The timing belt is a nylon-reinforced rubber serpentine belt with square teeth on the inside surface. Its function is to transfer the rotation of the engine crankshaft to the camshaft-the component that moves the piston valves up and down.
In your engine, the valves admit air and fuel and expel exhaust gases; without functioning valves, your engine is dead in the water! The timing belt, true to its name, governs the precise timing of the opening and closing of the cylinder’s valves. By controlling the ignition of the fuel/air mixture, it secondarily controls the motion of the pistons.
The timing belt bears a lot of responsibility and if it were to fail because it went unchanged can cause your engine to fail. Your vehicle depends on camshafts moving pistons in the cylinders of your engine. The part which moves the camshafts, causing the valves to open and close which in turn moves the pistons, is the timing belt.
A good general rule of thumb is that a timing belt should be changed every 60,000 to 75,000 miles, although some belts are designed to last up to 100,000 miles before requiring a change. Regardless though, it is best not to let a belt go more than 80,000 miles or so, even if the recommended change point is a lot higher. Changing your belt early is definitely a lot safer for your engine, and a little money out of pocket can save you a lot of money and a new car in the long run.
If your timing belt is not working properly it has a domino effect and causes all the other steps required for proper engine function to be unable to occur or work improperly. This failure of the timing belt causes damage to your engine and makes for a much more expensive repair. By bringing your vehicle into Casey Automotive for automotive maintenance that includes your timing belt, expensive damage to your car and worst, a breakdown, can be avoided.