FB pixel

What Happens When A Timing Belt Breaks While Driving?

The timing belt is critical to the car's efficient functioning. Despite its resilience, the timing belt requires regular attention to prevent excessive wear or a snap that could cause catastrophic engine damage. Avoiding these checks can lead to severe inefficiencies and even irreversible engine harm.
What Happens When A Timing Belt Breaks While Driving?
What Happens When A Timing Belt Breaks While Driving?

The timing belt is the heart of the car. The heart keeps time and effectively keeps your body running by delivering fuel throughout these consistent intervals. The timing belt does the same, ensuring that your crankshaft and camshaft are perfectly synchronized. This ensures that the gas hits the cylinder when needed, giving you acceleration when engaged. Without this synchronization, your engine will become less efficient, slower, and at risk of breaking.

Luckily, this part of your car can also stand up to a lot of wear and tear. However, the lengthy service intervals can make it difficult to remember the timing belt. If you don’t pay attention to your car, the timing system could take too much wear and the belt or chain could snap. If this happens while you’re driving, the shattering timing belt will destroy the engine from the inside. If this happens, your engine will sustain too much damage to be reasonably repaired. Even if your car is running and stationary when it breaks, the damage will be catastrophic.

How Would You Know Your Timing Belt Broke While Driving?

The first thing that would happen if your timing belt broke while driving is that your engine would immediately stop running. You’d also likely hear a loud snap or crack come from the engine. Then, the broken bits of your timing belt will ricochet all throughout your engine. Depending on the car, it’s possible to completely lose power steering functionality.

The best way to ensure this doesn’t happen is by taking your vehicle in for routine timing system services. Routine inspections of your timing belt are integral so that you can prevent catastrophic damage like this before your engine is ruined.

Symptoms Of A Timing Belt On Its Way Out

Keeping track of service intervals is the best way to know exactly when to change your belt. But, knowing the signs that your timing system is in need of service can also help you catch this issue before disaster hits. But it’s also easy to lose track of a part with such a long service interval. Luckily, quite a few different symptoms can tell you when your timing belt is on its way out.

One of the best ways to know if this system needs attention is with misfires or sudden jolts in the gas, even when you press the pedal. Not feeling your acceleration, large clouds of exhaust, and a high-pitched whirring or squeal coming from your engine can also tell you that you need a timing belt service.

Proactive Repairs Are Better Than A Busted Engine

If you notice any signs that your timing system needs service, the worst thing you could do is wait to bring it to a mechanic. You don’t know how damaged the timing belt is, so driving on it is a considerable risk that could destroy the engine. The best way to ensure your vehicle has the longest life possible is through regular timing belt services. Mission Auto Repair in Winchester, VA offers complete timing system services, from diagnostics to replacing the belt. Call our office to make your appointment today!