Keeping Track of Time

Keeping Track of Time

Have you ever heard a clicking coming from your engine and thought, “I’m sure that’ll go away in a few minutes.” Turns out, that clicking could be a sign that your timing belt, a crucial part that keeps your car running, is giving out. Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealer, has tips on identifying the signs that your timing belt needs to be replaced.

What is a Timing Belt?
The timing belt is a rubber belt that synchronizes the actions of the camshaft and crankshaft. In simple terms, the timing belt is what keeps your valves moving and your engine running. To fully understand how that works, you need to know what the camshaft and crankshaft each do.

  • Camshaft: Operates the valves in your engine to let air and gas in and out
  • Crankshaft: Moves the pistons up and down

In order for these systems to work properly, they need to operate in exact synchronization. Otherwise, the valves, piston, or engine could become damaged. The timing belt ensures these parts are synchronized by turning the system at a constant rate.

What Are the Signs It Needs to Be Replaced?
If the timing belt snaps, it could cause extensive damage to your car’s engine. In order to prevent your timing belt from leaving you stranded, you need to know what to look out for. A good rule of thumb is that newer cars can usually reach about 100,000 miles before the timing belt needs to be replaced, while older cars can make it to about 60,000 miles. In addition to mileage, there are a few signs your timing belt might be on its last notch.

  • Ticking: If you hear a ticking noise coming from the engine, it could mean your timing belt is starting to wear out. It could also be a sign of low oil pressure or the engine not having the right amount of lubrication. All of these things can cause damage to your engine, so take your car to a mechanic immediately.
  • Engine issues: If your engine won’t turn over or is misfiring, it could be a result of a worn out timing belt.
  • Oil: If you open the hood of your car and discover oil leaking in front of the motor, it might be coming from the timing belt cover.

You want your car to last as long as possible, so keeping up with basic maintenance is important. Take your car into Bartow Ford, your Lakeland area Ford dealership, and have us make sure your timing belt is in excellent condition. Book your appointment online or give us a call at 800-303-4016.

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