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Auto Parts Replacement: Common Signs of Timing Belt Degradation

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The timing belt is a crucial component in an internal combustion engine. This auto part ensures that the engine valves open and shut in complete sync with the corresponding intake and exhaust cylinder strokes. If the belt sustains damage or fails, the engine will fail, and the repairs can be costly. Therefore, it is important to periodically replace the timing belt as part of the regular maintenance schedule. This will ensure long-term, quality performance of your engine. Ideally, you should replace the timing belt as recommended by the manufacturer. However, the interval might need to change based on your driving habits and the road conditions. Therefore, look out for these outlined signs which indicate the need for a replacement timing belt.

Belt Abrasion and Cracking

The timing belt is exposed to high friction during the normal operation of the vehicle. This mechanical stress caused by the movement of the belt will eventually translate into apparent abrasion. In simple terms, this component will be scraped extensively, and the belt will display significant signs of wear. In some cases, the belt will be degraded until the internal filaments are seen. Normal wear of the timing belt should be expected, but accelerated wear is often a sign of problems such as engine overheating and pulley misalignment. You should also check for cracking of the timing belt; these indicate imminent failure of the component.

Glazing and Piling

The flexibility of the timing belt is essential for promoting optimal functionality. Unfortunately, this property can be lost due to the accumulation of dirt and even exposure to an unsuitable ambient environment. This detriment will be apparent because of the occurrence of glazing. Basically, the belt will have an unnatural glossy appearance, particularly on the side. If you notice this on the component, you should perform immediate replacement because the stiffness is irreversible. Additionally, piling will compromise the function of the timing belt, necessitating a new product. Basically, as the belt wears, it will lose some material due to friction. These materials can accumulate easily in the ribbed cross-sections of the belt. Consequently, the belt will produce vibrations and corresponding noise.

Loss of Traction

Timing belts wear away just like vehicle tyres. In other words, the surface will lose the external layer which provides traction. The timing belt will slip from its ideal position, particularly when the driving conditions are rough such as when driving on wet roads or pulling a trailer. Immediate failure will not occur, but you will notice strange noises and reduced performance.