Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Time out for timing belt

Time out for timing belt

THE timing belt is one essential car part that has to be replaced regularly and motorists are advised to strictly conform to the recommendations listed in the owners manual, according to Germany’s automobile association ADAC.

Most car makers list a certain amount of kilometres or the age of the vehicle when the timing belt needs replacing.

Normally, the timing belt has reached the end of its tether after the car has clocked between 100,000km and 120,000km.

But Maximilian Maurer, an ADAC expert, points out that even if an older car has low mileage, the timing belt could need replacing.

"A timing belt is made of rubber and rubber simply has a limited life span," Maurer points out, warning that it can even be dangerous to neglect a replacement.

"The timing belt can tear suddenly causing the engine to stop working immediately. That could lead to really tricky situations or even an accident," he says.

Not only that. If a timing belt breaks, it normally means that the engine needs a complete replacement. The belt connects the crankshaft to the camshaft of a combustion engine which, in turn, regulates the opening and closing of the valves.

If the system suddenly stops working, a piston can slam into an opened valve, causing much damage.


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