When it comes to vehicle maintenance, most understand the basics. Change the oil, check the brakes, regular washes, etc. But not every vehicle on the road works the same way. A diesel engine doesn’t work like a gasoline engine, for instance. Also, some wear items, like the clutch are hidden from easy sight. Or, they have such long service intervals that owners can forget about them. That is until something goes wrong. One of these is the timing belt. And, oftentimes, when you go to replace it, it’s recommended you replace the water pump, too. Here’s why.
What does the timing belt do?
As Autoblog explains, the timing belt is a key component in keeping your car’s engine running.
For the engine to make power, its pistons have to rotate, and the combustion chamber’s valves open and close. The pistons are attached to a crankshaft, which sends power through the transmission and differential to the wheels. Meanwhile, the valves move thanks to a rotating camshaft.
However, this operation requires precise timing. If the intake valve stays open too long, air will escape, and power drops. And if too much air escapes, the mini-explosion which creates the power won’t happen. It’s even worse, Jalopnik explains if you have an interference-type engine. These engines have valves that open further into the combustion chamber, for improved power and efficiency. But, if the piston and valves are out of sync, the piston could collide with the extended valve.