When people discover they need a new timing belt after bringing their car to our McDaniel GM Superstore service department, they're often perplexed. "What is a timing belt?" they ask us. Here's your detailed but basic explanation.

Timing Belts 101

A timing belt is a rubber belt that synchronizes the movements of key engine components, namely the camshaft and the crankshaft. Like a bike chain, the timing belt interlocks with cogwheels on camshafts and the crankshaft. Failure of engine parts to synchronize may result in loss of power or interior engine damage, called an interference engine.

Camshafts, Crankshafts Demystified

It's helpful to know that the timing belt keeps the camshafts and crankshaft moving in unison, but what exactly are camshafts and crankshafts? The camshaft is a shaft or shafts that spin, translating rotational energy into reciprocal energy. This translation ensures that engine intake exhaust valves open and close at the proper times.

Simultaneously, the timing belt turns the crankshaft. The crankshaft, attached to pistons, sends power through the transmission, which turns a vehicle's wheels.


Categories: Service