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What is the exact function of a timing Belt?

The engine components must be in precise synchronization in order to maintain the mechanical integrity of the engine. The timing belt is the critical link in transferring the rotation of the crankshaft to the camshaft, which on some engines may turn the water pump as well. The job of the timing belt is to turn the camshaft at half the speed and revolution of the crankshaft, while maintaining a precise alignment. The camshaft activates the valves, which provide air and fuel to the cylinders and expels combustion gases to the exhaust system.
Do timing belts last for the life of your automobile?

Vehicle Manufacturers recommend that timing belts be changed approximately every 60,000 to 80,000 miles and some high quality belts have greater extended intervals to 100,000 miles. It is recommended that you check your vehicle maintenance guide for recommendations on timing belt changes.
What happens to the engine when the timing belt fails?

If the timing belt fails, you can be left stranded on the highway. In the event of a catastrophic failure when the timing belt breaks, serious engine damage can occur as the valves bend and the piston mounts break. Even if the timing belt slips a notch, the pistons can be damaged. The best option is to have a professional mechanic inspect your timing belts regularly and follow your vehicle manufacturer's suggested replacement interval.
Should all the components of timing belt drive system be changed at the same time?

A common cause of belt failure is a worn-out tensioner or idler. Replacing a timing belt requires an average of 2 to 4 hours of labor. Changing the tensioner and idler does not add significant time to the job. If the timing belt fails on new vehicle applications with interference engines, the valves will be damaged requiring extensive repair work.
Is the performance of chains superior to timing belts?

No, an independent study has confirmed that timing belts have significant advantages over chains in riding comfort, fuel consumption savings and reduction of CO2 emissions. In a 1.6L gas engine, a belt drive reduces fuel consumption by more than 1% resulting in the cutting down of carbon dioxide emissions.
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