To know what the heck a timing belt IS, we must first explore what the heck a timing belt IS NOT. A timing belt is not:
So…what the heck is it then?
The timing belt is a very important of an engine. It connects the crankshaft to the camshaft, and synchronizes them to turn at the proper moments to make the vehicle go.
Your line is: “But what are a crankshaft and camshaft?”
Go on…say it out loud. Don’t be shy! Need some motivation? Here’s a backstory: You are an urban farmer from upstate New York. You are on a quiz-style game show similar to “Do You Want to Be a Millionaire?”. You are on your last question before winning one million dollars. The host asks you to define what a crankshaft and camshaft are. You elect to use your Phone A Friend lifeline, and you call your local Chad Miller Auto Care. They answer the phone, and you ask, “[insert your line here]”.
That was fantastic. You know what? I’m so glad you asked!
A crankshaft is the part of the engine that is a shaft, and contains cranks. (How informative!)
A camshaft is the part of an engine that is a shaft, and contains cams. (So much knowledge!)
If the timing belt gets too worn, some of the teeth break off, it gets too loose, or it actually snaps, bad things can happen:
It is VERY IMPORTANT to have the timing belt replaced when your vehicle manufacturer recommends (that can typically be found in the owner’s manual or online). It is better to prevent engine problems than to pay for them afterward. Engines are not cheap!
So, there you have it. Now you know what a timing belt is NOT, what it IS, and what it does to help the crankshaft and camshaft move your vehicle.
Tell me what other automotive parts baffle you. I’ll tell you what the heck they are!