When Do I Need a New Timing Belt?

Your vehicle's timing belt is an indispensable part of the engine because of its function. It is reliable for synchronizing and regulating the rotation of the crankshaft and camshaft. Without this operation, the engine valves would not open and close at the proper times for performance. The timing belt has rubbery "teeth" to provide consistent coordination. If the timing is wrong, it could be harmful to your engine. 


What Causes Timing Belts to Fail?

There are various ways that a timing belt can fail. These include:

  • Stripped teeth
  • Unraveling of the belt's fiber cores
  • Belt breakage (fairly uncommon)
  • Too tight or too loose of a belt

What Are the Signs of Timing Belt Failure?

Several symptoms may indicate that your timing belt needs replacement. Here's what to look for:

  • Ticking or clicking sounds coming from the engine
  • Visual signs of belt damage—cracks and/or glazing
  • Engine runs rough
  • Slow engine starts or a failure to start engine
  • Oil leaks

Most manufacturers suggest that you replace the belt after 80,000-100,000 miles. These numbers are rough estimates and can vary from external factors such as wear and tear. Next time you are due for an auto service, such as an oil or filter change, please ask your technician to examine your timing belt.


It's better to be extra precautious when it comes to your vehicle's timing belt. If left uninspected, a broken belt can leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere or a terrible accident. Our technicians at Luke's Auto Service will gladly check your timing belt and recommend when you need a replacement. Give us a call at (614) 450-1525 or visit our shop in Columbus, OH, today!