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Timing Belt Replacement in Norfolk / Virginia Beach

First off, what does a timing belt do? You might drive your car every day, and not know what the purpose of the timing belt actually is. The main function of your timing belt is to keep the camshaft and crank moving in sync at the same time and to keep your valve timing in sync too.

When your crank pushes the piston up to the top of the cylinders, and your car becomes TDC or Top Dead Center, Your camshafts are holding both of your valves open. The timing belt rides on a crankshaft pulley and either one or two camshaft pulleys, depending on whether the car is a single overhead cam, or double overhead cam.

Each of the pulleys has a timing mark on them. The marks must all line up according to the timing specifications on the car. The pulleys are toothed, as is the belt. This keeps the belt from sliding around on the pulleys. As the crank turns, it turns the crankshaft pulley, sending the timing belt in motion. The timing belt, which runs up to the camshaft pulleys, turns the camshafts of the engine. In turn, the lobes on the camshaft push the valves into an open or closed position.

There are actually four phases:

1. Intake: Air and fuel get sucked by a vacuum through the intake manifold and into the cylinders on the first down stroke of the piston. At this time, the intake valves are open and the exhaust valves are closed.

2. Compression: The air and fuel mixture is compressed on the first upstroke of the piston. At this time, all valves are closed.

3. Combustion: The compressed air and fuel mixture is ignited by a spark from the spark plug on the second down stroke of the piston. At this time, all valves are closed.

4. Exhaust: What comes in must go out—any excess air and fuel left in the cylinder gets pushed out through the exhaust valves on the last upstroke of the piston. At this time, the intake valves are closed and the exhaust valves are open.

If a timing belt stretches or breaks, it does not keep the valves in time with the rest of the engine. The valves must open and close at the proper time, hence “valve timing.” If the valves are not open or closed at the appropriate time, the car will either run badly or not at all.


Generally speaking it is recommended to replace your timing belt every 60,000 miles or 72 months in most cases.

Special note:

Keep in mind that a timing belt can go at any time without warning. If you do get some warning such as belt slapping against the timing cover, don’t take it for granted. Fix the problem, before it fixes a hole in your wallet.