Why Timing Belts Have Teeth and How They Work

Timing belts are used in any number of mechanical devices, but you most often think of this type of toothed belt in connection with your car or truck, where it serves to drive the camshaft.

The original timing belts were made of rubber over various sorts of natural textiles. Today, though, they’re more likely to be created from flexible polymer laid over a reinforcing fabric. The newer belts are more durable, but they can still fail.

What happens when a belt fails?

A timing belt problem can happen in a couple of ways – it can develop gradually, or it can occur suddenly and with potentially catastrophic results. As time goes on, the chances of either type of failure will increase exponentially.

You should never ignore timing belt wear, and one of the most common types of wear is a destruction of the teeth. The teeth ensure that the belt doesn’t slip. Timing belt teeth can take a bit of damage, but eventually if they deteriorate too much, there will be slippage. The belt will continue to work, but the timing will be off. When this happens, you should replace the timing belt. It’s not likely that the belt will break, but constant slippage could damage other components in the engine compartment.

If your belt is showing significant wear, or has several teeth missing in succession, don’t delay. Have it replaced.


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Recent Timing Belt Replacement reviews

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Rating Summary
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1,230
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Chris

22 years of experience
2223 reviews
Chris
22 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner V6-3.4L - Timing Belt - Anaheim, California
Chriss was really great. I appreciated his knowledge of my vehicle. He shared maintenance tips. Oh and he did a really good job with a difficult ask. New timing belt, drive belt, Radiator. Thank you!
Honda Odyssey - Timing Belt - Murrieta, California
We always use Chris for our auto repairs when he is available. He is very reliable and does a good job.

William

34 years of experience
517 reviews
William
34 years of experience
Ford Ranger L4-2.3L - Timing Belt - Phoenix, Arizona
I was scammed out of 2300 dollars by another mobile mechanic who said I needed a new engine. William came out and replaced the timing belt and water pump. He explained everything to me and was honest when asked certain questions. I will use this service again because William is now my mechanic. Great service.
Honda Pilot - Timing Belt - Phoenix, Arizona
Awesome person, friendly and did a great job. Had my timing belt done with the pulleys, water pump and thermostat. Defenitly knowledgeable in his field of work and will be using him again in my future repairs.

James

30 years of experience
873 reviews
James
30 years of experience
Honda Pilot V6-3.5L - Timing Belt - Kissimmee, Florida
This was a great first experience with YourMechanic. James was professional and worked diligently to get the job done. Highly recommend and will be using him again. Thanks!
Chrysler Sebring - Timing Belt - Orlando, Florida
James kept in touch with me the day of the repairs. Hard-working guy! Stay and finished job till late evening. Timing belt, new water pump and valve cover. So far so good! Thank you James!!

Jermaine

24 years of experience
244 reviews
Jermaine
24 years of experience
Lexus GX470 V8-4.7L - Timing Belt - Clarksville, Maryland
Jermaine always does a great job. He has worked on three of my cars, and done efficient and flawless work. He's a great guy too.
Honda Ridgeline - Timing Belt - Rockville, Maryland
I want to thank Jermaine for the quick, professional service on my 06 Honda Ridgeline. Outstanding. I didn't know what to expect, but after he completed the work and was explaining what he inspected afterward, I was very pleased. He was very professional and was able to help diagnose another potential issue. This is the first time I used "yourmechanic.com" and from the estimate I received (both timeframe and money), compared to the auto shops around town, I couldn't believe what could be done outside my home. After this experience, I will be a returning customer.

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Related questions

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