Automotive Repair Blog: Tips, Facts, and Fixes

What Happens When Your Timing Belt Breaks?

You may not know what a timing belt is, but suffice it to say that this is one of the most important parts in your vehicle. With a functioning timing belt, you are not going anywhere. Since this is not a car part that many people ever concern themselves with, it is important to know what exactly happens when the timing belt actually breaks. Continue reading to learn about this vital topic.

The Timing Belt Explained

To understand what happens when a timing belt breaks, you must first know what this part is in the first place. Essentially, the timing belt is a big piece of rubber. It has ridges built into its design so that the belt itself can be placed directly over the crankshaft. It ends up controlling the valves that work to keep the pistons moving in proper synchronization. This part gets its name because it controls the timing of when the valves open and close while the car is in operation.

The timing belt is so important because it keeps the valves and pistons in your car from colliding with one another. Since these parts are turning at many thousands of revolutions every minute, a belt that breaks is disastrous. This is why your car engine will simply turn itself off. It is a defense mechanism of sorts.

When Should the Timing Belt be Replaced?

To avoid your timing breaking down on you, it is important to know when it should be changed out. The exact timetable for this will depend on the make and model of your automobile, so be sure to check your owner's manual. Most professional mechanics will recommend that you have the timing belt changed every 60,000 miles or so. You can also look at yourself to determine when it should be changed. If you notice that it is fraying on the edges, it is better to be safe than sorry.


If you have an issue with your timing belt, get it replaced right away. Pro Auto Care is ready to help you, so feel free to make an appointment today.