Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Why Timing Belts Have Teeth and How They Work

timing belt teeth

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

P0121 OBD-II Trouble Code: TPS "A" Circuit Range Performance Problem
P0121 code definition Throttle Pedal Position Sensor/Switch (TPS) A Circuit Range Performance Problem What the P0121 code means P0121 is a generic OBD-II code which indicates that the Engine Control...
P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222 code means The manufacturer specifies a range of acceptable voltage to be produced from the throttle position...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: my car cranks but won't turnover

By your list, you have replaced parts relating to both fuel and spark. If you're still not getting fuel and spark, then there may be an electronic failure elsewhere in the system. It could be the ECU (Engine Control Unit),...

Q: Is it Necessary to Replace the Tensioner With the Timing Belt?

Automatic belt tensioners usually have a visible tension range indicator on the tensioner. When you install a new belt, check the tension indicator to verify that the arrow on the tensioner arm is pointing to the range on the tensioner...

Q: What Does the Accessory Belt on the Front of an Engine Do?

The accessory belt is used to turn any accessory by the crankshaft of the engine any time the engine is running, without having a direct mechanical connection. The belt is used by the engine to turn all the accessories at...