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Timing Belt Change at Ringroad Rescue Darlington

As with all parts on modern & also older vehicles the timing belts must be replaced at the manufacturer’s recommended distance and/or time periods. Failure to replace the belt can result in complete breakdown or catastrophic engine failure.

Please see the following article taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timing_belt for a detailed explanation of a timing belt.

A timing belt, or cam belt (informal usage), is a part of an internal combustion engine that controls the timing of the engine’s valves. Some engines, such as the flat-4 Volkswagen air-cooled engine, and the straight-6 Toyota F engine use timing gears. First seen in the 1954 Devin, which won the SCCA National Championship in 1956 (see May 1957 Sports Cars Illustrated article by O C Rich), timing belts replaced the older style timing chains that were common until the 1970s and 1980s (although in the last decade there has been re-emergence of chain use for many car-makers). Some manufacturers, such as BMW[1] and Mercedes-Benz[2], are known for utilizing timing chains, because of their durability.

In the internal combustion engine application, the timing belt/chain connects the crankshaft to the camshaft(s), which in turn controls the opening and closing of the engine’s valves. A four-stroke engine requires that the valves open and close once every other revolution of the crankshaft. The timing belt/chain does this. It has teeth to turn the camshaft(s) synchronised with the crankshaft, and is specifically designed for a particular engine. In some engine designs, the timing belt may also be used to drive other engine components such as the water pump and oil pump.

While chains and gears may be more durable, rubber composite belts are quieter in their operation (in most modern engines the noise difference is negligible), are less expensive and more efficient, by dint of being lighter, when compared with a gear or chain system. Also, timing belts do not require lubrication, which is essential with a timing chain or gears. A timing belt is a specific application of a synchronous belt used to transmit rotational power synchronously.

Timing belts are typically covered by metal or polymer timing belt covers which require removal for inspection or replacement. Engine manufacturers recommend replacement at specific intervals.[4] The manufacturer may also recommend the replacement of other parts, such as the water pump, when the timing belt is replaced because the additional cost to replace the water pump is negligible compared to the cost of accessing the timing belt. In an interference engine, or one whose valves extend into the path of the piston, failure of the timing belt (or timing chain) invariably results in costly and, in some cases, irreparable engine damage, as some valves will be held open when they should not be and thus will be struck by the pistons. End of Wikipedia article.

These valves came out of a Toyota Rav 4 that Ringroad Rescue Darlington got called out to recover from the lake district, It’s the 1st time we have seen valves bent like this they normally snap the heads of when they come into contact with the top of the pistons.


Most commonly now when a vehicle requires a timing belt change a full timing belt kit is purchased & changed on the vehicle as it has been recognized that when a timing belt fails it is more likely to be down to a tensioner or roller failure causing the belt to lock up or jump from the correct position, rather than a belt just snapping due to age & deterioration although if the belt is not changed at the prescribed interval then the risk of snapping will be greatly increased due to material deterioration.

All vehicles that enter the workshops at Ringroad Rescue Darlington are routinely checked to ensure that the timing belt change interval has not been exceed or that it is due at that current time.