In order for your car engine\'s various components to work harmoniously together, these parts need the timing belt to keep them in-sync. Made of synthetic rubber and reinforced with fiber threads, this belt is what keeps engine camshafts and valves constantly moving at exactly the right time. Every time you switch on the engine, the linear energy from the pistons is converted into rotational energy by the belt. This rotational energy is then what eventually makes the wheels turn. Without this belt, the valves and pistons will collide, leading to engine breakdown.
Just like any car part, this belt will eventually show signs of wear and tear. If your car is nearing 60,000 miles (for older vehicles) or 100,000 miles (for newer vehicles), the timing belt is near the end of its lifespan. Once it wears out, you\'ll have to install a new timing belt kit. Here\'s how:
Tools you\'ll need:
- Drain pan
- Harmonic balancer puller (depending on your car make and model)
Removing the old timing belt (check the instructions with your car manual)
- Jack up the car and disconnect the battery.
- Disconnect the spark plugs and plastic shields (if any) from under the vehicle engine.
- Drain the coolant.
- Remove all other parts that will get in the way. These usually include plastic shields and covers on the engine\'s front end, cooling hoses, radiator, engine drive belts, cap and rotor, and the water pump pulley.
- Remove the upper timing belt by unbolting it.
- Remove the crankshaft pulley by using a socket. After placing the socket on the crankshaft pulley\'s center, rotate it until you reach the TDC or top dead center. Then loosen the pulley bolts. Once the pulley bolts are removed, lift it off along with the vibration damper and the lower timing belt cover.
- Mark the exact position of the main tensioner bolt to make reinstallation easier. Then remove the bolt thats hold the timing belt cover and tensioner as well as the tensioner\'s main adjustment bolt. You can now remove the tensioner and spring.
- Pull off the timing belt from the assembly once the tensioner and spring are removed.
Installing the replacement timing belt kit
- Place the new belt in position, making sure it\'s properly aligned just like the original belt.
- Install the new tensioner, which is included in the timing belt kit. Then adjust it accordingly.
- Double-check if all timing marks are properly lined up. Consult your car manual when lining up the timing marks.
- Reinstall all the parts you\'ve removed when you uninstalled the old timing belt in reverse order. Start with the belt cover, vibration damper, and the crankshaft pulley. Once these parts reinstalled, reattach all the other parts such as the water pump pulley, cap and rotor, engine drive belts, etc. then take the car for a test drive to see if the new timing belt kit was installed properly.
- If your car\'s crankshaft pulley is not designed to easily slide off, it means you have to use a three-jaw gear or harmonic balancer puller to remove it.
- Don\'t forget to refill the coolant tank with anti-freeze after installing the timing belt kit.