What are the common issues after a timing belt snaps?
The most common issue that occurs after a timing belt snaps is that your engine won’t start. Another common issue, depending on whether you have a freewheeling engine design or non-freewheeling engine design, is a piston making contact with a valve and bending the valve.
A freewheeling engine design is one where there is some clearance room between the top of the piston when it is top dead center of its upward stroke and the valves when they are fully open.
A non-freewheeling engine design does not have this piston-to-valve clearance. This allows for higher compression inside the engine, but can lead to catastrophic engine failure if a piston is to make contact with a valve.
If you have a freewheeling engine and your timing belts snaps, then replacing the timing belt is a matter of course. If, however, you have a non-freewheeling engine and your timing belt snaps, DO NOT try to start the engine. Doing so will most assuredly ruin your engine.
If you’re unsure of which type of engine design you have, contact the professionals at YourMechanic. They can help you sort this out so that you’ll be prepared in case the unthinkable happens.