Thursday, March 1, 2012

Removing the old timing belt

You’ve figured out it’s time to replace your timing belt. And you have found the exact tools for timing belt replacement. What comes next is the procedure. If you’re a car enthusiast, you would probably do it by yourself. But if you have moderate knowledge on doing this, you would be tackling with this challenge. Usually, it would take eight hours for an untrained professional to do the whole procedure.

So, let’s start by removing the old timing belt. But do remember to first refer to your manual for proper procedures. Car models vary from the tools and the procedure of timing belt removal. But in general, you should:

·         Engage the emergency brake.
·         The car should be jacked up with jack stands.
·         The negative terminal of the battery should be disconnected for safety purposes.
·         The transmission should be placed to neutral.
·         Don’t forget to remove all spark plugs.
·         All plastic shields underneath the engine should also be removed.
·         Drain coolant.
·         All cooling fan and its covering on the engine’s front should be detached. This is usually done by turning right to loosen.
·         For easy reassembly, cooling hoses disconnected should be labelled.
·          Remove radiator, engine drive belts, cap and rotor, water pump pulley, and the bolts holding the upper timing belt cover.
·          On the center of the crankshaft pulley, place the socket. Rotate engine to TDC (Top Dead Center). This means the first piston in an inline engine is already at the top. A mark will show the TDC on the pulley and engine.
·         The crankshaft pulley bolts should be loosened to remove the pulley and vibration damper.
·         Take off the lower timing belt cover.
·         Remember to mark the location of the main tensioner bolt.
·         Now, remove the bolt which holds the tensioner and timing belt cover and the main adjustment bolt for tensioner.
·         The freed tensioner and tensioner spring should be removed next.
·         Once all these are done, the belt comes off.

At this point, removing the old timing belt is complete. We’ll discuss the next part on the next article. J

Change of Timing Belt: A must

Why timing belts need to be changed every now then? Sometimes you tend to be too lazy and pissed because its life span is very short. Well, timing belt needs to be change every now then in order to keep your car going.

Among the modern engines that have been created, timing belt is the weakest link.

To answer the question stated earlier: Timing belts are camshafts designed to just have a limited span of life because chains that are more durable are noisier and more expensive to manufacturer. If you review the manual of your car, timing belt’s mileage is indicated in order for you to know when is the right time to change it. Usually, its interval runs from 60,000 miles up to 105,000 miles. Now, it is clear. Timing belts are designed to just have a short span of life.

You are encouraged to change timing belts prior to the indicated interval because you would not want to have troubles and get embarrassed on the middle of a road trip with friends.

If you are planning to purchase a second hand automobile, it is wise to change its belt with a new one.

Failure of timing belts comes without warning. For some vehicles, it sometimes hard to check it as it is to replace it. Thus, it is important to often check the intervals of your vehicle so that you can monitor the life span of your car’s timing belt.

Apparently, maintenance of timing belts is a bit costly. Yet, the cost would be doubled when disaster takes place.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

What will you need to replace timing belt?

You may not have given a look at your timing belt until you heard a cymbals slapping each other; and then, the buzzer sounds off. Anything can go wrong when it’s time for timing belt replacement. Yes, even if you haven’t reached the maximum distance yet. Take a chance to see your timing belt and check for cracks, shredding, or excessive slack.

Apart from the natural symptoms which could wear up your timing belt, other factors that will affect its early replacement are oil leaks from surrounding seals, living in a dry climate where belts are worn rapidly, and infrequent driving (causes the belt to become a set shape).

These factors will lead you to replace your timing belt. If you don’t feel going to the mechanic and is more accustomed in doing your own repair, you’ll likely need tools that will help you do this.

The basic tools include socket set, torque wrench, combination wrenches, screw drivers, drain pan, jack and jack stands, and antifreeze. In addition to these tools, you will need more tools specifically designed for timing belt replacement. These include a new timing belt, timing belt cover gasket, timing light, belt tension gauge, and pins/bolts needed to hold camshaft position while working. For some vehicle whose crankshaft pulley doesn’t just slide off, a harmonic balancer puller or three-jaw gear puller will be needed.

Remember that in timing belts, it isn’t “one size fits all.”  Tools, belt type, and procedure may vary depending on the vehicle’s model. Perhaps, the most valuable tool for replacing a timing belt is a manual from your car’s manufacturer.  

Sunday, February 19, 2012

It’s time to replace your timing belt

Some cars break down without you even knowing why. For one thing, the failure of the timing belt causes this. To prevent a serious damage on the car, one should know when to replace it. This can be done by getting familiar with the timing belt, its functions, and knowing when there is something wrong with it. Knowledge about the symptoms of timing belt will save you from the hassles of being stuck in the middle of the road as the car breaks down.

Let’s start by defining timing belt. It is a chain which is part of the car’s internal combustion engine. Its role is to connect a crankshaft to a camshaft which controls the opening and closing of the engine’s valves. A non-functioning timing belt will cause the engine’s pistons to stop functioning as well which leads to the car’s inability to run. An overused timing belt will no longer be able to perform its functions, thus, it needs to be replaced.

Timing belts are replaced after its suggested number of miles is reached. But if you haven’t kept track of the miles you have run with your car, there are symptoms to look out for so you would know when to replace the timing belt. Here are the following:

  •         The car’s engine experience too much vibration making the whole car shake
  •     It starts belching out more exhaust than usual
  •     If you face trouble in starting your car and hear awkward noises when doing so

Other cars display more symptoms than others like emitting excess smoke. But if one of these symptoms occur in your car, it is better to consult a mechanic. It most probably indicates that timing belt should be replaced or if not, there really is something wrong with your car.