaks, the valves remain open or closed. This causes engine failure. The engine cannot start or runs irregularly.
  2. Damage to Parts: Breakage of the timing belt causes damage to other engine components. The valve and pistons hit each other. As a result, very serious mechanical damage occurs. If no precautions are taken, the engine will become completely inoperable and serious repairs will be required.
  3. Power Loss: The crankshaft and camshaft are connected to each other thanks to the timing belt. If this belt breaks, the camshaft cannot rotate. Power loss occurs. While driving, the vehicle cannot accelerate and cannot deliver the expected performance.
  4. Cooling Problems: In some types of vehicles, the timing belt is also connected to the water pump. Belt breakage affects the operation of the water pump and the engine’s cooling system. This causes the engine to overheat. Serious damage occurs.
  5. It Negatively Affects Road Safety: The vehicle stops as a result of the timing belt breaking suddenly. Sudden stops, especially in traffic and in a dangerous place, put the safety of life and property at risk. The driver must stop immediately, pull over to a safe location and request assistance.
  6. Cracked Valves: If the timing belt breaks, the valves remain in the open or closed position. Leaving it open will cause contact with the pistons. This causes the valves to crack or break. Valves should be replaced immediately.
  7. Chain and Other Components Are Damaged : Some vehicles have a chain or sprocket mechanism. The timing belt causes rupture and damage to these components. If damage occurs to the chain and sprocket mechanism, repair or replacement is required.


  •     Regular maintenance is necessary to prevent the timing belt from breaking. It is very important to pay attention to the inspection and maintenance period specified by the manufacturer. In general, the maintenance period is specified in the vehicle’s user manual. Checking the condition of the timing belt and changing it when necessary prevents it from breaking.
  •     Belt condition should be reviewed regularly. Conditions such as cracks, wear, breaks and looseness in the belt should be checked. If there is any negative situation, it is necessary to immediately consult the necessary authorities and initiate the change process.
  •     When replacing the timing belt, original parts must be used. It is very important to use parts recommended by the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). In this way, the durability and performance of the timing belt increases.
  •     Components that work together, as well as the timing belt, should be checked regularly. Timing belt tensioning hanger and pulleys should be inspected regularly. These also play an important role in the healthy functioning of the timing belt.
  •     Authorized services should be preferred for timing belt replacement and maintenance operations. Choosing an authorized and certified car service is very important in terms of safety and performance. Technicians who are experts in their fields ensure that procedures proceed smoothly and workmanship is done with a higher quality.
  •     The timing belt has a certain lifespan. Changes must be made within the specified time and mileage. This period should never be exceeded to extend the life of the timing belt.
  •     One of the important rules regarding maintenance is to drive carefully. Excessive pushing and shaking of the vehicle during the journey will damage the timing belt. To prevent this, it is very important not to run the engine at excessive speed and to avoid sudden gas changes. To extend the life of the timing belt, it is necessary to drive carefully at low speed.


  •     Replacing the timing belt requires expertise and experience. For this reason, the procedures must be carried out meticulously by experts. Experienced people ensure that the change proceeds smoothly while assembling and tensioning.
  •     When replacing the timing belt, other components also need to be checked. If damage or wear occurs on components, necessary repairs must be carried out. Having the correct tension of the timing belt is also among the important details. The strap should not be too loose or tight. Otherwise, performance problems and premature wear will occur. Compliance with the specifications set by the manufacturer is also among the important issues.
  •     When replacing the timing belt, it is very important to make the correct order for the components to work properly. This way the belt is tensioned correctly. Making replacements in accordance with the instructions specified by the vehicle manufacturer also prevents performance from losing its power.
  •     One of the issues that should be taken into consideration is to carry out the change operations in sufficient time. Changing the timing belt takes some time. Rushing will result in incorrect mounting or tension settings.
  •     Before changing the timing belt, the temperature of the engine must be checked. For a safe process, it is recommended to wait for the engine to cool down first. The belt should never be touched when the engine is hot. Otherwise, wounds and burns will occur.
  •     After installing the new timing belt, necessary checks should be made. In case of any trouble, leakage, wear, looseness or irregularity, it is necessary to contact the relevant authorities. These results sometimes appear after a few uses. It is very important for drivers to be careful during the first few drives.
  •     Finally, the correct materials must be used when replacing parts. Hand tools and equipment should be appropriate for the type of operation. Therefore, the materials selected must be suitable for replacing the timing belt correctly.

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