Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: How to replace the timing belt and camshaft

asked by on

I had to replace my water pump so I had to take off all of the timing belt and cam shafts to get to the water pump when I took off the camshaft the markings that say up was facing down when replacing it am i supposed to adjust it or do I just replace it back the same way I took it off

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

Ideally, you should have aligned the marks before you removed the timing belt. It sounds as though everything is completely disassembled already. This makes things a bit more difficult. I would only recommend assembling it the same way as you took it apart if you have marked the camshaft pulleys and the crank pulley in the exact spot they are in before you removed the timing belt.

If you haven’t done this, I suggest aligning the marks per the repair manual. The reason for this, which you will need to address when assembling with the marks aligned as well, is it is very easy to be a tooth off. Timing marks rarely align perfectly. There is always a margin of error. To describe it in better detail, often times you will need to decide to align a mark just above or below the mark that it is aligning with. You won’t be able to align them exactly. Aligning these marks before you remove the belt will allow you to take note of where the mark should be. Since you don’t know this for sure, you will likely be guessing.

I’ve looked up the alignment on my information system. It will be more accurate than your typical store bought repair manual. The good news, but take this information with a grain of salt, because information is often incorrect, no matter the source, my information system states the exhaust camshaft sprocket mark should be a half tooth below the intake camshaft mark. I have worked on quite a few of these and this should be correct. But as I stated before, I rely on what I observe at the time of disassembly before I look up timing mark alignment.

The exhaust camshaft is the camshaft gear toward the rear of the car.

In your case, go with this information. You don’t really have a choice.

If you should still need help with this, I recommend the following service; Timing belt to address this situation.

Good luck!

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Won't start after putting in new alternator, battery, starter and fuses.

Hi there. Check the battery cables and make sure that they are hooked up properly. Look to see if there is an issue with a loose ground on the fuse box. When smoke comes from the battery cables, that usually...

Q: Coolant leak but not sure from where.

Hello, the only way to find a coolant leak is to use a coolant system pressure tester and then inspect for leaks. A coolant system pressure tester has an attachment that replaces the radiator cap and is attached to a...

Q: Thudding and thumping during acceleration from a stop and steering vibration at highway speed on a 2000 Nissan Pathfinder

If it's happening when you stop or accelerate, it is often a broken motor mount or transmission mount. I've got a video "how to change bad motor mounts on your car" that shows you how to check it. You put...

Related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.