Timing Belt 101

Honda Accord Timing Belt

What is a Timing Belt?

The timing belt is the part of an internal combustion engine that controls the timing of the engine’s valves. In the internal combustion engine application, the timing belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft(s), which in turn controls the opening and closing of the engine’s valves.

The belt itself includes custom teeth in order to grip and turn the camshaft(s) in synchronization with the crankshaft. Each belt 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 or oil pump.

Some indicators that the timing belt made need to be replaced include: reduced engine power, worsening fuel economy, intermittent back-fire, rattling noise from the front of the engine

Why is it important to replace your timing belt?

Timing belts are typically inaccessible and difficult to inspect. Engine manufacturers recommend replacement at specific intervals. The manufacturer may also recommend the replacement of other parts, such as the water pump, when the timing belt is replaced. This is the case because the additional cost to replace the water pump is negligible compared to the cost of accessing the timing belt. For engines 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 damage. Some vales will be held open when they should not be and thus will be struck by the pistons. So make sure to follow those manufacturers’ recommendations!

Here at McKenney-Salinas Honda, we recommend timing belt replacement occurs at 90,000 miles or six years of use. Different factors do play a role, so if you have any questions or concerns give us a call.

Typical Timing Belt Replacement Includes:

  • Replace Timing belt
  • Replace Balance shaft belt (if applicable)
  • Replace all drive belts
  • Replace water pump and coolant
  • Inspect timing belt tensioner

To have your timing belt inspected or replaced, visit McKenney-Salinas Honda’s Auto Service Department.